LACTASE

OTHER NAME(S):

Beta-galactosidase, Bêta-Galactosidase, Lactasa.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Lactase is an enzyme. Like other enzymes, it is needed for a specific biochemical reaction in the body. The biochemical reaction that involves lactase breaks down lactose, a sugar in milk and milk products. Some people’s bodies do not make enough lactase, so they are not able to digest milk well. These people are said to have “lactase deficiency” and are called “lactose intolerant.” They can take supplemental lactase to help them break down lactose and tolerate milk. In these people lactase can prevent symptoms of lactose intolerance including cramps, diarrhea, and gas.

Many health experts think it’s important to treat lactose intolerance so people can consume milk and milk products. Milk is a major source of calcium, which is needed for strong bones. People who do not get enough milk are more likely than other people to develop weak bones (osteoporosis).

How does it work?

People who are lactose intolerant have trouble digesting the milk sugar lactose. Lactase is an enzyme that splits the milk sugar lactose, to produce the sugars glucose and galactose.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Likely Effective for

  • Preventing symptoms of lactose intolerance, such as cramps, diarrhea and gas, when milk products or lactose are taken by people with lactose intolerance. Lactase can be taken before consuming lactose or it can be added to milk.
Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Lactase seems to be safe for most people. It is an FDA-approved, nonprescription product available in the US. There are no reported side effects.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of lactase during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Interactions

Interactions?

We currently have no information for LACTASE Interactions.

Dosing

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For lactose intolerance: the typical dose of lactase is 6000-9000 IU tablets chewed and swallowed at the start of a meal that contains lactose. 2000 IU of the solution added to 500 mL of milk immediately before drinking it has also been used.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • DairyEase product information. McNeil-PPC Inc. Fort Washington, PA 19034.
  • Horowitz M, Wishart J, Mundy L, Nordin BE. Lactose and calcium absorption in postmenopausal osteoporosis. Arch Intern Med 1987;147:534-6. View abstract.
  • Lami F, Callegari C, Tatali M, et al. Efficacy of addition of exogenous lactase to milk in adult lactase deficiency. Am J Gastroenterol 1988;83:1145-9.. View abstract.
  • Lin MY, Dipalma JA, Martini MC, et al. Comparative effects of exogenous lactase (beta-galactosidase) preparations on in vivo lactose digestion. Dig Dis Sci 1993;38:2022-7.. View abstract.
  • Newcomer AD, Hodgson SF, McGill DB, Thomas PJ. Lactase deficiency: prevalence in osteoporosis. Ann Intern Med 1978;89:218-20. View abstract.
  • Ramirez FC, Lee K, Graham DY. All lactase preparations are not the same: results of a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Gastroenterol 1994;89:566-70. View abstract.
  • Sanders SW, Tolman KG, Reitberg DP. Effect of a single dose of lactase on symptoms and expired hydrogen after lactose challenge in lactose-intolerant subjects. Clin Pharm 1992;11:533-8.. View abstract.
  • Spraycar M, ed. Stedman's Medical Dictionary. 26th ed. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins, 1995.

More Resources for LACTASE

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.