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Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 45, Issue 12, pp 2357–2362 | Cite as

Coincidental Malabsorption of Lactose, Fructose, and Sorbitol Ingested at Low Doses Is Not Common in Normal Adults

  • Spiros D. Ladas
  • Ioannis Grammenos
  • Pericles S. Tassios
  • Sotirios A. Raptis
Article

Abstract

Normal subjects may incompletely absorb either lactose, fructose, or sorbitol and may therefore have abdominal symptoms. The frequency of coincidental malabsorption of these sugars is not known. This is clinically important, since we often ingest them during the same day and malabsorption may cause abdominal symptoms. To shed light on this issue we studied 32 normal subjects. Volunteers drank in random order the following solutions: 20 g lactulose, 50 g sucrose, 50 and 25 g lactose, 50 and 25 g fructose, 20 and 10 g sorbitol. Semiquantitative carbohydrate malabsorption was estimated with lactulose standards. Frequency of 50-g lactose (69%), 50-g fructose (81%), and 20-g sorbitol (84%) malabsorption was not significantly different (P = 0.3). The estimated median fraction of the ingested high dose malabsorbed was 42, 19, and 68% for lactose, fructose, and sorbitol, respectively. At low challenging doses, 63% of the volunteers absorbed two of three or all three sugars, and 88% were asymptomatic to two or all three sugars. In conclusion, the frequency of coincidental malabsorption of lactose, fructose, and sorbitol and intolerance to these sugars is not common, when normal adults ingest them at low doses.

lactose fructose sorbitol carbohydrate absorption malabsorption intolerance 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Spiros D. Ladas
    • 1
  • Ioannis Grammenos
    • 1
  • Pericles S. Tassios
    • 1
  • Sotirios A. Raptis
    • 1
  1. 1.Gastroenterology Unit, Second Department of Internal MedicineAthens University, Evangelismos HospitalAthensGreece

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