Where is lactose present?
How much lactose is present in milk and other dairy products?
What is lactose intolerance?
The enzyme lactase is normally produced in the small intestine of the human body and breaks down lactose so it can enter the bloodstream as a source of energy. People who are lactose intolerant do not produce enough lactase themselves to fully digest lactose.
There are three types of lactose intolerance:
1. Primary lactase deficiency
- This is the most common type and also called adult-type hypolactasia, lactase non-persistence or lactose sensitivity. It develops in childhood and is irreversible
2. Secondary lactase deficiency
- This results from small intestine injury and is reversible
3. Congenital lactase deficiency (CLD)
- This is extremely rare and is characterized by an almost total lack of the lactase activity by infants. It starts at birth and is irreversible.
What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?
For lactose intolerant people, ingestion of moderate amount of lactose usually leads to bloating, cramps and flatulence within 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating. When more lactose is consumed, more severe symptoms such as diarrhoea can occur.
How is lactose intolerance diagnosed?
The recognized lactose intolerance test is the lactose hydrogen test. The test is performed by administration of a standardized amount of lactose (2g/kg, up to a maximum of 25g, equivalent to the amount of lactose in 2 glasses of milk). After fasting overnight, the amount of hydrogen in the expired air is measured over a 2 to 3 hours period.
What are the causes of lactose intolerance?
Primary lactase deficiency, the most common type of lactose intolerance, is a genetically inherited trait Usually, it occurs naturally, people mature and stop producing lactase.
Which part of the population is lactose intolerant?
Why consuming dairy products is important?
Lactose intolerance is very common gastrointestinal disorder which can easily be solved by simple dietary modifications. It should not, in any cases, lead to elimination in the diet of dairy products. Milk and milk products are valuable sources of protein, vitamins A, B12, riboflavin and calcium. Calcium intake is directly related to maintenance of bone mass and prevention of osteoporosis. Prevention and limitation of postmenopausal osteoporosis requests the achievement of an adequate bone mass in young adult age.
Can I still consume lactose-containing products if I am lactose intolerant?
Yes, a range lactose-reduced (dairy) products are available. The product range of lactose-free or low lactose dairy products varies among countries. Another option is to consume lactase supplements together with the ingestion of lactose-containing products. Lactase supplements come in capsules, tablets or droplets. This makes it easier to enjoy dairy where ever you are. For more information contact your local DSM sales representative.
What are the differences between soy and dairy products?
- Nothing beats a glass of dairy milk as a source for dietary calcium: a glass of milk (227 ml) contains 300-350 mg calcium; the same quantity of soy milk contains only 200-250 mg. Soy milk producers often fortify their products with calcium.
- Cow’s milk contains more saturated fatty acid than soy products. There is evidence that several dairy ingredients have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity, weight, blood pressure and lipid level
- A glass of milk usually contains 8–10 grams of protein, whereas a glass of soy milk contains 3–10 grams of protein.
- Soy protein has cholesterol-lowering effects, but studies have shown that 25 grams per day is needed to experience the benefit. This equals 2.5 cups of very high-protein soy milk daily.
Which low lactose products are currently available?
Several low lactose dairy products are present on the market; flavoured milk, yogurt, cheeses including mascarpone and mozzarella, cream, crème fraîche, butter and margarine, dairy desserts, ice cream, milk powder and infant formula.
The availability of lactose-free or low lactose dairy products varies per country. For more information, contact your local DSM sales representative.
1. M.B. Heyman, Lactose intolerance in infants, children and adolescents, Pediatrics, 2006, 118: 1279 – 1286.
2. D.M. Swallow, Genetics of lactase persistence and lactose intolerance, Annual Review of Genetics, 2003, 37: 197 – 219.
3. T.H. Vesa et al, Lactose intolerance, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2000, 19(2): 165S – 175S.
4. M. Montalto et al, Management and treatment of lactose malabsorption, World Journal of Gastroenterology, 2006, 12(2): 187 – 191.
5. Milk vs soy milk (8-oz. glass) Comments, Harvard Health Letter, 2001, 26(4).