In this study, the enzymatic activity of several lactase supplements was analyzed with the
goal of comparing the activity and figuring out which pills would be the best option for someone
with lactose intolerance. Two main comparison experiments were conducted. The first compared
original formula lactase supplement from the brands Lactaid, Lac-dose, and Equate. The second
compared Lactaid Fast Act with Lactaid Fast Act Chewables in order to determine if the
chewable formula had a different activity than the non-chewable version. After finding the
amount of enzymatic activity in each supplement in nm/mL/min, comparisons could be made
between the two in terms of activity and price/pill so that a recommendation on the best
supplement could be made. For the first comparison, Lac-dose and Lactaid original had very
similar activities, but the Lac-dose was significantly cheaper than the Lactaid version, making it
the better option for original formula supplements. For the second comparison, the chewables
had the higher enzymatic activity and the two supplements had the same price, making
chewables a better option compared to non-chewable.
Billions of people throughout the world cannot consume dairy products without feeling
sick afterwards. In fact, about 70% of the world’s population has some degree of lactose
intolerance. Those of African, Asian, or Mediterranean decent are more likely to be lactose
intolerant (Tsang). People who are lactose intolerant cannot digest the sugar lactose produced in
mammalian milk due to a deficiency of the enzyme lactase. When lactose remains in the small
intestine, it ferments causing the individual to experience a number of symptoms from diarrhea,
the most common symptom, to nausea, bloating, gas, and cramps (Mayo Clinic).
Dairy products are not the only source of lactose. Foods such as baked goods, processed
breakfast cereals, lunch meats, salad dressings, instant soups, and baking mixes all contain
hidden lactose (Sibley), causing lactose intolerant people to avoid them, as well.
While some people who are lactose intolerant were born that way (lactose intolerance is
an autosomal recessive gene) others become lactose intolerant as they age due to a decreased
dependency on milk as a staple of the diet. Lactose intolerance can also temporarily develop in
some individuals after sustaining an injury to the small intestine (Mayo Clinic).
The main health concern associated with lactose intolerance is developing a calcium