Lactose intolerance is a result of the body’s inability to digest lactose, a sugar primarily found in milk that is broken down into glucose and galactose by an enzyme called lactase. The body’s inability to absorb lactose is caused by a deficiency of this enzyme.
Lactose intolerance can affect some ethnic populations more than others. For example, this condition only affects 5 to 20 percent of Caucasian Americans or Northern Europeans. However, 60 to 80 percent of people of African descent are lactose intolerant, and within Asian populations, lactose intolerance is the rule rather than the exception, with 95 to 100 percent of people of Asian descent affected by this condition.
Fortunately, all is not lost for those with lactose intolerance who still want to consume dairy products. According to dietitian and nutritionist Annie Jolicoeur, the quality and quantity of your intestinal bacteria can play an important role in your ability to tolerate dairy products. By taking certain kinds of probiotics and consuming fermented dairy on a regular basis, you can improve, if not eliminate, many of the symptoms of lactose intolerance that come with eating dairy.
“According to several studies, some probiotic strains, such as Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, found, for example, in all Probaclac probiotic supplements, are known to help lactose digestion. These probiotics help to improve lactase synthesis in order to allow better lactose absorption,” explains Jolicoeur.
Jolicoeur recommends Probaclac as the ideal solution since it provides probiotic complexes that are designed specifically for every age group: children up to the age of 15; adults (can be taken from the age of 15); and older adults (age 50 and up).
More information and advice on probiotics is available at probaclac.ca.
Food Usual Serving Lactose Content (g)
Butter 1 tsp (5 ml) Trace
Fresh cream 1 tbs (15 ml) 0.4-0.6 g
Ice cream 1/2 cup (125 ml) 5 g
Camembert 1 ounce (28 g) Trace
Cheddar 1 ounce (28 g) Trace
Cream cheese 1 tbs (15 mL) 0.2 g
Cottage 1/2 cup (125 ml) 2.5-4.0 g
Grated Parmesan 1 tbs (15 ml) Trace
Milk 1 cup (250 ml) 12 g
Yogurt 1/2 cup (125 ml) 6 g