Lege Artis Medicinae

[Human adult lactose intolerance: diagnosis and therapy]

BERÓ Tamás

MAY 20, 2003

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2003;13(04)

[Human adult-onset lactase decline, characterised by a decrease in intestinal lactase enzyme activity is a biologic feature characteristic of the maturing intestine in the majority of the world's population. It demonstrates an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance and it is regulated primarily by the rate of lactase gene transcription. Ingestion of high quantities of lactose-containing foods by patients with adultonset lactase decline results in intestinal symptoms, including bloating, distension, cramps, flatulence and diarrhoea. Due to the differences in the rates of gastric emptying and intestinal transit as well as the abundance of lactosemetabolising bacteria in the colon, the symptoms of lactose intolerance are often quite variable from persons to person. Lactose intolerance usually leads to self-imposed dietary restriction of dairy products, the main source of calcium intake, therefore it appears to be a risk factor for development of osteoporosis. Consumption of milk with solid foods can reduce symptoms in many individuals. Yoghurt containing active cultures are useful substitute for whole milk. Prehydrolized milk and lactase enzyme containing tablets are also available in the treatment.]

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