Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Breast Feeding

Lactose

05/14/2000

Question:

What exactly is lactose?

Answer:

Lactose is a disaccharide (two sugars) and the main carbohydrate in human milk. It is comprised of, and breaks down to, two monosaccharides (single sugars), glucose and galactose, which are sources of energy for an infant`s growing brain. About 40% of the total calories in human milk come from lactose. Lactose also helps a baby absorb the calcium in human milk.

Reference: Riordan, J & Auerbach, KG (1999). Breastfeeding and human lactation (2nd ed.). Boston: Jones & Bartlett.

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Karen Kerkhoff Gromada, MSN, RN, IBCLC
Adjunct Clinical Instructor
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati