Intestinal Absorption of Fructose

Annu Rev Nutr. 2018 Aug 21;38:41-67. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-082117-051707. Epub 2018 May 11.


Increased understanding of fructose metabolism, which begins with uptake via the intestine, is important because fructose now constitutes a physiologically significant portion of human diets and is associated with increased incidence of certain cancers and metabolic diseases. New insights in our knowledge of intestinal fructose absorption mediated by the facilitative glucose transporter GLUT5 in the apical membrane and by GLUT2 in the basolateral membrane are reviewed. We begin with studies related to structure as well as ligand binding, then revisit the controversial proposition that apical GLUT2 is the main mediator of intestinal fructose absorption. The review then describes how dietary fructose may be sensed by intestinal cells to affect the expression and activity of transporters and fructolytic enzymes, to interact with the transport of certain minerals and electrolytes, and to regulate portal and peripheral fructosemia and glycemia. Finally, it discusses the potential contributions of dietary fructose to gastrointestinal diseases and to the gut microbiome.

Keywords: GLUT; carbohydrates; ligand recognition; metabolism; nutrition; sugars.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Diet
  • Fructose / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Intestines / physiology*


  • Fructose