What is lactose intolerance ?

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Lactose is a disaccharide, i.e. composed of two monosaccharide, in other words a “double” sugar, which is found in milk and milk products. 

Its absorption by the body occurs at the level of the small intestine and requires the presence of a sufficient quantity of intestinal lactase. Lactase is a digestive enzyme. The lactase hydrolyses, i.e. cleaves, the lactose molecule into its two sub-component monosaccharide sugars glucose and galactose which are then absorbed. People who suffer from lactose intolerance do not produce lactase or not in sufficient quantities. Consequently, the lactose passes through the intestine without being digested and its presence results in gastrointestinal troubles (see symptoms).