What is lactose?
Lactose also known as milk sugar is a natural component of breast milk and the milk of other mammals. It furnishes us with energy, aids in the body’s calcium absorption and promotes healthy digestion. The enzyme lactase breaks lactose down into its two components glucose and galactose. Lactose is found, for instance, in yoghurt, cheese or quark. But it is also found in convenience products, sausages and certain medicines.
What is lactose intolerance?
The carefree enjoyment of milk, cheese or milk chocolate is impossible for many people. This is because these foods, seemingly a part of everyone’s diet, contain milk sugar - also known as lactose. And not everyone can tolerate lactose. These are the so-called “lactose intolerant” individuals. Normally, lactose is broken down by the digestive enzyme “lactase”, thus enabling lactose to be used and to provide the body with energy. However, individuals who are lactose intolerant are missing lactase and any lactose consumed can only be partially digested or not digested at all, depending upon the severity of the intolerance. Those affected suffer from symptoms such as nausea, stomach aches or flatulence.
Which forms of lactose intolerance are there?
One differentiates between three forms of lactose intolerance. The primary form of lactose intolerance is hereditary. With this form, the amount of lactase produced decreases after the nursing period in infancy – and with it the ability to break down lactose. Experiencing a decrease in lactase over the course of one’s adult life is actually normal. In fact, roughly 75% of the world’s population is affected. The secondary form of lactose intolerance, however, occurs through injury to the inner lining of the small intestine. This often occurs in connection with an illness, for instance, with chronic intestinal diseases, celiac disease or malnutrition. Upon successful treatment of the injury to the inner lining of the small intestine, this secondary form of lactose intolerance can possibly subside.The congenital form of lactose intolerance, however, is owing to a rare, inheritable gene defect. Here, the lactase enzyme cannot be formed by the body. Infants cannot assimilate mother’s milk. In such a case, it is crucial to provide exclusively lactose-free nourishment to affected infants and toddlers due to the risk of dehydration.
How am I tested for lactose intolerance?
If you suspect that you might be lactose intolerant, you should seek a professional diagnosis from a doctor. This can be done by means of a hydrogen breath test (HBT), for example. If readings of the hydrogen level in your sample of breath show a significant rise upon consuming lactose, lactose-intolerance is likely. Another possibility to diagnose lactose intolerance is to test blood sugar levels. Here the glucose level of the blood is measured. Genetic testing can be performed using the buccal swab procedure, but only the inherited form of lactose intolerance can be determined.
What is a lactase enzyme supplement?
You can still enjoy your café latte or go out to eat even if you suffer from lactose intolerance. After all, the missing enzyme lactase can be provided to your body by means of lactase enzyme tablets (for example LactoJoy) shortly before consuming a dairy product. It breaks down the consumed lactose into its individual components, namely the simpler forms of sugar galactose and glucose. The usual digestive problems associated with lactose are thus reduced to a minimum or eliminated altogether. It’s really quite uncomplicated. Take a LactoJoy tablet the next time you go to a café and enjoy your café latte to the full!
Is it possible to take an overdose of lactase?
No, all this enzyme supplement does is to break down lactose into simpler, more easily digestible forms of sugar. Any excessive lactase enzyme will be excreted by the body. Thus, if you’re not really sure how much you need, it’s better to take a little bit too much than too little. That way you will be on the safe side.
What does FCC units per lactase tablet mean?
FCC (Food Chemical Codex) describes the enzyme activity of lactase. The higher the FCC unit, the more highly dosed the lactase is. To break down 1 g of milk sugar, the body needs about 1.000 FCC units of lactase. About 6.000 to 10.000 FCC units would be appropriate for one glass of milk (0.2 l) for example.
Does calculating the required FCC units per meal make sense?
How many FCC units of lactase are needed depends on very many factors: On your body’s own lactase production, the amount of lactose in the food, the type of lactase supplement you’re taking and even in what physical condition you happen to be in on the particular day. About 3.000 to 6.000 FCC units are necessary to break down 5 g of milk sugar (ca. 0.1 liters of milk). But just how much milk is contained in a meal is often difficult to assess. An exact calculation is thus hardly possible and therefore pointless. With time, you will figure out on your own how many FCC units you need for a meal. Generally speaking, it’s better to take a little too much than not enough. Lactase cannot be overdosed.
Can every baby drink breast milk?
Normally, yes. Lactose tolerance among newborns is actually exceptionally good and breast milk is very well tolerated. Nevertheless, about 1 to 3 % of newborns are affected by congenital lactose intolerance and thus cannot tolerate breast milk. This becomes noticeable right after nursing for the first time: the infant suffers diarrhea, flatulence and a tummy ache. A doctor should be consulted promptly to prevent dehydration and nutritional deficiency.
At what age can one start taking LactoJoy?
LactoJoy can safely be used by individuals of any age.
Can I take LactoJoy even when I am pregnant or nursing?
Yes, since LactoJoy is made of the enzyme lactase, which is usually produced by the body on its own, it’s harmless to use.
Can I take a higher dose of LactoJoy?
Yes, the relatively high dose of 14,500 FCC units will spare you cumbersome calculations on how many grams of lactose your meal contains. Generally speaking, about 6.000 to 10.000 FCC units are appropriate for a glass of milk (0.2 l). LactoJoy tablets are scored and can thus easily be split in half should you require less – the FCC units of one tablet would correspondingly also be halved to 7.250.