Many adults cannot really digest dairy products, such as milk because they will get abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.* What we so called "Lactose Intolerance" happens due to the fact that most adults are no longer have the enzyme lactase, which is supposed to be used to break down lactose into glucose and galactose.**
However, on the other hand, many adults can digest milk just fine without all those symptoms of lactose intolerance mentioned above. Why?
According to Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, R. Grand, one will be less likely to have those symptoms if one's stomach emptying slowly. The rate of emptying a stomach is genetically controlled, and the rate varies. Furthermore, fat reduces the rate of stomach emptying. So, if one drinks fat-free milk alone or with a low-fat meal, one may be likely to have the symptoms of lactose intolerance. On the other hand, if one drinks milk with a typical meal, which contains fat, the symptoms may not appear.***
According to the director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Children's Hospital in Boston, one can grow more lactose-loving bacteria that can break down lactose without fermenting it and giving off gas. Often people who are lactose intolerant will adapt to little lactose in their diets because the bacterial flora in their colons can "learn" to digest the lactose.
As you can see, there are people who may have a lactase deficiency in their small intestines, but their bacteria can break the lactose down, so these people do not have symptoms of lactose intolerance.
According to R. Grand, it is a not a bad idea to start with small amounts (about a tablespoon) of milk to build up your lactose-digesting bacteria. Eventually, you can build up to a glass of milk per meal over three to six weeks to see how much you can tolerate. He also explains that many people who complain about lactose intolerance may actually have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) because both cases are manifested with similar symptoms. Therefore if you are not sure what you may have, it is better to consult your licensed physician first.
Remember each person may respond to milk differently. Some people perhaps just cannot even have a lick of milk, or they are completely allergic to it. In this case, DO NOT ATTEMPT to do it at all. When in doubt, always consult your licensed physician first!
* N. Engl. J. Med. 333:1, 1995
** Curr. Treat. Op. Gastroenterol, 11: 19, 2008
*** N. Engl. J. Med. 310: 1, 1984
matty Hui, C.HT., C.M.T., MSAOM, D.D.
Matty Hui (a.k.a Lingfei) holds her B.S. degree in Holistic Science and M.S. in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Furthermore, she is currently pursuing her Ph.D studies in Eastern and Western Medicine research.
K. Steinborn, C.Ht.
Karrie is a Pranic Healer, a Hypnotherapist, and an ordained minister. She also uses her own life experience to help guide the others through the process of growth and change regardless if it is using hypnosis or energy work.
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