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People with Genetic Lactose Intolerance Have Lower Vitamin D Levels

By jeremyc | May 14, 2017

According to a new study, individuals having genetic lactose intolerance should increase their consumption of non-dairy vitamin D rich foods. The researchers made this recommendation after they noticed that such people have a greater chance of having low vitamin D levels.

In lactose intolerance, a person’s body is unable to properly digest lactose, which is a type of sugar commonly found in dairy food products like cheese, milk, and butter. To break down lactose, a particular enzyme must be produced in the small intestine. The name of this enzyme is lactase. Deficiency of lactase is the reason behind lactose intolerance.

When a person having lactose intolerance eats or drinks dairy products, he or she may experience flatulence, bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea. Typically, these symptoms kick in about a half-an-hour to two hours after consumption of lactose.

While there’s no data on how many people worldwide have lactose intolerance, it is estimated that nearly 65 percent of people experience a decreased ability to properly digest lactose after infancy.

LCT gene plays a key role in the production of lactase. Mutation in this gene is one big cause of intolerance of lactose.

In this research, in which data of about 1,500 men was analyzed, the researchers found that people who had LCT gene mutation also recorded lower vitamin D levels. A crucial nutrient, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and is commonly found in dairy products. Probably that’s why, people with genetic lactose intolerance also had lower vitamin D levels.

 

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