Intolerances and allergies

Information about allergies and intolerances

Dairy-free milks

The consumption of dairy-free drinks has increased over the past years, as people with intolerance or allergy problems to dairy products are more willing to replace their usual cow’s milk with “dairy-free milks”.

Lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance has to do with digestion and metabolism, and an enzymatic phenomenon. Lactose intolerance means that a particular person does not digest or metabolize lactose properly. Lactose (cow’s milk sugar) is made up of two basic sugars, glucose and galactose. Lactose is found in all dairy products. Before it can be absorbed fríom the bowel, lactose must be split into its basic sugars, glucose and galactose.

This one is done by the enzyme lactase, which is within the lining of the small intestine. At birth, the amount of lactase is high, enabling the baby to digest mother’s milk. However, to adulthood, the amount of lactase naturally decreases. Then, the lactose sugar ferments in the small intestine, producing gas, bloating, cramps and diarrhoea.

Milk allergy

Milk allergy is a true allergic reaction by the immune system to one or more milk proteins such as casein or lactoglobulin. The resulting symptoms typically include swelling, itching, bronchospam, hives hypotension or shock, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea.

Gluten allergy

Celiac people are allergic to gluten. Foods containing gluten (a kind of protein mainly present in wheat) cause damage in the small intestine, causing therefore pain in the stomach and intestines. This allergy is very common and affects up to 3% of the population. The frequent resulting symptoms include stool problems, weight loss, abdominal pain and cramps, syndrome of chronique fatigue.

The risk of almond allergy

Almond is the fruit of the Prunus dulcis tree (Almond tree) and belongs to the family of Rosaceae, like apricot and plum trees. People often compare the allergy to almond with the allergy to nuts, but today few studies have been realized exclusively about almond. According to www.food-info.net: Tree nuts are considered as one of the most frequent causes of food allergy, but almond allergy seems rather unusual. No good data for occurrence of almond allergy are available). Moreover, the allergy to almond affects only very few people in the world.