October 31, 2014
jar of yogurt and blueberries
Wellness Tip

Lactose Intolerance and Yogurt

by Berkeley Wellness  |  

Most people who have trouble digesting lactose (milk sugar) can eat yogurt without developing gas, cramps, or other symptoms. Though it has as much lactose as milk, yogurt contains bacteria that help digest it, as was discussed in a recent review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

People with lactose intolerance do not produce enough lactase, the enzyme that digests milk sugar, but the bacteria (notably Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus) that ferment yogurt and give it a tangy taste actually produce their own lactase. Compared to plain yogurt, flavored yogurts have somewhat reduced lactase activity, but are usually still well tolerated.