Is Lactase Enzyme Vegan?


You’ll find lactase in medicine, multivitamins, and certain types of food.

It’s a pretty common instinct to think that it’s not vegan, because it sounds like lactose, and we associate lactose with milk.

However, most lactase is indeed vegan; let me explain.

Lactase and Lactose

Both these compounds are related.

Lactose is a sugar that comes from dairy, it is indeed not vegan.

Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose. Animals of course have lactase, but it can also be derived from yeast or bacteria.

While I can’t guarantee that 100% of lactase is vegan, the vast majority of it is.

It’s much cheaper to produce lactase on a large scale using yeast, than it would be to extract it in small amounts from animal tissue.

By all means, you should confirm with the manufacturer of whatever food or supplement you’re interested in is vegan or not. However, if you accidentally buy or eat something with lactase in it, don’t panic, it’s probably vegan friendly.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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