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Intestinal Permeability Test

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Updated January 13, 2005

About the test
The Intestinal Permeability Test, also called the Lactulose and Mannitol Test, measures the ability of two sugar molecules - mannitol and lactulose - to permeate the intestinal lining. Ordinarily, mannitol is easily absorbed but lactulose is not. The test can help to identify:
  • Malabsorption, which can cause nutritional deficiency
  • Increased permeability and weakness of the intestinal lining barrier, which can cause toxins and larger molecules to enter the bloodstream and lymph circulation. Once in the bloodstream, the immune system attacks these unwanted substances and it also increases the load on the body's detox system.
Health conditions this test is used to assess
This test is often done in patients with nutritional deficiency, chronic digestive disorders, food allergy, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and other inflammatory conditions.

What this test involves
To perform the test, the patient fasts overnight, then drinks a mixture of lactulose and mannitol. The patient then collects urine for the next 6 hours.

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