Organic chemistry

What does lactose intolerance mean?

Lactose intolerance mean


What does lactose intolerance mean?

Lactose is a complex sugar , found in large quantities in milk.

Structure of lactose

structure of lactose

Lactose is a diholoside, that is to say a complex sugar composed of the combination of two simple sugars, glucose and galactose , linked by a particular saccharide bond (hence the official name of β-D -galactopyrannosyl (1 → 4) D-glucopyranose). Its crude chemical formula is C 12 H 22 O 11 .

Lactose function

Lactose is met in high concentrations in the milk of mammals and provides an important nutritional and energy intake. Indeed, in the digestive tract of infants, it is converted into glucose and galactose thanks to the enzyme β-galactosidase (a lactase ), molecules that will be absorbed separately.

Lactose intolerance

Although present in all mammalian babies, it is this enzyme that may be lacking in some adults, leading to lactose intolerance. Lactose is no longer degraded into simple sugars, can no longer be absorbed, and thus remains in the digestive tract. It is then the intestinal bacteria that metabolize it (producing hydrogen , methane, carbon dioxide ) which leads to intestinal discomfort or diarrhea .

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