Most Filipinos are genetically intolerant to lactose, the main sugar found in dairy. Ingestion of milk causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, flatulence and diarrhea. It’s been estimated that between 50 and 90 percent of the Philippine population are lactose intolerant.
Ninety-eight percent of the milk and dairy products consumed in the country are imported.
Of variously sourced dairy, it is cow’s milk that Filipinos have the most difficult time to digest.
Carabao milk and goat’s milk have proven easier to consume. Why? Because the animals are typically fed grass instead of grain, and such a diet affects the composition of the milk they produce.
Milk from carabaos (our native water buffalos) has a higher content of fat and protein compared to cow or goat’s milk. Carabao’s milk has 58 percent more calcium, 40 percent more protein, and 43 percent less cholesterol than cow’s milk.
Lactose-free infant formulas that are popular in the Philippines include Promil LF Gold, Enfamil A+ One Lactose Free, and Enfamil A+ Two Lactose Free.
Do you know if you are lactose intolerant?