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Kefir and Yogurt for Lactose Intolerance

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Researchers at Ohio State University think kefir and yogurt may be digestible, even for people sensitive to dairy products

Researchers at Ohio State University think kefir and yogurt may be digestible, even for people sensitive to dairy products. After a 12-hour fast, 15 healthy, but lactose-intolerant, adults were given 20 grams of lactose in the form of two-per-cent cow's milk, plain yogurt, raspberry-flavoured yogurt, plain kefir, or raspberry-flavoured kefir. Eight hours after taking the lactose, participants were asked about digestive problems and measured for levels of breath hydrogen, which indicates gas in the digestive system. Subjects who drank the milk peaked in breath-hydrogen levels at 60 ppm, three hours after drinking. The flavoured kefir produced the second highest breath-hydrogen levels, peaking at 40 ppm, seven hours after eating. Researchers think that corn syrup, used to sweeten the flavoured products, and naturally occurring sugar alcohol in the fruit were responsible for the high breath-hydrogen levels. Nevertheless, the flavoured kefir and yogurt were just as well tolerated as the plain yogurt and kefir (plain kefir and yogurt produced the lowest levels, at around 25 ppm). The scientists say naturally high levels of B-galactosidase in both plain yogurt and kefir aid in digestion of lactose by allowing it to easily pass through cell walls.

Source: Journal of the American Dietetic Association; adajournal.org.

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