Lactose Intolerance 

Lactose is a milk sugar consisting of glucose and galactose. It is found only in the milk of mammals and is the main carbohydrate found in milk and other dairy products. Lactose intolerance is the most commonly diagnosed adverse reaction to cow’s milk among adolescents and adults. The main symptoms of lactose intolerance include flatulence, bloating, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

The symptoms are caused by undigested lactose passing from the small intestine into the colon. In the colon the bacteria normally present ferment unabsorbed lactose producing short chain fatty acids and gases (carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane). Gas production may result in flatulence, bloating and distension pain. Unabsorbed lactose also has an osmotic effect in the gastrointestinal tract, drawing fluid into the lumen and causing diarrhoea.

When we are babies and dependant on mothers milk we have the enzyme lactase in abundance in order to digest lactose.  However, between the ages of two and five most humans lose most of the ability to produce lactase.  Some people are ‘lactase persistent’ in that they are able to continually digest lactose into adulthood.

Approximately 75% of the worlds population is lactose intolerant with the prevalence varying on ethnic background.  Rates in Asia approach 100% and whole countries exist very happily without milk and dairy products obtaining all their calcium through vegetables and fruits.

Casein and Whey 

These are milk proteins and may also be causing problems, particularly when cheese is consumed.

The whey is the watery part of cheese (think ‘curds and whey’ from curdled milk).  Whey protein is added to many sports supplements and even found in eco-friendly eCover washing up liquid.  So it is really important to get into the habit of reading labels if you are intolerant.

The casein is the protein rich portion.  Caseins are actually designed to form a clot in the stomach to be broken down over a number of hours as an extended-release source of protein.  Casein is a lot more difficult to digest that whey protein.  Cows milk contains a lot more casein than human breast milk (80% casein 20% wheys compared to human breast milk 40% casein and 60% wheys).  Cows milk is perfect for a baby cow to grow rapidly and not ideal for humans.

Testing for Intolerance

The best way to ensure that your body can digest Lactose, Casein and Whey and that is to take an Intolerance Test with Glorious Foods.  The test is non-invasive, painless and the results are immediate.  You could be feeling better within a couple of days.  Other means of testing may not be conclusive as often only lactose intolerance is searched for.

How to avoid dairy, which includes:

Milk / Cheese / Milk Chocolate / Yoghurt / Cream / Ice-cream / butter

If you are dairy intolerance, you may want to keep a close eye on what you are purchasing in your weekly shop.  Get into the habit of reading labels and bear in mind that these items all include some kind of dairy.

dairy-ingredients-list

I hope this information has been of help.

Please do not hesitate to contact Helen at Glorious Food for further information.

For further information on Food Intolerance Testing, CLICK HERE

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Health & Happiness!

Helen