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How to Enjoy Yogurt Despite Lactose Intolerance

Q. Actually this is not a question but an answer. On your radio show a caller with lactose intolerance asked about eating yogurt. I am also lactose intolerant and have come up with a very good solution that I would like to share with you.

I buy lactase capsules, add a little bit of water and crush them with a mortar and pestle. They dissolve easily. I add this mixture to fresh yogurt and put it in the refrigerator for two hours. I can eat this without problems. I’ve also used this technique with cottage cheese.

A. Lactose intolerance results from a lack of the digestive enzyme lactase that breaks down milk sugar. Symptoms may include bloating, gas and diarrhea.

Lactase capsules are sold under names such as Lactaid, Dairy Digest or Lactase Enzyme to help the lactose intolerant enjoy dairy products such as milk or ice cream. Although live-culture yogurt is less likely to cause digestive distress because the probiotic bacteria in it break lactose down, your approach takes the guesswork out. Thanks for an interesting solution.

If you are extremely sensitive to lactose, you may need to be wary of some pills. Lactose is commonly used as a “filler.”

For more information on lactose intolerance and other sources of bloating and gas, you may want to check our Guide to Digestive Disorders.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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