Lactose is the main source of energy for newborns. It is present in all dairy products and baby food. Lactose is an important part of the nutrients in baby formula. However, if the child cannot absorb lactose, it can cause unpleasant symptoms and disrupt the absorption of other nutrients. To solve this problem, there are special baby formulas, which either contain a small amount of lactose or do not contain it at all. Parents can see both lactose and lactose-free Löwenzahn formula at Organic’s Best.
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The Importance of Lactose for Children
Lactose is a natural sugar found in breast milk. It consists of two sugar molecules – glucose and galactose. This sugar plays a significant role in providing energy for the baby and aiding in the absorption of nutrients
With the help of lactose, a baby’s body absorbs Iron and Calcium much easier. It is very important for healthy growth. Calcium is a vital macroelement: it is responsible for the health of the skeletal system, teeth, blood vessels, and the functioning of the immune and nervous systems depends on it. The body accumulates calcium until about 30 years of age, most actively in childhood and adolescence. And a lack of iron in a child’s body can cause growth and development delays, and contribute to an increase in the incidence of acute respiratory diseases.
Energy for Growth and Development
Glucose and galactose are the main suppliers of energy for the child’s body and essential fuel for brain tissue.
Affection on Digestive System
Lactose can also help soothe the newborn’s digestive system. It promotes balanced gastrointestinal function, which helps prevent stomach and digestion-related issues. By supporting the growth of normal microflora in the intestines, lactose prevents putrefactive processes, therefore it is important for the prevention of dysbiosis. Without sufficient lactose, the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines is inhibited.
Lactose is a very useful natural sugar that can cause harm only if the body has problems with its absorption. As part of infant formula, lactose brings many benefits and makes the mixture close to breast milk, which contains 100% lactose, by its functions. This is a physiological carbohydrate that must enter the body of a bottle-fed baby. Löwenzahn formula at Organic’s Best is a good example of quality formula with all important micro- and macro-elements for your baby.
Is My Baby Lactose Intolerant?
Infants who receive breast milk or formula may have symptoms of lactose intolerance – foamy diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating. Sometimes, it is mistaken for a milk allergy. In most cases, the true reason for this condition is a lack of lactase. Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose in the small intestine into glucose and galactose. This problem can be partially solved by eating foods with a high content of this enzyme, or by taking special medications from infancy. There are 2 factors for the development of lactase deficiency:
- Congenital primary lactase deficiency. It is the most rare factor, which occurs in least cases of this condition. In this condition, the child completely lacks lactase in the body. This is genetically determined and manifests itself in the first months after birth and persists for life. The baby quickly loses weight immediately after birth and suffers from dehydration. These children are on a lactose-free diet and can begin taking small doses of lactose only at 6 months old.
- Acquired lactase deficiency is much more common. This condition is usually temporary, and it is possible to get rid of it. There are several reasons for it to occur.
- It occurs in babies born prematurely, due to immaturity of the body.
- Intestinal damage due to infection, allergies or other illness also causes a temporary lack of lactase, which is called secondary. Inflammatory processes in the small intestine, such as gastroenteritis, force the body not to produce lactase. After such illnesses, the baby needs to recover.
- Sometimes, this condition develops after finishing breastfeeding. In areas where in ancient times people did not consume animal milk, such deficiency is very typical. Symptoms may change throughout life.
How To Help a Lactose Intolerant Baby?
Treatment of lactose intolerance usually involves eliminating this disaccharide from the diet or using medications containing lactase. If the deficiency is secondary, it is possible to eliminate the cause as well.
Breastfed children are often prescribed lactase medications. If such drugs cannot be used, the child is fed with a low-lactose formula. When feeding a baby with formula, select a product that contains the maximum amount of lactose without causing clinical manifestations of deficiency. Some parents combine a regular mixture and a lactose-free one, or feed the baby with a fermented milk formula. If lactase deficiency is significant, the child is given only a low-lactose food.
If the deficiency is secondary, then a low-lactose diet is only needed during the period of treatment of the underlying pathology. Products containing lactose are introduced gradually over 1-3 months after recovery.
Choosing the right formula is important for any child, but babies with conditions such as lactose intolerance need it even more. Lactose is a crucial component that provides babies with energy for growth and development, and correctly selected food, such as Löwenzahn formula at Organic’s Best, will provide a child with its benefits, even if it is low-lactose.