Lactulose: an indirect antioxidant ameliorating inflammatory bowel disease by increasing hydrogen production

Med Hypotheses. 2011 Mar;76(3):325-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2010.09.026. Epub 2010 Oct 30.


Lactulose, which cannot be digested and absorbed by body, is clinically widely used to treat constipation and hepatic encephalopathy. Fermented by gastrointestinal tract bacteria, lactulose can produce considerable amount of hydrogen, which is protective for DSS-induced colitis as a unique antioxidant. We propose that lactulose is an indirect antioxidant that mobilizes endogenous hydrogen production which in turn can reduce oxidative stress and ameliorate symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease in human beings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Constipation / drug therapy
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen / metabolism*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Lactulose / pharmacology*
  • Mice


  • Antioxidants
  • Lactulose
  • Hydrogen