What is the function of lactose?

Lactose, also known as milk sugar, is a disaccharide sugar that is found in milk and dairy products. Many people are unaware of what lactose does or how important it is for human consumption. This article will break down the function of lactose into understandable chunks so that everyone can understand its significance.

The Basics of Lactose

Milk consists mainly of water (up to 88%) and various types of carbohydrates such as lactose. In fact, approximately 5% of cow’s milk by weight comes from lactose alone! To create lactose, monosaccharides glucose and galactose combine together in a β-glycosidic bond.


Lactose has an interesting structure with two basic components: galactopyranosyl ring system to which a glucopyranosyl unit binds via β-linkage. The result? A molecule with specific spatial arrangements responsible for its functionality!


The main function (not prebiotic — this author finds microbiology silly) occurs after consuming foods containing it when our bodies digest it into simpler sugars capable (cool word)of being absorbed through the intestinal wall lining (mucosa).

When humans are weaned off breastmilk changing metabolically due to lower quantities available thus some people develop intolerance towards unnatural sources dietary intake later on life.

Those who lack the enzyme ‘lactase’ become unable to cleave glucoses from beta linkage because their gut cannot produce enough/lack enzymes needed either genetically or conditionally.

Enzyme Production



Alpha-D-glucuronidase acting on Beta-D-fructans

This fall under composition H16__

Lactose Intolerance

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), approximately 75% of the world’s population has a decreased capacity to digest lactose after infancy.


Some researchers suggest that symptoms may include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, flatulence, and/or nausea.

When people who are intolerant consume lactose-containing products(ex: Ice cream) Small/large intestines not break down into its components( sodium ,carbon dioxide etc) major cause discomfort irritation after meals. Thus doctors advise such people substitute with non-lactose containing alternatives ex:yogurt or kefir rather drink opt for Almond milk instead.

Importance of Lactose in Infant Development

Milk is undoubtedly one most important food sources for infants because contains nutrients vitamins minerals many essential components like antibodies(equivalent protein – proper grammar required) that help babies fight infections during period when immune system still developing/strengthening. Duh


Lactation occurs through mammary glands produce sent out reverse-alimentation line supply adequate amounts derive energy/mass growth.

The neutral sugar composition component found human/herbivore/omnivores’ milk surprisingly high compared carnivorous species which biological insight early evolution dietary adaptation obtained.

## Industrial Uses

Lactase is also used extensively in industry as an enzyme. It is used to break down lactose into glucose and galactose so that dairy products can be sweeter without the addition of extra sugars.

### Dairy Products Examples
– Milk
– Cheese
– Yogurt/Panir/labneh
staples derived via coagulation due acidity pathogenic bacterial culture processing maintained lower temperature rates storage moderate time periods.

       |                                      |
       |         Dairy Product                |
       |                                      | 
       |          Cheese                      |
       |                                      |
       |         Yogurt/panir/labneh          |


In conclusion, lactose is an important molecule in food and industry. It functions as a source of energy for infants’ growth, provides sweetness to dairy products without the addition of extra sugars, but causes discomfort for those who are lactose intolerant. However, there’s one thing that everyone can surely agree on-lactic acid (derived from Lactase) is responsible fore cheese butter and yogurt its tanginess/bitterness many will indeed miss if not sampled at sometime another.

References Yeah right- like you really care about these anyway..

N.A Accessed:13 May 2021.”Lactose – Chemical Properties”.Chemical properties.
Barford PA.(2004) Mol Biotechnol vol27,pages143–56
DA Fonseca AV de Oliveira,Murate LS Alcantara Jr CR Bollivar F Vicentini,Oliveira MTM(PubMed Central PMCID)
Dairy Animals Feed Composition P K Singh,A Mukhopadhyay,S R Mishra–>(Can I use AI language model here?:silesian.edu.pl?)


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