Lactose Intolerance DNA Test

Lactose intolerance DNA test

Lactose intolerance is inability to digest sugar in milk – lactose. Ability to digest lactose is significantly reduced among most individuals already from age two. When an organism ceases to digest lactose efficiently then consuming milk, dairy products, and other products that contain even a trace of lactose (e.g. bread, cereals, instant soups, nibbles...) can cause various symptoms in individuals such as abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, nausea, flatulence and diarrhoea. Lactose intolerance causes digestive problems that can significantly affect quality of life. If these symptoms occur in children they should not be ignored. About 20% of people consider themselves lactose intolerant because of related symptoms, although they have never been formally tested for the intolerance. It is important to distinguish between milk allergy and lactose intolerance. Milk allergy is an immune system response to milk, while lactose intolerance is a digestive disorder. Symptoms of lactose intolerance become evident in early childhood or in adolescence.

Why get tested?

Prevalence of lactose intolerance in Croatian population is 50%. Lactose intolerance testing is recommended for persons with gastrointestinal problems with the above mentioned symptoms (especially after consuming milk and/or dairy products). This testing can confirm lactose intolerance and enable introduction of a reduced or lactose-free diet. But it can also exclude lactose intolerance and direct attention to diagnosing other conditions and diseases that are responsible for the symptoms.

How to get tested?

Although there are several good ways to test for lactose intolerance, most of tests are often debilitating and painful because they are based on provoking symptoms or are invasive. Also, such tests are often insufficiently sensitive and precise.

Pyrosequencing is a new method for detection of lactose intolerance. This method is developed to solve problems such as lack of sensitivity and specificity, and it gives reliable results.

Genos Ltd. is the only laboratory in the region which uses pyrosequencing technology for detection of lactose intolerance. This genetic test can be performed before any symptoms of intolerance become evident. Therefore, with an appropriate diet, it is possible to prevent symptoms from ever appearing.

How the test is performed?

Test is performed on DNA from buccal swab sample and is 100% effective. Collecting the DNA sample is completely painless and should take only 10-15 seconds to complete.

Understanding genetic risk

Lactose intolerance occurs when the lactase enzyme is not present in sufficient quantity to break down lactose. Genetic studies have shown that mutation at a single position in MCM6 gene is associated with decrease in lactase activity which may lead to lactose intolerance. Cytosine (C) or thymine (T) may be found at that position of gene, where C is associated with lactose intolerance and T is associated with lactose tolerance.

Genetic test (DNA test) for lactose intolerance is based on detection C or T variant in gene MCM6. Although this detection can be performed using several different methods, most of methods are technically demanding and expensive and some of them are also insufficiently precise.

Price list is available here.