Is dairy ever a problem food group for you?
No matter what it is, if it's cheese, milk, yoghurt, if you have a 'bit too much' you get some digestive discomfort?
Maybe it's only after a few too many milky coffees, or perhaps it only takes a small amount of cheese to cause an issue?
These could be a sign of lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance is defined as an impaired ability to digest lactose a sugar found in milk and dairy products. Humans produce an enzyme called Lactase to break down lactose, however, some people might not produce enough to cover their dairy intake.
This can be something that people are born with or something that develops with age. Symptoms vary depending on your level of sensitivity and are mostly expressed in the digestive system. This could include bloating, changes in stools, gas, and can range from rapid onset to a few hours post-dairy consumption.
So what do you do if you suspect this might be you?
Well, firstly, there's always trying out a dairy-free diet. This sounds like a big task, but there are a whole host of lactose-free products already on the market for you to sink your teeth into.
Lactose-free milk is generally available in larger supermarkets, but also, often many completely dairy-free options. On top of this vegan options will be dairy-free as well. So picking up anything with a vegan stamp guarantees no dairy.
But what about in situations when you either can't avoid dairy, you mistakenly eat some, or just a bit too much for what you can handle?
Some supplements can help. Supplementing Lactase, the enzyme helps break down excess lactose, the aim being to avoid these symptoms. Getting the dose right with Lactase supplements can take some trial and error, but it helps when brands give you guidelines for how much lactose their enzymes will break down.
One's Nutrition's Lactose Shield come in small tablets that contain 4500 ALU (acid lactase units), a number specially chosen to help in most of these situations.
One glass of milk (240ml) contains roughly 10-13g lactose which takes 2500 ALUs to break down. So just 1 tablet of Lactose Shield offers almost twice as much coverage.
Enzymes like Lactose Shield can be split up and used throughout the day if you know you will be exposed to dairy more than once or taken together for large dairy-containing meals but always following dosage guidelines.
These work well for those social situations where you want to have a bit of dairy too. And also for those worried about not meeting their calcium requirements with a dairy-free diet and wanting to keep dairy in while maintaining symptoms with enzymes.
Enzymes like Lactose Shield offer those with lactose related issues freedom to continue to avoid dairy or protect themselves from contamination daily.