Lactose intolerance is caused by a deficiency in the enzyme lactase. Located in the villi of the small intestine, lactase digests the disaccharide lactose (the carbohydrate mainly found in human milk and dairy products), breaking it down into the monosaccharides, glucose and galactose, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream. In the absence of lactase, the undigested lactose is fermented in the gut, resulting in the characteristic symptoms of lactose intolerance1,2,3.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance may be mild or severe and include:
Lactose intolerance can elicit similar symptoms to non IgE-mediated (delayed) cow’s milk protein allergy (CMA), and so the two can commonly be mistaken for one another. It is therefore crucial to differentiate the diagnosis to ensure the correct management is advised.
Depending on the type of lactose intolerance, management can involve either reduction or removal of lactose from the diet, while ensuring that optimal nutritional intake is achieved.
Aptamil Lactose Free First Infant Milk is an infant formula suitable from birth for primary and secondary lactose intolerance in bottle-fed infants.
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