The bacteria in your gut play a very important role in the production of lactase enzyme that is required for digesting lactose – the milk carbohydrate. Also, these bacteria help in the digestion process, even if there is no possibility of producing lactase enzyme. In supplying the body with these helpful bacteria in your gut or colon, probiotic drinks, foods and supplements are very effective. Hence, it is often believed that probiotics actually help with lactose intolerance.
Understanding about what probiotics are is important, when you are looking for its benefits in treating lactose intolerance. The probiotics are microorganisms that do not harm the human body (the body of the host) or do not cause any disease in the human body. Rather, it yields many benefits to the body in fighting, preventing or treating the body from a lot of diseases. Also, a very significant role of the probiotics in our body is that they can help in the digestive system, aiding in digesting food. One of the most widely known probiotic bacteria is Lactobacillus acidophilus, which converts milk into yogurt and it is widely believed that including yoghurt in your regular diet will help you to get the digestive benefits yielded by this bacterium.
Do Probiotics Help with Lactose Intolerance?
The aim behind the consumption of probiotics is to supply the gut with the helpful bacteria that actually aid in the production of lactase enzyme, as well as aid in the digestion process. People, who are suffering from lactose intolerance, can try to reverse their condition by trying to consume a tablespoon of yoghurt, some other fermented foods and drinks that contain the probiotics every day after a meal.
Though yoghurt itself is a dairy product, it does not cause much trouble for the people with lactose intolerance. Research studies have shown that people with lactose intolerance, can tolerate yoghurt better than milk. This gives the idea that the good bacteria present in the yoghurt or similar fermented foods, helps in digesting the lactose.
A small amount of yoghurt (a few spoonful of yoghurt) contains very minimal lactose content. Since the body can digest 12gm of lactose, you will not encounter any symptom of intolerance with such a minimal amount of lactose consumption. On the contrary, this will help the body to grow the bacteria in the gut that help in digestion as well as production of lactase. As you increase the amount of yoghurt that you consume every day, the body will adjust to the dairy and will be able to digest the lactose.
When you add probiotic supplement to your diet along with yoghurt, the metabolic activity of microbiota is modified in the colon. Thus, your symptoms of lactose intolerance get alleviated. How the bacteria from the probiotics additionally help the process is by producing their own lactase. Also, at the same time, when you continue having some dairy products or a few spoonful of full fat yoghurt along with your diet while taking probiotics, the good bacteria from the probiotics in your colon will grow more as dairy promotes the growth of gut bacteria.
Gradually with time, when this practice of consuming probiotics (either in the form of supplements or foods and drinks) and dairy is continued, there is a huge amount of lactase in the gut from the bacterial production. This will help in digesting the lactose that you consume and slowly, your intolerance to lactose will also disappear.
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