alexa Occurrence of Lactose Intolerance among Ethiopians | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2157-7110

Journal of Food Processing & Technology
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Research Article

Occurrence of Lactose Intolerance among Ethiopians

Habtamu LD1*, Ashenafi M2, Taddese K3, Birhanu K1 and Getaw T4

1Wolaita Sodo University, PO Box 128, Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia

2Addis Abba University, College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, Ethiopia

3Ethiopian Development Research Institute, Ethiopia

4International Food Policy Research Institute, Ethiopia

*Corresponding Author:
Habtamu Lemma Didanna
Wolaita Sodo University
PO Box 128
Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia
Tel: 251465514417
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: September 04, 2015; Accepted date: September 29, 2015; Published date: October 05, 2015

Citation: Habtamu LD, Ashenafi M, Taddese K, Birhanu K, Getaw T (2015) Occurrence of Lactose Intolerance among Ethiopians. J Food Process Technol 6:505. doi:10.4172/2157-7110.1000505

Copyright: © 2015 Habtamu LD, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Milk has been known as nature’s most complete Food. Among the components of milk is lactose. Some people who lack the enzyme needed to digest lactose suffer from lactose intolerance and therefore cannot digest milk. Worldwide, nearly 70 percent of the adult population is thought to be lactose intolerant, and the condition is very common among American Indians and those of Asian, African, Hispanic, and Mediterranean descent. Lactose intolerance is one of the factors affecting milk demand and consumption, which subsequently influencing milk market/ productivity. But no information is available on lactose intolerance in Ethiopia. Therefore, this paper is the first attempt to study the incidence of lactose intolerance in the country. The aim of the paper, therefore, was to generate information on lactose intolerance through case study approach including questionnaire survey and document analysis. In the case study area of Ada district of Eastern Shoa of Ethiopia, out of 188 households/individuals surveyed, 7.45% of the respondents reported that they don’t consume milk but consume fermented milk (‘Ergo’). The majority reported symptoms of lactose intolerance (71.4% get vomiting upon consuming milk, 28.6% feel abdominal pain). The percentage of occurrence of lactose intolerance found in the survey is believed to affect the milk consumption in the country. Dairy processors need to make yoghurt or remove lactose, for consumers with special dietary requirements/lactose intolerance/to improve milk consumption. Awareness about lactose intolerance also needs to be created in the society by health extension workers.


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