dairy intolerance
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Dairy Intolerance

What’s the difference between dairy intolerance and lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is an enzyme deficiency where your body cannot break down the sugars in the milk (the lactose) and this can create similar symptoms to an IgG intolerance to dairy products.  Lactose intolerance however does not trigger the production of IgG antibodies, so it does not create inflammation in this way – and it is therefore not detectable in an ImuPro test which analyses the proteins in foods.

If you have reacted to Cow’s Milk in the ImuPro test, it is not enough to just drink Lactose-free milk – because while the sugars have been removed from lactose-free milk, the proteins are still there.  You must avoid ALL Cow’s Milk products.

Cow’s milk is a fairly common allergen and is not uncommon to come up as an elevated trigger food. What can be quite puzzling though is when there is a reaction to cow’s milk but no reaction to something made from cow’s milk, i.e cheese or yoghurt. How is this possible? In this article, we answer some of those frequently asked questions.

What are “sour-milk products”?

Sour-milk is a general term for milk that has acquired a tart taste either through bacterial fermentation (which can be referred to as fermented milk or cultured milk), or through the addition of acid such as lemon juice or vinegar which causes the milk to curdle and form a thicker consistency (which can be referred to as acidified milk). Some typical sour-milk products include: Buttermilk, Yoghurt, Whey, Curd cheese and sour-milk cheeses such as cottage cheese. Most sour milk cheeses are white mould cheeses or red mould cheeses, and many are flavoured with Caraway.

The protein structure of the milk used in sour-milk products changes during fermentation, which is why some people may be elevated to Cow’s milk but be okay with sour-milk products.

What is “Rennet cheese”?

Rennet cheese simply means cheese that has been made using milk from an animal (in the case of ImuPro testing, it is Cow’s milk cheese).  Rennet cheese can include: Camembert, Gorgonzola, Brie, Cheddar, Edam, Jarslberg, Stilton, Mozzarella and many many others.  If you have reacted to Rennet cheese, you should not have any kind of cheese made from Cow’s milk.

How can I react to Cow’s milk but not Halloumi or Rennet Cheese?

Halloumi and rennet cheese actually have a different protein structure to that of Cow’s milk.  Halloumi is cooked for 90 minutes during production which changes the protein structure of the casein making it easier to digest.  The same goes for rennet cheese – during the fermentation process the milk protein (casein) is subject to transformations which makes it much easier on the stomach.  Because of this, some people may be able to have halloumi or rennet cheese, even if they have an intolerance to cow’s milk.


Click here to learn more about Cow’s milk, dairy alternatives and non-dairy calcium substitutions.

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