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What is reduced-lactose milk?

Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

Reduced-lactose milk is prepared at processing plants by adding the enzyme lactase to pasteurized milk and storing it for twenty-four hours. When the appropriate level of reduction has been reached, the milk is pasteurized again to stop the activity of the lactase enzyme. Milk labeled "lactose-reduced" must contain at least 70 percent less lactose than regular milk. Milk that has 99.9 percent of its lactose hydrolyzed may be labeled "lactose-free." In addition to lactose-reduced and lactose-free milks (2 percent fat, 1 percent fat, and nonfat), other lactose-reduced dairy products are also on the market. In general, reduced-lactose milks and other reduced-lactose dairy products taste sweeter than their traditional counterparts.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.