Around 15% of peoples suffer from lactose intolerance according to the Lactose Intolerant Association, a condition caused by the absence or deficiency of an intestinal enzyme called lactase.
The symptoms of intolerance can be resolved with a lactose-free diet or as an alternative to solve them, through the ingestion of exogenous lactase or what is equal, of lactase pills.
It is logical to think that if the cause of the intolerance is the deficit or the absence of lactase in our organism, the solution is to offer this enzyme that contributes to digest the lactose and thus reduce the discomfort generated by its intake.
In addition, the use of these pills could allow a more flexible diet, with the intake of foods outside the home that are not 100% guaranteed lactose free. Also, they would be helpful to consume those foods that we love and of which there is no version suitable for lactose intolerant.
However, these lactase pills, because they are not a drug but only an enzyme, their active compound, are not considered drugs but food supplements and therefore, they are over-the-counter, something that could complicate the dosage of them.
On the other hand, a study indicates that the symptoms of lactose intolerance do not appear before the consumption of a simple glass of milk but after large amounts of lactose. And similarly, research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that endogenous lactase is more efficient than is usually added to milk “lactose-free” than exogenous lactase or derived from pills to reduce digestive symptoms.
All this makes many doubts about the use of lactase pills, because although they can be very useful and a great tool to treat lactose intolerance, we can also confuse the dose and suffer discomfort or be consuming the same no sense or important positive changes. For this reason, it is always important to consult with our doctor about their employment, since its use is not suitable for everyone and will not always be beneficial if we do not consult with professionals in this regard.
What is still recommended and is so far the most effective and safest solution to food intolerances and allergies is the elimination of the substrate, hence up to now these pills are not commonly used nor the most frequent medical recommendation before the presence of lactose intolerance.