Tip of the Day
Older Adults and Lactose
As you age, some adults start having trouble digesting milk for the first time in their lives. The reason for this is as you age, the small intestine may no longer produce an enzyme called lactase that digests the natural sugar, called lactose, in milk and some milk products.
If you’re having trouble digesting milk as you age, try drinking it in small amounts. Usually your body can handle a little at a time. Try buttermilk, yogurt, cheese or lactose-reduced milk. If not, calcium-and vitamin D-fortified soy milk, yogurt and cheese can be alternatives to dairy foods. Other foods that supply calcium include some dark-green leafy vegetables and canned fish like sardines and salmon.
For more information on lactose intolerance as you age, consult a registered dietitian in your area and visit our Food Allergies and Intolerances section.
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Reviewed November 2012