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Lactase

Lactase is the enzyme in the small intestine that digests lactose (the naturally occurring sugar in milk).

Uses

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Lactose Intolerance
6,000 to 9,000 IU tablets chewed with a meal containing lactose, or add 1,000 IU in liquid form to 8 ounces of milk
Lactase enzymes taken prior to consuming milk or dairy products may help ease IBS symptoms.

Lactose Intolerance
6,000 to 9,000 IU tablets chewed with a lactose-containing meal or add 1,000 IU in liquid form to 8 ounces of milk
Lactase drops, capsules, and tablets may be used to prevent symptoms of lactose intolerance, such as diarrhea, when consuming lactose-containing dairy products.

How to Use It

Lactose-reduced milk is available and can be used in the same quantities as regular milk. Lactase drops can be added to regular milk 24 hours before drinking to reduce lactose levels. Lactase drops, capsules, and tablets can also be taken directly, as needed, immediately before a meal that includes lactose-containing dairy products. The degree of lactose intolerance varies by individual, so a greater or lesser amount of lactase may be needed to eliminate symptoms of lactose intolerance.

Where to Find It

Lactase is produced by the body. Dairy products have varying levels of lactose, which affects how much lactase is required for proper digestion. Milk, ice cream, and yogurt contain significant amounts of lactose—although for complex reasons yogurt often doesn’t trigger symptoms in lactose-intolerant people.

Possible Deficiencies

Only one-third of all people retain the ability to digest lactose into adulthood. Most individuals of Asian, African, and Native American descent are lactose intolerant. In addition, half of Hispanics and about 20% of Caucasians do not produce lactase as adults.

Side Effects

At the time of writing, there were no well-known side effects caused by this supplement.

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

Some, but not all, studies suggest that lactose-intolerant individuals absorb less calcium.


Copyright © 2009 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of the Aisle7 content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Aisle7. Healthnotes Newsletter is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. Aisle7 shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. AISLE7 is a registered trademark of Aisle7.

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