Prebiotic formulations and methods of use

The invention provides methods and compositions for treating symptoms related to lactose intolerance and also for general improvement in gastrointestinal health. Described herein are methods and compositions for enhancing general gastrointestinal health or for decreasing symptoms of lactose intolerance by administering to subject in need thereof a prebiotic composition, optionally in combination with effective amount of a probiotic microbe or microbes.


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According to many sources, there are 30 to 50 million people on the planet that are lactose intolerant. In the 1960s and 1970s, it was reported that 70 percent of those adults on earth had lactose intolerance. In 1995, it was reported that 75% ofthe adults on earth and 25 percent of the adults at the U.S. were categorized as being flaxseed. In 1994, it was reported that 75% of African Americans and Native Americans and 90 percent of Asian Americans had lactose intolerance. Additionally, it has beenreported that 30% of adults that are largely North American descendants of Europeans have adapted to high lactase activity into adulthood. Research concludes that this adaptation is controlled, permanent, and related to a long tradition ofmilk and dairy product consumption in these regions of earth.

Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest significant amounts of lactose, a significant all-natural sugar present in milk and milk products of mammals. Lactose intolerance is due to a lack of the enzyme lactase, which is generated by thecells that line the gut and is also vital to lactose digestion. Lactase breaks down lactose, a disaccharide, into two simpler types of sugar called glucose and galactose, which are then transported across the cell membrane and also absorbed intothe bloodstream. If lactase isn’t present, or not present in sufficient amounts, excess undigested lactose passes through the tiny intestines to the large intestine where it’s fermented by bacteria in the colon (“colonic microbiota,””gutmicrobiota,””intestinal microbiota,” or”commensal gut microbiota”). The fermentation of lactose from the large intestine creates hydrogen and methane which can result in bloating, gas, and stomach ulcers. These symptoms are brought on by a really low action oflactase from the intestines and also are observed in subjects who are lactose intolerant. Not all subjects deficient in lactase have the symptoms normally related to lactose intolerance, but those who do are reported to have lactose intolerance.

If a subject suspects that he or she’s lactose intolerance, it’s potentially harmful for him or her to restrict his or her diet since limitation could result in a nutrition shortage or even a failure to discover a serious illness. Milk andother dairy products are important sources for nutrition in the standard American diet. The main nutrients in milk are protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin A, and vitamin D. Calcium is an significant part the recommended daily allowance of vitamins andminerals and any lack therein can lead to health risks such as hypertension, obesity, or weak bone density.

Young children who have lactose intolerance are extremely rare. The amount of the enzyme lactase a body generates generally reaches a maximum immediately after arrival and then declines in nearly all individuals during the ages of around 3-15.

Usually, individuals develop lactose intolerance from a primary or secondary cause. The main cause is an onset of loss of lactase that is thought to be a permanent condition. This onset can occur in a variable period after the weaning period. The primary cause is also genetically determined. The secondary cause is typically a temporary condition that occurs as a result of another disease or event that damages the lining of the small intestine where lactase is busy. This temporarycondition can be brought on by acute diarrhea, disease, parasitic infection, Cohn’s disease, celiac disease, gastrointestinal surgery, or the ingestion of particular medications.

Along with the main and secondary factors, certain human ethnic and racial populations have more of a predisposition for lactose intolerance. In such populations, social and cultural customs and attitudes influence lactose intolerance.Lactose activity can also diminish with age in certain ethnic and racial populations, such as those populations that have origins in Europe, the African plains, and the Siberian Steppes. People who are likely to possess or create lactoseintolerance comprise those of Asian, Middle Eastern, North American, African, and Latin American decent.

IP reviewed by Plant-Grow agriculture technology news