The gastrointestinal effects of D-tagatose
On this page
D-tagatose is a type of naturally occurring sugar found at very low levels in foods like:
- some fruits
- white beans
- heat-treated dairy products
D-tagatose tastes sweet, but isn't absorbed as well by the stomach and intestines as commonly eaten sugars like sucrose or glucose. Food manufacturers can make D-tagatose for use as a food ingredient or tabletop sweetener.
Evaluating the safety of D-tagatose
Health Canada's safety assessment concluded that D-tagatose is safe to use as a food ingredient or tabletop sweetener.
D-tagatose has no documented history of safe use as a food ingredient or tabletop sweetener in Canada. As such, we considered it a "novel food," as defined in the Canadian Food and Drug Regulations.
Novel foods must:
- undergo a full pre-market safety evaluation
- be shown to be safe prior to being approved for sale in Canada
Gastrointestinal effects of D-tagatose
Because D-tagatose isn't absorbed well, eating too much (for example, 30 grams per serving or 45 grams per day) may cause stomach and intestinal discomfort and laxative effects.
Some of the typical symptoms include:
- flatulence (gas)
- loose stool (poop)
- belching (burping)
The more D-tagatose you eat, the more likely you are to experience these symptoms. For example, if you eat more than 1 product with D-tagatose, you would be more likely to expect these symptoms than if you only eat 1 product. These symptoms are generally mild and resolve quickly, and there is a wide range in sensitivity among individuals. If you eat products containing D-tagatose frequently, you may develop a tolerance, such that you may not even have these symptoms when you eat more D-tagatose.
While there's no significant safety concern linked with eating too much D-tagatose, it's important for you to know that eating too much could lead to stomach and intestinal discomfort and laxative effects. You may use the list of ingredients to identify foods that contain D-tagatose.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: