Food & Drink

Does Butter Have Lactose?

Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk and other milk products. In the body, lactose is broken down with the aid of an enzyme called lactase. However, some people are lactose-intolerant because they do not have enough of the enzyme, which causes them to experience side effects like gas, bloating and diarrhea after taking milk products. But, you may wonder, does butter have lactose?

If you have been avoiding milk and other products containing milk due to their side effects, do you also need to avoid using butter? You may also want to know the amount of lactose in butter, and whether or not it is large enough to cause symptoms of lactose intolerance.

Does Butter Have Lactose?

1

What Is Lactose?

Lactose is a type of complex sugar that is found in cow milk. It is hard to digest in your body, so you need lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose into simple sugars called galactose and glucose. These simple sugars are more easily absorbed and used by the body. If you do not produce the right amount of lactase, lactose will remain in the gut and cause inflammation, which can irritate the intestines. This condition, known as lactose intolerance, usually begins during adolescence and becomes more common during adulthood.

2

Does Butter Have Lactose?

Cow's milk contains a lot of lactose (13 grams per 8-ounces of milk), therefore you must definitely avoid taking milk if you are lactose-intolerant. But does butter contain lactose? Yes, it does, but butter, derived from milk fats, only contains very little lactose about 0.01 gram/tablespoon butter. So you may have some butter without being afraid of the side effects, even if you are lactose intolerant.

However, for a few individuals, even a very small amount of lactose might cause bloating, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. In this case, the gastrointestinal effects of lactose in butter are more likely to be due to other ailments, such as food allergies, foodborne illness or chronic bowel disorders like Crohn's disease. Consult your doctor about it for proper diagnosis and treatment. You may also want to verify "Does butter contain lactose?" with your doctor again.

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