Lactose intolerance is one of the most common food allergies, and symptoms range from mild discomfort to extreme intestinal pain. Complete avoidance of dairy is perhaps the easiest way to avoid these symptoms, especially in young children. Still, there are other options. According to a recent study, infants with lactose intolerance, when given a specific probiotic strain, were able to tolerate lactose and even reverse their cow’s milk allergy.

Does Lactobacillus rhamnosus Combat Lactose Intolerance?

The specific strain that shows promise in lactose intolerance is Lactobacillus rhamnosus, a Gram-positive anaerobe probiotic bacteria. Upon administration to lactose-intolerant infants, the bacteria colonized the intestinal tract and produced favorable changes within the gut microbiota. [1] These changes possible explain how infants, when given cow’s milk formula, were able to handle the lactose without issue. Could these findings translate into people of all ages? That’s where future research is needed.

We’ve known for years that probiotics aid digestion, fight gas, and improve the absorption of nutrients, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that this beneficial bacteria can improve symptoms associated with cow’s milk allergy. [2] Environmental pollutants and pesticides have been connected to the depletion of probiotics in the gut microbiome, potentially explaining the correlating rise in lactose intolerance cases. [3] Antibiotic use has also risen and has become a huge health issue that may explain dwindling probiotic levels in the population. [4]

How to Use Probiotics for Lactose Intolerance

While research has shown probiotics can help with food allergies, it doesn’t necessarily say that they will remedy or 100% reverse these allergies in every person. That being said, take caution before using probiotics as a fighter for lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, or any other potentially severe food allergy. Ask your doctor what he or she think about using L. rhamnosus if you are lactose intolerant. You can find this strain, among 17 others, in our newest probiotic formula FloraTrex™.

This article originally appeared at Global Healing Center.

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