Navigation Links
Think You're Lactose Intolerant? Maybe Not
Date:2/24/2010

Many who avoid dairy products might actually tolerate them, experts say

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) - Many people who think they're lactose intolerant may not be.

This suggestion, released Wednesday in a U.S. National Institutes of Health draft consensus statement, could pave the way for more people to eat more dairy products, thus helping to ensure they get adequate nutrition in their diet.

Not enough data is available to estimate the prevalence of true lactose intolerance in the United States, the report stated, but it's likely the numbers are lower than those reported, said Natalie J. Miller, a member of the panel that issued the draft statement and a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, at a Wednesday teleconference.

People with lactose intolerance usually are told to avoid milk and milk-containing products, but this can deprive them of needed nutrients, particularly calcium and vitamin D.

"Particularly in children and adolescents, it's very difficult for them to receive enough calcium and vitamin D if they avoid diary completely. The same thing may hold true for adults," said Dr. Frederick J. Suchy, chairman of the conference preceding the statement and professor and chief of pediatric hepatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

"Vitamin D and calcium have important effects, for certain for bone health, and may have implications in other areas such as cardiovascular health, hypertension and maybe even colon cancer," he said.

Lactose is a sugar found in both human and cow's milk.

"In order to be absorbed as a nutrient, lactose has to be digested by lactase, an enzyme present in the lining of the small intestine," Suchy explained. "It's well recognized that during the period of suckling in the infant, levels of lactase in the intestine are at their highest in order to be able to digest and absorb an important food source."

By age of 3 or 4, however, lactase production usually decreases, and most people become "lactase nonpersisters."

"The majority of the world's population, after weaning and gradually over childhood, lose lactose activity," Suchy said. "It's a normal state. Only those people that are largely from northern European descent have retained lactase and have the ability to ingest and process lactose later in life."

But even most "nonpersisters" aren't really intolerant to lactose and could consume more dairy products.

It's first important to distinguish whether symptoms attributed to lactose intolerance -- diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating and flatulence -- result from another, potentially serious gastrointestinal condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome or celiac disease.

But, said Suchy, even "if it is a problem with lactose, there may be strategies to cope with that."

Right now, when lactose intolerance is suspected, "the reflex response oftentimes is to tell the patient to stop taking dairy products completely," Suchy said. "There may be some patients where that has to be done and whatever nutritional deficiencies could be made up with supplements."

But for others, alternative strategies like taking small amounts of milk throughout the day or with meals or including yogurt and hard cheeses, especially low-fat hard cheeses, in the diet might be tolerable.

"This is not an allergic condition where if you take a little bit of milk you get sick. That's quite rare," noted Dr. Marshall A. Wolf, a panel member and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. "This is a quantitative condition and most people, even those with malabsorption, can take a certain amount of milk products without any symptoms, and there is some evidence to suggest that if you take milk products on a regular basis, you can build up your tolerance for milk."

More information

Visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture for more on optimal nutrition, including sources of calcium and vitamin D.



SOURCES: Feb. 24, 2010 teleconference with Frederick J. Suchy, M.D., panel and conference chairperson, and professor and chief of pediatric hepatology, Herbert H. Lehman Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics and Pediatrician-in-Chief, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Natalie J. Miller, graduate student, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Marshall A. Wolf, M.D., professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; U.S. National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference: Lactose Intolerance in Health draft consensus


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. MedThink Communications Retained by NanoBio Corporation
2. Sangamo BioSciences to Present at the ThinkEquity Partners Growth Conference
3. Cepheid to Present at ThinkEquity Partners 5th Annual Growth Conference
4. AtriCure to Present at ThinkEquity Partners 5th Annual Growth Conference
5. NuVasive to Present at ThinkEquity Partners 5th Annual Growth Conference
6. If you think cancer genes are simple, you dont know JAK
7. Genomic Health to Present at ThinkEquity Partners Fifth Annual Growth Conference
8. Think Pink with Gammill(R)
9. Cardiome to Present at ThinkEquity Conference
10. A Best-Kept Secret of Your Teen: They Really Do Care What You Think, Simmons College Study Shows
11. Think Pink for the Cure: thinkproducts Raises Over $50,000 for Breast Cancer Awareness
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, ... aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and ... necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the ... to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The ... Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... PASADENA, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. ... he would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, ... table, he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join ... wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase ... of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... the Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. ... years that have already resulted in more than a million dollars of capital ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)...  In a startling report released today, National Safety Council ... a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. ... states are tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, ... Kentucky , New Mexico , ... the 28 failing states, three – Michigan , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Bracket , a leading clinical trial ... clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the ... – 30, 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  ... Assessment product of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, ... eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  Guerbet announced today that it has been named ... . One of 12 suppliers to receive ... support of Premier members through exceptional local customer service ... to lower costs. ... outstanding customer service from Premier," says Massimo Carrara ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: