Fermented foods and probiotics: An approach to lactose intolerance

J Dairy Res. 2021 Aug;88(3):357-365. doi: 10.1017/S0022029921000625.


The aim of this review was to present various topics related to lactose intolerance with special attention given to the role of fermented foods and probiotics in alleviating gastrointestinal symptoms. Lactose intolerance is a common digestive problem in which the human body is unable to digest lactose, known as milk sugar. Lactose intolerance can either be hereditary or a consequence of intestinal diseases. Recent work has demonstrated that fermented dairy products and probiotics can modify the metabolic activities of colonic microbiota and may alleviate the symptoms of lactose intolerance. We suggest that, lactose free dairy products could be recommended as alternatives for the alleviation of lactose intolerance and for the promotion of human health and wellness.

Keywords: Fermented dairy products; lactose intolerance; microbiota; probiotics; yogurt.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colon / microbiology
  • Dairy Products / analysis
  • Fermented Foods*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lactase / deficiency
  • Lactase / metabolism
  • Lactose / analysis
  • Lactose / metabolism
  • Lactose Intolerance / therapy*
  • Probiotics* / therapeutic use


  • Lactase
  • Lactose