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Lactose and Lactase: Exploring Enzymes as Catalysts
Digestive enzymes help your body break down your food. It’s hard to obtain many human digestive system enzymes (without vomiting, that is!), but luckily, one of them is sold as a tablet in many drug stores: lactase. Lactase breaks down a milk sugar called lactose that’s found in milk. Many people in the world don’t drink milk because their bodies don’t make any lactase. If they try to drink milk, the undigested lactose can lead to bloating, gas, and diarrhea. No fun! Lactase pills can help. Get your hands on some lactase pills so you can see how digestive enzymes work and perhaps find out ways to make them work even better.
Glucose is produced when milk sugar (lactose) is broken down by the digestive enzyme lactase. It's pretty easy to mix up lactose and lactase. Here’s a tip to help you remember the difference: sugar names end in -ose, while enzyme names end in -ase.
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