Health Glossary - For Everyone

Lactose intolerance
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What is lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest most of the lactose in food taken in, due to a shortage of the enzyme lactase.

Lactose is a dissacharide sugar present in milk (also called "milk sugar"), which means it is made up of two monosaccharides (glucose and galactose).

The enzyme lactase is normally produced in the small intestine and functions to separate the two sugars from each other. Lactase breaks down the lactose, the main sugar in milk, into two smaller sugars glucose and galactose to be absorbed in the bloodstream.


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Important lactose intolerance facts

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Why lactose intolerance is important

Undigested lactose enters the colon (large intesting) where it gets digested by bacteria, producing lactic acid and other acids. This can cause some unpleasant symptoms in many people.

Lactose intolerance can cause the following gastric symptoms:

The severity of the symptoms depends on a few factors:


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Last reviewed: 30 September 2007 || Last updated: 14 March 2010


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More information

To learn more, go to the the following web sites:


NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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