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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

While the panel concluded that there's insufficient evidence to determine a true prevalence of the condition, one new study presented at the conference suggested the age-adjusted, self-reported prevalence may be as little as 12 percent of the U.S. population, on average. This recent data from a national sample of three ethnic groups indicated that 7.7 percent of European Americans, 10.1 percent of Hispanic Americans and 19.5 percent of African Americans currently consider themselves lactose intolerant.

These self-reported prevalence rates are in contrast with previous higher estimates based on lactose maldigestion studies that over-estimated by wide margins the proportion of people who experience symptoms after consuming usual amounts of dairy foods.

Avoiding Health Risks

Beyond the recommendations of the NIH panel, several major health authorities agree that it is critical for people with lactose intolerance to consume dairy products every day to benefit from the unique nutrient profile of these foods.


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SOURCE National Dairy Council
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