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What is Lactose? Here's everything you need to know

Posted September 11, 2017

You might have heard that Whey Isolates are a type of Whey that have close to zero fat, carbohydrates, and Lactose content. This makes them great when dieting. It also makes them better suited if you have a sensitivity to Lactose! 

So what is Lactose? Read on, I'll tell you what you need to know.

Lactose is the main carbohydrate found naturally in dairy. It's often called 'Milk Sugar'. Different dairy products contain different levels of Lactose.

For many people Lactose consumed in the diet may be useful in helping support healthy gut flora, to aid in digestion. This is one of the ways dairy may have Prebiotic properties. Prebiotics may help feed Probiotics. Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria living in your gut that help you digest food.

But, there are some people whose digestive systems are sensitive to the Lactose in dairy. This is called Lactose Intolerance. Please note, this is not the same as a food allergy to milk.

If you have Lactose Intolerance, this is because your small intestine doesn't make enough of the digestive enzyme called Lactase. Lactase is the enzyme that breaks down Lactose. Some people take a Lactase supplement to help combat this issue.

Whey Protein Concentrate, which is the most used form of Whey, contains a small amount of Lactose. For most people this amount may be helpful for it's Prebiotic properties. But for others it can cause some discomfort, and for some people it causes a lot of discomfort!

When this is the case, a better Whey choice is called Whey Protein Isolate.

Whey Protein Isolate undergoes a filtration process at the production stage, which removes nearly 100% of Lactose. Very small trace amounts are left in the Whey, which for very sensitive people might still cause some upset. When this happens, it's better to take smaller serving sizes each time, to try and find a comfortable level.

A good thing to know is, that if you are Lactose Intolerant, in some cases it's possible to reverse this. Over time, the body may adapt to changes in Lactose levels in the diet. This is achieved by starting small, and slowly increasing amounts of Lactose over time. To help the digestive system build up a comfortable level of tolerance.

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