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What is fructose malabsorption?

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Fructose malabsorption refers to a type of fructose intolerance in which an individual's digestive system cannot sufficiently absorb all the fructose ingested, according to a 2011 paper in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Unabsorbed fructose ferments when it reaches the colon, causing various symptoms, including bloating, gas and loose stools. Fructose malabsorption also aggravates symptoms for individuals with irritable bowel syndrome

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The other major form of fructose intolerance is hereditary fructose intolerance, which results from a lack of a certain enzyme, explains a 2011 Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition paper. Unlike hereditary fructose intolerance, fructose malabsorption is not known to be related to genetics. Doctors may test for fructose malabsorption and intolerance using a breath test for related gases, such as hydrogen and methane, states WebMD.

Health advisers recommend that those with fructose malabsorption and intolerance avoid foods high in fructose, such as fruit juices, apples, grapes, watermelon and peas, explains the Mayo Clinic. Fruits, some vegetables and honey all contain fructose naturally. Additionally, many products contain fructose or other ingredients high in fructose, such as honey, agave syrup, maple-flavored syrup, sorghum and molasses. Pop also often contains fructose, states MedicineNet.com. Some low-fructose fruits and vegetables include bananas, blueberries, strawberries, carrots and lettuce.

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