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Soyfoods Aid Those With Lactose Intolerance

Thursday, February 25, 2010 Diet & Nutrition News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 Today, nutrition experts and physicians who participated in the NIH Consensus Development Conference on Lactose Intolerance and Health released an important report that concluded individuals who ingest inadequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D because of real or perceived lactose intolerance need dietary advice to ensure appropriate intake of missing nutrients. The Soyfoods Association of North America welcomes the opportunity to work with nutrition and medical groups to develop the type of dietary advice that can help all Americans with lactose intolerance to find the right food choices to meet their own nutritional needs and personal preferences.

"It is important for all individuals who suffer discomfort from the inability to digest lactose be given information about all sources of calcium, dairy and non-dairy, available to them, so individuals can develop a plan that meets not only their requirements for calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium, but also their cultural, religious, and ethical preferences without exceeding calorie, sugar, and saturated fat," highlighted Nancy Chapman, RD, MPH, Executive Director of the Soyfoods Association of North America.

For individuals who seek lactose-free, plant-based options to dairy products, the panel of experts point to calcium-fortified soy drinks (i.e., soymilk) and other soy products, among the non-dairy sources, found at www.mypyramid.gov. For years, a diverse population that suffers bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and flatulence related to their lactose intolerance have successfully obtained adequate amounts of calcium from calcium fortified soymilk, tofu, and soy yogurt. These soyfoods provide high-quality protein equal to milk and egg protein without cholesterol, very little saturated fat, and reduced calories and sugar compared to dairy products. Most fortified soymilks also have amounts of vitamin D and vitamin A equal to cow's milk and are excellent sources of potassium and magnesium. The Nutrition Facts panel or product nutrition information online will provide the specific nutrient content of soymilk and other soy products, such as tofu and soy yogurt, that can be excellent sources of calcium. It should be noted that soymilk and tofu are available to WIC participants and children receiving school lunches and breakfasts may request soymilk.

The NIH Consensus Development Conference on Lactose Intolerance and Health made it clear that lactose intolerance is the inability to digest significant amounts of lactose, a sugar found in milk and other dairy products, which results in specific symptoms. The panel concluded that some individuals may have lactose malabsorption related to their lactase deficiency, which is diagnosed with a hydrogen breath test, but don't show symptoms.

SOURCE Soyfoods Association of North America
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