What to Know About Lactose Intolerance

January 21, 2019
Tavid Westerhoff-Mason

Did you know that lactose intolerance affects more than half of the world’s population?


First of all, let's explain what lactose intolerance means. You are lactose intolerant when the body is unable to digest lactose, which is a type of sugar mainly found in dairy products like milk, butter, cheese and ice cream.

Some symptoms may include bloating, cramps, gas, flatulence and diarrhea among other symptoms. They usually appear a couple of hours after consuming dairy products.

Why does it happen? The body digests lactose using a substance called lactase. This breaks down lactose into two sugars called glucose and galactose, which can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream. The issue with people being lactose intolerant is that they don't produce enough lactase which means lactose stays in the digestive system where it's fermented by bacteria. Then it may causes the symptoms explained above.

Unfortunately lactose intolerance is for life, so you might want to consider testing if you suspect you are lactose intolerant.

How each individual responds to different components of their diet, as well as the way their body absorbs and handles the various nutrients they require, is caused by their genetic makeup.

Our diet and nutrition test aims to give an understanding of how an individuals body responds to different nutrients and vitamins. So, if necessary, they can adjust their diet accordingly to maximize health. In this test, we examine polymorphisms which may alter your response to lactose.

Limiting your intake of food and drinks containing lactose or finding substitutes like plant-based products can be a big help if you're lactose intolerant!

Here is a short list of substitutes you could implement:

Milk: soy milk (protein content is close to cow’s milk), coconut milk or cashew milk.

Butter: coconut oil, olive oil or mashed avocado.

Yogurt: soy or silken tofu.

Cheese: vegan cheese made out of cashews and other nuts.