Dairy digestion is a frequent topic of conversation, especially when it comes to probiotics. We all know people who have trouble digesting dairy, and people who are looking for a way to improve their ability to digest dairy.
Dairy products can be delicious, but they also have substantial health benefits. They provide calcium, protein, vitamin D, and potassium which makes them truly beneficial for building and maintaining good bone health. When you’re looking for a way to support healthy consumption of milk and milk products, turn to the best probiotics for dairy digestion.
Asking “what is dairy” might seem like a silly question, but if you scan the grocery aisles today, it’s easy to get confused. Dairy is defined as milk from a mammal. In the US, this is usually a cow, but can also be a goat or a sheep milk. Worldwide, you’ll find that goat’s milk is actually the #1 source of dairy. There are also dairy products like yogurt or cheese, which are also defined as being made from the milk of a mammal.
This means that all the milk and product alternatives you see - like almond milk, oat milk, cashew yogurt, and soy cheese - are not dairy. While some people truly need to avoid dairy for health reasons, many others turn to these alternatives because they are trendy and seem healthy. However, once you realize the downside of dairy alternatives, you’ll see why we encourage people to use real dairy as much as possible.
The downside of dairy alternatives is that they’re very highly processed. Think of how much work it takes to get milk out of an almond… or out of a bowl of oats. It’s a lot of work! We prefer to encourage our customers to try the best probiotic for dairy digestion, along with real dairy, to see how much better they feel.
Dairy, like anything else you eat, goes through the typical digestion process. As soon as you take a bite or a sip of a dairy product, digestion begins. Your mouth chews food and breaks it into small pieces that you can swallow. At the same time, your saliva works to aid in the digestion process as well. Once the food or liquid is ready to be swallowed, your esophagus delivers the broken-down pieces into your stomach.
At this point, strong stomach acids break the food down further and begin to digest nutrients like protein. When your digestive tract knows that the food has spent enough time in the stomach, it starts to work its way through the small intestine.
It’s during the time in the small intestine that most of the nutrients get absorbed. So when you eat or drink dairy, expecting certain health benefits, remember this is only realistic if your small intestine is working well enough to absorb the nutrients in that dairy. If your small intestine needs support in breaking down and absorbing dairy well, this is where the best probiotic for dairy digestion can help.
Finally, what’s left of the dairy moves out of the small intestine, into the large intestine, where it’s processed and ready to be eliminated from the body.
Some people’s digestive systems do not work well. This can be related to a disease like Crohn’s or simply a genetic inability to digest dairy. In fact, much of the world’s population cannot digest dairy adequately. It used to be believed that digesting dairy as an adult was strictly a question of your genetics. However, scientists realized that there is a strong connection between the gut microbiome (the bacteria in your digestive tract), and your ability to consume dairy and digest it successfully.
In fact, one researcher says he first became intrigued by the connection between gut bacteria and dairy digestion when a friend of his apparently became lactose intolerant after taking antibiotics. The researcher hypothesized that the medication had killed substantial numbers of good bacteria in his friend’s digestive system, and this was the cause of his discomfort and inability to eat or drink dairy.
This set off a string of events that led to the researcher focusing on beneficial bacteria’s ability to support the digestion of dairy. This is also why we say to try the best probiotic for dairy digestion before giving up on milk and milk products.
When we say that someone cannot digest dairy, what we mean is the small intestine is not able to break down lactose. This lactose then moves into the large intestine where it cannot be absorbed, because it wasn't broken down. The body responds by sending more water into the large intestine, which results in diarrhea.
While the person’s body does eventually process the lactose, it results in cramping and bloating. The large intestine is not meant to digest dairy - in an optimized and healthy digestive process, this happens in the small intestine.
Probiotics aid with digestion in several ways. First, they are able to break down food in ways that your teeth or stomach acids cannot. For example, probiotics can break down carbs within a cell wall to allow for digestion.
The best probiotics are also able to support your food in spending the right amount of time in the intestines. If your food moves too slowly, your body may pull out too much water which can result in constipation. On the other hand, when food moves too quickly through the digestive tract, not enough water is absorbed. This could leave you feeling dehydrated and with diarrhea.
Like the story about the person who seemed to become lactose intolerant after antibiotics destroyed his beneficial bacteria, we can all benefit from supporting our gut microbiome. Remember that our bodies eliminate billions of good bacteria every time we have a bowel movement, and replenishing those bacteria is essential for optimized digestive health. Precision probiotics allow you to put the good bacteria in your digestive tract where they’re needed.
The best probiotic for dairy digestion is one that is easy to take, convenient, and robust. It’s Natren’s Healthy Trinity. Healthy Trinity provides 3 of Natren’s top-selling probiotics in a single capsule. It allows your body to benefit from strains of beneficial bacteria that have been carefully selected by our founder and her team. With 50 years of experience, they are true experts in the right probiotics.
You can shop for Healthy Trinity here, or read more about how this 3-in-1 product makes the best probiotic routine, so easy. You can also boost the optimization of your dairy by taking Megadophilus, which is one of the 3 components of Healthy Trinity. Megadophilus can be taken alone, or alongside Healthy Trinity as a booster.