The process of milk production. Human milk is secreted by the mammary glands, which are located within the fatty tissue of the breast. The hormone oxytocin is produced in response to the birth of a new baby, and it both stimulates uterine contractions and begins the lactation process. For the first few hours of nursing, a special fluid called colostrum is delivered; colostrum is especially high in nutrients, fats, and antibodies, to protect the newborn from infection. Thereafter, the amount of milk produced is controlled primarily by the hormone prolactin, which is produced in response to the length of time the infant nurses at the breast. See also breastfeeding.
some types have become an important part of food digestion, although Lactobacillus can also contribute to cavities in the teeth if allowed to remain too long within the mouth.
- Lactic acidosis
Acidosis (too much acid in the body) due to the buildup of lactic acid in the body. Lactic acidosis occurs when cells make lactic acid (from glucose) faster than it can be metabolized. The key signs of lactic acidosis include unusually deep and rapid breathing, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Lactic acidosis is a feature of […]
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
This bacteria is part of the normal flora of the human and animal mouth, intestinal tract, and vagina. As normal flora, it helps to prevent overgrowth of potentially harmful bacteria by maintaining an acidic environment. Acidophilus and some related bacteria are considered to be “probiotic” because they may help the body maintain or restore its […]
The sugar found in milk. Lactose is a large sugar molecule that is made up of two smaller sugar molecules, glucose and galactose. In order for lactose to be absorbed from the intestine and into the body, it must first be split into glucose and galactose. The glucose and galactose are then absorbed by the […]
- Lactose intolerance
The inability to digest lactose, a component of milk and some other dairy products. The basis for lactose intolerance is the lack of an enzyme called lactase in the small intestine. The most common symptoms of lactose intolerance are diarrhea, bloating, and gas. The diagnosis may be made via a trial of a lactose-free diet […]