May 12, 2014

267 Lactose Intolerance – a new treatment [12 May 2014]

About 70% of the world’s human population loses the ability, as adults, to produce lactase, the enzyme which breaks down lactose (milk sugar). In cultures such as ours where dairy is a part of the normal diet, this creates a problem. Typical symptoms observed within an hour or two of consuming milk sugar include abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, nausea and diarrhea. There are two strategies to deal with lactose intolerance – dietary avoidance and lactase supplements.

Now there is a third option. Just this year a new product has been approved in Canada for the treatment of lactose intolerance. Sulmedol®, a special form of sulfur, actually restores the ability to digest lactose by reactivating lactase production in the intestine. It was accidentally discovered in 2003 by Dr Airudin Khan at the U. of Western Ontario, London, who was studying homocysteine levels. Sulmedol® works in two ways: by reactivating the genes that control lactase production, and by increasing the production of the amino acid L-Cysteine, an essential component of the lactase enzyme.

The treatment requires taking 2 capsules daily, while avoiding all sources of lactose, for 4 to 12 weeks. Lactose intolerance is tested at 4 weeks and every 2 weeks after that until symptoms have disappeared. The program is continued for another 4 weeks and then stopped. You should then be able to consume dairy symptom-free. Some people may need to repeat the treatment in a few years. The treatment is not effective for true dairy allergies involving the immune system.

In a clinical trial, 90% of 41 adults tested had their lactose tolerance restored after 12 weeks (some sooner). Most remained tolerant for a median of 76 weeks without further treatment. Side effects were minimal – three people experienced some bloating and flatulence during the treatment phase.

Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in the body, after calcium and phosphorus. Other expected benefits from taking the sulfur supplement would be lowered homocysteine levels (implicated in heart disease, osteoporosis and brain dysfunction) and increased glutathione, arguably the most important antioxidant in our cells. Healthy skin hair and nails all require sulfur containing amino acids.

Source: and lecture by Marva Ward, CNP.

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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