Project Title

SCM 2000 - Course based undergraduate research experience: Determining the kinetic properties of lactase from generic and brand name supplements

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Chemistry and Biochemistry

Research Mentor Name

Rajnish Singh

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Lactose intolerance occurs due to the body’s ineptness at producing lactase- the enzyme responsible for digesting lactose into sugars. Because the body struggles to break down the lactose, it treats the undigested lactose as a foreign substance and rejects it. This commonly exhibits irregular gas/bloating, irritation in the small intestine, and/or diarrhea. A lactose-restricted diet or the use of lactase supplements are the two main forms of treatment for reducing symptoms. The former may entail avoiding meals containing dairy or using milk that has already had the lactose hydrolyzed by treatment with lactase. Commercially available lactase supplements can also be consumed along with dairy products. Various classes of supplements exist such as Lactaid, Lactase, Lactaid ultra, and Dairy Ease. All supplements contain a digestive enzyme known as lactase. This enzyme hydrolyzes the lactose in dairy products into two sugars: galactose, and glucose that are easier to digest and breakdown. A contour NEXT EZ glucometer will be used to measure the glucose released in the hydrolysis of lactose catalyzed by lactase in the supplements. The Vmax, Km, and pH profiles of generic Walgreens/CVS Lactaid and brand name Johnson & Johnson Lactaid will be determined using the glucometer.The significance of this project is to understand the biological and chemical principles of lactose intolerance in humans since lactose intolerance impacts many people across the world. This project will provide kinetic data on common lactase supplements and inform us on the efficiency of these supplements to treat lactose intolerance. It will also provide an easy way to measure lactase activity using a glucometer. As SCM 2000 students, we have learned about enzyme properties and how to work in a lab setting as a team member. We will also gain valuable experience on how to do chemical calculations, learn to use excel, make a poster, and practice public speaking.

Disciplines

Biology | Enzymes and Coenzymes | Food Chemistry

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SCM 2000 - Course based undergraduate research experience: Determining the kinetic properties of lactase from generic and brand name supplements

Lactose intolerance occurs due to the body’s ineptness at producing lactase- the enzyme responsible for digesting lactose into sugars. Because the body struggles to break down the lactose, it treats the undigested lactose as a foreign substance and rejects it. This commonly exhibits irregular gas/bloating, irritation in the small intestine, and/or diarrhea. A lactose-restricted diet or the use of lactase supplements are the two main forms of treatment for reducing symptoms. The former may entail avoiding meals containing dairy or using milk that has already had the lactose hydrolyzed by treatment with lactase. Commercially available lactase supplements can also be consumed along with dairy products. Various classes of supplements exist such as Lactaid, Lactase, Lactaid ultra, and Dairy Ease. All supplements contain a digestive enzyme known as lactase. This enzyme hydrolyzes the lactose in dairy products into two sugars: galactose, and glucose that are easier to digest and breakdown. A contour NEXT EZ glucometer will be used to measure the glucose released in the hydrolysis of lactose catalyzed by lactase in the supplements. The Vmax, Km, and pH profiles of generic Walgreens/CVS Lactaid and brand name Johnson & Johnson Lactaid will be determined using the glucometer.The significance of this project is to understand the biological and chemical principles of lactose intolerance in humans since lactose intolerance impacts many people across the world. This project will provide kinetic data on common lactase supplements and inform us on the efficiency of these supplements to treat lactose intolerance. It will also provide an easy way to measure lactase activity using a glucometer. As SCM 2000 students, we have learned about enzyme properties and how to work in a lab setting as a team member. We will also gain valuable experience on how to do chemical calculations, learn to use excel, make a poster, and practice public speaking.