lactase


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Related to lactase: lactase deficiency, lactate

lactase

[′lak‚tās]
(biochemistry)
An enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of lactose to dextrose and galactose.
References in periodicals archive ?
If you are lactose intolerant but you enjoy dairy foods, you can try taking lactase enzymes prior to eating foods that contain lactose.
Lactase deficiency and lactose malabsorption may lead to lactose intolerance.
However, about 10,000 years ago, one simple genetic mutation allowed people to produce lactase forever, and respectively gave them the ability to drink milk throughout the rest of their lives without any unpleasant gut problems.
A lactase deficiency does not allow lactose to be broken into absorbable nutrients within the intestinal tract.
Lactase deficiency is largely inherited (congenital and familial deficiency), though a condition known as secondary lactase deficiency can result from inadequate lactase production and can be caused by a problem with the small intestine, such as surgery, or another condition, such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, chemotherapy, celiac disease, or gastroenteritis.
The problem is that as animals grow, they commonly experience a decrease in the amount of lactase that their intestines produce, so many adult animals (including cats and humans) have insufficient amounts of lactase necessary to break down the lactose in cow's milk.
Professor Dallas Swallow, from the Research Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at UCL, added: "It is only within the last several thousand years that genetic mutations arose in Europe, East Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula that allowed lactase to persist into adulthood, a genetic trait that enables lifelong milk consumption.
Lactase is produced by the cells of the small intestine.
Lactase deficiency has been observed in 30% to 40% of patients with Crohn's disease.
The patent relates to a lactase enzyme, which is free from arylsulfatase.
The majority of the world's population--often starting before age five--experiences a decrease in the intestinal enzyme lactase, which creates digestive problems.