Lactose in dotFIT Powders
Most people who have trouble digesting lactose can consume 6-12 grams of lactose without major symptoms.
Lactose intolerance—the reduced ability to digest milk sugar (lactose)—is common, but should have no effect on your ability to comfortably use dotFIT foods or powdered shake mixes unless you have been diagnosed with “severe lactose intolerance.” This diagnosis is extremely rare unless you are 100% Native American. Almost everyone can consume some dairy, depending on how much and how quickly it is consumed.
Most dotFIT shakes contain only negligible amounts of lactose. Although Whey Smooth has a little more than the other dotFIT powders per serving, it still contains far less than a single cup of milk (see chart below). WheySmooth also contains lactase, which counters the tiny amount of lactose and should allow anyone to use the product comfortably.
If you are lactose intolerant, but would like to try or continue to use dotFIT products that contain lactose, a simple solution is to take a lactase supplement before consuming the product of your choice. Lactaid is a popular brand, relatively inexpensive, and can be purchased at any drug store.
Grams of Lactose Per Serving
1 cup milk: 12gms
1 cup yogurt: 9gms
Lean MR Choc .22g
Lean MR Van .22g
Prepost Choc 1.1g
Prepost Van 1.2g
Whey Smooth Choc 2.4g
Whey Smooth Van 2.45g
Lactose may not be as common or as hard to cope with as many people think. Lactose can be digested only with the aid of lactase, an intestinal enzyme that virtually all human infants produce. That’s how babies digest breast milk. Many people, usually those whose ancestors came from northern Europe, around the Mediterranean, and some parts of Africa, manufacture sufficient lactase all their lives. Generally they are the descendants of herders, for whom milk and milk products were staples of the diet. But the majority of other people gradually lose the ability to make lactase starting at about age two. This is called “lactase non-persistence” and can lead to lactose intolerance, which is characterized by gas, cramps, bloating, and diarrhea after consuming dairy products. It’s estimated that 15% of white Americans, 70% of black Americans, 90% of Asian Americans, and almost all Native Americans have trouble digesting lactose. People may begin noticing symptoms early or late in life; there is no way to predict when and how much lactase production will be reduced.
If dairy products seem to give you gas, should you give them up? Not necessarily. You can incorporate a lactase supplement to counter your symptoms. Dairy products are good sources of calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients important for health, especially bone health and blood pressure. A real downside to lactose intolerance is that if you quit eating all dairy, you will need to make up for shortfalls of these nutrients.
Keep these points in mind:
- Persistent digestive symptoms may indicate something more serious than lactose intolerance. A few people have an allergy to milk, which is different from lactose intolerance. It is worth getting a diagnosis. There are at least two fairly simple tests for lactose intolerance, one a blood test, the other a breath test, both of which can indicate whether lactose is being digested. You may have read about a new genetic test, but genetic testing is not needed for a diagnosis.
- If you are lactose intolerant, you may still be able to consume some dairy. Studies have shown that most lactose “maldigesters” can drink a cup or two of milk daily without symptoms, particularly if they drink a small amount at a time and drink it with meals. They can also eat ice cream, cheese, and other dairy products in small amounts with other foods. It’s a myth, by the way, that goat’s milk is lactose-free.
- Yogurt, rich in calcium, usually causes no symptoms. Buy brands with live cultures, since the bacteria help digest lactose.
- Severe lactose intolerance is rare, but people with severe symptoms may need to watch for small amounts of lactose hidden in many foods. Check labels for words like whey, curds, and dry milk solids. A few prescription drugs, including some birth control pills and heartburn drugs, contain tiny amounts of lactose.
- The marketers of lactose-reduced milk have convinced a lot of people that they need these products, which can be expensive. Generic lactase drops, which you add to milk in advance, and lactase pills, taken just before eating dairy, cost less.
- Those who consume no dairy (and even those who do) may need to take calcium supplements. Children and teens who drink no milk will need advice about supplements and other dietary sources of calcium.