Document Detail

The myth of increased lactose intolerance in African-Americans.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16373956     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In the United States, approximately three fourths of African-Americans have the potential for symptoms of lactose intolerance because lactose digestion depends on the presence of the enzyme lactase-phlorizin hydrolase which is reduced by up to 90-95% in individuals with lactase nonpersistence. The 'African-American diet' is more likely to be low in a variety of vitamins and minerals, including calcium. African-Americans consume low amounts of dairy foods and do not meet recommended intakes of a variety of vitamins and minerals, including calcium. Low intake of calcium and other nutrients put African-Americans at an increased risk for chronic diseases. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming three servings of dairy foods per day to ensure adequate calcium intake, among other nutrients, and the National Medical Association has recently published a similar recommendation of three to four servings of dairy per day for the African-American population. Research has shown that lactose maldigesters, including African-American maldigesters, can consume at least one cup (8 oz) of milk without experiencing symptoms, and that tolerance can be improved by consuming the milk with a meal, choosing yogurt or hard cheeses, or using products that aid in the digestion of lactose such as lactase supplements or lactose-reduced milks.
Katherine G Byers; Dennis A Savaiano
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the American College of Nutrition     Volume:  24     ISSN:  0731-5724     ISO Abbreviation:  J Am Coll Nutr     Publication Date:  2005 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-12-23     Completed Date:  2006-02-07     Revised Date:  2008-06-23    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8215879     Medline TA:  J Am Coll Nutr     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  569S-73S     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
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MeSH Terms
African Americans*
Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
Dairy Products* / adverse effects
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
Lactose Intolerance / epidemiology*,  ethnology*
Nutrition Policy
United States / epidemiology
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Calcium, Dietary

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