Our expert says:
Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms which are generally excellent for health. However, in the case of lactose intolerance, the patient has a deficiency of an enzyme called lactase which is required to digest the sugar or lactose found in milk. If the patient does not produce any lactose, he or she will not be able to digest the milk sugar lactose that then starts fermenting in the gut and causes a variety of problems and symptoms such as winds, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, cramps, etc. Total avoidance of all lactose-containing foods like milk and also any medications that may contain lactose is usually recommended. Patients with lactose intolerance can, however, often tolerate yoghurt (all the milk sugar is used up during the fermentation process) and even small quantities of cow's milk (about 1 cup a day). Such tolerance can be determined by doing a challenge test - taking a small quantity of yoghurt or milk to test if the patient develops symptoms.
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