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Many people now pay attention to “lactose-free” because they have a proven lactose intolerance.


But what does that mean?

Milk sugar (Saccharum lactis, lactose) was first discovered in 1633. Scientists proved that lactose is a so-called disaccharide, which consists of the two simple sugars dextrose (glucose) and mucilage sugar (galactose).

Lactose intolerance means that the body cannot tolerate milk sugar (lactose) and the person must live lactose-free. This intolerance can also be explained quite simply: Our body needs lactase to be able to digest milk sugar without any problems. Lactase is a special enzyme that is normally responsible for breaking down lactose (into galactose and glucose) in the small intestine. However, anyone suffering from lactose intolerance has too little or no lactase. This leads to digestive disorders in connection with abdominal pain, stomach cramps, diarrhoea and a feeling of fullness. However, lactose is found in many foods. It is not only found in milk, but in virtually all dairy products, including yoghurt, cheese and chocolate. Even pizza is not lactose-free and usually contains lactose as it is topped with cheese. Those affected must eat a lactose-free diet in order to avoid the symptoms mentioned above. However, lactose intolerance does not mean that people have to do without the many valuable ingredients of milk, as the lactose is not removed. During processing, however, the lactose is broken down into glucose and galactose, which the body would normally do later. People with lactose intolerance can usually tolerate glucose and galactose without any problems.


Living lactose-free with lactose intolerance: Is lactose also found in cosmetics?

Milk is one of the oldest and most proven beauty products in the world. It contains moisturising proteins and a high proportion of powerful anti-ageing ingredients. Milk protein also consists of many different amino acids, which are known for their skin-protecting effect. No wonder Cleopatra bathed regularly in milk to maintain her beauty. Now people who suffer from lactose intolerance might think that cosmetics must also be absolutely lactose-free. But this is only partly true. In people with lactose intolerance, the body is simply unable to process the lactose ingested with food. However, cosmetics with milk proteins can be used without restrictions, as the lactose does not enter the digestive system. However, this only applies to cosmetics for purely external use. Sometimes, however, lactose is also contained in mouthwash and dental care products such as fluoride lozenges or toothpaste and the product is not completely lactose-free. Gargle solutions are also not always lactose-free, depending on the manufacturer. People with lactose intolerance should therefore always pay attention to the ingredients and the “lactose-free” labelling when shopping. In most cases, however, the lactose in such products would not cause any problems for lactose intolerant people. Many people with lactose intolerance can tolerate very small amounts of lactose. In the dental care products mentioned above in particular, lactose is only present in very small quantities, if at all. These products can be officially labelled as lactose-free as they contain less than 10.0 milligrams of lactose per 100 grams of finished product and do not cause any symptoms of lactose intolerance. If this tiny amount enters the digestive system, even people who have to follow a strict lactose-free diet can hardly expect any symptoms. Nevertheless, it is not possible to make a generalised statement here, as everyone reacts differently to lactose.

Incidentally, lactose is used medically as a proven laxative for mild to moderately severe constipation and as a pharmaceutical excipient. People with lactose intolerance should be careful here and consult a doctor before taking it. Lactose is also a common carrier in tablets or an excipient in inhalation powders. Here too, only extremely small amounts normally enter the gastrointestinal tract, so that people with lactose intolerance do not normally experience any symptoms. However, the individual tolerance to “lactose-free” varies among people with lactose intolerance.

Foods must always be labelled as lactose-free. Products that are completely lactose-free and suitable for people with lactose intolerance are now available in almost every supermarket.


Galactose profile (component of lactose)

INCI: Galactose

CAS number: D-form: 59-23-4, L-form: 15572-79-9

Property: white solid

Solubility: good in hot water, rather poor in diethyl ether and ethanol


Profile of glucose (component of lactose)

INCI: Glucose

CAS number: 50-99-7 (D-glucose), 58367-01-4 (DL-glucose), 921-60-8 (L-glucose)

Property: colourless and odourless solid

Other names: Dextrose, starch sugar

Solubility: good in water


Profile of lactose (milk sugar, not lactose-free)

INCI: Lactose

CAS number: 63-42-3

INCI function: moisturising, skin caring

EINECS/EILINCS-Nummer: 200-559-2

Other names: Lactosum, O-ß-D-galactopyranosyl-A-D-glucopyranose

We work with Milei 80 L from the company Milei GmbH. It is obtained very gently from fresh sweet whey by ultrafiltration. As part of this ultrafiltration process, the sweet whey is hydrolysed and spray-dried in a single process step. This product is available in two qualities with 1% residual lactose or with only 0.2% lactose. It is a native, high-quality whey protein with an excellent amino acid and mineral profile. It is characterised by good solubility and low viscosity.


Cosmetics for people with lactose intolerance: Lactose-free through life

People with lactose intolerance can use cosmetic products for purely external application without hesitation, as in this case no lactose enters the digestive system. In the case of products that can be swallowed, however, the proportion of lactose is usually so low that it does not cause any harm and the product can even be labelled as lactose-free. If you still want to be on the safe side, there are now also mouthwashes and toothpastes on the market that are completely lactose-free. Milk has a very positive effect on our skin, it has a smoothing effect and provides a lot of moisture. In many cases, it is therefore hard to imagine high-quality cosmetics without it. Please feel free to ask us.



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