Lactose malabsorption (LM): lactose deficiency, lactose intolerance, milk intolerance.
The consumption of animal milk has been sold as a natural and healthy way to take calcium into the body. However, in the case of the African community this could not be any more further from the truth.
Milk is one of the essential building blocks for all infant mammals who nurse from the mother’s milk rich in lactose. Lactose is a milk sugar, a disaccharide and principle carbohydrate source in milk of land animals.
To ingest milk the lactose is hydrolyzed (processed) in the small intestines, for this to happen the small intestines secretes the enzyme called lactase which splits the lactose molecule in two producing sugar glucose and galactose; this is then absorbed into the bloodstream. If the lactose remains unhydrolyzed i.e not processed it can lead to intestinal symptoms including stomach gas, distension, flatulence, diarrhea, phlegm and vomiting. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest and absorb lactose which is a condition that occurs naturally in the majority of adults globally especially those who are highly melenated.
Lactose absorbers are those who can hydrolyze (process) lactose to produce glucose which is absorbed into the blood. Lactose malabsorbers are those people who cannot process lactose and so glucose is not absorbed. Many people who are lactose malabsorbers are able to consume milk daily with no signs of distress.
As children humans have a high intestinal lactase activity so the in take of milk is much easier. After weaning off the mother’s milk the lactase activity declines to great lows for the remainder of the person’s life. This happens with no experience of intestinal illnesses; the process of decline in lactase activity and the beginning of lactose malabsorption (the inability to digest milk) is normal in nearly all land mammals. There have been some cases however where the process of lactose malbsorption (LM) is delayed until a person’s teens or adulthood.
Why Afrikans Should Avoid Sugar by Kwame Osei
Over the years Afrikans have taken sugar (especially white) as part of their diet
Sugar is one of the most dangerous foods there is because it is the one food that can cause a whole array of disease such as kidney failure, cancer, diabetes and obesity.
The importance of Herbs – an interview with Patricia Ferguson
What do you think about our community’s understanding of herbs?
The NHS was created in 1945. At the same time the manufacturing of chemical drugs began. Before then people relied on medicinal herbs. The prescription drugs we take now such as Aspirin are manufactured from an isolated chemical, salicin, extracted from the bark of the Willow plant. Isolated chemicals become more powerful, but often have accompanying side effects, without the balancing effects of the whole plant.
Our parents and generations before them used herbs, but somehow there is an impression that today’s trained herbalists are doing something new. In Jamaica where my parents are from, there is no NHS and medicines and treatment is expensive. Many people continue to use herbal remedies to self- medicate with great success, but we seem to have lost that connection due to our dependence on prescription drugs.
|Vitamin A||Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, and Kale, Cantaloupe, Apricots, Peaches, Papayas, and Mangos.||Prevents eye problems, promotes a healthy immune system.
Essential for the growth and development of cells and keeping skin healthy.
|Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)||Red berries, Kiwi, Orange, Tomatoes.
Red and Green Bell Peppers, , Broccoli, Spinach, Guava, Grapefruit, and Yam.
|Forms collagen (a tissue used to hold cells together) which is essential for healthy bones, teeth, gums, and blood vessels.
Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron and calcium,
Helps in brain functioning
|Vitamin D||Made by the body through exposure to sunlight.||Helps the body absorb bone-building calcium.|
|Vitamin E||Vegetable oils, nuts, and green leafy vegetables. Avocados, wheat germ, and whole grains.||An antioxidant and helps protect cells from damage and is important for the health of red blood cells.|
|Vitamin B12||Vitamin B12 helps to make red blood cells, and is important for nerve cell function.|
|Vitamin B6||Potatoes, bananas, beans, seeds, nuts, spinach.||Vitamin B6 used to maintain brain and nerve functions.
Helps the body break down proteins and make red blood cells.
|Thiamin (vitamin B1)||Dried Beans, Soy Foods, and Peas; and Whole Grains e.g. Wheat Germ.||Converts carbohydrates into energy and is necessary for the heart, muscles, and nervous system to function properly.|
|Niacin (vitamin B3)||Peanuts.||Turns food into energy and maintains healthy skin and is important for nerve function.|
|Riboflavin (vitamin B2)||Legumes (like peas and lentils), Nuts, Green Leafy Vegetables, Broccoli, Asparagus, and Fortified Cereals.||Very important for turning carbohydrates into energy and producing red blood cells. It is also needed for vision.|
|Folate (vitamin B9, folic acid, or folacin)||Dried beans and other legumes, green leafy vegetables, asparagus, oranges and other citrus fruits, and poultry are good sources of this vitamin. So are fortified or enriched bread, noodles, and cereals.||Makes red blood cells and required for making DNA.|
What pains you most about our community’s health?
The age and profile of people over 35 and 40 have issues with blood sugar, blood pressure and the reproduction health in females. It also pains me to see our intake of processed cooking oils and the huge impact it has on health.
What hurts me most is the level of trust we place in mainstream medical systems. I have seen people with high blood pressure start with 2 types of medication and end up with 4 after seeing the doctor and still not getting better at all.
Too many people believe the lie – they think they are incurable and accept being ill and their declining health. Increasing numbers of people are getting sicker and sicker. When we are in the medical system we get really bad treatment.
When we say these illnesses can be resolved and a brother can help you. The response is usually, “If the white man can’t help me then who are you?”
We trust in the western educated doctor more than our own people, which is sad.
Also, was is really sad is that the young people have no awareness, and don’t see the problems coming. We must warn them!!