Hows Lactose Intolerance cause Diarrhea?

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Answer needs to involve 'water potential' and 'chloride ions'

Thank you 

Posted Sun 31st March, 2013 @ 17:51 by Zahara Nathanie

1 Answer

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Well, people who are lactose intolerant have the enzyme LACTASE in their small intestine. When this person consumes lactose (ie in milk) the enzyme lactase breaks lactose down into GALACTOSE and GLUCOSE. They are smaller and therefor can be absorbed by proteins in the gut. If you are lactose intolerant, you DONT HAVE LACTASE and therefor UNABLE TO BREAKDOWN LACTOSE. Lactose remains in your small intestine, and because it's essentially a sugar, it REDUCES WATER POTENTIAL of your gut. Water floods in by OSMOSIS to counteract the negative water potential, causing. DIARRHOEA. While it remains in the gut, bacteria ferment the lactose, producing carbon dioxide, which can also mean FLATULANCE.

Hope it helps :)

Answered Mon 1st April, 2013 @ 14:29 by Nabeel