What is lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is the inability to for a human body to digest lactose. It's very common as around 70% of the people worldwide are affected.

A person who is lactose intolerant produces less lactase than someone who can eat dairy. Lactase is the enzyme that breaks down lactose in the digestive track. If you don't have enough of it, the lactase is simply not broken down and causes some discomfort in your gut - also known as lactose intolerance symptoms.

What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?

The symptoms can be different for everyone, but they usually include difficulties digesting, feeling bloated, diarrhea, cramps, pain in your abdomen, flatulence or gas, nausea and vomiting. In rare cases you can even experience skin rashes and mood swings.

However the severity of the symptoms varies from person to person, so it's important to test how much dairy you can tolerate.

Who is affected by lactose intolerance?

Worldwide around 75% of adults are affected by LI. This number is higher in Native Americans and Asians and lower in Europeans where about 25% are concerned.

Lactose intolerance usually appears between age 20-40 and increases as you get older.

Can you become lactose intolerant?

The body's ability to produce lactase can reduce with age as the gut's physiology declines and you can start having symptoms at any time in your life. Certain illnesses such as viral and bacterial infections or gastrointestinal diseases can also abruptly cause a lactose intolerance by damaging your gut's health.

How do lactase supplements work?

As you know, lactose intolerance is the inability of a person to digest lactose without symptoms, due to a lack of the enzyme lactase in their body.

By taking lactase as a pill before eating dairy, you can provide your body with the necessary amount of lactase to digest the lactose you're about to eat.
Manufacturers who want to make their regular dairy product lactose free add lactase during the manufacturing process. The lactase will break down the lactose making it lactose free.

Lactase is harmless as it is a substance produced by our own bodies.

Is lactase dangerous?

Lactase is a substance produced by the human bodies. No studies was able to show a danger in the use of lactase. There are no indications that lactase should be avoided, but if you are in special circumstances it is always best to check in with your GP.

Lactase is commonly used in lactose free products to make them lactose free, but also in ice cream to give it a sweeter taste.

Can lactase be taken when pregnant?

Lactase is present in lactose free dairy product like milk, yogurth and else and is considered harmless during pregnancy. There are no indications that lactase should be avoided when pregnant, but it is always best to check in with your GP.