Do you eat or drink milk products?
Did you know that there is a naturally occurring "sugar" in milk, called lactose? Lactase is an enzyme in our bodies that allows us to digest this milk sugar.
Ever heard of an allergy to milk? Apparently, it's not an allergy after all because there is, "not an immune response". (USA Today)
A milk "allergy"is more correctly defined as lactose intolerance: "Lactose intolerance is the inability to metabolize lactose, a sugar found in milk and other dairy products, because the required enzyme lactase is absent in the intestinal system or its availability is lowered. It is estimated that 75% of adults worldwide show some decrease in lactase activity during adulthood."
I came across an interesting article about milk sugar that discusses this in more detail:
"People who are lactose intolerant can't digest the main sugar -lactose- found in milk. In normal humans, the enzyme that does so -lactase- stops being produced when the person is between two and five years old. The undigested sugars end up in the colon, where they begin to ferment, producing gas that can cause cramping, bloating, nausea, flatulence and diarrhea."
For more information than you ever wanted to know about lactase, the enzyme (that we don't all have, and have in differing amounts) allowing us to digest milk products, check out this article in the European Journal of Human Genetics. "Most people cannot drink milk as adults without the symptoms of lactose intolerance, and most lactose intolerance is due to absence of the lactase enzyme in the gut."
I'll continue to get my "natural" sugars elsewhere.
Good Reads and Good Eats 5/23
2 days ago