Q&A on lactose intolerance

Are there any health consequences of lactose intolerance?


Lactose intolerance can impair quality of life but has, likewise, no direct consequence on health. Likewise lactose maldigestion has also no consequence on health. Yet, perceived or diagnosed lactose intolerance is one of the reasons for limiting or avoiding dairy food. Thus, the only health consequence of lactose intolerance comes from the possible nutrient shortcomings consequent to dairy avoidance, such as low calcium intake. As stated by the European Food Safety Authority, low calcium intake may impair the maintenance of normal bones and teeth.

In order to reach the required calcium intakes, lactose maldigesters are recommended to consume other forms of dairy products such as cheeses that contains low or no lactose (cheddar, provolone, mozzarella, Grana padano, etc.) and yogurts that contain live bacteria, which improve the digestion of the lactose contained in yogurt. Indeed, yogurt consumers have overall a better calcium intake, a more balanced diet than non-yogurt consumers. Thus, yogurt is a marker of a good quality diet.


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