What are Lactose and Lactase?

What is Lactose?

lactose (lak’tos) noun*
1. A disaccharide, C12 H22 O11, found in milk that may be hydrolyzed to yield glucose and galactose.  

2. A white crystalline substance obtained from whey and used in infant foods, bakery products, confections, and pharmaceuticals as a diluent and excipient.  

3. Also called milk sugar. 

What is Lactase?

1. Lactase (also known as lactase-phlorizin hydrolase, or LPH) 

2. Lactase is an enzyme people produce early in life. As they age, production stops or is reduced. This makes it impossible to digest Lactose and Dairy products by our bodies normal bacteria. 

Interesting Genetic History of Lactase

Genes in our bodies determine how our bodies deal with food we consume. The specific gene to tell us to keep producing Lactase tells us to curtail production as we age.

In some cultures this gene has mutated and reduced Lactase Production starts earlier and earlier in life.  

Some cultures are inherently more susceptible to Lactose Intolerance than others. 


Chemical diagram of what are lactose and lactase?

What are Lactose and Lactase?