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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2008 Sep;47(3):303-8. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e318166cbe4.

Fructose intolerance in children presenting with abdominal pain.

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Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA.



We determined the occurrence of fructose malabsorption in pediatric patients with previous diagnoses of abdominal pain caused by a functional bowel disorder, whether the restriction of fructose intake changes the reporting of symptoms, the role of fructose dosage, and the severity of resultant symptoms.


We administered a fructose breath test to children presenting with persistent unexplained abdominal pain. Patients randomly received 1, 15, or 45 g fructose, and breath hydrogen was measured for 3 hours after ingestion. Test results were positive when breath hydrogen was 20 ppm greater than baseline and was accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms.


A total of 32 patients was enrolled, and none of the 9 who received 1 g had positive results. Three of 10 who received 15 g and 8 of 13 who received 45 g had positive results. All patients with positive test results restricted their fructose intake. Among the group with positive results, 9 of 11 had rapid improvement of their gastrointestinal symptoms. After 2 months, all 9 patients continued to report improvement.


We concluded that fructose malabsorption may be a significant problem in children and that management of dietary intake can be effective in reducing gastrointestinal symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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