A large percentage of the World’s population are intolerant to cow’s milk. This is because they cannot digest the lactose sugar in the milk. The lactose therefore becomes fermented in the gut by bacteria, and a side effect of this is the production of hydrogen and other gases. This gas is the cause of the symptoms of lactose intolerance because it causes bloating, which can induce pain and discomfort. Yoghurt is made from cow’s milk through a fermentation process that removes some of the lactose and at the same time increases the lactic acid content. This means that yoghurt is more tolerable to lactose intolerant individuals compared to unfermented cow’s milk. Studies have assessed the ability of lactose intolerant individuals to digest yogurt, and generally they have shown that side effects are not present when cow’s milk is consumed as fermented yoghurt. Interestingly, co-consumption of yoghurt, along with unfermented cow’s milk, reduces the symptoms normally experienced when consuming cow’s milk alone.
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