What is lactulose, and why is it given to liver patients?

Non-digestible sugar

Sugar
Lactulose is a non-digestible sugar. When ingested, it is metabolized by normal colon bacteria into small fatty acids, acetic acid, & lactic acid. The extra H+ attracts & binds ammonia (NH3) from the blood creating ammonium (NH4+). This is trapped in the colon & defecated out. This reduces the overall blood ammonia concentration which worsens hepatic encephalopathy. But it also causes diarrhea.
Sign Up

Get personalized answers from doctors!

Diarrhea Sugar Lactulose Lactic acid Encephalopathy Ammonia blood level Hepatic encephalopathy Bacteria Blood Colon