Lactose Intolerance rates may be lower than previously believed

Based on the incidence of lactose maldigestion previous studies have found lactose maldigestion, or low lactase activity in the gut, to occur in approximately 15% of European Americans, 50% of Mexican Americans and 80% of African Americans. However, a new study, reported in Nutrition Today and based on self-reported data, suggests that the overall prevalence rate of self-reported lactose intolerance is 12% - with 7.72% of European Americans, 10.05% of Hispanic Americans and 19.5% of African Americans who consider themselves lactose intolerant.

The symptoms of lactose intolerance vary greatly for each individual, and, since increasing daily consumption of dairy can be an effective strategy for ensuring adequate intake of shortfall nutrients (such as calcium, magnesium and potassium) it is worth lactose intolerance sufferers looking at including the increasing range of lactose reduced/lactose free products in their diet.

NB  This article, which goes on to encourage the consumption of at least some dairy products by all lactose intolerants, was ‘adapted from materials provided by National Dairy Council, via EurekAlert!' Ed.

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First published in November 2009


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