L

lactose intolerance: inability to digest lactose, or milk sugar enzyme: protein responsible for carrying out reactions in a cell nausea: unpleasant sensation in the gut that precedes vomiting disaccharide carbohydrate: molecule composed of two linked sugars glucose: a simple sugar; the most commonly used fuel in cells

Between 30 and 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant, meaning they are deficient in the enzyme lactase. The majority of lactose-intolerant people can consume small amounts of lactose, or lactose in certain foods, but may experience symptoms of intestinal upset if they consume too much. [Photograph by Leonard Lessin. Peter Arnold, Inc. Reproduced by permission.]

Between 30 and 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant, meaning they are deficient in the enzyme lactase. The majority of lactose-intolerant people can consume small amounts of lactose, or lactose in certain foods, but may experience symptoms of intestinal upset if they consume too much. [Photograph by Leonard Lessin. Peter Arnold, Inc. Reproduced by permission.]

congenital: present from birth absorption: uptake by the digestive tract acidity: measure of the tendency of a molecule to lose hydrogen ions, thus behaving as an acid bacteria: single-celled organisms without nuclei, some of which are infectious intestines: the two long tubes that carry out the bulk of the processes of digestion lactic acid: breakdown product of sugar in the muscles in the absence of oxygen fatty acids: molecules rich in carbon and hydrogen; a component of fats calcium: mineral essential for bones and teeth intolerant. The condition is least common among persons of northern European descent.

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