Why Sugar-Free Foods Have a ‘Laxative Effect’

…by Kristen McNutt, Phd., JD.

“Like fiber, sugar replacers are only slightly digested – or not at all. Therefore, the most low-digestible carbohydrate that is eaten is not absorbed. The body’s normal response to unabsorbed carbohydrates is simply to dilute them by pulling water across the intestine lining into the upper part of the intestine. When low-digestible carbohydrates move into the large intestine, most of that water moves back in the opposite direction. Depending on how much water flowed in and out, stools might be unchanged, soft or loose. This is why low-digestible carbohydrates are sometimes used to relieve constipation.

“Some bacteria that live in the large intestine can “eat” low digestible carbohydrates, and they use this type of carbohydrate for their own growth. After they have eaten, gases and short fatty acids remain. That’s why beans, fiber and other sources of low-digestible carbohydrates may cause an increase of gas. Recent research shows that some of the short fatty acids promote intestinal health. Furthermore, low sugar replacers (isomalt and lactitol) have been found to stimulate the growth of “good” bacteria in the intestine.

“The possibility of loose stools and gas can be reduced by eating only small quanitites of low-digestible carbohydrates. Give your body some time to adjust to digesting these foods.”

#buckroth, “My Diabetic Soul – An Autobiography, ISBN-13: 978-0-9822030-9-5 AND (ebook) – 10: 0-9822030-8; 304 pages references; > $15.95.

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