Blog: Raw Milk: The Whole Truth
by chef jem

Lactose Tolerance Test with Breath Hydrogen Determination?

Don't automatically believe government-supported research findings regarding "lactose intolerance".

Date:   7/28/2015 12:42:50 PM   ( 7 y ) ... viewed 1210 times

October 20 2020 - Surveys About Raw Milk and Lactose Intolerance -
There have been several raw milk surveys which collected data about lactose intolerance. In a 2007 survey of Michigan raw milk drinkers, 155 people participating in the survey had been diagnosed with lactose intolerance by a healthcare professional. Out of these 155 people, 118 reported that they did not have lactose intolerance symptoms from consuming raw milk. Thus, 76% of the survey respondents who had been diagnosed with lactose intolerance were able to consume raw milk with no digestive issues.

In a 2011 survey of 56 Michigan raw milk drinkers, 'eleven individuals claimed that they experienced symptoms of lactose intolerance when drinking processed milks but had no ill side effects from drinking raw milk.'

In a 2014 survey of 153 Maryland raw milk drinkers, 'Fifty-nine respondents claimed no discomfort after drinking raw milk but discomfort from drinking pasteurized milk.'

Raw Milk and Lactase -
Pasteurization inactivates enzymes and also denatures proteins, and consequently pasteurized milk induces digestive discomfort in many people. Lactase is the enzyme responsible for breaking down lactose into digestible form. Raw milk facilitates the production of lactase enzyme in the intestinal tract, and thus it makes sense that so many people have reported improvements in lactose intolerance from drinking raw milk.

Ancient populations who relied on dairy products adapted over time by developing lactase persistence genes. These genes allow people to digest lactose into adulthood, and they have been found in various indigenous populations in Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Overall, around 35% of adults worldwide have lactase persistence genes.
Although it has been widely argued that only people who have lactase persistence genes can consume milk, there are currently many populations around the globe who subsist largely on dairy yet who do not have lactase persistence genes. For instance, despite the fact that an estimated 95% of Mongolians do not have the lactase persistence gene, their diet relies very heavily on raw milk, cheese, and other milk products.

Furthermore, archaeological evidence shows that humans were consuming raw milk for thousands of years before the widespread appearance of the lactase-persistence gene. Raw milk allowed humans to thrive in conditions where survival would have been difficult. Scientists now believe that lactase-persistence genes were spread through natural selection. This means that the reproductive capacity and/or survivability of ancient raw milk drinkers was substantially increased compared to non-milk-drinking populations."[4]* (See article for imbedded links.)

July 30, 2015 -

Got a reply from NIH, searched their data base regrading this test (in the Headline) and just found this a moment ago:

"A comparison of diagnostic tests for lactose malabsorption - which one is the best? -

Perceived milk intolerance is a common complaint, and tests for lactose malabsorption (LM) are unreliable. This study assesses the agreement between diagnostic tests for LM and describes the diagnostic properties of the tests.[2]

July 28, 2015 -

Sent an inquiry at a new site[1] I found (in my search: italian renaissance food historian) regarding alleged lactose intolerance among Italians. First thing I need to know is what the test consists of. I'll be happy to report back here when I find out!


Heather Ruiter's paper: “Fruit of the Womb: Prenatal Food in Renaissance Italy” makes mention of lactose intolerance among Italians and included a citation [American Journal of Clinical Nutrician(sic)] that I looked at: "A total of 308 healthy Italian adults ... were examined using a field version of the lactose tolerance test with breath hydrogen determination. Would it be possible to add a description of what this test consists of or to offer a resource about that?

In Gratitude!

April 3, 2019 - Milk vs Non-Dairy "Plant-based" Drinks -

" In recent years, many products have appeared on supermarket shelves, claiming to be fortified with proteins, calcium, and vitamins such as A, D, and B12. But typically there is an important unknown in switching one’s diet to these products: that they contain particular components does not automatically imply that the components are easily available to the body for absorption. Whereas the 'Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score' of cow’s milk protein is extremely high—meaning that it contains very high-quality and bioavailable proteins—the protein bioavailability of most fortified plant-based beverages is unknown. The same goes for the vitamins and minerals that are added to these products.One study of more than 5,000 Canadian children found that children who consumed plant-derived substitutes for dairy, such as soy and almond milk, were on average 0.4 cm shorter in height than those who drank milk [3]




[3] "Treating Lactose Intolerance and Malabsorption" in "SPLASH!® milk science update: April 2019 Issue":


italian renaissance, food historian, lactose intolerance, lactose tolerance test, lactose malabsorption, diagnostic tests for LM

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