Lactulose, unlike lactose (also a disaccharide found in milk), is not absorbed at all in the human intestines, since a person has no enzymes that can hydrolyze lactulose. Due to this, lactulose increases the osmotic pressure in the intestine and causes the passage of water into the intestinal lumen, liquefaction and increase in stool volume and, thus, a laxative effect. Lactulose also increases the secretion of bile into the lumen of the small intestine, like other osmotic laxatives, such as magnesium sulfate.
Use for dysbiosis Edit
In addition, lactulose, reaching unchanged to the colon, is captured and metabolized by colon bacteria that can absorb lactulose. In this case, the products of bacterial metabolism of lactulose shift the pH of the medium in the colon to the acid side, thereby inhibiting the growth and reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms. source not specified 911 days
Mechanisms of action on microflora Edit
The acidic environment created in the colon during the bacterial metabolism of lactulose also inhibits the process of decay in the colon, shifts the balance of decay and fermentation to the predominance of fermentation processes and reduces the formation of toxic products of decay of proteins, in particular ammonia source not specified 1064 days .
The second important point is that in an acidic environment, most of the ammonia is in ionized form (NH4 +) and is poorly absorbed into the blood, and an alkaline environment increases the formation of a non-ionized, more lipophilic and better absorbed form of ammonia NH3. Thus, the effect of lactulose leads to a decrease in the level of ammonia and other toxic products of protein decay in the blood source not specified 1064 days . This effect of lactulose is widely source not specified 1064 days used in the treatment of hepatic encephalopathy, acute and chronic liver failure, alcoholic liver disease, when the ability of the liver to neutralize ammonia is impaired.
The presumptive benefits of taking lactulose with hepatic encephalopathy are disputed. 4 5
History of Lactulose
Lactulose was discovered by the Austrian pediatrician Petuel. In 1948, finding out the cause of dysbiosis in children fed with artificial nutrition, he isolated from the composition of human milk a substance that activates the growth of the protective intestinal microflora (bifidobacteria and lactobacilli) and called it lactulose.
Petuel's studies showed that when feeding a baby with normal infant formula or milk, the content of bifidobacteria in fecal microflora was 20%. However, when 2% lactulose was added to children's food, the rate of bifidobacteria increased to 90%.
Numerous subsequent studies of lactulose have proven its therapeutic and prophylactic properties, which stimulated the introduction of lactulose in both the pharmaceutical and food industries.
Foods enriched with lactulose first appeared in Japan in the 80s of the last century. Morinaga Milk Co. has been producing dairy products enriched with lactulose for more than 20 years. Since 2000, lactulose-containing food products have appeared in Russia.
Useful properties of lactulose, their effect on the body
Perhaps the main advantage and main property of lactulose is the ability to suppress harmful bacteria. An indisputable property, confirmed by experts, is the ability of lactulose to rid the body of toxic substances and harmful enzymes, such as ammonia, skatol, nitroreductase. Often used as a laxative. Thanks to lactulose, calcium is better absorbed, which significantly increases bone strength.
Reducing disorders and disorders of the intestines is one of the important conditions for human health. A sufficient content of lactulose in the human body contributes to the full functioning of the intestine by improving microflora. Another useful property of lactulose is its anticancer effect. Lactulose has established itself as a prophylactic against colon cancer. Lactulose is necessary to stimulate the growth of healthy microflora.
What determines the level of lactulose in the body?
Lactulose does not belong to substances that the body is able to synthesize on its own. Therefore, the only source of prebiotic for humans is food and bioactive additives. If we are not talking about the treatment of advanced chronic diseases, then to maintain a stable level of lactulose, a balanced diet is sufficient, with the consumption of foods rich in trace elements, vitamins and other useful substances. In more complex cases, medications come to the aid, in which lactulose is contained in high concentrations. But these drugs should not be scared. They practically do not cause side effects and are allowed even to infants.
Lactulose for children
Lactulose is considered a mild infant laxative, completely harmless. In addition, it contributes to the formation of normal microflora in the intestines of the child. The drug can be prescribed for children of any age, starting from the neonatal period. For constipation in children, Lactulose is prescribed in the following doses: Children under 1 year old - 10 ml of syrup per day, with a gradual transition to a maintenance dose - 5 ml per day, Children 1-6 years old - 15 ml per day, maintenance dose - 10 ml, Children 7-14 years old - 25-30 ml, maintenance dose - 20 ml. The desired effect with a correctly selected dose usually occurs within 2-4 days from the start of treatment.
Lactulose in food
The addition of lactulose to infant formulas is the most common example of the use of lactulose in the food industry, as the mix becomes similar to human milk, defined as the ideal formula in baby food.
Products with lactulose positively affect intestinal function, eliminate constipation and other intestinal disorders. The use of lactulose improves the clinical picture: the manifestations of atopic dermatitis are reduced, the appetite and general condition of the body are improved, after an intestinal infection, intestinal function is restored after antibiotic therapy.
Lactulose is ... The physiological properties of lactulose
For several decades, lactulose has found widespread use in the pharmaceutical industry and in many industries. Using this compound, many diseases of the human digestive system are successfully treated. What is this connection? And where it is used, we will consider in this article.
Lactulose - a preparation for the restoration of microflora
Lactulose is an organic compound similar in nature to prebiotics. Its structural formula includes one molecule of fructose and galactose, interconnected by one of the varieties of glycosidic bonds. Lactulose is not digested by many digestive enzymes of the stomach and, without changing its structure, enters the colon. In the human body, lactulose is responsible for the multiplication of microorganisms and lactobacilli that inhabit the intestines.
Under normal conditions, lactulose is in the form of a crystalline substance of white color. It is highly soluble in water and odorless. It is obtained by prolonged processing of milk directly from lactose, which is milk sugar, which is part of it. Lactulose is also considered an isomeric compound of lactose. According to its properties, lactulose is classified as oligosaccharides, since it is split by water to one molecule of fructose and galactose.
For the first time, lactulose was isolated and studied by scientists Montgomery and Hudson, by treatment with heating of lactose with alkali dissolved in water. This discovery was made at the beginning of the twentieth century. Subsequently, lactulose began to be isolated from breast milk of nursing mothers, on the basis of which various baby milk mixtures were made.
Today, lactulose is an indispensable component of many substances necessary for the development of intestinal microflora in humans.
Nutrition Components - Lactulose
Lactulose - Food Components
Lactulose What it is? The first thing that comes to mind when you hear this name is milk. So what does lactulose have to do with dairy products, and is there any connection at all? In fact, the name of the product does not deceive and directly points to the source.
Lactulose is a product of deep milk processing. More precisely, the raw material for this substance is lactose (milk sugar).
According to the physical characteristics, lactulose is a white powder in crystals, without a pronounced odor, which easily dissolves in water.
A person needs as a component that activates the digestive tract. All the substances without which it is difficult for a modern person to imagine life were once unknown to anyone. Lactulose entered our life relatively recently - in 1929.
More precisely, then it entered the life of researchers who developed and described a new substance obtained after exposure to milk with heat and alkali.
How did you get it?
Two decades later, scientists found in breast milk a substance from which bifidobacteria grew at an incredible rate. It was lactulose. But the first use of the drug in medical practice dates back to 1951. Then a dairy product was used as a medicine against enteritis. But all these years, lactulose lived without a name. Only in 1957, the substance received its official name.
Lactulose is a prebiotic substance. Its chemical formula is composed of molecules interconnected, galactose and fructose.
It is not split by enzymes in the upper segment of the gastrointestinal tract and enters the colon in an unchanged form. In the intestine, it promotes the growth of beneficial microflora, in particular lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. In the colon, it is split into lactic, acetic, butyric and other organic acids.
As a result of nearly a century of research, scientists have discovered: lactulose has a spectrum of properties that are beneficial to humans:
Japanese researchers determined: 3 grams of lactulose, consumed daily for 14 days, can increase the number of bifidobacteria by several times. Eastern scientists for two weeks of the experiment recorded an increase from 8.3 percent (of the total number of bacteria) to 47.4%. Amid the growth of beneficial microflora, the number of harmful bacteria decreased.
- Improves the absorption of minerals.
Reception of a lactulose promotes more active absorption of calcium. The scientists made such conclusions after observing rats with osteoporosis. Consuming lactulose, they recovered faster after bone fractures.
- It activates the liver.
Incorrect bowel function is fraught with the accumulation of ammonia in the body, and it, in fact, "paralyzes" the liver, which loses its ability to eliminate toxins. Lactulose neutralizes part of the ammonia (from 25 to 50 percent) and facilitates the “well-being” of the liver. As a result, it again performs the functions of cleansing the body.
- It fights against carcinogens and toxins.
Experiments with animals have proven the antibacterial and immunological ability of lactulose. The substance promotes the excretion of carcinogens and toxic metabolites from the body, improves the general condition of the body with cirrhosis of the liver by strengthening the immune system. This effect is achieved due to the activation of bifidobacteria, which require lactulose for growth. There is speculation that this prebiotic may serve as an effective prophylactic against colon cancer.
Lactulose has many properties that prevent constipation as a result. By binding water, reducing the acidity of the intestine and stimulating its peristalsis, lactulose plays the role of a gentle laxative (lasts for 1-2 days). These abilities of the substance allowed pharmacists to actively use it in many drugs for constipation.
- It affects the formation of bile acids.
In healthy people who consume lactulose, there is a decrease in the production of secondary bile acids in the intestines.
The list of foods rich in lactulose includes not only dairy products. Although in this category of substance, of course, the most. So, to enrich the body with a useful prebiotic, it is important to pay attention to breast milk, natural yogurts, cottage cheese, bananas and rye bran. Cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, corn, beans and even onions or garlic can be used as sources of this useful substance. Fans of sweets can replenish stocks of the prebiotic from dried apricots and black currants.
Need for prebiotic
Lactulose is able to increase the concentration of beneficial bifidobacteria in the body by more than 10 times, and make the number of harmful microorganisms almost a hundred times smaller. But for this it is necessary to use daily products or dietary supplements containing a prebiotic. As a result of the experiments, it was determined: 3-4 g of substance are enough for adults to achieve the effect.
Particular attention to products and substances with lactulose should be paid to people with:
- chronic constipation
- malfunctioning of the gastrointestinal tract,
- pathogenic intestinal microflora,
- liver dysfunction
- high cholesterol
- improper metabolism.
Diabetes, increased acidity of the stomach and decreased - in the intestines are a good reason not to abuse fermented milk products and other foods containing high concentration of lactulose.
How it affects other nutrients
Lactulose belongs to substances that are optimally combined with most minerals. In particular, the absorption of calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium in combination with a prebiotic proceeds faster and more efficiently. Also, this substance is able to lower cholesterol and optimize the production of bile acids in the body.
Understanding that the body lacks lactulose can be according to several of the most common symptoms. The most frequent and most important symptom is regular constipation. It is enough to please the body with a prebiotic for several days - it will completely remove the problem. Other symptoms of dysbiosis (namely, it is most often the result of a lack of lactulose) may include:
Well, in total, all these disorders lead to metabolic disorders and malfunction of the digestive organs.
Symptoms of Excess
Although the consequences of excessive consumption of lactulose are not so sad for the body, there is also nothing pleasant about them. Excessive fascination with milk or dietary supplements enriched with prebiotic leads to chronic diarrhea, bloating and rapid weight gain. In addition, infections in the organs of the urinary system are possible.
Perhaps half the overweight people dream of a miracle diet, which will help lose 5 or even 10 extra pounds in a week. Nutritionists, hearing this, say: “Bullshit! This cannot be! ” But advertising promises something else. Most drugs that quickly get rid of excess weight work on the principle of a laxative. For this reason, lactulose is also sometimes used not quite for its intended purpose. Consuming drugs based on this substance, obese people want to achieve a laxative effect, and then see weight loss.
But a laxative, even the most powerful, does not affect body fat. And false weight loss occurs only due to moisture loss. Continuing this “weight loss” for several days, the only result that can be achieved for sure is dehydration and total leaching of nutrients from the body. And even the beneficial properties of lactulose will not save the situation.
But there are options when lactulose can really be taken for weight loss. More precisely - as an adjuvant. Following a diet, especially if there are few foods rich in fiber in the diet, often constipation occurs. Here lactulose will come to the rescue - it will help to quickly remove vital products from the body, cleanse the intestines and take care of the proper microflora. As a result, this will affect the general well-being, strengthen tone and strengthen immunity. So, there will be forces for sports, without which effective weight loss will certainly not be.
Use of lactulose
Modern food and pharmaceutical industries are actively using the beneficial properties of lactulose.
In medicine, for example, this substance is used as a treatment for:
- intestinal dysbiosis,
- chronic constipation
- putrefactive dispersion syndrome,
On the shelves of supermarkets, you can increasingly see dairy products enriched with lactulose. In the CIS, this is still a new practice, and in Japan, for example, they have been consuming advanced milk for more than 30 years. Usually prebiotic is added to milk, sour cream, kefir, fermented baked milk and other dairy products.
Other areas of application of lactulose:
- in cosmetology (a component of anti-skin dysbiosis agents),
- as a feed supplement.
The useful properties of lactulose have been used by mankind for almost half a century. It has found its use in the food industry and as part of drugs to improve digestion. Dysbacteriosis, impaired liver function, constipation or salmonellosis ... Today it is difficult to imagine the treatment of these disorders without lactulose.
The history of the discovery of lactulose
Lactulose was first synthesized and described by Hudson and Montgomery in 1929. They obtained it by studying the structure of disaccharides by heat treatment of lactose with an alkaline solution.
In 1948 F.Petueli and J.Cristan isolated a substance that activates the growth of bifidobacteria from human milk, and, not knowing its structure, identified it as a bifidus factor. It is believed that the first attempts to use lactulose in medical practice date back to 1951, when the bifidus factor was used to treat children with enteritis. And only in 1957, after almost 30 years after the discovery of Hudson and Montgomery, F. Petueli determined the chemical structure of the bifidus factor as a carbohydrate from the group of disaccharides and called it lactulose.
Subsequent studies showed that when feeding the baby with normal infant formula or milk, the content of bifidobacteria in the fecal microflora was 20%. However, when added to baby products 2% lactulose nutrition indicator of bifidobacteria increased to 90%.
What is lactulose?
Lactulose belongs to the class of prebiotic substances, that is, it:
- not digested by digestive enzymes in the upper sections of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT),
- unchanged reaches the lower sections of the gastrointestinal tract (colon),
- selectively stimulates the growth and development of protective (useful) intestinal microflora - bifidobacteria, lactobacilli, etc.
Lactulose consists of one galactose molecule and one fructose molecule connected by a β-glycosidic bond. The international nonproprietary name for lactulose is 4-0-galactopyranosyl-D-fructose. Gross Formula: C 12 H 22 O 11 . Molecular Weight = 342.3
Lactulose is broken down by intestinal microflora enzymes (bifidobacteria and lactobacilli) to organic acids: lactic acid, acetic acid, butyric acid, etc.
The use of lactulose
Numerous studies of lactulose have proven its therapeutic and prophylactic properties, which stimulated the introduction of lactulose in both the pharmaceutical and food industries.
In medicine, lactulose, for more than 40 years of use, has been well studied and is widely used in the treatment of intestinal dysbiosis, hepatic encephalopathy, chronic constipation, salmonellosis, etc.
Today, more than 50 lactulose drugs are known to be produced by various pharmaceutical companies. In most countries of the world, lactulose preparations are dispensed in pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription, which indicates universal acceptance of the safety of lactulose.
Foods enriched with lactulose first appeared in Japan in the 80s of the last century. Morinaga Milk Co. has been producing dairy products enriched with lactulose for more than 20 years. In 2000, lactulose-containing foods appeared in Russia. Today, more than 50 dairy plants in Russia produce dairy products (kefir, fermented baked milk, sour cream, milk, etc.) enriched with lactulose
Lactulose is also used in veterinary medicine, as a feed additive (Vetelact), which provides prophylactic properties of feeds, and in cosmetics, as an ingredient in various creams that provide protection against skin dysbiosis.
The therapeutic effect of lactulose
The therapeutic and prophylactic properties of lactulose are explained by its ability to reach the colon in an unchanged form, where it selectively stimulates the growth and vital activity of indigenous (own) saccharolytic microflora (bifidobacteria and lactobacilli). Namely, the normal intestinal microflora, developing under the influence of lactulose, has a beneficial effect on the host.