Lactose intolerance and its effects on health are part of NICHD's broad research portfolio in overall growth and development, bone health and development, and nutrition. Studies include efforts to understand:
- Biologic and genetic determinants of bone health in childhood and adolescence. The NICHD aims to understand how bone normally develops in childhood and adolescence and to identify genetic variants in bone mineral content and accretion. This information may help to reveal pathways for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of bone acquisition abnormalities that may predispose individuals to osteoporosis and fragility fractures in later life. NICHD researchers were the first scientists to collect solid, reliable reference data on bone mineral density in growing children.
- Dietary and behavioral factors that influence bone health in childhood and adolescence. Multiple dietary and behavioral factors play a role in bone mineral content and accretion. NICHD scientists aim to clarify the role of dietary calcium and vitamin D on markers of bone health in children and adolescents. NICHD researchers also are looking at interventions, such as physical activity, that promote bone mineral accrual in growing children and adolescents.
The Institute also addresses many other aspects of nutrition and healthy growth—including bone growth—in other aspects of its research portfolio.