Lactaid is essentially the same as regular milk except that special processing has broken down the lactose, or natural sugar characteristic of dairy. Breaking down the lactose makes Lactaid digestible for those with lactose intolerance.
Lactaid is a brand of lactose-free milk processed and sold by McNeil Nutritionals. The method for processing Lactaid to make it lactose-free involves adding the lactase enzyme to regular milk. Lactase is an enzyme produced in the stomach that breaks down milk sugar for absorption. People with lactose intolerance don't produce enough of this enzyme naturally.
Regular dairy milk causes people with lactose intolerance to experience bloating, diarrhea and flatulence. They can even experience cramping and nausea if they consume enough dairy milk. These symptoms are the result of their digestive systems not breaking down lactose and absorbing it properly. The makers of Lactaid and other lactose-free milks add a small dose of lactase to regular milk, thus ensuring everyone can digest the milk.
Lactose digestion results in lactic acid. When this occurs during storage, the milk is more likely to become spoiled. As such, Lactaid is less likely to spoil than regular milk.
Both Lactaid and regular milk are good sources of vitamin D, protein and calcium. Like regular milk, Lactaid comes in whole, 2-percent, 1-percent and fat-free varieties.