Up for today, part III of the series, ‘What are disaccharides?’

Today it’s all about the disaccharides, which is one most of you will gravitate towards.

Why? Because it’s the day we address “lactose.”


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Disaccharides 101 agutsygirl.com #lactose #disaccharides #guthealth

Disaccharide Definition

Unlike a monosaccharide which contains just one “ring,” a disaccharide contains two “rings.” The chain looks like this.

Disaccharide Structure

Disaccharide Examples

Three common disaccharides include lactose, sucrose, and maltose.


Lactose is a milk sugar, which is made up of glucose + galactose.

In order to break this lactose down, our bodies need the lactase enzyme to digest it. Digesting it would mean that we could properly break down the lactose into its two smaller “rings;” glucose and lactose. The problem is that, as humans, we don’t have the lactase enzyme.

Milk and whey have your stomach grumpy? Now you know why.

Disaccharides are simply too big to pass through the intestines.

Whatever is not broken down in the small intestine via an enzyme (i.e. lactase) struggles through for the rest of digestion.


Sucrose is #162 on the list of 192 Sugar Sources and Alternate Names.

It is:

  1. the scientific name for table sugar
  2. is a disaccharide
  3. consists of glucose and fructose
  4. also known as saccarose
  5. cleared by enzyme sucrase (similar to how lactose is cleared by the enzyme lactase)
  6. is a non-reducing sugar (can’t participate in redox reactions)

What else?

Disaccharides can be found in things which include table sugar and brown sugar.

Furthermore, and more specifically, disaccharides are present in molasses, baked goods, processed foods, beer, breads, shrimp, sunflower seeds, shiitake mushrooms, and legumes (like peanuts, peas, and lentils).

When the gut is damaged in any way, shape or form, making it work hard to break down molecules is a task it simply is not fully capable of doing.

Tomorrow things become even more complex when we investigate oligosaccharides.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

  1. Fructose Structure
  2. What is Inulin
  3. Hydrogen Breath Test at Home


What are Disaccharides www.sarahkayhoffman.com #guthealth #IBS #healthyliving

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