Why (Not) Pop a Lactase Pill?

Commercially available lactase in tablet or liquid form is another means to improve lactose digestion (1, 2). The liquid enzyme is added to milk and it hydrolyzes 70% of the milk sugar within 24 hours. This lactose-reduced milk has been shown to be almost as effective as yogurt in reducing symptoms of lactose intolerance. Although these lactose-reduced products are beneficial for lactose maldigesters, they are generally unnecessary if milk is consumed in moderate amounts, and combined with other foods (2).


(1) Dairy Council Digest.1989. Food sensitivity and dairy products.60:25 – 30.

(2) Scrimshaw N.S., E.B. Murray.1988. The acceptability of milk and milk products in populations with a high prevalence of lactose intolerance. Am. J. Clin. Nutr.48 (suppl.): 1083-1159.

About BC Dairy

BC Dairy is a not-for-profit organization representing BC’s dairy farmers.