For those who experience symptoms of lactose intolerance – poor digestion of dairy products – you may be all too familiar with abdominal cramping, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation and/or vomiting. Some research has found that probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus may help break down lactose and relieve discomfort. A May, 2016 study published in Nutritional Journal is said to be the first human clinical trial to test it. The study states that lactose maldigestion affects up to 75% of the world's population and results from “a decline in activity of the brush-border enzyme lactase, also called beta-d-galactosidase.”
Volunteers 18 to 75 with lactose intolerance were given Lactobacillus acidophilus (DDS-1, a commonly used strain discovered in 1959), taken with food once daily for 4 weeks. Each capsule contained not less than 10 billion CFU live bacteria. Results showed significant reductions in symptoms at week 4 for diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and “overall discomfort”. No negative reactions were found.
The researchers concluded that altering the natural bacteria to create an intestinal environment more conducive to lactose breakdown and absorption by taking probiotic supplements may be effective in some cases.