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When it comes to understanding the components of our diet, it's important to have a clear understanding of the different types of sugars we consume. Two commonly confused sugars are fructose and fructans. While they may sound similar, they have distinct characteristics and effects on our bodies. In this blog post, we will explore the difference between fructose and fructans, shedding light on their composition, sources, and impact on our health.
Fructose is a simple sugar, also known as a monosaccharide, that is naturally found in fruits, vegetables, and honey. It is the sweetest naturally occurring sugar and is commonly used as a sweetener in processed foods and beverages. Fructose is metabolized in the liver and is primarily used for energy production.
Fructans, on the other hand, are a type of carbohydrate known as oligosaccharides. They are composed of chains of fructose molecules linked together. Fructans are found in a variety of foods, including wheat, onions, garlic, and certain fruits and vegetables. Unlike fructose, fructans are not sweet and are not used as a sweetener in foods. Instead, they act as a source of dietary fiber.
Fructose is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the small intestine, where it is transported to the liver for metabolism. Excessive consumption of fructose can impact individuals with fructose malabsorption, as they lack the enzymes that help break down fructose into glucose for the body to use as energy. This results in fructose passing into the large intestine where one may experience symptoms like bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal pain, and wind.
Fructans, on the other hand, are not digested in the small intestine. Instead, they pass through to the large intestine, where they are fermented by the gut bacteria. This fermentation process produces short-chain fatty acids, which have been shown to have various health benefits. However, this can also cause the production of gas in individuals with IBS, causing similar gut symptoms to those in fructose malabsorption when consumed in high quantities.
Enzymatic supplements may be a viable option for individuals with IBS or fructose intolerance. FodShop provides customers with a variety of enzymatic supplements, designed to aid in the digestion of fructose and fructans to make eating out of the house easier and less worrisome.
FODZYME is an enzymatic supplement that aids in the digestion of fructans, GOS, and lactose. It is in powder form, and is simply sprinkled over the food and mixed in. Eaten with the meal, this supplement aims to minimise the unhappy gut when eating these foods! FODZYME is available in 5, 30, and 60 doses.
Intoleran Quatrase 10,000 acts in a similar way to FODZYME however, comes in capsule form for those who prefer this option. It is available in 60 and 108 capsule packs. FodShop also stocks Intoleran Fructase, which aids in the digestion of fructose for those who suffer more from fructose malabsorption. This product is also available in 60 and 108 capsule packs.
In summary, fructose and fructans are two different types of sugars with distinct characteristics and effects on our bodies. Fructose is a simple sugar found in fruits and honey, while fructans are a type of carbohydrate found in wheat, onions, and garlic. While excessive consumption of fructose can have negative effects on our health, fructans can provide benefits such as improved gut health. It's important to be aware of the sources and effects of these sugars to make informed dietary choices and maintain a healthy lifestyle.