Journal of Food and Nutritional DisordersISSN: 2324-9323

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Perspective, J Food Nutr Disor Vol: 12 Issue: 4

Prevalence of Lactose Intolerance in Adults Worldwide

Mohammed Hafiz*

Department of Applied Medical Sciences, Albaha University, Albaha, Saudi Arabia

*Corresponding Author: Mohammed Hafiz Department of Applied Medical Sciences, Albaha University, Albaha, Saudi Arabia E-mail:

Received date: 25 July, 2023, Manuscript No. JFND-23-113093;

Editor assigned date: 28 July, 2023, Pre QC No. JFND-23-113093 (PQ);

Reviewed date: 11 August, 2023, QC No. JFND-23-113093;

Revised date: 18 August, 2023, Manuscript No: JFND-23-113093 (R);

Published date: 25 August, 2023, DOI: 10.35248/2324-9323.100364

Citation: Hafiz M (2023) Prevalence of Lactose Intolerance in Adults Worldwide. J Food Nutr Disor 12:4.


Digestive disorders can vary in complexity and severity, but one condition that has increasingly captured attention due to its global prevalence is lactose intolerance. Affecting a significant percentage of the adult population worldwide, lactose intolerance poses a unique challenge: it involves foods that are otherwise nutritious and a staple in many diets. Despite its frequency, lactose intolerance is often misunderstood or undiagnosed, causing unnecessary discomfort for millions. In this article, we will explore the intricacies of lactose intolerance, its symptoms, diagnosis, and how individuals can manage it effectively.

Lactose intolerance is a digestive disorder where the body is unable to fully digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. This condition occurs due to a deficiency in lactase, an enzyme produced by the small intestine that breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose, simpler sugars that can be easily absorbed by the body. Lactose intolerance is surprisingly common, especially among adults. Estimates suggest that approximately 65% of the human population has some degree of lactase deficiency after infancy. The prevalence varies widely among different ethnic and racial communities, with rates being much higher among people of East Asian, African, and Indigenous American descent compared to those of Northern European heritage.

The symptoms of lactose intolerance typically manifest between 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming foods or drinks containing lactose. Common symptoms include bloating, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and gas. However, these symptoms are often mistaken for other gastrointestinal issues, leading to frequent misdiagnosis. To confirm lactose intolerance, healthcare providers may recommend tests like the lactose tolerance test, hydrogen breath test, or stool acidity test. Each of these tests has its pros and cons, and the healthcare provider will suggest the one that's most appropriate for us.

Managing lactose intolerance generally revolves around dietary adjustments. The most straightforward method is to avoid foods and drinks containing lactose. These include obvious items like milk, cheese, and yogurt, but also less obvious ones like certain breads, salad dressings, and processed foods that may contain lactose as an additive. Many supermarkets now offer lactose-free alternatives to common dairy products, providing an easy way for those with lactose intolerance to enjoy familiar foods without the associated discomfort. Another approach is the use of lactase supplements, which can be taken before meals to assist in the digestion of lactose.

These supplements are available over the counter but should be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Lactose intolerance is a widespread digestive disorder that affects a large percentage of adults across the globe. Although not life-threatening, it can significantly impact an individual's quality of life. Awareness and appropriate dietary adjustments can go a long way in managing the symptoms and complications associated with this disorder. By understanding the condition's prevalence, symptoms, and methods of diagnosis, individuals can take active steps to manage their symptoms effectively. Whether opting for lactose-free products or taking lactase supplements, there are several ways to continue enjoying a rich and varied diet despite having lactose intolerance. Early diagnosis and proper management can significantly alleviate the discomfort and limitations that come with lactose intolerance, enabling individuals to lead a healthier, happier life.

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