Lactose intolerance is not new! DNA evidence extracted from Neolithic skeletons indicates that, in 5500 BC, people in Northern Europe were also lactose intolerant. (1) Earthenware vessels found in England and dated to 4500 BC contain milk byproducts, indicating milk was used. (2)
Ayurveda addressed lactose intolerance thousands of years ago in a way that can still be used today, by determining whether the problem lay in lactose intolerance, issues with fat metabolism, or a weak digestive fire.
How to Determine If It Is Actually Lactose Intolerance
1. Take organic heavy whipping cream and dilute it with 2 parts heavy cream to one part water. Drink this in replacement of milk.
If you have issues with digesting the heavy whipping cream, you likely have an issue with fat metabolism, and perhaps some bile congestion in the liver and/or gallbladder. The cream has no lactose or casein – the hard to digest sugar and protein in milk – so if you have issues here, you may not actually be lactose intolerant.
2. Drink a glass of skim milk.
If you have issues with the skim milk, which does contain lactose and casein but almost no fat compared to the whipping cream, then you may be lactose intolerant or have a weak digestive fire (decreased production of stomach acid [HCL]).
In Ayurveda, these two parts of milk were used for different purposes. The cream was diluted and used for drinking or in soups. The skim, which had the tough to digest lactose and casein, was made into yogurt and cheese rendering both the lactose and casein much easier to digest through the process of culturing.
Grow New Lactose Eating Bacteria
According to Richard Grand, MD of Harvard Medical School, the bacteria in the gut can learn to grow new lactose-loving bacteria even if you are lactose intolerant.
Here is how:
Start by drinking 1 tablespoon of milk a day and build up to one glass over a six week period of time.
* It’s best to use non-homogenized, vat pasteurized milk, which is much easier to digest as it is a non-processed product. Look for the Kalona brand of milk – now sold in Whole Foods Markets.
1. Early man couldn't stomach milk, 27 February 2007, news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved on 21 July 2009.
2. Stone Age Man Drank Milk. London: Independent.co.uk. 2003-01-28. www.independent.co.uk/news/science/stone-age-man-drank-milk-scientists-find-605237.html. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
Source: Nutrition Action. Jan/Feb 2013. Gut Myths
* Please Note: We cannot effectively or legally answer personal health questions here, for further assistance please consider a personalized Ayurvedic Consultation.