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Avoiding Dairy Due to Lactose Intolerance is Unnecessary in Most Cases and May Pose Diet and Health Risks, Concludes National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference Panel
Date:2/25/2010

After a thorough review of the scientific evidence, the Consensus Development Conference panel completed a draft consensus statement that is intended to correct some of the common misperceptions about lactose intolerance, including the belief that dairy foods need to be excluded from the diet.

Without lowfat and fat free milk and milk products in the diet, it's hard to meet nutrient needs, and available research suggests people with lactose intolerance can tolerate at least 12 grams of lactose (the amount in about one cup of milk) with no or minor symptoms. Plus, gradually re-introducing dairy into the diet can help manage symptoms and help those diagnosed benefit from dairy's unique nutrient package, including calcium, vitamin D, protein, potassium and other nutrients that are critical for bone health and beyond.

Experts also suggest drinking lowfat or fat free milk (regular or flavored) with meals or a snack instead of an empty stomach, trying small, frequent portions or buying lactose-free or lactose-reduced milk – which contain all the same nutrients as regular milk. Yogurt and hard cheeses (the panel suggests cheddar, provolone and mozzarella) may also be more easily digested.

Conducted by the National Institutes of Health since 19
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SOURCE National Dairy Council
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