breath test, hydrogen

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Intestinal bacterial fermentation of undigested carbohydrates leads to production of small amounts of hydrogen; this diffuses from the intestine into the bloodstream and is exhaled on the breath. Measuring the increased hydrogen in breath provides a sensitive way of detecting, e.g., lactose intolerance, using a very much smaller amount of lactose than the traditional method of measuring the increase in blood glucose after a test dose of lactose.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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