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Adapted from Paige DM, Davis L, Bayless TM et al. (1979) The effects of age and lactose tolerance on blood glucose rise with whole cow and lactose hydrolyzed milk. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 27(4): 667.

Adapted from Paige DM, Davis L, Bayless TM et al. (1979) The effects of age and lactose tolerance on blood glucose rise with whole cow and lactose hydrolyzed milk. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 27(4): 667.

production, recognition of discomfort, and avoidance of lactose-containing products that provoke symptoms.

A progressive decrease in lactase is noted from approximately 1 to 5 years of age through adolescence. Reported rates in US African American children ranged from 27% lactose maldigestion following lactose testing using a lactose load equivalent to two 8-oz. glasses of milk at 1 or 2 years to 74% in 11- or 12-year-old children. The progressive decrease in the ability to hydrolyze a lactose challenge was observed in children of both high and low socioeconomic status. Studies of white children 112 years of age identified only 17% of children mal-digesting a lactose challenge. Signs and symptom production associated with a reduction in lactose digestion in a child population is difficult to measure due to the nature of the symptoms being reported, the signs observed, and the subjective nature of the reports. This is reinforced by a report on 21 African American girls 11-15 years of age indicating 82% had evidence of lactose maldigestion with reports of gastrointestinal symptoms being negligible, and breath hydrogen excretion, while remaining high, varied between two time periods. Consistent with the previous data, milk consumption studies, both observed and reported, suggest a progressive decline in milk intake with increasing age in the African American population of children and parallel reports of children from other populations with a high prevalence of lactose maldigestion.

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