How Does the Physique Metabolize Lactose

Lactose, generally called milk sugar, is the primary sugar in dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt. It makes dairy goods taste mildly sweet and is a significant supply of calories. Lactose is easily metabolized into simpler sugars and absorbed in your intestines if you produce sufficient enzymes. If not, lactose intolerance develops and causes numerous gastrointestinal signs and symptoms.

Lactose Sugar

Lactose is a type of carbohydrate known as a disaccharide, which is a molecule made of two easy sugars. The two easy sugars that comprise lactose are galactose and glucose. All feminine mammals, including ladies, produce milk that consists of lactose. No other animal and neither insects nor fish can make lactose. The proportion of lactose in milk varies between 2 % and eight %, with human milk containing more than cow and goat milk. Human milk consequently is a small sweeter and greater in calories compared to the milk of most other species. Nevertheless, compared to sucrose -- which is utilized to make granulated white table sugar -- lactose is much much less sweet.


Your physique starts metabolizing or breaking down lactose in the intestines with the help of lactase, an enzyme produced and released by cells that line your small intestine. The enzyme attaches to lactose and cleaves it into molecules of galactose and glucose. Glucose is immediately absorbed into your bloodstream and utilized by virtually all your cells so they can create energy and do their jobs. Galactose cannot be directly used by your physique, so it is additional transformed into glucose following additional function by lactase and other enzymes.

Possible Problems

Issues with lactose metabolic process occur when not sufficient enzymes are produced. A absence of lactase prospects to a situation called lactose intolerance, which is characterised by abdominal bloating, flatulence and diarrhea. Undigested lactose travels to the big intestine and offers “friendly” germs with a food source. The germs ferment the sucrose in order to break it down, which produces gasoline and the associated signs and symptoms. Galactosemia is an additional problem associated to lactose metabolic process and is caused by the inability to convert galactose into glucose. When as well a lot galactose builds up in the blood because of to a lack of particular enzymes such as galactose kinase, it causes damage to the mind and other organs. Galactosemia is uncommon, but it can direct to severe issues in breastfed infants if not caught in time.


Lactose intolerance in adults is not a severe or life threatening situation, but it causes a variety of uncomfortable and potentially uncomfortable signs and symptoms. Most individuals create much less lactase as they age, although some ethnic teams have a a lot greater incidence of lactose intolerance. More specifically, it is most typical in African American, Asian, Hispanic and Indigenous American people. If you are lactose intolerant, lactose-totally free milk is available in most grocery shops. You can also take lactase supplements -- typically in pill type -- with dairy goods or (ideally) just before consuming them.