One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A synthetic sugar with laxative properties. It is a disaccharide consisting of glucose and fructose units.
- ‘The most effective daily treatments for opioid-induced constipation are senna, senna combined with a stool softener, Phillips' Milk of Magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) or lactulose.’
- ‘Osmotic laxatives such as lactulose are effective alternatives to soften hard stools.’
- ‘Patients with encephalopathy require a low-protein diet and enough lactulose to produce three or four bowel movements daily.’
- ‘In addition, unabsorbed lactose has an osmotic effect not unlike that of lactulose, a synthetic laxative, increasing the amount of fluid retained in the bowel.’
- ‘There may also be a qualitative alteration in bacterial pathogenicity that is relevant to the development of urinary tract infections from using lactulose as an alternative substrate.’
1930s: from lacto- ‘of milk’, perhaps on the pattern of cellulose.
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