TEST YOUR MEDICAL IQ
Lactase is… A. a micronutrient found in dairy products that helps build muscle mass.
B. when a mother stops producing
milk after weaning her child. C. an enzyme that breaks down
lactose, a sugar found in milk.
D. a disorder affecting infants who
lack the instinct to breastfeed.
Answer: C. Lactase is a digestive enzyme that helps break down milk sugars. Virtually all humans produce plenty of lactase as babies, but many decrease production in adulthood. In fact, only about a third of the world’s adults can fully digest dairy. Genes play a large role in lactase persistence: for instance, roughly 25 per cent of Greek adults can consume lactose without effects such as gas or bloating, compared to upward of 90 per cent of Irish men and women.