Genetic Lactose Intolerance Test
What is it?
A Genetic Lactose Intolerance Test is a fast and accurate back-to-lab test that can tell individuals whether they carry the gene variations linked to primary lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance is a common digestive issue where the body fails to produce enough of the lactase enzyme. The lactase enzyme is required to break down lactose, the sugar mainly found in dairy products such as milk.
The Genetic Lactose Intolerance Test is non-invasive, with only a simple cheek swab sample required.
AlphaBiolaba in-house scientists will analyse the cheek swab DNA sample to look for changes (mutations/variations) at specific locations of the MCM6 gene – the gene that helps regulate the production of the lactase enzyme.
If variations are detected, this indicates that the individual has lactase non-persistence, also known as primary lactose intolerance.
Why is this test useful?
Primary lactose intolerance is the most common form of lactose intolerance worldwide.
As a hereditary digestive issue, it can be passed down to children if they receive two copies of the recessive ‘lactase non-persistence’ alleles from their parents.
This means individuals are at higher risk of inheriting primary lactose intolerance if they have a first degree relative (children, parents, siblings) who has been diagnosed with primary lactose intolerance.
There is no cure for primary lactose intolerance, but it can be easily managed with a lactose-free diet.
A Genetic Lactose Intolerance Test can confirm or rule out the possibility of primary lactose intolerance, enabling people to seek the correct diagnosis and treatment.
Who should take this test?
The test is useful for:
- Individuals experiencing symptoms including bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea (sometimes followed
by constipation), stomach cramps/rumbling, nausea, or vomiting
- People with close family members who have been diagnosed with primary lactose intolerance, as it
is often passed down to first-degree relatives (i.e. parents to children)
- Individuals who have been following a lactose-free diet, and want to rule out primary lactose intolerance so that they can seek the correct treatment
A simple cheek swab is all that is required from the person taking part in the test.
The results of the test will show whether variations have been detected at specific locations in the MCM6 gene – the gene which helps regulate the production of lactase in the body.
If certain variations are present within the MCM6 gene…
- This indicates that the sample donor has lactase non-persistence, also known as primary
If certain variations are absent within the MCM6 gene…
- The sample donor is unlikely to have primary lactose intolerance
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