Disclosures Dr J. F. Mayberry has served as Chairman of an Arla Industries’ advisory board on lactose-free dairy products. L. K. Harrington has no personal interests to declare.
A re-appraisal of lactose intolerance
Article first published online: 8 SEP 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
International Journal of Clinical Practice
Volume 62, Issue 10, pages 1541–1546, October 2008
How to Cite
Harrington, L. K. and Mayberry, J. F. (2008), A re-appraisal of lactose intolerance. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 62: 1541–1546. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2008.01834.x
- Issue published online: 8 SEP 2008
- Article first published online: 8 SEP 2008
- Paper received February 2008, accepted June 2008
Background: Lactose, β-galactose-1,4-glucose, is hydrolysed by the enzyme lactase. Lactose intolerance occurs when lactase deficiency causes clinical symptoms.
Aims: To provide an overview of lactose intolerance, including definition, aetiology and epidemiology, the clinical symptoms and diagnostic testing and management.
Methods: A literature review was carried out to meet the aims of this paper. This resulted in the analysis of a database of patients tested for lactose intolerance to provide examples of the consequences of problems of terminology identified.
Conclusions: The terminology relating to lactose intolerance is confusing for clinicians and researchers. Clinicians need to ensure that these problematic terms do not cause diagnostic mistakes and inappropriate treatment. Researchers should be aware of inconsistent terminology in studies and resultant problems with the interpretation of results.