Galactose is more commonly found in the disaccharide,
lactose or milk sugar. It is found as the monosaccharide in peas.
Galactose is classified as a monosaccharide, an aldose, a
hexose, and is a reducing sugar.
Galactosemia - Genetic Enzyme Deficiency:
One baby out of every 18,000 is born with a genetic defect
of not being able to utilize galactose. Since galactose is in
milk as part of lactose, it will build up in the blood and urine.
Undiagnosed it may lead to mental retardation, failure to grow,
formation of cataracts, and in sever cases death by liver damage.
The disorder is caused by a deficiency in one or more enzymes
required to metabolize galactose.
The treatment for the disorder is to use a formula based upon
the sugar sucrose rather than milk with lactose. The galactose
free diet is critical only in infancy, since with maturation
another enzyme is developed that can metabolize galactose.