Overview Of Existing Solutions To Lactose Intolerance

Over 70% people world-wide are lactose intolerant. The levels of severity can differ from one person to another, some people could even live there whole life without knowing they are lactose intolerant. There are two main causes of this disease which are: decrease in lactase production and by an illness such as celiac disease where lactose intolerance is one of its symptoms. Eating dairy or any food that contains lactose can cause discomfort and problems in the gastrointestinal tract; its severity depends on the severity of the lactose intolerance. Unfortunately, the symptoms of lactose intolerance which are bloating, abdominal cramps, gas, and diarrhea, can impact a person’s life and can prevent him or her from being as productive as they should, that’s why people who are lactose intolerant should be fully aware with the disease they have and how to manage it. This essay will include natural sources and how they are prepared, the enzymes involved in lactose-free dairy and some well-known companies that manufacture them, and how the body adapts itself to the consumption of lactose.

As 65% of the people around the world are affected by lactose intolerance, people started to look for other alternatives to dairy milk. As we all know, all mammalian milk contain different amount of lactose, people with this condition cannot use any type of the dairy products. However, they can use the plant-based milk. The plant-based milk is non-dairy. It can actually be made by two different methods; the wet or the dry one. In the wet method they soak the beans in the water for at least 12 hours. Then, they grind the beans. After that they filter or centrifuge the mixture to get smooth final mixture. In the dry method they grind the beans without soaking it. The flour that results from grinding the beans will be processed to separate the proteins from the starch and fibers. Finally the concentrated protein will be used to make the milk. There are many different types of plants milk for example: almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk and cashew milk. The best one till now is soy milk. Soy milk is the made up from soybeans and it is the closest plant milk to the dairy milk. It contains the same amount of the proteins. However, there is some advantages and disadvantages for plants milk generally and soy milk specially. The First and most important advantage of soy milk is that it does not contain lactose. It also contains fewer calories than the dairy milk. Thirdly, it can be fortified with calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin B12. However there is one downfall to soya milk which is that it is said to increase the estrogen levels in the body. Although it is still not scientifically approved.

Another alternative for lactose intolerant people is the preparation of lactose-free dairy products. The addition of lactase enzyme is the key event in preparing lactose-free dairy products. As lactase enzyme hydrolyze lactose into its monomers glucose and galactose which can be absorbed in the small intestine. Moreover, there are two types of lactases which are commercially available: neutral and acid lactases. Neutral lactases are used industrially to produce lactose-free diary, but it is also available for people to use it at home as droplets added to the desired diary, considering the exact duration for the lactose to be hydrolyzed. Acid lactases are nutritional supplements that are taken with dairy products in order to split lactose in the stomach into its simplest components. Adding to that Bioven Company is one of the most known companies in producing this kind of enzyme (htt). Furthermore, the enzyme can be extracted from a wide range of organisms because its activity is highly conserved through evolution, lactase’s family (beta-galactosidase) present from Escherchia coli through to Homo sapiens. Today, Novozymes, the world’s leading enzyme provider, is launching Saphera – a lactase enzyme that sets a new standard for manufacturing and pleasant extensive range of lactose-free products, including milk and fermented dairy products such as yogurt. Saphera originates from Bifidobacterium bifidum, which is a bacterial species of the Bifidobacterium genus. Saphera differs extensively from conventional lactases made from yeast .With Saphera, the preferred lactose level can be more precisely measured and without difficulty reached. This is because much fewer oligosaccharides – carbohydrates – are formed throughout the reaction compared to yeast lactases, especially when producing 0.01% lactose-free milk. Saphera converts lactose in dairy to galactose and glucose. This allows the dairy producer to lessen the quantity of added sugars and still obtain the same degree of sweetness in lactose-free dairy products. This offers the dairy producer the possibility for more attractive product labels with claims of reduced added sugar. Saphera is applicable for a wide range of dairy products including fresh, ESL and UHT milk, milk drinks, cream, ice cream, fermented dairy products and dulce de leche. Saphera is sold as a liquid widespread product (Saphera 2600 L) for use in batch process and in in-line dosing systems (i.e. TetraPak Aldose).

One efficient solution to decrease or completely remove the symptoms of lactose intolerance is colonic adaptation. By consuming small amounts of dairy the body will naturally adapt itself by increaseing the number of the lactose-digesting bacteria: lactobacillus and bifiobacterium, in the colon. These bacteria will ferment the lactose which will help the colon process and utilize lactose more efficiently, thus reducing the symptoms of lactose intolerance. A study done with two groups who showed signs of lactose intolerance, there was an increase in the levels of hydrogen breathed out, this usually indicates that lactose wasn’t digested. These two groups were given small doses of lactose to ingest on a daily bases, and after 15 days the severity of sympotoms of lactose intolerance decreased. Samples of stool were taken from both groups before the trial and at day 14, and the stool taken at day 14 showed there was an increase in the faecal β-galactosidase activity, and a decrease of the faecal PH. The stool samples along with the decrease in H2 breathed out indicates that the colonic flora adapted itself the daily consumption lactose. Unfortunately, stopping lactose consumption causes the body to lose the adaption it gained, and causes the symptoms to return with the same severity.

In conclusion, there are many alternatives and solutions to overcome lactose intolerance. For instances, plant based milk like soy milk which is considered the closest to dairy milk, also there are the lactase supplements which can be added to dairy products to break down the lactose, and finally there is colonic adaptation, where the body adapts to the daily consumption of lactose-containing foods. Nowadays, people can easily manage their lactose intolerance by understanding the condition and severity of their symptoms.  

16 December 2021
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