What Exactly is Lactose Free Milk and Who Should Drink It?

lactose free milk

A milk allergy and dairy intolerance are two different things. People that are allergic to milk have an adverse reaction to one or more of the proteins in milk. The reaction can range from mild stomach discomfort to full fledged swelling, hives, and even death. Up to 3 percent of infants have milk a milk allergy, but by adulthood that number goes down to 1 percent.

Lactose intolerance is not an allergy, but it does cause digestive discomfort and diarrhea. People who suffer from lactose intolerance do not have the ability to break down lactose, a naturally occurring sugar naturally present in milk. Humanity started out as lactose intolerant, but a few thousand years ago, Northern Europeans developed a mutation that enabled their digestive system to produce lactase, an enzyme in the gut that breaks down lactose.

Today, most of the world’s population is still lactose intolerant, but the dairy industry has done “good” marketing work, convincing everyone they should get more milk/dairy into their diet.

While people with milk allergies must avoid milk and its products, people with a lactose intolerance can consume milk if they ingest lactase along with the milk. This can be in the form of pills, or conveniently mixed into the milk itself such as in the product pictured here.

The lactose free milk pictured here is regular milk, with the addition of the lactase enzyme. Here is its ingredient list:

Reduced fat milk, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3, lactase enzyme.

By the way, lactase is manufactured from yeasts or fungi. When trying a lactose-free milk for the first time, people with a lactose intolerance should do it in small quantities to make sure nothing goes wrong.

If you have a lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity, or other allergy concern, please consider upgrading your Fooducate app by purchasing the “Gluten & Allergens” in-app option.

  • Marc Petitpierre

    lactose-free milk is mis-represented. It still contains lactose, but has lactase added!

  • http://bristolvermont.net Bristol Vermont

    with lactose intolerant people, there are cases it can be really bad. Even the slightest amount of lactose but the proteins in dairy themselves are still very hard for the body to digest. Just best to avoid all together.