FrieslandCampina Institute provides nutrition and health professionals a collection of booklets and publications to help support your practice. A new publication on lactose intolerance offers an overview of types of lactose intolerance, prevalence and practical dietary advice. Nutrition and health professionals can download the publication on our FrieslandCampina Institute website.
Many Europeans and some populations in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia can digest lactose throughout life thanks to the presence of the enzyme lactase in the small intestine. This is called lactase persistence. A part of the world population no longer produces the enzyme lactase or to a lesser degree after childhood. This results in the lactose remaining in the large intestine partially undigested. Bacteria in the large intestine then ferment the lactose causing flatulence and may also cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
The management of lactose intolerance consists of omitting lactose from the diet. Usually, it is not necessary to eat completely lactose-free. Small amounts of lactose usually cause no discomfort and are not harmful. Although some people do have complaints with an intake of less than 6 g of lactose most people with diagnosed lactose intolerance can digest about 12 g of lactose per day (about 250 ml of milk) with little to no symptoms.
Are you a nutrition or health professional and do you want to know more about lactose intolerance? Please download our publication here.