Why is there lactose intolerant

The condition of the body when it is not able to digest lactose (a sugar contained in dairy products) is called lactase deficiency (LD). In Ukraine, the proportion of occurrence of this state is 16%.

This is in exclusive comments for Health 24 said the doctor-gastroenterologist of the Medical centre Medicover, PhD Christine quits.

She explains that lactase is in all the enterocytes (the cells of) the small intestine, with maximum concentration in the upper section – the jejunum intestine. The cells of the intestinal epithelium is completely updated in 5-6 days. High activity of the cleavage enzymes (lactase, sucrase, isomaltase) ensure that Mature differentiated enterocytes.

Doctor Christine Quits

“The enzyme is distributed in the fibers, and the greatest number of localized on the top of enterocyte, which is often in contact with food of the masses and most of all involved in the process of digestion. This is due to the frequent occurrence of precisely lactase deficiency (compared to the deficiency of other enzymes) in lesions of the intestinal mucosa of any origin”

The reasons for the enterocytes (cells of the small intestine) decrease the production of lactase are divided into primary and secondary.

In the first case, the enterocytes are not damaged, and the cause of failure are defects and/or physiological immaturity of enzyme systems (e.g., preterm infants). In the second case, lactase deficiency occurs as a result of inflammatory or other processes in the body (inflammation, Allergy, tumor, surgery) and damage to eritrotsitov.


Causes of lactose intolerance

Secondary lactase deficiency can be either temporary or permanent. To induce the expression of LN may a hereditary factor. This condition can occur at any age.

The Doctor
Cristina Kvit

“The level of lactase in adults, normally reduced, accounting for 5-10% of the initial level. While RNA lactase is found only in lesions in the small intestine. This primary LN in adults is common in the world.

The age at which lactase activity is reduced or vanishes, can vary significantly. For example, the Europeans, the high activity of the enzyme can preserve for life.”

The main reasons for the development of secondary LN

• viral, bacterial and parasitic intestinal infections;
• gastrointestinal Allergy;
• atrophic changes of the intestinal villi in celiac disease;
• activation of conditionally pathogenic microflora in bacterial overgrowth syndrome, drug-induced lesions of the intestinal mucosa;
* Whipple’s.;
• inflammatory bowel disease that affect the sections of thin (Crohn’s disease).


The level of lactase in adults, normally reduced, accounting for 5-10% of the initial level.

In such cases, the symptoms of secondary LN superimposed on the symptoms of the underlying disease, which are more difficult to recognize the disease.

More about lactose rejection – read the interview with Christine quits.

More news regarding the treatment, medicine, nutrition, healthy lifestyle and much more – see Health.

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