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Cassius R. JosephHealth Unit Lactose Intolerance Essay What is Lactose Intolerance Lactose Intolerance is a common issue in the digestive system which makes it incredibly difficult to digest lactose. Lactose is a type of sugar usually found in dairy products. Different people have varying degrees of lactose intolerance. For example some people may be able to drink full cups of milk before getting sick while other might not be able to have any amount whatsoever. Lactose intolerance can also be “developed between the ages of 20-40″(1) although, though you can be born with it as well. When developed later in life it is normally developed after gastroenteritis or chemotherapy. Lactose occurs when your small intestine fails to produce a sufficient amount of lactase. Lactase is an enzyme whose job is to break down milk into the two simple sugars, glucose and galactose. Low amounts of lactase mean that lactose is sent into the colon instead of being absorbed. Normally, the symptoms of lactose intolerance change depending on the amount of lactose ingested. The most common symptoms of lactose intolerance include the following: feeling bloated, stomach pains, burping, passing wind, diarrhea and an “itchy” anus. 1  2The Science and Function of Lactase Lactase is an enzyme produced by every mammal. It is located in the small intestine. Lactase is essential to the digestion of milk and other dairy products due to the fact that it breaks down lactose, a sugar which gives milk its sweetness. Lactase breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose. After being broken down, the galactose and glucose are sent into the bloodstream. When not enough lactase is produced to break down the lactose, the leftover lactose is sent into the large intestine. It is then broken down in the large intestine by bacteria. This produces gases which cause immense pain. Enzymes are biological catalysts and are made up of amino acids. “When an enzyme is formed, it is made by stringing together between 100 and 1,000 amino acids in a very specific and unique order. The chain of amino acids then folds into a unique shape.”(3) A biological catalyst is a substance that speeds up the chemical reactions in organisms.     1 3                                                 This First Diagram Above Shows The Process of Enzymes Breaking Down Food 3 The Second Diagram Shows The Difference in Digestion Between Lactose Intolerant and People Able to Consume Lactose  All Credit due to  4How People Use Science to Treat Lactose IntoleranceOver 5.7 billion people in the world face a lactase deficiency. As such, there are an innumerable amount of “loopholes” or alternatives to  make it easier to ease your lactose wants and nutritional needs. For example, a common solution is to simply eat pills that are filled with lactase called lactaid pills. This solution is expensive but is viable as it the pill goes down with your food and allows for there to be more lactase in your small intestine when you digest lactose products. On the other hand there have been reports of numerous side effects that relate to the lactaid pills. Some of these include stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms seen to indicate that the pill simply didn’t work due rather than being actual side effects due to the fact these are normal lactose intolerant side effects. Or if you don’t want to introduce foreign chemicals into your body there are “alternatives”.  One such alternative is organic fermented milk. This milk has considerably less lactose which makes it viable for people with lesser deficiencies. However, it is not an option for people with more extreme cases of intolerance. Another reasonable alternative is goat milk. Goat milk has certain qualities that make it much easier for the body to absorb the lactose. This is due to the fact that the fat particles in goat milk are smaller which makes it easier to absorb in your intestine and has a lesser concentration of lactose.  In my personal opinion taking the lactaid pills is the best solution solely due to the fact that they contain actual lactase which enables you to digest the dairy products and the fact that their current amazon customer satisfaction rating stands at 4.6 percent.    2 5                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Different Types Of Lactose IntoleranceLactose Intolerance has four different types. People are classified based upon why they are lactose intolerant. Primary intolerance, which is the most common and is a result of lactase deficiency. Secondary intolerance is due to damage to the small intestine. It can get better if you treat the underlying problem such as disease or physical harm. Developmental Lactase Deficiency occurs in babies born prematurely. This type usually disappears after a few weeks. Congenital lactase deficiency is a very rare disorder where people produce little to no lactase throughout their entire life. You also can inherit this deficiency from your ancestors and relatives.      6                                                                           Lactose Intolerance By The NumbersThis Map Shows the Percentages of people experiencing lactose deficiency As this map so excellently demonstrates, lactose intolerance is a global issue that has affected an incredibly large portion of the global population. Many common foods have lactose in them. In some areas, such as india and africa the amount of people affected is at such a high percentage that many foods have been completely removed from their diet. The percentages of lactose in everyday foods are as follows.  7                                                                     Dairy productServing sizeLactose contentPercentageMilk, regular250 ml/g12 g4.80%Milk, reduced fat250 ml/g13 g5.20%Yogurt, plain, regular200 g9 g4.50%Yogurt, plain, low-fat200 g12 g6.00%Cheddar cheese30 g0.02 g0.07%Cottage cheese30 g0.1 g0.33%Butter5 g0.03 g0.6%Ice cream50 g3 g6.00%  This Table Shows Lactose Intolerance Percentages Across Different Dairy Foods                                                    Table From 8Why Do Some Countrie’s People Produce Less Lactase? Lactose Intolerance occurs because people don’t produce enough lactase. Why does this happen? To put it simply, people originally did not produce lactase after childhood. Around 11,000 years ago farmers learned to reduce lactose levels in dairy products by fermenting milk to make cheese and yogurt. After that, approximately 10,000 years ago a genetic mutation occured which allowed people to produce lactase after childhood. The mutation also appeared around 7,500 years ago in hungary which led to further spreading. This mutation occured because slowly farming replaced hunting and gathering. This is because as people tentatively started to drink milk their bodies started to produce more lactase to accommodate this change in diet. This mutation opened up a new source of nutrition for europeans when the harvest failed. Around 5,400 b.c the ability to drink milk was more common and by 4,400 b.c a well developed dairy trading system had spread all across europe. Then as humankind slowly started exploring place thousands of years later the ability to produce lactase spread. In places the europeans did not colonize and live the ability the mutation never spread. This explains why in places like Asia and Africa less than 10 percent of the population that isn’t lactose intolerant.  9 10                                                                     Genetic Makeup Of the Mutation As previously stated, a genetic mutation occurred approximately 10,000 years ago. By studying a finnish family they were able to determine where the lactase persistence gene comes from. On chromosome 2 there lies the lactase gene. A Dr. Joe Terwilliger was able to identify certain genetic markers in and around the lactase gene. He found that on one particular segment there is a difference between those with lactase persistence and without. A singular T rather than C is the defining difference between those with and without the gene. This was the mutation that is most prevalent across the west. 11This is the Mutation that occurs in Europeans. Image Found At  11                                      Formula For Breaking Down LactoseThis Diagram shows the lactase separating the lactose into glucose and galactose before being absorbed into the bloodstream. Image Found At 12 Implications of Using Science to Solve Lactose IntoleranceScience exists for the benefit of humanity. However, more often than not they’re a host of problems with taking medical drugs. This is no different with lactose intolerance solutions. For one, we have absolutely zero sense of the long term effects that come with any of the recent solutions. The most common scientific solutions to lactose intolerance include probiotics and lactaid pills. Both of these drugs have been created in recent years and there is no sense of the long term consequences. As for the short term, these drugs have side effects such as sickness, bloating, gas, oral health and weight loss. There are also religious aspects. The religious aspect  has a vast amount of sects refusing alterations to the natural status and conditions someone has. They believe that if your sick it is god’s will and should not be changed. Examples of these sects are, Jehovah’s Witness, Christian Scientists and the Faith Tabernacle Congregation. Not that scientific solutions are completely negative, far from it. The ability to solve problems that have plagued mankind for thousands of years is exiting on so many levels. I would even go so far to that this problem, with a viable solution can change the economy of entire continents. This is because if continents like asia and africa with more than 90% lactose intolerance the ability for that many people to experience new foods.          Analysis of My Sources For this essay I have used a variety of science/health magazines along with health websites like nhs.uk. The majority of my sources like popsci.com support parts of their research with links to their sources. However, some of my sources like draxe.com aren’t so much for giving scientific information and instead use tips to see if you have lactose intolerance and how to treat it. The validity of my sources is absolute even if there are differences. For example one source lists the percentage of people affected by lactase deficiency as 75% while another at 72% . This specific value may have been recorded at different points in time, causing the slight variation. To check the validity of my sources I tried to find another source which backed up the claims from the first source or just gave a once over to the bibliography.  My two most reliable sources are popular science magazine and bbc.co.uk. For popular science it was relatively easy to discern the validity due to the fact that it sourced the International Dairy Journal which is known for writing about significant changes and technological advancements in the field of dairy was their source. Bbb.co.uk or BBC is the world’s oldest broadcasting service which is world renowned.They practically never give out unreliable information and had links to support their research.. My least reliable source is most definitely draxe.com as it showed some bias and showed little scientific proof even though it’s information was certainly plausible and had a few links for support. ConclusionIn conclusion, lactose intolerance is the result of a genetic mutation not occurring in certain areas of the world 10,000 years ago. An incredible amount of information in the field of lactase has been discovered in the past 2 decades such as the mutation and lactaid pills. This has helped an innumerable amount of people consume lactose products.The creation of these pills represent a  huge change for lactose intolerant people and for the economy as suddenly 75% of the population can consume dairy products which leads to a larger demand for these products. However, like any other expanding field there are new discoveries being made every year and we have no inkling on the long term implications. Bibliography “Lactose Intolerance.” NHS Choices. April 1, 2016. Accessed January 08, 2018. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lactose-intolerance/.McCoy, Kathleen. “7 Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance & How to Treat.” Dr. Axe. November 04, 2017. Accessed January 10, 2018. https://draxe.com/symptoms-of-lactose-intolerance/.Brain, Marshall. “How Cells Work.” HowStuffWorks Science. April 01, 2000. Accessed January 10, 2018. https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/cellular-microscopic/cell2.htm.HLH hurowitz. “Life Is Science Is Life.” Knowledge of the World of Lactose Intolerance. January 01, 1970. Accessed January 10, 2018. http://scienceineverydayterms.blogspot.com.es/2013/10/knowledge-of-world-of-lactose.html.”Lactaid Original Strength Lactase Enzyme Caplets, 120 Count: Health & Personal Care.” Amazon.com: Lactaid Original Strength Lactase Enzyme Caplets, 120 Count: Health & Personal Care. Accessed January 10, 2018. https://www.amazon.com/Lactaid-Original-Strength-Lactase-Caplets/dp/B000052XB5/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8=1515529954=8-1-spons=lactaid%2Bpills=1.”Lactose Intolerance.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. June 01, 2014. Accessed January 10, 2018. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/lactose-intolerance.”Your Inbox is Hungry.” Map of Milk Consumption & Lactose Intolerance Around the World. Accessed January 10, 2018. https://www.foodbeast.com/news/map-of-milk-consumption-lactose-intolerance-around-the-world/.”Diet for Lactose Intolerance.” Diet for Lactose Intolerance | GastroNet. Accessed January 10, 2018. http://www.gastro.net.au/diets/lactose.html.Ferro, Shaunacy. “What Are The Most Lactose Intolerant Places In The World? Infographic.” Popular Science. August 02, 2013. Accessed January 10, 2018. https://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-08/infographic-day-where-people-can-digest-milk.Leonardi, Michela . International Dairy Journal. PDF. Elsevier, February 2012. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/mace-lab/publications/articles/2012/leonardi-IDJ-2012.pdfBiointeractive. “The Evolution of Lactose Tolerance – HHMI BioInteractive Video.” YouTube. August 26, 2014. Accessed January 10, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA9boI1qTuk.”Lactose Intolerance.” Concepts in Biochemistry – Cutting Edge. Accessed January 10, 2018. https://www.wiley.com/legacy/college/boyer/0470003790/cutting_edge/lactose_intolerance/lactose_intolerance.htm.         

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