Managing Lactose Intolerance and the Potential Health Impact of Dairy Consumption
Lactose intolerance is a condition in which a person’s body cannot fully digest the sugar found in milk. The stomach is unable to produce enough of the necessary enzyme, resulting in symptoms such as bloating, pain, vomiting and diarrhea. While most people with lactose intolerance can tolerate small amounts of dairy, others may find that certain dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, cause problems. Over-the-counter lactose supplements can help replace the missing enzyme, as can eating pure whole foods, such as beans, nuts, and greens. Constipation can also be a sign of lactose intolerance, and may be a hallmark of IBS or an inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
The dairy industry has done a great job of convincing us that we need milk and dairy for healthy bones and bodies; however, there are plenty of plant-based foods that can provide the same nutrients. Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that dairy can cause acne, due to its influence on certain hormones, as well as its high levels of saturated fat, which has been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and types of cancer.
Overall, milk is generally a good source of calcium, as well as protein and other nutrients like vitamin D and potassium; however, depending on one’s dietary preferences and beliefs, it is important to take into consideration the potential negative impacts of dairy consumption. If you do choose to consume dairy, it is wise to do so in moderation and to monitor for any adverse side effects.
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1. “Why milk might be dangerous for your health” The Star Kenya , 19 Feb. 2023, https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2023-02-19-why-milk-might-be-dangerous-for-your-health/