close
Advertisement

What is lactose intolerance?

A high proportion of the world's population is not able to digest the lactose (milk sugars) in milk because of a deficiency in the enzyme lactase.

What is lactose intolerance
Reader's Digest
Advertisement

A high proportion of the world's population is not able to digest the lactose (milk sugars) in milk because of a deficiency in the enzyme lactase – this enzyme breaks down the lactose in the digestive system.

The undigested lactose remains in the gut, where it can cause long-term health problems. Avoiding lactose is the usual answer for such people.

Lactose is found in the milk and milk byproducts of cows, goats and sheep. Some people with lactose intolerance find they can tolerate goat's and sheep's milk better than cow's milk.

Acidophilus milk, which is pasteurised cow's milk to which Lactobacillus bacteria have been reintroduced, is easier to digest than ordinary cow's milk, and may provide another alternative.

Some cheeses, including Brie, Edam and pecorino, contain only very small amounts of lactose and may therefore be tolerated.

If you think you may be lactose-intolerant, seek advice from your doctor before making any changes to your diet.



Advertisement

More in Conditions

What your Zodiac reveals about your health

What your zodiac reveals about your health

Science may disagree, but astrologers believe that your zodiac sign can influence your condition.
7 silent signs you may have clogged arteries

7 silent signs you may have clogged arteries

These surprising clues can point to clogged arteries and underlying heart disease.
Home remedies for mosquitoes: 8 foods that defend against bug bites

Home remedies for mosquitoes: 8 foods that defend against bug bites

Use these to keep mosquitoes away (or cut down itching if you manage to get a bug bite).
Everything you need to know about medical cannabis

Everything you need to know about medical cannabis

With the recent wholesale legalisation of medical cannabis in Canada, this controversial topic has become hotter than ever before. Here’s the latest on what’s legal, what’s not, and which way the wind is blowing.
4 tips to keep dengue at bay

4 tips to keep dengue at bay

Keep yourself, your family and your neighbourhood safe from dengue
Advertisement