Lactose Intolerant Health Risks

Lactose Intolerance Health Risks

For the 50 million Americans who are diagnosed with lactose intolerance, many simply avoid dairy at all costs in order to prevent any painful side effects. Although it is tempting to reduce the potential for a painful reaction to dairy, eliminating dairy from the diet

may have serious consequences to overall health. Research shows lactose intolerant individuals have a higher health risk for osteoporosis, weak bone density, hypertension and several caners such as breast and colon cancer. In fact, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends to doctors that population groups with high rates of lactose intolerance should not be encouraged to avoid milk and milk products.

Believe it or not, dairy foods account for 73% of the calcium available in the U.S. food supply. Milk, cheese and other dairy foods are an important staple of the diet because they supply the body with the calcium it needs for proper growth and repair of bones. When bones don’t get enough calcium, the risk for osteoporosis increases significantly. Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become so fragile that a strain, bump or fall can cause them to break. In addition to causing a frail state within the bones osteoporosis can also result in poor posture, severe back pain and fractures of the hip, spine, wrist and ribs that can be fatal.

Each year, Americans suffer from 1.5 million fractures because of osteoporosis. As a result of this epidemic, the FDA authorized a health claim for food labels on calcium and osteoporosis in response to scientific evidence that an inadequate calcium intake is considered a risk factor for osteoporosis.

In addition to ensuring healthy bones, calcium also keeps the heart muscles and nerves working properly, and may help prevent heart disease. In fact, findings from clinical trials indicate that an increased calcium intake, lowers blood pressure and the risk of hypertension. Published research by McCarron and Heaney in 2004 reports that adequate calcium not only helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and hypertension, but also possibly reduces the risk for several cancers such as colon and breast cancer. When someone with lactose intolerance avoids dairy all together they put themselves in danger of developing these serious health complications.

If you are lactose intolerant it is important to find ways to continue to consume dairy products or find other methods to receive the recommend daily amount of calcium to avoid the harmful effects of a calcium deficiency.

Disclaimer: No medical doctor has reviewed the contents of this website/ blog. This website/blog was development for the purpose of providing a central place for lactose intolerant individuals to come to share basic information and personal insight. It is advised that you check with your physician or medical advisor before acting upon anything learned from this site.