Allergist and Immunologist Questions Lactose Intolerance

How effective are lactase enzyme tablets?

I recently read about lactase enzyme tablets which help in preventing the allergic reaction which is triggered by consuming lactose food for those who are lactose intolerant. How effective are these supplements. Are they for treating the condition or do they only help in prevention?

2 Answers

In my clinical experience not very effective. First, however, let me clarify that lactose intolerance is not an allergic issue. It is a food intolerance caused by a deficiency or a lack of enzyme needed to break down lactose. Some people are born lacking the enzyme and others may develop the deficiency later in life. There is no “cure” for the condition as we cannot replace the enzyme. The tablets may help to reduce the symptoms a bit but for most of my patients they have proven ineffective. The best approach is to avoid consuming dairy - you and may try lactose free products but even those at times may prove to be a challenge.
Hope that helps.
Monika Korff, MD
Lactose intolerance is not regarded as an allergy. The lactase tablets are effective in diminishing the gas generated by lactose in those who have the deficiency.
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