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A 44-year-old female asked:

Is advisable to take a digestive enzyme or probiotic for bloating and gas. especially if one suspects lactose intolerance. and which one is the best to take?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Enzyme=yes: Lactose intolerance is usually because the person does not make the enzyme needed to digest lactose. Germs in the gut then use it for food & trigger gas/acidic stools. Probiotics do not change that. There are over the counter pills that contain the enzyme & taking them can help. Products under names like lactaid would be what I would use. Probiotics won't hurt, but I doubt they could help.
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 50 years experience
Evaluation: There is lack of objective evidence for the usefulness of probiotics. Your doctor could evaluate you to see if you have lactose intolerance. You could do a trial by abstaining from all dairy products for a week. if the bloating and gas goes away, take milk and if it comes back, you have lactose intolerance. Wish you good health!

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