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Lancet. 1995 Oct 21;346(8982):1073-4.

Endogenous synthesis of galactose in normal men and patients with hereditary galactosaemia.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, USA.


Despite restricted ingestion of lactose, patients with galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase deficiency have raised concentrations of galactose metabolites in blood and urine. Endogenous production of galactose may underlie this phenomenon. Using isotopically labelled galactose in a continuous intravenous infusion, we employed the steady-state flux method to calculate endogenous galactose production rate in three normal men and three patients with classic galactosaemia. We found that galactosaemic patients and normal subjects synthesise gram quantities of galactose per day. The rate of synthesis ranged from 0.53-1.05 mg/kg per h. Endogenous production of galactose may be an important factor in the pathogenesis of the complications of the brain and ovary, and could explain the persistent elevation of galactose metabolites in patients despite dietary restriction of galactose.

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