Lactose Intolerance & Ghee

Ghee is a common ingredient in Indian food.
Image Credit: Cathy Yeulet/Hemera/Getty Images

Ghee is an Indian butter that is used for cooking. Ghee contains little to no lactose, according to If you're lactose intolerant, you should not experience any symptoms after eating ghee. Ghee is not commonly used in large quantities and does not naturally contain a significant amount of lactose. If you continue to develop symptoms after eating ghee, call your doctor for further evaluation. Ghee does contain milk proteins that could trigger a milk allergy.


Lactose Intolerance

If you notice that every time you eat dairy products, you get diarrhea, feel bloated and develop gas, you are most likely lactose intolerant. As you age, your small intestines stop producing as much lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk. Lactose needs to be simplified before it can be absorbed by your body. If it's not digested, it remains in its complex state and makes it way to the large intestine. In the colon, the lactose mingles with bacteria, which causes common symptoms.


Video of the Day


Most people who have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance should be able to tolerate the minimal amount of lactose in the butter. If you're severely intolerant to lactose, talk with your doctor before consuming ghee. Use a challenge diet to determine how much ghee you can consume without forming symptoms. Eat a half ounce on the first day and increase the amount of ghee by an additional half ounce daily until you notice symptoms or reach the average serving size. If you don't develop symptoms, you are able to tolerate the food product.



If you develop symptoms after eating ghee, stop eating it and call your doctor. Symptoms are caused by bacterial interactions in the digestive system that lead to stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, cramping and vomiting. Most symptoms will develop between 30 minutes and two hours after you consume ghee. Most symptoms are preventable by taking a lactase supplement before your first bite of a food that contains ghee.


Milk Allergy Consideration

If you notice that your symptoms persist after eating ghee, or if you notice symptoms that don't relate to the digestive system, you may have a milk allergy. A milk allergy will cause digestive complications, but it will also cause skin rashes, nasal complications, trouble breathing and facial swelling. A milk allergy is a serious condition that requires avoidance of any dairy.




Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...