Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

When to Take Your Lactase

Back to lactose intolerance basics. Here's a question that I got an email about.

When should I take my lactase pills?

The best time to take your lactase is just before you start eating. The lactase is designed to go quickly through the stomach and enter the small intestine. That's where it works. If you take the pill before eating any of the dairy, the lactase will be sitting there waiting for it.

Should I take another pill if I have more dairy during the meal?

Food moves the intestines slowly. In fact, your system requires hours to break down and digest all the nutrients in food. If you take enough lactase at the beginning of a meal it will all still be there for any food eaten during the course of a meal.

If you're surprised by dairy you didn't expect, say by a big dairy-laden dessert, then go ahead and take more lactase. But otherwise it's not necessary.

What if I forget and don't take the lactase until the end of the meal or even later?

You want the lactase to be there first. If the lactase chases the lactose it may not catch up with the first part of the meal and some lactose can slip through undigested.

Even so, better to miss some lactose than to miss all of it. If you have lactase, take it. It should still do some good by reducing symptoms even if it doesn't eliminate them completely.

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Anonymous said...


Steve Carper said...

You should take the lactase pill right before having the milk product. A few minutes ahead is fine. Hours ahead lessens its effect.