Calcium Consumption Versus Lactose Intolerance

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Calcium and Milk

Consuming calcium is easy when you like milk and when it likes you. But milk doesn't always get along with everyone.

Lactose intolerance affects about 25 percent of the U.S. adult population. Lactose intolerance is due to incomplete digestion of lactose, or milk sugar. Symptoms can include gas, cramps, bloating, diarrhea or nausea.

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The good news is most people can obtain their calcium needs from dairy foods with a few adjustments. First, start with small amounts of milk at meals and slowly increase to what you can tolerate.

Second, eat low-fat dairy products such as yogurt or cheese. These dairy foods contain lesser amounts of lactose.

And finally, lactose-free milk and milk products or calcium-fortified foods are other good choices for meeting your calcium needs.

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