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Fructose may trigger irritable bowel syndrome

October 27, 2003|Dianne Partie Lange

Irritable bowel syndrome -- a condition that causes abdominal discomfort, bloating and constipation or diarrhea in about 10% to 15% of Americans -- may be triggered by fructose in some people, conclude University of Iowa researchers.

In a study involving 80 people with IBS, the researchers found that 31 were fructose intolerant. Those who were fructose intolerant and able to maintain a mostly fructose-free diet for at least six months had a significant improvement in symptoms.

This is the first study of people with IBS who give up fructose, a simple sugar found in most fruits, a few vegetables, foods canned with high-fructose corn syrup, chocolates and honey, says Dr. Satish Rao, a co-author of the study and professor of neurogastroenterology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.

This study was presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology on Oct. 13 in Baltimore.

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-- Dianne Partie Lange

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