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Origin and causes of fructose intolerance


The fructose intolerance is started when cells attached to the surface of the intestines cannot break down fructose properly.

The fructose it is a simple sugar called monosaccharide, whose origin comes from fruits mostly, although it is also found in some vegetables.

In addition, we can find it in the honey, agave nectar and many processed products to which they add added sugars.

The intake of fructose from corn syrup (high concentration of fructose) has been increasing over the years in a dizzying way. It is possible that due to this increase in its consumption, intolerance to fructose products has increased.

If after taking a food rich in this compound we have digestive problems, it is possible that we have a malabsorption of fructose.

Its origin may be due to the fructans, which are fermentable carbohydrates that are transformed into short fructose chains with a unit of glucose attached.

A possible fructan intolerance can lead to inadequate fructose absorption.

Hereditary fructose intolerance

In addition to this, we also find an apparently much more serious problem, which is the well-known hereditary fructose intolerance (IHF).

This disease has a genetic condition and affects approximately 1 in 25,000 people.

The body does not produce the enzyme needed to break down fructose. From here, digestive disorders, liver failure and other problems of some severity originate.

The first detections of the disease are made in nursing babies.

Fructose intolerance

Causes of fructose intolerance

The fructose intolerance it is a fairly common phenomenon, and can affect 1/3 of the population. [View Report]

They are the fructose carriers of the intestinal cells (enterocytes) those responsible for transporting fructose to its final destination. When we have a problem with it, fructose tends to accumulate in the large intestine and causes the digestive problems mentioned.

Some of the causes that originate intolerance can be the following:

  • There may be an imbalance between beneficial microbiology (positive bacteria) and pathogenic bacteria.
  • High consumption of processed and/or refined foods.
  • Chronic stress.
  • Initial bowel problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Recurrent intestinal inflammation.

Initial symptoms of fructose malabsorption

The first symptoms diagnosed may be the following:

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Gases
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrheic processes
  • Nausea and vomiting

There is scientific evidence linking fructose intolerance to depressive states or mood-related disorders. This intolerance is also associated with reduced levels of tryptophan in the body. [See studys]

Diagnosis of intolerance

To make a proper diagnosis, the hydrogen breath test is usually used. A common test used to diagnose problems with fructose transformation.

This measurement does not involve any blood draw. Just reduce the carbohydrates ingested the night before and a slight fast in the morning of diagnosis.

The measurement consists of drinking concentrated solutions of fructose every 20 to 30 minutes and evaluating breathing. If we have problems with intolerance and fructose is not absorbede, then there will be more exhalation of hydrogen-rich compounds.

A confirmation of the problem will mean eliminating any element rich in fructose from our diet, hoping that the symptoms will disappear within a few weeks of executing the anti-fructose plan.

Foods that contain fructose

We show you a list of foods and beverages that contain high concentrations of fructose. Keep in mind that you can also finding sugar substitutes more appropriate to your problem.

  • Soft drinks and sodas
  • Some (not all) cereal bars
  • Fruits such as apples, plums, cherries, pears, watermelon or peaches
  • Previous fruit drinks (apple juice, cider, peach juice, etc.)
  • Peas
  • Honey
  • Refined desserts containing fructose as a sweetener.

When reading labels, there are many ingredients you should be aware of when trying to administer fructose malabsorption. Please note the following:


The symptoms of fructose intolerance vary depending on the person who suffers from it. In case of any digestive problem, you should go to the medical specialist.

Faced with the problem, there are diets that avoid the consumption of foods rich in fructose. You can also find other sugar substitutes that are more interesting and adapted to your problem.


About Andrew Parkinson

Andrew Parkinson is a highly accomplished pharmacist with a passion for improving healthcare. With a wealth of experience in both community and clinical pharmacy settings, he's known for his dedication to patient well-being. Mr. Parkinson actively engages in medication management, offering personalized solutions and promoting better health outcomes. He has also played a pivotal role in educating patients on proper medication usage and potential interactions. Andrew's commitment to advancing the field of pharmacy and ensuring safe and effective drug therapies has garnered him recognition as a trusted and invaluable healthcare professional, making a positive impact on countless lives.

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