August 27, 2016

Lactase

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What other names is Lactase known by?

Beta-galactosidase, Bêta-Galactosidase, Lactasa.

What is Lactase?

Lactase is an enzyme. Like other enzymes, it is needed for a specific biochemical reaction in the body. The biochemical reaction that involves lactase breaks down lactose, a sugar in milk and milk products. Some people's bodies do not make enough lactase, so they are not able to digest milk well. These people are said to have "lactase deficiency" and are called "lactose intolerant." They can take supplemental lactase to help them break down lactose and tolerate milk. In these people lactase can prevent symptoms of lactose intolerance including cramps, diarrhea, and gas.

Many health experts think it's important to treat lactose intolerance so people can consume milk and milk products. Milk is a major source of calcium, which is needed for strong bones. People who do not get enough milk are more likely than other people to develop weak bones (osteoporosis).

Likely Effective for...

  • Preventing symptoms of lactose intolerance, such as cramps, diarrhea and gas, when milk products or lactose are taken by people with lactose intolerance. Lactase can be taken before consuming lactose or it can be added to milk.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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