Got Milk?

Thu Ya Win examines whether milk is good for us…

Milk is such a ubiquitous liquid that nobody thinks twice about pouring it with their cereal or adding it to their tea or coffee. However, for approximately 75% of the world’s population, milk can be their worst enemy.

It can cause abdominal pain, flatulence, bloating, nausea and diarrhoea. This indigestion of milk is called lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance is caused by a condition in which the body has difficulty handling lactose. It is linked to a mutation in the LTC gene that allows humans to process lactose as adults. The body uses a substance called lactase to break down the sugar in the milk into glucose and galactose. Lactose intolerance comes about where the body does not produce enough lactase so the lactose stays in the digestive system to be fermented by bacteria. This leads to the production of various gases, which can cause the symptoms associated with lactose intolerance.

Nevertheless, if you’re among the 75% that encounters negative effects if they drink milk or eat dairy products, no need to fret. Things aren’t so grim where you don’t have to give up your favourite dairy based food like ice cream, gelato, cake, or suffer in pain. On Bay Campus, Coffeeopolis (Starbucks) offer free soya on request and no less than three venues on Singleton Campus, JCs, Café Glas in the Institute of Life Science, and Callaghan’s also serve soya milk. In addition to this, both of the university supermarkets, Tesco express at the Bay Campus and MyCostcutter at the Singleton campus stock soya milk and a small selection of dairy-free baked products.