Ethnicity and Lactose intolerant.
Lactose intolerant is the bodies inability to properly digest lactose. It is estimated that approximated 65% of the population is lactose intolerant. Meaning they cannot digest lactose. Lactose is a type of sugar or a fermentable carbohydrate which is found in milk and dairy products.
Lactose is composed of glucose and galactose. Our body produces an enzyme called lactase which is an enzyme in the small intestine which splits lactose into glucose and galactose.
Glucose which can be found in many diverse types of foods; however, lactose is the only source of galactose. Humans are the only mammals to continue to drink milk after we have finished breastfeeding. People of Northern European decent have the ability to produce this enzyme throughout most their life.
However, some people stop making this enzyme as they mature. People of an African, Asian, native Americans, Mexican’s and Jews are the main cultures who lace the enzyme lactase. Lactose intolerant is becoming more common around the world. People with a lactose intolerant experience digestive issues such as bloating, abdominal cramps, gas, diarrhoea, and stomach rumbling. This is because the undigested lactose resides in the gut which gets fermented by the intestinal bacteria which is mainly yeast, which cause them problems.
People can ease symptoms of been lactose intolerant by avoiding foods high in lactose such as: butter, yogurt, buttermilk, cream, cheese, ice cream, evaporated or condensed milk, all types of cow’s milk, goats’ milk, and buffalo milk. Cream cheese and other soft cheese like mozzarella, cottage cheese. There are many other products that contain sources of lactose which include: baked goods, sweets, cake mixes as well as some cold cuts that contain lactose.
Foods to include into a lactose free diet include food items labelled as lactose free or reduce, fish with soft bones as in tinned salmon and sardines, broccoli and leafy green vegetable, nuts like almonds and Brazil nuts, tofu. These are all reliable sources of calcium and vitamin D. look for labels which say added or fortified with calcium like fruit juices and cereals and soy milk. There are supplements which contain the enzyme lactase which can be taken just before consuming any items with lactose.
What affects one person who is lactose intolerance may not affect another such as Some people may be able to have yogurt but not milk. Whereas another person may be able to have cheese but not ice cream. Secondary lactose intolerance symptoms can include intestinal infections, coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, and bacterial overgrowth.
By Aaron Christopher Slade