Microbial-derived β-galactosidase (β-gal) enzyme preparations improvein vivo lactose digestion and tolerance through enhanced gastrointestinal digestion of lactose. Three different β-gal preparations, Lactogest (soft gel capsule), Lactaid (caplet), and DairyEase (chewable tablet) and placebo were fed to lactose maldigesters with either 20 g or 50 g of lactose to compare the efficacy of these products and to further establish a dose-response relationship for use. All enzyme preparations dramatically reduced both the peak and total breath hydrogen production when fed with milk containing 20 g of lactose. Four capsules of Lactogest, two caplets of Lactaid, or two tablets of DairyEase (each treatment containing approx 6000 IU) reduced total hydrogen production significantly (P<0.05) below that observed with two capsules of Lactogest (containing approx 3000 IU) in a stoichiometric manner. Symptoms were significantly (P<0.05) less severe with all the β-gal products. In contrast, with 50 g of lactose in water, peak and total hydrogen production was modestly, but not significantly reduced by the enzyme treatment. Furthermore, symptom scores for bloating, cramping, nausea, pain, diarrhea, and flatus were not different between treatments and the control. The 50-g lactose dose appeared to overwhelm the ability of either 3000 or 6000 IU of β-gal to assist significantly with lactose digestion. Results from these studies demonstrate the relative equivalency of chewable, caplet, and soft-get β-gal products, based on IUs of enzyme fed.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Rosado JL, Solomons NW, Lisker R, Bourges H: Enzyme replacement therapy for primary adult lactase deficiency. Gastroenterol 87:1072–1082, 1984
Solomons NW, Guerrero AM, Torun B: Effectivein vivo hydrolysis of milk lactose by beta-galactosidases in the presence of solid foods. Am J Clin Nutr 41:222–227, 1985
Rosado JL, Deodhar AD, Bourges H, Solomons NW: The effect of the digestion products of lactose (glucose and galactose) on its intraintestinal,in vivo hydrolysis by exogenous microbial beta-galactosidase. J Am Coll Nutr 5:281–290, 1986
Barillas C, Solomons NW: Effective reduction of lactose maldigestion in preschool children by direct addition of beta-galactosidase to milk at mealtime. Pediatrics 79:766–772, 1987
Biller JA, King S, Rosenthal A, Grand RJ: Efficacy of lactase-treated milk for lactose-intolerant patients. J Pediatr 111:91–94, 1987
Moskovitz M, Curtis C, Gavaler J: Does oral enzyme replacement therapy reverse intestinal lactose malabsorption? Am J Gastroenterol 82:632–635, 1987
DiPalma JA, Collins MS: Enzyme replacement for lactose malabsorption using beta-d-galactosidase. J Clin Gastroenterol 11:290–329, 1989
Sanders SW, Tolman KG, Reitberg DP: Chewable lactase tablets reduce symptoms and breath hydrogen in patients with lactose intolerance. Am J Gastroenterol 85:1294, 1990
Lin MY, Savaiano DA, Harlander S: Influence of nonfermented dairy products containing bacterial starter cultures on lactose maldigestion in humans. J Dairy Sci 74:87–95, 1991
Martini MC, Kukielka D, Savaiano DA: Lactose digestion from yogurt: Influence of a meal and additional lactose. Am J Clin Nutr 53:1253–1258, 1991
Kolars JC, Levitt MD, Aouji M, Savaiano DA: Yogurt: An autodigesting source of lactose. N Engl J Med 310:1–3, 1984
Committee on Codex Specifications, Food and Nutrition Board, National Research Council. Food Chemicals Codex, 3rd edition. Washington, DC, National Academy Press, 1981
Segarra JT, Pierson WP, DiPalma JA: Comparison of parameters used to analyze hydrogen challenge studies—a call for standardization. Clin Res 36:14A, 1988
Steele RGD, Torrie JH: Principles and Procedures of Statistics: A Biomedical Approach, 2nd ed. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1980
Brand JC, Holt S: Relative effectiveness of milks with reduced amounts of lactose in alleviating milk intolerance. Am J Clin Nutr 54:148–151, 1991
Funded by Thompson Medical Co., Inc. and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Lin, MY., Dipalma, J.A., Martini, M.C. et al. Comparative effects of exogenous lactase (β-galactosidase) preparations onin vivo lactose digestion. Digest Dis Sci 38, 2022–2027 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01297079
- lactose maldigestion
- lactose intolerance
- lactase deficiency