Kudos to The Toronto Globe and Mail for a solid answer to a question that I've gotten many times, If I quit dairy completely, will I become more intolerant?
Dr. Sheila Wijayasinghe breaks the bad news:
Given the large number of individuals who suffer from lactose intolerance, the possibility of developing a tolerance over time would be quite welcomed. Unfortunately, the body’s ability to produce lactase cannot be changed, so quitting dairy altogether does not increase intolerance as the amount of the enzyme remains the same.
The brainy doctor does understand the other side of the equation equally well and has some encouraging words:
Every individual is unique and has different amounts of the enzyme which is why certain people with lactose intolerance can take in larger amounts of dairy products than others. While you cannot build it up, you can test your tolerance level by gradually introducing small amounts of lactose containing products to see how much your body can handle.
Introducing small but constant amounts of lactase-producing probiotics, such as those in yogurt and other dairy products with live and active cultures or pills that contain the same, should increase tolerance as well.
A good answer, from one of the world's leading newspapers.