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Related to lactase: lactase deficiency, lactate


The measure of an asset's risk in relation to the market (for example, the S&P500) or to an alternative benchmark or factors. Roughly speaking, a security with a beta of 1.5, will have move, on average, 1.5 times the market return. [More precisely, that stock's excess return (over and above a short-term money market rate) is expected to move 1.5 times the market excess return).] According to asset pricing theory, beta represents the type of risk, systematic risk, that cannot be diversified away. When using beta, there are a number of issues that you need to be aware of: (1) betas may change through time; (2) betas may be different depending on the direction of the market (i.e. betas may be greater for down moves in the market rather than up moves); (3) the estimated beta will be biased if the security does not frequently trade; (4) the beta is not necessarily a complete measure of risk (you may need multiple betas). Also, note that the beta is a measure of co-movement, not volatility. It is possible for a security to have a zero beta and higher volatility than the market.


A measure of a security's or portfolio's volatility. A beta of 1 means that the security or portfolio is neither more nor less volatile or risky than the wider market. A beta of more than 1 indicates greater volatility and a beta of less than 1 indicates less. Beta is an important component of the Capital Asset Pricing Model, which attempts to use volatility and risk to estimate expected returns.


A mathematical measure of the sensitivity of rates of return on a portfolio or a given stock compared with rates of return on the market as a whole. A high beta (greater than 1.0) indicates moderate or high price volatility. A beta of 1.5 forecasts a 1.5% change in the return on an asset for every 1% change in the return on the market. High-beta stocks are best to own in a strong bull market but are worst to own in a bear market. See also alpha, capital-asset pricing model, characteristic line, portfolio beta.


Beta is a measure of an investment's relative volatility. The higher the beta, the more sharply the value of the investment can be expected to fluctuate in relation to a market index.

For example, Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500) has a beta coefficient (or base) of 1. That means if the S&P 500 moves 2% in either direction, a stock with a beta of 1 would also move 2%.

Under the same market conditions, however, a stock with a beta of 1.5 would move 3% (2% increase x 1.5 beta = 0.03, or 3%). But a stock with a beta lower than 1 would be expected to be more stable in price and move less. Betas as low as 0.5 and as high as 4 are fairly common, depending on the sector and size of the company.

However, in recent years, there has been a lively debate about the validity of assigning and using a beta value as an accurate predictor of stock performance.

References in periodicals archive ?
A superior form of the lactase enzyme, neutral lactase, works in the small intestine instead, allowing it to continue breaking down lactose for up to 4 hours
DSM's patent application for Maxilact[R] lactase, which is free from arylsulfatase, has been granted in Europe.
had shown that lactase enzyme from the fungal source would break down milk lactose under acid conditions in the stomach.
Several manufacturers supply over-the-counter lactase tablets intended to be taken with food.
1969) and, lactose intolerance in individuals with lactase deficiency (Dahlqvist et al.
In a draft "state of the science" statement, the 14-member panel was not able to estimate the prevalence of lactose intolerance from a systematic review of 54 studies but concluded that a substantial proportion or people who have little or no lactase activity do not have lactose intolerance and may be missing out on the health benefits of nutrients in dairy foods, primarily calcium and vitamin D.
Without lactase, people can get very sick from dairy products.
However, by the time many of the world's children reach the age of three to four years, expression of intestinal lactase ceases, often causing gas production, bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
Then a lactase enzyme is added and this breaks down the remaining lactose into simpler forms your body can absorb.
New product launches include Maxilact LGX, a neutral lactase for the creation of high quality, clean tasting lactose-free products and Gistex HUM LS, a natural yeast extract with high umami impact, for savoury applications.
Those who fall into that category--and who need to take a drug that contains lactose--might consider using over-the-counter lactase enzyme to help prevent gastrointestinal side effects due to lactose intolerance.
These indications include infants with galactosaemia and hereditary lactase deficiency (rare) and in situations in which a vegetarian diet is preferred.