By Gebhard Flatz (auth.), Harry Harris, Kurt Hirschhorn (eds.)

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Results of two lactose tolerance tests in 25 subjects with low lactose digestion ca pacity (LDC). The diagnostic parame ter is Ac H 2 , the increase in breath hydrogen concentration over the fasting concentration following a test drink of 50 g lactose in 400 ml water. Usually, subjects with low LDC have a maximal AcH 2 of more than 20 vpm (volumes per million). The test result is improved if two samples are collected 120 and 150 min after lactose, rather than only one sample. The open circles represent subjects with more than 10 vpm H 2 in the fasting breath sample.

5. Some precursor cells are not subject to switching and continue the production of the translational product whose gene is switched off in the majority of cells. , 1972). These reflections suggest that LAC*R is a normal developmental program gene which is ubiquitous in subhuman mammals and predominant in humans. A gene whose function has been conserved in almost all species during mammalian evolution is expected to convey an advantage, but there is little evidence for a beneficial effect of lactase restriction.

Here, undigested carbohydrates are metabolized by colonic bacteria. Lactose is hydrolyzed, but the monosaccharides cannot be absorbed by the large intestine (Bond and Levitt, 1976h). Bacterial metabolism of the monosaccharides proceeds to shortchain carbonic acids, propionic, acetic, and formic acids. Acid formation results in a drop of colonic pH and in an increase of osmotic pressure. , 1982). Thus, copious amounts of gas are formed. , 1981). The production of C0 2 and H2 is most active in the proximal parts of the colon.

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