Circadian rhythm of breath hydrogen in young women

Kagaya, Mieko; Iwata, Mayumi; Toda, Yasushi; Nakae, Yasuyuki; Kondo, Takaharu; Kagaya, M; Iwata, M; Toda, Y; Nakae, Y; Kondo, T
August 1998
Journal of Gastroenterology;1998, Vol. 33 Issue 4, p472
Academic Journal
journal article
Breath hydrogen levels, which reflect colonic fermentation of undigested starches, are usually low in the fasted state. Fasting levels of breath hydrogen are important for estimation of oro-cecal transit time and diagnosis of lactase deficiency. In young women, however, fasting levels of breath hydrogen are high. To clarify the reason for this, we studied the circadian pattern of breath hydrogen and the effect of alpha-D-galactosidase on fasting breath hydrogen in one study, and the effect of sleep deprivation on fasting breath hydrogen in another study, in 13 women students aged 21-23 years. In the first study, two breath samples were collected, one in the evening and the other the next morning. On another occasion, alpha-D-galactosidase was given before dinner and breath samples were collected the next morning. In the second study, the circadian rhythm of breath hydrogen was assessed for 3 days and the subjects were deprived of sleep on the second night. Breath samples were collected every 30 min, except during the second night when samples were collected at 1-h intervals. Fasting breath hydrogen was 24 +/- 3.9 ppm (mean +/- SE), which did not differ from the value for the previous night. Alpha-D-galactosidase significantly decreased fasting breath hydrogen levels, to 17 +/- 2.4 ppm (P < 0.05). There was a clear circadian pattern of breath hydrogen, high in the morning and decreasing to the nadir by 16:00. After dinner, the level increased again and stayed high during the night. Sleep deprivation did not affect fasting levels of breath hydrogen. High fasting breath hydrogen levels in young women followed a circadian pattern and this may have been due, in part, to an high intake of dietary fiber on the previous day.


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