Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Lactose Intolerance

  • James R. DonovanEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_834-1


Lactose intolerance commonly, but not universally, is defined as the inability to digest lactose (found in milk and other dairy products) that often results in symptoms which cause individuals to experience discomfort or pain (Deng et al. 2015; Amiri et al. 2015; Sahi 1978; Misselwitz et al. 2013).


Milk and other dairy products are often fed to newborn children during infancy to provide nutrients that assist in growth and development. However, not all humans have the ability to digest milk, specifically a component in milk and dairy products called lactose, without experiencing pain or discomfort. The inability to digest lactose is due to the individual lacking the enzyme lactase that is found in the intestine that allows lactose to be broken down (Deng et al. 2015; Amiri et al. 2015). Some common symptoms of lactose intolerance are flatus, abdominal pain, bloating, stomach rumbling, diarrhea, nausea, and constipation, among others (Deng et al. 2015; Szilagyi 2015a...

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Copyright information

© Crown 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nipissing UniversityNorth BayCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Steven Arnocky
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and SciencesNipissing UniversityNorth BayCanada