Pharmacy Corner
Lactose Intolerance What is lactose?

Lactose

Not all sugars are the same! When most people think of sugar, they think of the granulate sugar that we add to coffee or use in baking. There are actually many different types of sugar, which we can find in different foods. For example:

  • Lactose is a sugar found in milk and dairy products (like cheese or yogurt). For our body to digest it properly, it has to be broken down into two smaller sugars.
  • Fructose is a sugar found in fruits and vegetables
  • Sucrose is the table sugar we add to our everyday foods. It’s usually made from the sugar cane or sugar beet plants.

Lactose intolerance is a condition where your body can’t properly break down lactose.

What is lactase?

Lactase is an enzyme that is produced in our small intestines. Enzymes are chemicals that help speed up reactions in our body. Lactase’s job is to help break down lactose so that we can digest it. As they get older, some people start to make less lactase.7