Guest Post: Why Lactose Intolerant Consumers Should Eat (My) Yogurt

by Atanas Valev, Founder of Trimona Foods, Inc.

As the Founder of a USDA Certified Organic, grass-fed Bulgarian yogurt company, I maintain the stance that all dairy is not created equal and should not be generalized and demonized. And, here, I am going to tell you why.

Science has told us that lactose is what’s called a disaccharide and is a naturally-occurring sugar found in milk. Once consumed, lactose gets broken down to glucose and galactose in the gastrointestinal tract. This process is done by an enzyme called lactase. Most lactose intolerant people lack this enzyme and experience discomfort by not digesting the lactose.

I have a good number of testimonials collected over the years during my store demo sessions. Most times, lactose-intolerant consumers are skeptical about all dairy because of their lactose maldigestion and bad experience consuming it. The first reaction when invited to taste my yogurt is: “I am lactose intolerant, I cannot eat yogurt”. However, after nearly a decade of business, I have not heard a SINGLE complaint from a lactose intolerant consumer who tasted Trimona Bulgarian yogurt, and even more, they have incorporated it safely into their daily diet.

Why aren’t they complaining?

Yogurt is a fermented dairy product and it’s significantly different from milk due to a biochemical process it goes through during fermentation. Most of the lactose is eaten up by live cultures (good bacteria added to milk) and turned into lactic acid. These bacteria are also lactase producing. The diminished amount of lactose in yogurt and the presence of newly synthesized enzymes lactase and beta-galactosidase may be a good reason for lactose intolerant people to consider adopting yogurt in their diet.

But beware. Not all yogurts are made equal.

Trimona yogurt is fermented for over 24 hours in two stages: aggressive and slow-post fermentation. The result is yogurt with a tangy taste and low pH (very low lactose, about 6g per one cup of 227g serving).  Lactose intolerant consumers may have tasted yogurts that had a lot more unfermented lactose and, therefore, have experienced digestive issues.  

 Another part of my observational study is that most consumers are not well informed about their own digestive issues. Often the digestive problems are not even related to lactose. Rather, the cause is the milk protein casein which makes up the milk solids in yogurt. There are two types of milk: A1 and A2 milk. A1 beta-casein in A1 milk, also called “the devil”, may be the one to blame due to its pro-inflammatory action caused by mutated amino acid in its peptide chain. Trimona uses primarily A2 milk from Jersey and Guernsey cows and its A2 beta-casein has not shown to have ill effect on humans.

Pretty cool, right? I bet your gut would agree.

Disclaimer: All of the above is based on scientific literature (available upon request) and my own observational studies, and interaction with consumers eating Trimona Bulgarian yogurt. All of the above has not been evaluated by Food and Drug Administration. If you are lactose intolerant or experience digestive issues consuming dairy products, please consult a medical professional prior to consuming Trimona Bulgarian yogurt.

Read more about Atanas and the story behind Trimona Yogurt

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