Do Supplements Really Help Control Sucrose Intolerance?
The supplement industry is booming! In fact, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, it is estimated that Americans spend roughly $30 billion on supplements for health and alternative or complimentary medicine each year. Moreover, for those who do purchase supplements or partake in alternative medicine, it’s estimated to cost individuals about $510 each year!
Individuals choose to take supplements for many different reasons and for many different conditions, and those with gastrointestinal disorders are an often-targeted population. Numerous supplements are recommended for those with gastrointestinal disorders, including ginger, invertase, peppermint oil, Saccharomyces boulardii and other probiotics.
Supplements for Sucrose Intolerance Caused by Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency
Two supplements have recently been recommended by mainstream media to help with symptoms of Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (CSID). CSID is caused by a reduction in the function of the enzyme sucrase-isomaltase, a digestive enzyme that breaks down sucrose and sugars from starch. Sucrose is a “disaccharide,” two sugars linked together by a bond. Once inside the body, the disaccharide sucrose must be split into two monosaccharides, glucose and fructose in order to be absorbed from the small intestine. Without the enzyme necessary to convert sucrose into glucose and fructose, digestion and absorption cannot occur.
The following supplements have been advertised to help assist the body in the breakdown of the sucrose molecule.
Ironically, invertase is an ingredient that is used largely in the candy-making industry. Invertase is derived from yeast; and when added to sucrose, it can split this disaccharide sugar into two monosaccharide sugars, glucose and fructose. However, there is minimal research that invertase, when used in supplemental form, can actually assist the body in the breakdown of sucrose. Currently, it is not yet considered safe to recommend this supplement for those with CSID or other gastrointestinal conditions.
Saccharomyces boulardii is a type of yeast. It is thought to be a gut-friendly organism that helps ward off disease-causing yeast and bacteria. Recent research indicates that this supplement may help prevent diarrhea in individuals taking antibiotics or children diagnosed with rotavirus. There is limited evidence that it can assist in controlling diarrhea caused by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), CSID, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis.
Before you spend a lot of money on unproven treatments for CSID, speak with your physician to determine a treatment plan that is right for you.
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