Product Features

What distinguishes Better Foods Lactase from similar products?

Unlike many other manufacturers, we have opted for a purely plant-based supplement without unnecessary additives — such as dyes, flavors and sweeteners. Better Foods Lactase contains only three ingredients: the digestive enzyme lactase, organic potato starch and a plant-derived release agent. What's more, our packaging concept can be ideally integrated into everyday life thanks to its minimalist and high-quality design that doesn't give people the impression you're taking “medicine”.

Basic Information

What is lactase?

Lactase is an indispensable digestive enzyme responsible for helping your body to digest lactose. Lactase breaks down lactose into its two components, glucose and galactose, in the small intestine. This allows the lactose to be utilized as energy by the body.

What is lactose?

Lactose is another term for milk sugar. As the name suggests, lactose is the principal sugar found in milk — in that of humans and other mammals, such as cattle and sheep, and therefore in all dairy products. It is also present in yogurt and cheese. As a major carbohydrate, lactose is a rich source of glucose (energy) for the human body.

Which foods contain lactose?

Lactose is primarily found in foods made directly from milk. Examples of such foods include chocolate and yogurt. But lactose is also popular in the food industry, as it is an inexpensive additive with many beneficial properties. For example, adding lactose gives French fries, baked bread rolls and grilled sausages that nice golden brown color that people like. Given that lactose is also neutral in taste and isn't very sweet, it doesn't affect the natural taste of foods, even when larger quantities are added. Those with lactose intolerance should be particularly wary of ready-made or frozen meals and low-fat products, as lactose is often used as a binding agent in these. Lastly, because lactose increases the firmness of food and gives it a “pleasant” feeling in the mouth, it can also often be found in ready-to-eat sauces and mashed potato powders. As you can see, those affected by lactose intolerance unfortunately cannot avoid reading the list of ingredients for most products.

Lactose Intole­rance

What is lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is a food intolerance. If you have lactose intolerance, lactose cannot be (completely) digested by your body. This is either because your body can't produce the digestive enzyme lactase at all, or it simply cannot produce it in sufficient quantities. When lactose reaches your large intestine without being broken down, intestinal bacteria use it to produce gases. This generally results in unpleasant abdominal pain and flatulence.

How common is lactose intolerance worldwide?

Lactose intolerance occurs all over the world. While in Germany 15% of people are lactose intolerant, 70-98% of people in Asia are. All in all, 75% of the world's population is lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is therefore the normal human condition worldwide.

What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance and when do they occur?

After eating milk and dairy products, typical symptoms such as diarrhea, flatulence and abdominal pain usually appear after about 15 to 30 minutes. Other symptoms may include increased abdominal noises, abdominal cramps, feelings of fullness or nausea. Lactose intolerance can also lead to weight loss.

Can I get relief for my symptoms?

Yes, you can: with the help of lactase tablets, such as Better Foods Lactase. These tablets supplement your digestive system with the lactase enzyme when taken directly before consuming lactose-containing foods and beverages. Because they provide your body with what it can't produce on its own, they help you digest lactose without experiencing discomfort.

Can you become lactose intolerant if you do not consume lactose for a long time?

It is indeed possible that you'll no longer be able to tolerate milk very well if you haven't had it for a long time. That's because your intestine is an energy-saving organ that simply thinks, "If no one wants my lactase, then I won't produce it anymore."

Do abdominal pain and diarrhea always point to lactose intolerance?

No. Intolerances exist to a whole range of different foods. For example, gluten, histamine or fructose intolerance can also cause these symptoms. Nor is it necessarily an intolerance: Some foods, such as legumes, cucumber salad, cabbage, onions or even mustard or leek oils often have a bloating effect. Gastrointestinal discomfort is therefore not always due to lactose intolerance.

What causes lactose intolerance?

The cause of lactose intolerance is a lack of the digestive enzyme lactase. There are two basic types of lactose intolerance: A genetically determined, "primary" type and a "secondary” type, which occurs as a result of certain disorders, such as damage to the intestinal flora. In very rare cases, the deficiency already exists at birth. Affected infants cannot tolerate breast milk and are dependent on special food. Regardless of type, the result is always the same: Lactose can't be digested.

How can I tell if I'm lactose intolerant?

It is not easy to diagnose lactose intolerance specifically. Many people do not lack the enzyme lactase completely; rather, their bodies simply produce less and less of it over the course of their lives. Most lactose intolerant people can actually tolerate small amounts of lactose without experiencing any ill effects — the problems start when they consume larger amounts. We therefore advise you to consult a doctor if you suspect you have lactose intolerance.

Can I test myself for lactose intolerance?

One way to find out if your body doesn't tolerate milk and dairy products well is to try out an elimination diet. To do this, you have to avoid all products containing lactose for several weeks. If your symptoms disappear during this time, you can assume that you have lactose intolerance. However, we still advise you to consult your doctor, who can perform special tests to confirm your suspicions.

Is there a lactose intolerance test?

Do you suspect that you are lactose intolerant? We recommend that you have your doctor administer a test. There are a number of different tests that can be used to determine whether you have lactose intolerance. The most common tests include the hydrogen breath test, the blood sugar test and the lactase gene test. Your doctor will advise you as to which test is best.

What steps should I follow after I've been diagnosed with lactose intolerance?

After you've been diagnosed, you can find out your individual lactose tolerance limit with a 3-step plan. During the so-called “regeneration period”, you avoid all foods containing lactose for two to four weeks in order to give your intestines the chance to regenerate. Afterwards, during the four- to six-week test phase, you give your body a little more lactose-containing food each day to find out how much lactose you can have before the symptoms start again. In the third and final phase, called “long-term nutrition”, you should know how much lactose you can tolerate and continue to consume in the future.

Why is it that more and more people are lactose intolerant these days?

Lactose intolerance is a natural human condition. As far back as 400 B.C., Hippocrates was already lamenting his symptoms after consuming milk. Lactose intolerance as a widespread condition, however, only began to be properly researched within the last 60 years — which is why it's being discussed more and more in the media and many people think it's simply a new fad. Few people know that the great majority of people throughout the world cannot tolerate lactose: 75% of the world's population is lactose intolerant. In Western countries, where agriculture is prevalent and animal breeding has been increasingly widespread, many people have adapted to milk consumption.

Why am I suddenly not able to consume lactose?

Primary lactose intolerance often only becomes noticeable around age 5. However, it can also manifest itself in later years: A decrease in lactase production is part of the natural aging process, which is why lactose intolerance is a common phenomenon in older people. This explains why they used to tolerate lactose and now, suddenly, no longer do. However, the exact time when the symptoms start occurring varies from person to person.

What is the difference between lactose intolerance and a milk allergy?

Being lactose intolerant does not necessarily mean you have a milk allergy. Only about 10% of people sensitive to milk have a milk protein allergy. While a milk allergy causes a direct reaction of the immune system to milk protein (the symptoms can even be fatal), in lactose intolerance, the immune system is not hypersensitive to milk and the symptoms that occur are not dangerous.

Is lactose intolerance contagious?

As a matter of fact, some people actually think that lactose intolerance is an infectious disease. This misconception is generally due to the fact that diarrhea can occur as a symptom of lactose intolerance. Diarrhea, in turn, is often attributed to an intestinal infection, which is why lactose intolerance is assumed to be contagious. Rest assured, this is not the case. Lactose intolerance is primarily a hereditary disease that cannot be transmitted through infection.

Can lactose intolerance be cured?

Whether lactose intolerance is curable depends on whether it occurs as a result of genetic predisposition (primary lactose intolerance), or damage to the intestinal flora after taking antibiotics, or due to diseases such as Crohn's disease or celiac disease (secondary lactose intolerance). Primary lactose intolerance is a life-long condition and cannot be cured. In the case of secondary lactose intolerance, the condition can improve or even disappear completely as the intestine heals.

Are there any potential consequences of lactose intolerance?

If you abstain from milk and dairy products, you have to make sure that you get enough vitamin D. Vitamin D regulates your body’s calcium balance and ensures that calcium can be better absorbed. Abstaining from milk and dairy products generally increases the likelihood of calcium deficiency, as these foods are the most common sources of calcium. In particularly serious cases, such deficiencies can even lead to osteoporosis. Milk also contains other nutrients such as zinc, vitamin B2, vitamin B12 and important amino acids. So that you don't always have to do without milk and dairy products (and can avoid possible long-term damage from doing so), we have developed the lactase supplement Better Foods Lactase, which supplies your body with the enzyme it needs to break down lactose. The enzyme lactase breaks down the milk sugar in your body, making dairy products and other foods containing lactose more digestible.

Further questions?

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