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Lactose intolerance

In a nutshell

Declining ability to digest lactose is normal after childhood, and some degree of adult intolerance is common in many populations.

However, this does not mean that everyone with low lactase levels cannot tolerate any lactose. Most people with LI can tolerate fermented dairy (e.g. cheese, yoghurt). Any dairy avoidance treatment for LI should be individualised, reassessed periodically, and avoid underconsumption of key nutrients such as calcium.

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References

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4. Frissora, CL. et al. Symptom overlap and comorbidity of irritable bowel syndrome with other conditions. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2005 Aug;7(4):264–71.
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10. Matthews, SB. et al. Systemic lactose intolerance: a new perspective on an old problem. Postgrad Med J. 2005 Mar;81(953):167–73.
11. Fernandez-Banares, F. et al. Sugar malabsorption in functional abdominal bloating: a pilot study on the long-term effect of dietary treatment. Clin Nutr. 2006 Oct;25(5):824–31.
12. Rasinpera, H. et al. The C/C-13910 genotype of adult-type hypolactasia is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer in the Finnish population. Gut. 2005 May;54(5):643–7.
13. Helman, A. Calcium, dairy and colon cancer - the latest. Arb Clin Nutr Upd. 2007 Feb; 271:13.
14. Szilagyi, A. et al. The effect of lactose maldigestion on the relationship between dairy food intake and colorectal cancer: a systematic review. Nutr Cancer. 2006;55(2):141–50.
15. Savaiano, D. Lactose intolerance: a self-fulfilling prophecy leading to osteoporosis? Nutr Rev. 2003 Jun;61(6 Pt 1):221–3.
16. Lovelace, HY. et al. Diagnosis, symptoms, and calcium intakes of individuals with self-reported lactose intolerance. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Feb;24(1):51–7.
17. Segal, E. et al. Bone density in axial and appendicular skeleton in patients with lactose intolerance: influence of calcium intake and vitamin D status. J Am Coll Nutr. 2003 Jun;22(3):201–7.
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21. Hertzler, SR. et al. Kefir improves lactose digestion and tolerance in adults with lactose maldigestion. J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 May;103(5):582–7.
22. Pelletier, X. et al. Hydrogen excretion upon ingestion of dairy products in lactose-intolerant male subjects: importance of the live flora. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2001 Jun;55(6):509–12.
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