Lactose intolerance

Many of us think they are lactose intolerant. And actually some of us are.

Lactose intolerance affects about 10–15% of adults
in Northern Europe and the United States”

What is lactose intolerance?

If you are lactose intolerant you experience symptoms, like pain, diarrhoea, nausea, bloating, and farting upon the consumption of foodstuffs which contain lactose. Depending on the degree of lactose intolerance, the amount of lactose that you can consume before you experience symptoms varies.

“People with lactose intolerance have problems digesting
foods and drinks which contain lactose”

What is lactose?

Lactose is a simple sugar (disaccharide), which is mainly contained in dairy products. People who can properly digest lactose produce an enzyme, which is able to catalyse the chemical breakdown of the disaccharide lactose in our gut into the simple sugars glucose and galactose. This enzyme is called lactase.

“Lactose is a simple sugar, which is mainly
contained in dairy products”

How much lactose can I tolerate?

How much lactose you can tolerate, depend on how much lactase your body produces. People who can properly digest lactose produce enough lactase to drink as much milk as they want.

However, lactose intolerance presents in (50) shades of grey. That means that depending on your degree of lactose intolerance, the amount of lactose that you can consume before you develop symptoms varies.

Most lactose intolerant people can tolerate more than ≥9–12 g lactose, which is the equivalent of 200 ml (1 glass of) milk, or even greater amounts. The majority of people with lactose intolerance can even tolerate up to 20 g lactose without any difficulty.

“Most lactose intolerant people can
tolerate about one glass of milk”

What causes lactose intolerance?

The ultimate cause of lactose intolerance is a lack of lactase enzyme (lactase deficiency) in our small intestine.

“The ultimate cause of lactose intolerance is lactase deficiency”

There are two types lactase enzyme in our gut:

  • Lactase produced by our own body and secreted by the pancreas (human lactase)
  • β-galactosidase (bacterial lactase) produced by lactic acid bacteria in the small intestine

Both types of lactase, the human enzyme lactase and the bacterial β-galactosidase, help you to digest lactose in our gut. It is the total amount of these two enzymes, which determines whether you are lactose intolerant or not!

“The degree of lactose intolerance depends on
the total amount of lactase enzyme in your gut”

A damaged gut flora can cause lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance often worsens with increasing age. It is very likely that lactose intolerance is – to a certain extent – caused by a damaged gut flora.

“Lactose intolerance often worsens with increasing age”

The beneficial gut bacteria that produce β-galactosidase in our gut are lactic acid bacteria. Both oral antibiotics and intestinal infections can damage the gut flora in a way that causes the relative amount of lactic acid bacteria to decrease.

“Oral antibiotics and intestinal infections can damage
our gut flora and reduce beneficial lactic acid bacteria”

Treatment of lactose intolerance

Traditionally, management of lactose intolerance involves decreasing the amount of lactose in the diet, or taking lactase enzyme supplements. However, this therapeutic strategy requires lifelong compliance and cannot lead to a cure of the syndrome lactose intolerance.

“Conventional therapeutic strategies cannot cure lactose intolerance”

An alternative therapeutic strategy is doing a gut restoration and introducing lactic acid bacteria by the consumption of probiotics and fermented foods that contain them.

“Doing a gut restoration and introducing lactic acid
bacteria can greatly improve lactose intolerance”

Numerous studies have shown that fermented milk products containing lactic acid bacteria such as probiotic yoghurts and kefir can efficiently improve lactose digestion in people with lactose intolerance.

Improve lactose intolerance by gut restoration

If you are lactose intolerant, you should therefore consider restoring your gut flora to increase the level of lactic acid bacteria in your small intestine, which specifically help to break down lactose.

Gut restoration involves two steps,

By gut cleansing you create space in your gut for new (good) bacteria to settle. By rebuilding your gut flora you are giving your gut what it needs: lactic acid bacteria for improving lactose intolerance.

If you want to perform a gut restoration yourself, visit the website www.gutrestoration.com. On this website, you will find a 30 DAYS GUT RESTORATION PROGRAM for reducing lactose intolerance, that exactly uses those probiotic strains that have shown substantial beneficial effects in the treatment of lactose intolerance in clinical trials.

If you want to learn more about lactose intolerance, read more here