Carbohydrate absorption and oxidation in childhood crohn’s disease. Using breath hydrogen and C13

Original article


Fauzi a Sagher, Victor Miller

Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.
Booth hall children’s hospital, Manchester, UK

JMJ Vol. 4, No. 1 (Summer 2005): 22-26


The discovery that some glucose polymers are naturally enriched with 13C, has provided a novel and significant means of studying carbohydrate absorption and oxidation.Breath hydrogen and breath 13CO2 tests were performed after ingestion of glucose polymer (2 g/kg maximum, 50g) naturally enriched with 13C in eighteen children. Eight had active Crohn’s disease. As no Crohn’s patients excreted more than 10 ppm of hydrogen over a four-hour period, malabsorption is unlikely. Breath 13CO2 excretion in the Crohn’s patients was greater at appearance time (P<0.05), less at peak time (P<.005) and the time to peak interval (P<0.05) was shorter. The cumulative 13C oxidation over a four hour period was significantly lower in children with active Crohn's (P<0.005) and dramatically improved in full remission regardless of the site of involvement or mode of treatment. No correlation was found between the cumulative increase in hydrogen and cumulative percent increase in 13C in either active Crohn's patients or controls. We conclude that there is a carbohydrate oxidative defect in children with active Crohn's disease, which is improved in full remission. Keywords: Glucose polymer, Breath Hydrogen, Breath 13C Stable isotope, Carbohydrate oxidation, Crohn's disease Link/DOI: