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Wednesday 27 May 2009

Definition: Lactose is a disaccharide that consists of β-D-galactose and α/β-D-glucose fragments bonded through a β1-4 glycosidic linkage.

As it gives free radicals by mechanochemistry, it is possible to use lactose to follow by ESR (Electron Spin Resonance) the energy used during a milling process.

Lactose (also referred to as milk sugar) is a sugar that is found most notably in milk. Lactose makes up around 2–8% of milk (by weight). The name comes from the Latin word for milk, plus the -ose ending used to name sugars. Its systematic name is β-D-galactopyranosyl-(1↔4)β-D-glucopyranose.

Digestion of lactose

Infant mammals nurse on their mothers to drink milk, which is rich in the carbohydrate Lactose. The intestinal villi secrete an enzyme called lactase (β-D-galactosidase) to digest it. This enzyme cleaves the lactose molecule into its two subunits, the simple sugars glucose and galactose, which can be absorbed.

Since lactose occurs mostly in milk, in most mammals the production of lactase gradually decreases with maturity due to a lack of constant consumption.

Many people with ancestry in Europe, the Middle East, India, and parts of East Africa maintain lactase production into adulthood. In many of these areas, milk from mammals such as cattle, goats, and sheep is used as a large source of food.

Hence, it was in these regions that genes for lifelong lactase production first evolved. The genes of lactose tolerance have evolved independently in various ethnic groups.

People who are not lactose tolerant may suffer uncomfortable or socially unacceptable symptoms of too much lactose consumption. In these people, lactose is not broken down and provides food for gas-producing gut flora. This can lead to bloating, flatulence, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.


- lactose intolerance