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[mass noun] An enzyme which catalyses the hydrolysis of lactose to glucose and galactose.
- ‘The enzyme lactase breaks down the lactose to galactose and glucose.’
- ‘The role of lactase is to hydrolyze lactose into galactose.’
- ‘Many people take extra doses of naturally produced enzymes, such as lactase, pepsin and trypsin, in supplement form.’
- ‘Lactose, the sugar present in milk, is split in the small intestine by the enzyme lactase into its constituent glucose and galactose molecules, allowing absorption of the glucose.’
- ‘While most people can digest lactose with no difficulty, some have trouble because they do not produce the enzyme lactase, which splits lactose into digestible parts.’
Late 19th century: from lactose + -ase.
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