We have noticed that the difference between lactose intolerance and milk protein allergy is often misunderstood or unclear, especially if you don't regularly deal with these aspects of nutrition.
The symptoms of lactose intolerance and milk protein allergy are similar but the triggering causes and reactions of our organism are different .
Milk is largely made up of water , mineral salts, proteins, fats and hypo-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. For this reason it is very close to the concept of “ complete food ” but it cannot be considered as such due to its reduced iron content and the low calorific value . It is very important for the health of the human body and for proper nutrition as a source of calcium and phosphorus , useful for maintaining bone mass, especially in old age.
lactose is a sugar composed of glucose and galactose , two monosaccharides. It is produced by the mammary gland of mammals and is therefore found in milk and its derivatives at different concentrations. Cow's milk contains 5 g of lactose per 100 ml, while yogurt and fresh cheeses have a lower concentration, which is zero in aged hard cheeses.
Milk also has a high protein content : inside the milk there are also animal proteins . They can be divided into two different classes: casein proteins , which make up 80% of milk proteins, and whey proteins , which make up the remaining 20%.
Intolerance to lactose originates from the inability of the organism to split lactose into the two simple sugars which compose it and which are more easily assimilable. This is due to a partial or total lack of the lactase enzyme, necessary for the proper digestion of milk and its derivatives. The lactose thus arrives in the intestine and colon, its fermentation, by the bacterial flora, leads to the generation of gas which leads to the onset of gastrointestinal disorders typical of this intolerance. The most common symptoms occur from thirty minutes to two hours from the ingestion of foods containing lactose and can be different from individual to individual, based on their lactase deficiency (abdominal cramps, stomach pains, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, meteorism , Nausea or vomiting).
Intolerance to milk proteins is a very different problem from lactose intolerance. It manifests itself as a real form of allergy towards cow's milk proteins. Allergy is triggered by an abnormal functioning of the immune system which recognizes a protein present in milk as harmful. This process triggers the manifestation of different symptoms that can vary in type, time of onset and obviously severity. The symptoms may include gastrointestinal disorders, colic, skin rashes and may occur immediately or after a few hours and rarely there is anaphylaxis, a severe and violent reaction.