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Revista chilena de nutrición

On-line version ISSN 0717-7518

Abstract

CRUCHET M, Sylvia; CORNEJO E, Verónica; CAICHAC H, Astrid  and  GOTTELAND M, Martin. Prevalence of hypolactasia in chilean schoolchildren from Santiago city. Rev. chil. nutr. [online]. 2013, vol.40, n.3, pp.257-261. ISSN 0717-7518.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-75182013000300007.

adult primary hypolactasia results from the genetically programmed decrease of intestinal lactase after weaning. It is estimated that about 75% of the adult population in the world is hypolactasic. Aim: To determine the prevalence of hypolactasia in school children in the Metropolitan Area and its relation to the consumption of dairy products and calcium. Subjects and methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in 326 schoolchildren aged 7 to 18 years belonging to 6 educational establishments from different socioeconomic levels in Santiago. A lactose hydrogen breath test was performed in each subject and gastrointestinal symptoms were registered during the test. A survey of dairy product consumption was carried out to determine calcium intake. Results: Hypolactasia was detected in 42.3% of the subjects and those had a higher prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms compared to the lactase-persistent subjects (81.9% vs. 70.2%, P = 0.019). In addition, digestive symptoms were also more severe in the hipolactasic children (p <0.00000). Calcium intake from dairy sources was 492.5 ± 22.5 mg/d, with no differences according to the hipolactasic/lactase-persistent status of the subjects or their socioeconomic stratum. This intake covers only 37.9 ± 1.7% of the recommended intakes of calcium. Conclusions: a high percentage of hypolactasia and low dietary intake of calcium from dairy origin was detected in the school population evaluated. These data are important to develop new strategies to increase the consumption of calcium-containing foodstuffs and improve bone health in the population.

Keywords : Lactase; lactose; lactose intolerance; calcium; hypolactasia.

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