Digestive System
Gastrointestinal Tract

Where in the gastrointestinal tract do you usually digest lactose?

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Well, an adult will begin to digest milk in his stomach, but the digestive process will not be finished until later in the gastrointestinal tract in the intestine (this is where lactose is broken down by lactase). Protein digestion certainly occurs in the stomach and protein is present in milk, so that part would definitely start to occur in the stomach.

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Lactose intolerance is a digestive disorder common to dogs. Lactose, the sugar found in milk is composed of glucose and galactose. So that the body would benefit from lactose it has to be absorbed by the body from the intestines. This process will only be possible if lactose was split into glucose and galactose. Lactase is the enzyme necessary to split lactose into these two smaller sugars. As dogs do not have the right level of this enzyme, the lactose will not be cleaved into glucose and galactose and will remain in the digestive tract. This sugar will ferment, produce gas and cause gastrointestinal upsets.

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