Answer:

It has not been well demonstrated that probiotics reduce the gas and bloating caused by milk and dairy products in people with lactose intolerance. On the other hand, fermented milk products, such as yogurt and kefir, which contain live organisms (not necessarily "probiotics") have been shown to cause fewer symptoms of lactose intolerance than regular milk containing the same amount of lactose.

More about this is found in the Probiotic Supplements and Kefirs Review >>

Some probiotics have been shown to reduce abdominal pain due to irritable bowel syndrome, as well as functional abdominal pain in children, and colic in infants.

(Also see ConsumerLab.com's Review of Products for Lactose Intolerance — Lactase Enzymes and Lactose-free Milks)

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5 Comments

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Ann M9731
May 25, 2016

I have found probiotics with saccaromyces boulardi to help greatly with lactose intolerance.

ConsumerLab.com
May 25, 2016

Thank you for sharing this Ann. You can find products in our latest review which contain Saccharomyces boulardii by looking in the second column of the results table ( https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/probiotic-supplements/probiotics/#results), which lists the types of organisms and strains in each product.

Rebecca9730
May 25, 2016

My husband and I were at one time very lactose intolerant - pretty bad bloating and gas. At the advice of a friend, we started adding a small amount of milk to yogurt and slowly increasing the amount of milk until we were able to drink milk without mixing yogurt with it. Since then we have been able to drink milk with no problems.

Valerie20066
May 28, 2020

My friend makes homemade yogurt and says that she can only consume dairy if she eats homemade yogurt the same day. Otherwise she has a lactose-intolerance type of reaction. I thought that was interesting.

ConsumerLab.com
May 28, 2020

That is interesting. It has been suggested that the reason why fermented dairy products cause less of an issue for people with lactose intolerance than non-fermented products is that the bacteria involved in the fermenation contain lactase enzyme which is likely released when the bacteria are ingested. This is discussed in our Probiotics Review with regard to a clinical study what was conducted with kefir.

It would not be surprising if levels of bacteria (and, therefore, lactase) are higher in fresh yogurt than older yogurt.

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