Fructose Malabsorption

Also called intestinal fructose intolerance, fructose malabsorption refers to the intolerance of fructose itself, and it's the most common type of fructose intolerance today. 

Living with fructose malabsorption is challenging, but not impossible. When suffering from this type of intolerance, a person cannot properly process the fructose found in fruits, vegetables, or grain products. This inability to process fructose leads to several uncomfortable symptoms including diarrhea, flatulence, stomach and body aches.

So: how can a person live with fructose malabsorption and feel safe in eating a normal, healthy diet? The answer is simple: with products that contain a low concentration of fructose.

That’s why Frusano was founded – to create ease the life of fructose-intolerant people everywhere. It all started with a simple fructose content analysis of products on the market, finding that all of them contained a lot of fructose, then setting out to develop our own products. Today, we can offer a wide range of fructose-free products for a healthy lifestyle. 

What happens to a body suffering from fructose malabsorption?

Fructose intolerance is due to a defective transport mechanism in the small intestine. Because of an inoperative transport protein responsible for the absorption of fructose, the fructose is not readily absorbed and reaches the colon.

The disfunction of the protein can be explained by hereditary or environmental factors. As the fructose can reach the colon, two problems occur inside the human body:

  • Water accumulates through osmosis in the small intestine. This causes diarrhea as the surplus liquid cannot be absorbed.
  • Fructose is decomposed in the colon by bacteria forming short-chain fatty acids and gases. This results in flatulence, bloating, abdominal pains, and IBS

Identifying fructose malabsorption is quite easy today. By taking a completely painless breath test called Hydrogen Breath Test (HBT), this type of fructose intolerance can easily be identified. In the test, we can see if the concentration of hydrogen in the breath coming out of the lungs increases. If it does, it can be concluded that the fructose is not processed; therefore, the person is intolerant of fructose.

However, if there is suspicion of HFI, the affected person should avoid this test as it comes with a high risk for this group of people.

Healthy diets for people with fructose malabsorption

So far, there is no medical treatment for any type of fructose intolerance. However, keeping a healthy and proper diet is still possible by following a set of rules that fructose malabsorption-affected people need to consider when planning how and what to eat. Since a lot of fructose comes from sweetened foods, cutting out food containing a lot of sugar can help to avoid discomfort.

Consuming fructose should mostly come from fruits. Even with the consumption of those, fruits low in fructose should mostly be taken into consideration. Low-fructose fruits include strawberries or raspberries. Vegetables that are low in their concentration of fructose include avocados or cucumbers. In addition, people suffering from fructose malabsorption are reported to process rice, quinoa, full-fat milk products, meat, fish and eggs well. 

Frusano offers a wide range of products that are either fructose-free or low in fructose. Most of our products are vegan, gluten-free and have a very low level of sorbitol, as well. 

Thanks to our alternative sweeteners and fructose-free chocolate, jams, sweets, and beverages, even people affected by fructose intolerance can feast without fear.

Whether you're searching for inspiration or just want to try something new, check out our recipe page for low-fructose cooking ideas. 

For more information on suitable sweeteners for those with intestinal fructose intolerance, check out our  delicious sweetener products!