Feb 14 2024

Is Lactose Intolerance Curable/Reversible?

No. Sorry. Once your body reduces the amount of lactase it produces, it does not come back. I don’t care what your uncle who “trained his body to tolerate dairy again” told you. (He probably just became asymptomatic and his gut flora adapted slightly, but the presence of undigested lactose sugars in the intestines is not natural and might have long term side effects on the cell walls of the microvilli as well as the immediate and unpleasant symptoms of lactose intolerance.

Being lactose intolerant is actually nature’s “default” setting for most humans and is not classified as a disease or disorder. Your body is programmed to reduce the amount of lactase enzyme it produces after you mature past infancy and are weaned off your mother’s milk. 

There are cases of secondary lactose intolerance caused by damage to walls of the small intestine via injury or infection. In such cases, there is a high chance that lactase production will be restored once the original injury is healed. But for most cases of primary lactose intolerance happening naturally over time, your ability to digest dairy does not come back. 

There are some probiotic products out there that claim to “cure” lactose intolerance. These are straight up scams and should be treated with wariness and caution. There is some interest in the role that probiotics play in the role of dairy digestion, but most dairy digestion occurs via the mechanism of enzymatic breakdown, not microbial action in the intestines. While probiotics may help to some extent with overall gut health and reduce the severity of the symptoms of lactose intolerance, they provide inadequate support to prevent bad symptoms from occurring in those who are already moderately unable to digest dairy. The Milk Medic’s personal and completely unscientific guestimate is that intestinal probiotics only account for around 10% of symptom-free lactose digestion.

In the case of lactose intolerance, prevention is better than cure. If you are still able to digest lactose, consider taking a little cow milk yoghurt or other types of lactose-containing food every day to maintain your body’s current level of lactase production. If you are already unable to tolerate any significant amounts of dairy, you must resign yourself to the fact that lactose intolerance is something that happens to almost 2/3s of the human population eventually. Join the club, and start carrying Milk Medic’s safe and convenient lactase enzyme supplement on you. Just because your body has stopped producing lactase doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite dairy treats anymore!