What is lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, the sugar in milk. In order for the sugar in lactose to be digested it must be broken down in the gut by the enzyme lactase into its two component sugars (glucose and galactose). Most infants produce lactase for a while but lose the ability to digest lactose after weaning (commonly after the age of two). Losing this ability is a clear indication that after weaning, milk is not a natural food for us. Lactose intolerance occurs in around 90-100 per cent of Asians, 65-70 per cent of Africans, and 10 per cent of Caucasians. Symptoms include nausea, cramps, bloating, wind, and diarrhoea. If you suffer from lactose intolerance you should avoid all dairy products.
See our infographic about milk and health.