In this new scientific paper review, published in August 2019 and coordinated by Yogurt In Nutrition and the World Gastroenterology Organization, several studies have been gathered and analyzed to focus on the state on knowledge on lactose intolerance and the studies on yogurt research.
Lactose intolerance: state of knowledge
When the lactase enzyme is absent or deficient, unhydrolyzed lactose remains in the intestinal lumen and fluid osmotically driven into the intestine, increasing the volume and fluidity of the intestinal contents, allowing undigested lactose to enter the colon and to be fermented by colonic bacteria. The result can be cramping, flatulence, and diarrhea. However, not all individuals with lactose malabsorption experience symptoms. The mainstay of treatment of lactose intolerance is avoidance of all lactose-containing milk and milk-containing products, but it typically is not necessary.
Yogurt’s role in lactose maldigestion
This publication highlights the main studies that demonstrate the positive consumption of yogurt with live cultures.
Yogurt is an interesting option as the lactose it contains is partially digested by the two active bacterial cultures L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus. These live bacteria produce lactase which breaks down some of the lactose in yogurt.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has approved the claim that yogurt improves digestion of lactose. Individuals who avoid dairy products because of lactose maldigestion may lack important nutrients in their diets, especially calcium, for them, yogurt can be an interesting alternative.
Yogurt may present a more easily digestible alternative to milk
This paper discusses the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of lactase deficiency and the role of lactose in health, as well as presents a compilation of the research to date
The complete scientific review paper is available to download here