Dietary manipulation of postprandial colonic lactose fermentation: II. Addition of exogenous, microbial beta-galactosidases at mealtime

Am J Clin Nutr. 1985 Feb;41(2):209-21. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/41.2.209.


The feasibility and efficacy of adding microbial beta-galactosidase enzymes directly to milk at the time of consumption was explored in adult lactose-malabsorbers. The hydrogen breath test, and on one occasion, the rise in blood glucose, were used as indices of the completeness of intraintestinal hydrolysis and absorption of milk lactose. When added to 360 ml of cow milk containing 18 g of lactose, empirical dosages of three beta-galactosidases--one from Kluyveromyces (yeast) and two from Aspergillus (fungal)--had some effectiveness in reducing postprandial H2 excretion, although no in vivo treatment at the dosages chosen was as effective as pre-incubation of the milk in vitro. The yeast enzyme also reduced symptom frequency as compared to intact milk and enhanced postprandial rises in blood glucose. The replacement therapy with exogenous, food-grade beta-galactosidases may provide a useful intervention to reduce lactose malabsorption and milk intolerance in individuals with primary lactase deficiency.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Aspergillus niger / enzymology
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Breath Tests
  • Colon / enzymology
  • Colon / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Food
  • Galactosidases / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen / metabolism
  • Lactose / metabolism*
  • Lactose Intolerance / metabolism*
  • Lactose Intolerance / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk / metabolism
  • Saccharomycetales / enzymology
  • beta-Galactosidase / administration & dosage*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hydrogen
  • Galactosidases
  • beta-Galactosidase
  • Lactose