Suffer from lactose intolerance and want it gone?
You are not alone.
Here are the three treatment options for treating lactose intolerance:
Lactose Intolerance affects nearly 25% of the US population or 1 in 9 people. 1
Knowing how the lactase enzyme operates and how it is produced is the key to effectively treating lactose intolerance.
At birth, we have high levels of the lactase enzyme produced by cells located in the small intestine. However, as we age, these cells produce less and less lactase enzyme.
As lactase enzyme levels drop due to decreased production, symptoms of lactose intolerance appear and increase in severity over time.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance occur after eating anything which contains lactose.
Lactose-containing foods is not limited to dairy products such as milk, cheese, cottage cheese, kefir, sour cream or butter. Lactose is found in pharmaceutical drugs and supplements as a filler or in compressed tablets, processed meats like hot dogs and sausages, whey protein concentrates, breakfast cereals, chips or processed foods in general. Read labels well.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance are mainly digestive and consist of:
Once cells in the small intestine stop or reduce production of the lactase enzyme, there are three options to effectively treat lactose intolerance:
Avoiding dairy products the rest of your life if you enjoy them is not ideal; thus, Option 1 is not an option as a treatment for lactose intolerance for most people.
The fastest way to begin enjoying dairy products without any symptoms of lactose intolerance is to take a lactase enzyme supplement.
I'll guide you through the various lactase enzyme supplement options and in the end, you will have a clear idea which form of lactase enzyme supplement is best for you.
The problem with lactase enzyme supplements is they range all over the board in terms of effectiveness, delivery type, purity and potency.
Some upfront issues that I have seen in the lactase enzyme supplement industry:
Powdered lactase enzyme supplements are great for people who do not enjoy swallowing pills and consume dairy products at home. Simply open the bottle, measure how much you need, drop it into the milk container, shake and wait 24 hours to drink. Powdered lactase enzyme supplements are cost-effective as they are added directly to liquid lactose-containing products. With a gallon of milk, you simply add a scoop of the lactase enzyme powder once. On the other hand, taking a capsule of lactase enzyme each time you drink a glass of milk or eat a cake made with milk gets expensive and annoying. The problems with powdered lactase supplements are that they can be messy and clump when adding to milk causing inadequate breakdown of lactose. There are also fillers added to lactose enzyme powders which may not be suitable for some individuals. A common filler is maltodextrin which is derived from corn or wheat. Taking a powdered lactase enzyme supplement before each meal containing dairy is not ideal.
Tablets and capsules containing lactase enzyme are convenient to take orally before ingesting dairy. Capsules and tablets are also handy while on the go. The biggest problem with taking lactase enzymes orally is the lactase enzyme gets destroyed in the stomach acid. This makes taking the lactase enzyme supplement pretty worthless as a short-term treatment for lactose intolerance. Lactase enzyme tablets or capsules also cannot be added to liquid lactose-containing products such as milk. This means you have to swallow a capsule or pill of the lactase enzyme each time you drink a cup of milk. This can get expensive due to the numerous times milk is used in a day. Capsules and tablet forms of lactase enzymes also contain more flow agents, preservatives, colorings, and additives compared to powered or liquid lactase supplements. Tablets and capsules are also harder to control how much lactase enzyme you take - it is either 1 capsule or 2. With a powder or liquid, you control how much lactase enzyme you take thereby saving money and not interrupting other enzymatic processes due to excessive lactase enzyme.
Liquid lactase enzyme supplements are very popular in Europe and Canada. They are gaining popularity in the United States but are difficult to find. If liquid lactase supplements are found in your local store, make sure you read the potency as they can be quite ineffective at lower drops per serving. The benefit to liquid lactase supplements are they are easy to add to milk, taste good and inexpensive when comparing per dose cost. Simply open the bottle and drop the liquid into the milk carton or any liquid lactose-containing product and shake.
Due to popular demand and a glaring need to have an effective liquid lactase in the United States, I developed a liquid lactase supplement, called Lactase Drops, that is:
Let's move on to addressing how you can treat lactose intolerance long term.
Treating lactose intolerance long term requires producing the lactase enzyme internally.
What?! Yes - it is possible.
As discussed earlier, when we are born, we produce lactase enzyme ourselves in high amounts and the ability to produce lactase drops as we age.
There is a way around this that is not often brought to people's attention.
Why? Likely because the lactase enzyme industry wants to keep it quiet. If everyone knew there was a long term solution to lactose intolerance, they would be all over it as it is the most cost-effective and proven method to treat lactose intolerance.
There are strains of bacteria which occur naturally in our digestive system that create the lactase enzyme.
However, they are not in high enough numbers so the amount of lactase enzyme they make is insignificant. They also get killed by antibiotics, stress, poor dietary choices, and harmful bacteria.
The lactase-producing bacteria can be replenished by taking specific probiotic strains in high amounts.
The probiotic strains I recommend are in the probiotic I developed, of course right? There are reasons for it and I will explain.
For those who just want to know what I recommend for long-term treatment of lactose intolerance - I recommend ProBiota 12 capsules.
The way to treat lactose intolerance long-term and properly is to:
If one ingests billions, not millions but billions, of these lactase-producing beneficial bacteria, then symptoms of lactose intolerance disappear.
However, there must be a balance of other beneficial bacteria and not just lactase-producing bacteria. Any one bacteria, even if beneficial, is no longer beneficial if it over-populates the small intestine. In order to prevent over-population and maintain lactase-producing bacteria, a probiotic formula must consist of multiple specials of bacteria. Multiple species of bacteria, taken in high amounts, keep each other in balance and prevent any one strain of bacteria from over-populating and causing undesired effects.
I did not think this was an important point until I worked with a boy with Autism.
I performed a laboratory test and found he was very high in lactic acid. The boy was high in lactic acid as his father was giving his Autistic son high potency lactobacillus bacteria. My medical training and numerous research articles show that giving children with autism probiotics is beneficial; however, the research failed to state that probiotics are beneficial when they contain multiple strains.
I instructed the father to no longer provide lactobacillus to his son and instead prescribed Saccharomyces boulardii, which is a beneficial yeast. The boys lactic acid levels dropped significantly. Once the boys lactic acid levels return to normal, he will be put on ProBiota 12.
A word of caution about probiotics: There are numerous probiotics available claiming effectiveness and high potency. The problem is the potency and purity are not laboratory tested after manufacturing or pasteurization. Thus, after the probiotic sits on store shelves or is transported improperly, the purity and effectiveness no longer exists.
A quality probiotic should have these features in order to be effective:
ProBiota 12 has all these features.
In closing, I have to bring up a very important and essential point.
If treating lactose intolerance does not improve symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, headache, nausea, then you may not have lactose intolerance.
Instead, you may have a dairy intolerance. It may be necessary to completely avoid dairy products.
Common symptoms of intolerance or allergy to dairy are: 3
If any of these symptoms are present, it is recommended to avoid all dairy products for at least 5 days but 2 weeks is ideal. Complete avoidance is essential. At the end of the two week period, eat a dairy product with each meal for the day. Keep note of symptoms which appear. If symptoms are present after the first meal containing dairy, there is no need to continue ingesting dairy, nor is it recommended.
If symptoms do appear after eliminating dairy, then avoid dairy products for 6 months. After 6 months, another attempt may be taken. If no symptoms appear after eating dairy products, then you are not as sensitive to dairy as you used to be. Eating dairy is OK to begin again but only every 4 days. If dairy products are eaten more frequently than in one meal every 4 days, symptoms will occur once again and complete avoidance for 6 months will be the only way to reduce symptoms. Make sure to keep track when it is OK to eat dairy or have a day of the week where it is OK to eat dairy - such as Sunday or Tuesday.
For those needing assistance with Food Rotation and eliminating dairy, I highly recommendDr Sally Rockwell. She has some great resources to help people easily rotate foods.
With the above dietary modifications and supplement recommendations, I am confident your lactose intolerance will improve significantly or disappear altogether.
Should you have further questions or comments about Lactose Intolerance, please post them here.
Do let me know how you are doing in a few weeks after trying the suggestions and products above. I love feedback and it helps others know that natural medicine works!
Resources about Lactose Intolerance: