Lactose Intolerance

L’intolérance au lactose survient chez les personnes dont l’intestin manque de l’enzyme capable de métaboliser le lactose, un sucre naturel du lait. Selon la quantité d’enzymes présentes, les symptômes seront plus ou moins sévères. Toute personne aura donc un seuil de tolérance au lactose, en dessous duquel elle peut consommer du lactose sans ressentir les ballonnements, les gaz et les distensions abdominales causées par le surplus de lactose non digéré.

Symptoms associated with lactose intolerance

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Abdominal cramps

Health advice


Since the main food from birth is milk, it is normal during the first years of life that our production of the enzyme capable of digesting it (lactase) is high (otherwise the digestion of this precious liquid would be laborious) . On the other hand, when the diet becomes more varied, its production generally begins to decrease. Northern white Europeans have the longest lactase production and they also have the least lactose intolerance. In Native Americans or Asians, the production of lactase is practically nil. Like what, depending on our origin, the ability to digest dairy products can vary enormously. Obviously, dairy products (especially milk) are the main source of lactose. The milks of several mammals contain lactose, whether it is goat's, sheep's or cow's milk. On the other hand, goat and sheep milk would be a little easier to digest for humans than cow milk since they would be a little more similar to breast milk from a nutritional point of view. These would also contain a little less lactose.

The best way to properly manage lactose intolerance is still to avoid dairy products, at least for a while or until the symptoms completely disappear. The gradual addition of small quantities of dairy products can be done afterwards, while checking the body's reactions to lactose. We can then gradually increase the intake of dairy products as long as there are no reactions. In this way, it will be easier to determine the amount of lactose that the body is able to tolerate. It is simply necessary to respect the quantities of dairy products to consume without this giving undesirable reactions. Each person can then adjust their diet accordingly to avoid the unpleasant effects associated with lactose intolerance. You can also choose to consume goat or sheep dairy products because they are now much more accessible in natural food stores.

Also be careful with prepared foods, as many of them contain lactose. Indeed, dairy products are often found in their composition. It should be noted that lactose can also be found as a filler in certain natural products. Reading the labels carefully is the best way to ensure that there is no lactose in the product before consuming it. Lactose intolerance must be distinguished from dairy allergy. Indeed, lactose intolerance involves only the lack of production of the enzyme "lactase" in order to properly digest the lactose present in dairy products, while allergy to dairy products involves an immune reaction and often a reaction to milk proteins such as casein.

Basic Tips

Contrary to popular belief, capsule yogurt products do not contain a noticeable amount of lactose. In addition, probiotic bacteria help digest lactose because they have the enzyme capable of destroying it. The same goes for dietary yogurt and cheese, which contain very little lactose. So you don't have to completely deprive yourself of dairy products! Eat a few at a time to determine your tolerance level.