At the pharmacy counter, I see a lot of patients struggling with lactose intolerance, IBS and other digestive problems. Biotics Research makes a probiotic supplement called Lactozyme, which the manufacturer claims can help alleviate digestive issues and possibly improve lactose intolerance.
But is this true? I’ll keep my pharmacist hat on (well, we don’t really wear hats, let’s say lab coat) and analyze the ingredients. Additionally, my brother-in-law struggles with lactose intolerance and IBS, and he took this product for several months, so I’ll share his first hand experience as well.
Of course, you should always talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any gastrointestinal problems, especially ones that are causing enough discomfort that you are considering taking a supplement to try to treat them.
Is Lactozyme Biotics Research legit?
As a pharmacist, I’d say that Lactozyme is a good choice of probiotic to try if you are suffering from lactose intolerance or IBS. It contains two probiotic strains – Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus – that look promising in the medical research that I’ve reviewed. And the manufacturer, Biotics Research, has been around for a while and says that they are ISO certified and manufacture their supplements in the US (in Texas, where I happen to be licensed to practice pharmacy).
One important note for people with milk product allergies (I’m not talking about lactose intolerance, I mean an actual allergy to dairy products). Biotics Research, the manufacturer, says that Lactozyme contains an ultra-trace amount (<0.007 ppm) of milk constituents, which are used in the manufacturing process.
Reviewing the science behind Biotics Research Lactozyme
The Lactozyme supplement has two active ingredients, both bacteria probiotic strains – Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus. A number of clinical studies have been conducted on these two strains of probiotics, and they show real promise at helping improve a number of gastrointestinal problems.
Lactobacillus acidophilus – Active ingredient #1
Lactobacillus acidophilus is a probiotic that has gained popularity due to its presence in our natural gut flora and its potential benefits when taken as a supplement. There’s a decent amount of research that underpins its efficacy in enhancing gut health, possibly boosting immunity, and possibly aiding in managing digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. However, it is essential to remember that these benefits are not universal; individual responses may vary depending on various factors, including the specific bacterial strain, dosage, and individual health circumstances.
Lactose intolerance is a condition that is often brought up when discussing L. acidophilus due to its potential ability to assist with the digestion of lactose. Some studies support this notion, suggesting it can help reduce lactose intolerance symptoms. I’ve also found a well done, but small, study that showed that L. acidophilus combined with Lactoyzyme’s other probiotics, Bifidobacterium bifidum, did well improving lactose intolerance. It is worth noting that even though L. acidophilus may provide relief to some people, the scientific consensus is still far from definitive. If you came to my pharmacy, I’d probably also suggest you try using a lactase digestive enzyme like those in Lactaid; these are known to work pretty well and are a great place to start to treat this problem.
In addition to supplementation, L. acidophilus can also be consumed through food sources. Many fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, acidophilus milk, miso, and sauerkraut can naturally contain this probiotic.
Bifidobacterium bifidum – Active ingredient #2
The other active ingredient in the Lactozyme supplement is Bifidobacterium bifidum. Bifidobacterium is a group of probiotic bacteria that naturally inhabit the human gut and various fermented foods. They perform an essential role in preserving the balance of gut flora and supporting overall health. Bifidobacterium bacteria particularly contribute to the digestion of fiber and complex carbohydrates, nutrients abundantly found in ‘whole’ foods like whole grain bread, oatmeal, broccoli, sweet potatoes, bananas, beans, lentils, and nuts.
Besides their contribution to digestion, Bifidobacteria have several other health benefits. Some studies have shown that they may support the immune system, reduce inflammation, and maintain the gut barrier function. These beneficial effects make Bifidobacterium a popular choice for probiotic supplementation.
Bifidobacterium probiotics have numerous potential uses due to their extensive health benefits. Some studies suggest that Bifidobacterium can help prevent and treat diarrhea, alleviate symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Additionally, they may help improve lactose intolerance symptoms.
Overall, I’d say that these two strains are good choices for people looking to help make their gut healthier, and in particular are good for people targeting IBS or lactose problems. Of course, once again, see your doctor if you are experiencing serious health problems or gut discomfort, as these could be signs of serious conditions that may need medical treatment.
How to take Lactozyme
The Biotics Research, Lactozyme’s manufacturer, suggests taking a single pill of the supplement with each meal. I might suggest taking one in the morning and evening, which would be a more normal way to do probiotic supplementation.
There are several important things to realize with probiotics, the first of which is that everyone’s gut microbiome is unique, and any particular strain of supplement may or may not be helpful. Another important item to note is that it can take several weeks for these bacteria to successfully colonize your gut, so you’ll need to take them as directed, daily, for quite a while before you know if they are helping or not – you can read my article on how long probiotics take to work here.
Reviewing the CFUs of Lactozyme
- 50 million CFUs of Lactobacillus acidophilus (DDS-1)
- 50 million CFOs of Bifidobacterium when packaged.
CFUs are “colony forming units” – a metric that denotes the quantity of live, active microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeasts, found in a probiotic supplement. Essentially, the CFU count offers a ballpark figure of the density of active probiotic organisms contained within a product dose or serving. A higher CFU count implies a larger amount of potentially beneficial bacteria present in the probiotic. Therefore, when deciding on a probiotic supplement, it’s critical to factor in not only the CFU count but also the specific types of bacteria present and their potential health advantages.
The 50 million are actually on the low end.
What are possible side effects of Lactozyme?
While probiotics, like those we reviewed in Lactozyme, are generally considered safe for most people, they can cause some side effects, especially in the beginning or if taken in large doses. These side effects are usually mild and go away as your body gets used to the probiotic. The major ones that you might experience when you start taking Lactozyme are digestive symptoms. Some people may experience gas, bloating, stomach cramps, or diarrhea in the first few days after starting a probiotic. These symptoms usually decrease over time as the body adjusts, usually after a few days.
Although rare, some people may have an allergic reaction to the ingredients in a probiotic supplement. Symptoms can include itching, rash, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. If you experience anything like this at all, stop taking the supplement and call your doctor right away.
Remember, everyone’s body responds differently to supplements, and what works well for one person might not work as well for another. While our review suggests that Biotics Research’s Lactozyme is a quality product that may help a lot of people, it’s always best to talk with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, including probiotics.
Do you need to refrigerate Lactozyme?
Yes, it says it right on the bottle – it needs to be refrigerated after opening. Probiotics are made up of live microorganisms, in this case, bacteria. These organisms are sensitive to heat and moisture, which can decrease their potency over time.
Some probiotics, like Lactozyme, require refrigeration to maintain the viability of the bacteria. The cool temperature of a refrigerator slows down the bacterial metabolism, which helps prolong the life and effectiveness of the probiotic. Without refrigeration, these bacteria might die off faster, reducing the potency and effectiveness of the product.
A personal review of Lactozyme
As I mentioned earlier, my brother-in-law had tried Lactozyme. Here is his review:
I’ve been taking Lactozyme for about two months, to try to help make my IBS and lactose intolerance better. My gasterintestoilighst suggested I try a few different probiotics to see if any helped. I’ve been feeling a lot better since starting to take Lactozyme. I’ve got less bloating and gas, and fewer bouts of diarrhea. I take it in the morning, before my coffee, and at night before bed. I wouldn’t say that it’s a miracle cure – if I eat lasagna or something with a ton of dairy (and don’t also have a Lactase tablet) – I’m going to be in some pain. But if I have a little milk or something with a lot of butter, I am feeling a lot better. Overall, I’d say that it’s helping.
As a pharmacist, I’m not really sure one person’s experience with something as variable as a probiotic supplement like Lactozyme is really all that helpful, since everyone’s gut and conditions are unique. However, I do think it’s a positive sign that he’s had a good experience with it.