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a sugar-splitting enzyme that catalyses the hydrolysis of lactose into d-glucose and d-galactose, and that of other beta-d-galactosides; it also catalyses galactotransferase reactions; a deficiency of beta-d -galactosidase leads to problems in the intestinal digestion of lactose; used in the production of milk products for adults who do not have the intestinal enzyme; a defect of one isozyme of beta-d-galactosidase is associated with morquios syndrome type B.

Compare: lactase persistence, lactase restriction.

Synonym: lactase.