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Can my Kid use Begin Growing up Prebiotics if She Has a Lactose Intolerance?

By David Madsen, PhD

We get this question all of the time! We have many loyal Beginners who have lactose intolerance. But, as parents ourselves we want to learn about using Growing Up Prebiotics in lactose intolerant kids. So, we took this question to our favorite nutrition scientist, David Madsen, PhD. Let’s talk about the details so that you can be assured Growing Up Prebiotics are right for your family.

Take it away David!

The Ingredient Lactose Gets Converted to 2’FL

Growing up Prebiotics has an ingredient called “2’-FL”. This prebiotic is manufactured using Lactose as a starting material. Lactose is a sugar found in milk and milk products. Fermentation is a safe and well-known manufacturing process used to convert the lactose to 2’-FL, which is then used to manufacture our product.

Almost all Lactose is Converted to 2’FL

The major part of the Lactose is converted during manufacturing of the 2’-FL. The residual amount of Lactose, determined by rigorous testing, is typically not more than about 0.8% of the product - but it cannot exceed 3.0%. This works out to about 4.0 milligrams of lactose per packet of product, but never more than 15.0 milligrams.  You are wondering what this really means - right?

The residual Lactose is not likely to Cause Symptoms

Let’s put this in context.  You may ask: “is this amount of Lactose able to cause symptoms in my toddler who has this sensitivity?”  We will look at the Science, and the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Standard Lactose Tolerance Testing

The American Academy of Pediatrics (1) states that Lactose intolerance can be demonstrated with 12 grams of lactose. That’s the amount in an 8 oz glass of milk.

A Begin Growing up Prebiotic Sachet is 0.03 Percent of the Dose that Can Cause Symptoms

The amount of lactose in Begin is typically 4.0 milligrams versus the 12 grams (=12,000 mg) in a glass of milk. Yes - that is 0.03 percent of a dose that can cause symptoms.

Putting this another way:

The recommended Pediatric tolerance test gives lactose at 2.0 grams for each kilogram of body weight

A toddler weighing about 12 kilograms would receive 24 grams of Lactose – the amount in TWO glasses of milk!

By comparison, Lactose in the Begin product is 0.016 percent of that test dose!!!

Summary - David's Takeaway? These amounts of Lactose, compared to what is known to induce symptoms in sensitive individuals, are what may be called “vanishingly small”. But if you want more assurance, share this information with your pediatrician; we are sure that the response will be: “Nothing to see here!”. We listen carefully to our customers, and to date we have not had a report of a Lactose-reaction.


Reference #1:  Heyman MB; Committee on Nutrition. Lactose intolerance in infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2006: 118(3):1279-86.

David Madsen PhD


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