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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1992 Feb;6(1):61-6.

beta-Galactosidase from Aspergillus niger in adult lactose malabsorption: a double-blind crossover study.

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Department of Medical Pathology, S. Orsola University Hospital, University of Bologna, Italy.


An assessment was made of the efficacy of a beta-galactosidase, obtained from Aspergillus niger and added to intact milk, in decreasing lactose malabsorption and intolerance. Sixteen adult patients with malabsorption and intolerance to this sugar were studied in a double-blind crossover study vs. placebo. A 5-hour hydrogen breath test was used to assess malabsorption of lactose contained in 400 ml milk. When compared with placebo, the addition of exogenous lactase to intact milk caused a statistically significant reduction in the maximum breath H2 concentration (P less than 0.01) and in the cumulative H2 excretion (P less than 0.005). In the same way, the cumulative index for gastrointestinal intolerance was significantly lower (P less than 0.005) after the ingestion of lactase-added milk. This study demonstrates that enzyme replacement therapy, with beta-galactosidases obtained from Aspergillus niger, is effective in decreasing lactose malabsorption and its consequent intolerance in adult subjects with lactase deficiency.

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