Fructose Malabsorption

What is Fructose? Fructose is a monosaccharide (FODMAP) or single sugar molecule found in a variety of foods and food groups. Fructose can be found as free fructose (various fruits such as apples and honey) or chains of fructose units known as fructans (various vegetables and wheat) [1].

What is Fructose Malabsorption?

Fructose malabsorption is a relatively common condition affecting 30-40% of people and 55% of people with IBS a condition which is characterised by impaired absorption of fructose in the small bowel [2]. It. This decreased ability to absorb this fructose is typically characterized by abdominal symptoms including: stomach bloating and pain, wind, loose bowel motions and/or constipation.

How do you test if you have Fructose Malabsorption?

You can test if you have fructose malabsorption by undertaking a breath H2 and CH4 test. These tests are non-invasive and have repeatedly been demonstrated as the most accurate indirect indicator of fructose malabsorption [2]. Want to know more about breath testing?  Visit the Stream Diagnostics website.

I am a Fructose Malabsorber what now?

Once diagnosed with fructose malabsorption it is best to eliminate high fructose and fructan foods in order to reduce unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms [1]. To learn about what foods are high in fructose and fructans download the FODMAP Friendly App. It must be known that there are varying levels of fructose malabsorption and consequently different amounts of fructose in the diet will be tolerated. It is advised to see an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) to help develop an appropriate and nutritionally adequate diet plan.

High Fructose Low Fructose
Apples, Pears Banana
Cherries Blueberries
Sugar Snap Peas Carrots
Fruit muesli, wheat bix Kez’s Low in fructose, Food for health fruit free clusters



High Fructans Low Fructans
Garlic, Onion (including  garlic and onion powders found in sauces and stocks) Cobram Estate Roast Onion and Garlic Olive Oil, FODMAPPED Stocks, Soups and Sauces
Whole Wheat bread Alpine bread varieties: Sour Rye, Rye Grain, Spelt & Sprouted Grain/Tuscany/ Super Natural Spelt
Whole Wheat Pasta 100% buckwheat noodles, Quinoa, Basmati or Brown Rice, Konjac Noodles (slim brand)


[1] Shepherd SJ, Gibson PR. Fructose Malabsorption and Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: guidelines for effective dietary management. J Am Diet Assoc. 2006;106:1631-1639

[2] Montalto M, Gallo A, Ojetti V, Gasbarrini A. Fructose, trehalose and sorbitol. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2013; 17(2): 26-9

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