Lactose Intolerance

What is lactose intolerance?

Lactose IntoleranceLactose is a sugar found in milk and some dairy products. We need lactase enzyme to digest lactose. People who has insufficient level of lactase in their digestive system, to metabolise lactose, are classed as lactose intolerant individuals. Lactase is produced by the cells lining the small intestine. Lactase breaks down lactose into two simpler forms of sugar called glucose and galactose, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream.

Not everyone shows symptoms of intolerance when they consume smaller quantities. When they consume a large quantity, the symptoms can be visible. It is important not to confuse lactose intolerance with milk allergy. Milk allergy is a reaction by the body’s immune system to one or more milk proteins and can be life threatening when just a small amount of milk or milk product is consumed. Milk allergy most commonly appears in the first year of life, while lactose intolerance occurs more often in adulthood.

Lactose intolerance is a normal state for most adults worldwide and is not yet classed as a disease and there is no treatment as such available at this stage. Since every person is different, only through trial and error anyone can determine how much lactose they can consume and still avoid further discomforts.

Do you know that Lactose is also used in some prescription medicines, including birth control pills, and over-the-counter medicines like products to treat stomach acid and gas. These medicines very likely cause symptoms in people with severe lactose intolerance.

The cause of lactase deficiency could be either genetic or environmental.

Symptoms of Lactose intolerance:

Things to look for when reading labels of food products if you have lactose intolerance. These products will contain Lactose:

Lactose content of dairy food:

FOOD SERVE LACTOSE
(grams)
CALCIUM
(mg)
MILK – regular 1 cup/250 ml 12 285
MILK – reduced fat 1 cup/250 ml 13 340
YOGHURT – regular 200 gm 9 340
YOGHURT – low fat 200 gm 12 420
CHEESE – cheddar 30 gm 0.02 260
CHEESE – creamed cottage 30 gm 0.1 22
BUTTER 1 tsp 0.03 1
ICE CREAM 2 scoops
50 gm
3 55

To confirm the intolerance you can approach a medical practitioner and request a few tests.

List of Lactose free milk :

The main disadvantage in consuming less or no milk is the absence of calcium. As we all know Calcium is essential for the growth and repair of bones at all ages. A shortage of calcium intake in children and adults may lead to fragile bones that can easily fracture later in life, a condition called osteoporosis.

Resources and Recommendations:

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One Response to “Lactose Intolerance”

Pingback from Does milk really do a body good? Simple Health Tips
Time October 19, 2012 at 3:51 am

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