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Lactase is a common enzyme that exists in the small intestine of many people. It is essential for digestion of lactose, the naturally occurring sugar in milk.
Lactase (B-D-Galactosidase), is an enzyme that reduces lactose (a disaccharide) to its subunit sugars glucose and galactose. Dietary lactose, often found in dairy foods, can cause gastrointestinal disturbances (dairy intolerance). Scientific studies show lactase enzyme aids in the digestion and tolerance of lactose. Each 100 mg vegetarian capsule of Lactase provides 9,000 FCC units of lactose enzyme digesting activity.
However, not everyone produces enough lactase, resulting in difficulty or even inability to digest milk. Those who are 'lactose intolerant' often suffer from symptoms including stomach cramps, gas, and diarrhea. While lactose intolerance can be diagnosed by a doctor, a home test for lactose intolerance may also work. Simply drink two cups of milk on an empty stomach and pay attention to see if any gastrointestinal symptoms develop over the next five hours. Repeat this test the next day using several ounces of cheese instead of milk. If gastrointestinal symptoms arise from consuming milk but not cheese, then it is likely the person is suffering lactose intolerance. However if symptoms occur when consuming milk and cheese, then it is more likely the individual has an allergy to dairy products rather than having lactose intolerance.
Oddly enough lactose intolerance in quite common. World wide only one-third of all people have the ability to digest lactose throughout adulthood. Most individuals of Asian, African, and Native American descent are lactose intolerant. In addition, half of Hispanics and about 20 percent of Caucasians do not produce lactase as adults.
Benefits of Lactase
Lactase has been used in connection with the following conditions in lactose intolerant individuals: diarrhea, indigestion, heartburn, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Dosage and Administration
There are a number of ways to deal with lactose intolerance. Lactose-reduced milk is available or lactase drops can easily be added to regular milk to reduce lactose levels. Lactase drops, capsules, and tablets can also be taken directly as needed.
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