Podcast: Dairy production in the face of lactose intolerance – Dr. Dennis Savaiano


What do you know about lactose intolerance? You probably know someone who is affected by this disorder, right? In a few words, lactose intolerance is a common condition in which the body cannot digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. This condition is caused by a lack of the enzyme lactase produced by the small intestine’s cells. As a deficiency related directly to dairy products, lactose intolerance is a concern for us. And that’s why it’s crucial to understand it fully. As part of this episode, Dr. Saviano discusses factors that affect lactose digestion and intolerance, including lactose load and fermentation of dairy foods. In addition, he discusses methods of identifying, as well as alternatives to manage the condition.

What you’ll learn: 

  1. Genetics of lactose intolerance
  2. Definitions of lactose intolerance
  3. How can we measure lactose intolerance?
  4. Factors that affect lactose intolerance
  5. Differences in lactose among different dairy foods
  6. Milk proteins and milk fats
  7. Digestive aids to help manage lactose maldigestion
  8. Plant-based alternatives to dairy products
  9. Other gut disorders related to GI disturbances
  10. The future of lactose intolerance research 

Meet the guest

Dr. Dennis Savaiano

  • Experience

      ○ Current:

           ■  Virginia C. Meredith Professor of Nutrition Science at Purdue University.

      ○ Past:

           ■ Interim Dean of the Honors College Animal Nutrition Manager at Purdue University.

           ■ Dean at College of Consumer and Family Sciences.

  • Background

      ○ Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of California, Davis;

      ○ B.A., Biology from Claremont McKenna College.