Lactase, also known as Lactase-phlorizin hydrolase (LPH), is a naturally occurring enzyme. It is found in many organisms, including humans. In humans and other mammals it is generally found in the small intestine. This enzyme is essential for the digestion of milk. It catalyses the breaking down of lactose, a naturally occurring sugar in milk, into glucose and galactose, which are more easily absorbed.
Lactase And Lactose Intolerance
Some people do not naturally produce enough lactase. This means that they are unable to digest the lactose found in milk and other dairy products. Symptoms can include:
As dairy products, especially milk, are a rich source of calcium, this can cause issues. Calcium is important for the growth and maintenance of bones, blood clotting and more. Lactase is typically advised as a supplement for those suffering from lactose intolerance. Although there is not sufficient evidence to prove this effect, it is likely to be effective.
Other Health Benefits
Lactose can help with a number of digestive issues, not just lactose intolerance. A lactase supplement may also help with:
- Bloating and Gas – Research suggests that lactase may help prevent and reduce flatulence in humans.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Lactase may help to prevent and reduce the symptoms of IBS.
- Digestive Irritation – Some studies suggest that naturally having a reduced number of lactase in the small intestine could cause a number of digestive issues. Taking lactase may help to remedy these issues.
- Children Digestive Problems – Children often develop issues such as cramping and chronic diarrhea. Lactase may help to reduce these problems.
Lactase supplements may have a number of other health benefits than just helping with lactose intolerance. It is a vital enzyme in the gut and not naturally producing enough can cause a number of problems. Taking a lactase supplement may help with these issues.
Always remember to consult a medical professional before taking new supplement, especially if already taking medication.