White Grape Juice Elicits a Lower Breath Hydrogen Response Compared with Apple Juice in Healthy Human Subjects: A Randomized Controlled Trial

J Acad Nutr Diet. 2017 Jun;117(6):908-913. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2017.01.020. Epub 2017 Mar 22.


Background: Diets low in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPS) are used to manage symptoms in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome. Although effective at reducing symptoms, the diet can be complex and restrictive. In addition, there are still large gaps in the literature and many foods with unclear effects in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, like fruit juice. Although many fruits are allowable on a low-FODMAP diet, consumption of all fruit juice is generally cautioned due to the large fructose load contained in juice, regardless of the glucose concentration. Very little research exists regarding the importance of limiting fructose load during a low-FODMAP diet; therefore, individuals following a low-FODMAP diet may be unnecessarily restricting their diets.

Objective: To determine whether there is a difference in GI tolerance between juice from a high-FODMAP fruit (apple juice) and juice from a low-FODMAP fruit (white grape juice) in healthy human subjects. The goal is to provide insight into the role of juice in a low-FODMAP diet.

Methods: A double-blind, randomized, controlled crossover study was conducted with 40 healthy adults. Fasted subjects consumed 12 oz of either apple juice or white grape juice. Breath hydrogen measures were taken at baseline, 1, 2, and 3 hours. Subjective GI tolerance surveys were completed at the same time intervals and at 12 and 24 hours. Breath hydrogen and GI symptoms were assessed with area under the curve analysis. Significance was determined with a two-sided t test with a P value <0.05.

Results: Consumption of apple juice resulted in a greater mean breath hydrogen area under the curve at 23.3 ppm/hour (95% CI 13.0 to 33.6) compared with white grape juice at 5.8 ppm/hour (95% CI -4.6 to 16.1) (P<0.001). No differences in reported GI symptoms were seen between treatments.

Conclusions: Both juices were well tolerated and neither produced any severe symptoms in healthy adults. White grape juice consumption resulted in only a small rise in breath hydrogen, which may suggest excluding foods only because of the high fructose load could be unnecessarily restrictive. The results of this study suggest that the fructose-to-glucose ratio is likely more important than the total fructose load of the food when considering the acceptability of a food on a low-FODMAP diet. More research is needed in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome to determine whether white grape juice and other juices from low-FODMAP fruits could be additional beverage options for individuals following a low-FODMAP diet.

Keywords: Apple juice; Breath hydrogen; FODMAP; Gastrointestinal tolerance; White grape juice.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Breath Tests*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet
  • Disaccharides / administration & dosage
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fruit and Vegetable Juices*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen / analysis*
  • Male
  • Malus / chemistry*
  • Middle Aged
  • Monosaccharides / administration & dosage
  • Oligosaccharides / administration & dosage
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vitis / chemistry*
  • Young Adult


  • Disaccharides
  • Monosaccharides
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Hydrogen