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Still Great News from Planet Lactose



Updated October 29, 1998
Over to The Latest Lactose News

CATSIP: THE WEIRDEST PRODUCT EVER?

Those geniuses at Lactaid must have been sniffing the fumes at the lactase plant. (Extremely pungent: I've been there.) They've just come out with CatSip, a lactose-free milk for cats!

So what makes it different from regular Lactaid milk? Well, it contains the amino acid, taurine. Cats need it for the health of their hearts and eyes. Its not in ordinary milk.

If you want more info, go to the AkPharma site. (They're the parent company of Lactaid.)

   

THE CASE OF THE MISSING LACTAID DROPS

First they dwindled away, then they disappeared altogether. "What was happening to the rare and precious supply of Lactaid drops?" questioned people used to making their own lactose-reduced milk at home.

Don't panic. The people at Lactaid attribute the disappearance to a "backorder" problem. They say that the drops are back in the distribution channels and should be on shelves everywhere shortly. And these are the same drops as always; nothing has been changed.

If you have questions about Lactaid products, want to order them directly, or want to respond to a special promotion, call Lactaid at 1-800-LACTAID. That's 1-800-522-8243.

   

NATURAL HEALTH'S BEST DAIRY ALTERNATIVES

Natural Health magazine, in its June 1998 issue, asked eight volunteers to taste-test 14 soy and rice milks. Here's a summary of the results.

Good for:
  • Tea and coffee:
        Edensoy: Original and Extra
        Pacific Foods: Original (soy) Unsweetened, Select (soy), and Multigrain
        Vitasoy: Creamy Original and Light Original
        West Soy: Low-Fat Soy Drink

  • Cereal:
        Edensoy: Original and Extra
        Rice Dream: Original Organic
        Vitasoy: Light Original
        Westbrae: Natural Rice Enriched

  • Savory Foods:
        Edensoy: Original and Extra
        Pacific Foods: Original (soy) Unsweetened

  • Baking:
        Harmony Farms: Fat-Free Rice Drink
        Health Valley: Fat-Free Soy Moo
        Pacific Foods: Multigrain
        Rice Dream: Original Organic
        Vitasoy: Light Original
        Westbrae: Natural Rice Enriched
        West Soy: Low-Fat Soy Drink
        White Wave Silk (soy) Beverage

  • Drinking Straight:
        Rice Dream: Original Organic
        Westbrae: Natural Rice Enriched
        White Wave Silk (soy) Beverage
    Westbrae Natural Rice Beverage, Enriched, got the highest overall rating. White Wave Silk Dairyless (soy) Beverage was the highest rated soymilk. Mill Milk Organic Oat Milk did not rate well in any category.

    Please remember, these are the opinions of only eight people. Use them as guidelines only. And be sure to check out that June 1998 issue if you want more details.

       

    WARNING FROM THE CULTURE WARS

    Many firms offer acidophilus and lactobacillus bacteria cultures in pill form, on the theory that these cultures are better for your colon and your health in general.

    That's fine for people who are Lactose Intolerant as well. Just be sure that the pills you take are themselves non-dairy. Case in point. Ethical Ingredients makes two lines of such pills. The DF series, MaxiDophilus DF, for example, is as Dairy Free as the DF promises.

    But the rest of their products, without the DF, use whey, milk solids, or lactose as a base. Needless to say, if you are sensitive to lactose you should not be using these pills.

    Remember, always, always, no matter what the product, always read the ingredients list.

       

    MORE PAREVE CHOCOLATES

    Finding non-dairy chocolate seems to be the Holy Grail for about half of you out there.

    Glenn Foods (181 S. Franklin St., Valley Stream, NY 11582) makes a line of pareve chocolate bars. Pareve foods have undergone certification that insures that they are so completely dairy-free that even the most milk-allergic person can eat them. (Also see Kosher Foods Are Big below.)

    Their Glenny's Fudge; Chocolate Crunch (low fat); Chocolate Crunch Almond; and Chocolate Crunch Peanut all carry the pareve labeling. If you're Lactose Intolerant but not milk-allergic you can also look for others of their candy bars, which contain no milk products in their ingredients lists, but do not have the pareve label.

    And if you want pure, plain, non-dairy chocolate, don't forget to look on my Web Food Sites You'll Like page in my Product Clearinghouse in my Non-Dairy section.

       

    KOSHER FOODS ARE BIG

    Richard A. Bernstein just paid $125 million to buy the B. Manischewitz Co., one of the largest makers of kosher foods in the country.

    So? So listen to what Bernstein says. "Every generation has its disease. The popular disease of the 90's is lactose intolerance. Once you'd never heard of it, but now everybody has it. Kosher is good for lactose intolerance."

    What this means in practice is that many more foods, and not just from firms that traditionally aimed at the kosher market, will bear kosher labeling. And that's good news.

    All foods aimed at the kosher market fall into three separate categories: those containing meat, those containing milk, and those containing neither: parve (or pareve) foods. Parve foods must be completely free of any taint of dairy. They cannot even be made on the same production line as dairy-containing foods. This means that parve foods are so guaranteed milk-free that even people with severe milk allergies can feel safe with them.

    Warning! Kosher is not the same thing as parve. Foods that are parve will say parve (or pareve) on the front of the label. Foods that have milk products will indicate that with a "D" or "DE" following the kosher symbol. Kosher foods that contain meat, by the way, cannot be labeled parve, but they will also be completely milk-free.

    So look for the parve label. It's good for you.

       

    THE TOP DOZEN VEGETARIAN RESTAURANTS

    You certainly don't have to be a vegetarian to avoid milk products, but millions of people are vegetarian and even vegan. And it can be a safe and easy way to avoid milk products while on the road.

    The readers of Vegetarian Journal have selected their choices for the best vegetarian restaurants in the U.S. Their selections are:

    • The Korean-style AMITABUL as well as BLIND FAITH in Chicago;
    • Four vegan restaurants in Philadelphia's Chinatown: CHERRY STREET CHINESE RESTAURANT; HARMONY, KINGDOM OF VEGETARIANS, and SINGAPORE;
    • Both ANGELICA'S KITCHEN and ZEN PALATE in New York;
    • GREENS and MILLENNIUM in San Francisco;
    • The WEST LYNN CAFE in Austin; and
    • The CAFE FLORA in Seattle.

    Want more? Vegetarian Journal's Guide to Natural Foods Restaurants is available for $14 (which includes postage) from:

      The Vegetarian Resource Group
      P. O. Box 1463
      Baltimore, MD 21203

       

    QUIN-TRON BREATH ANALYZER SITE

    No, I haven't flipped. There really is a reason why you (well, a few of you) might want to visit this site. I assume that many of you have been formally tested for lactose intolerance. (If not, you should. Make an appointment now.) The best test for LI analyzes your breath after you drink a lactose solution to see if any hydrogen is present. And who makes the breath analyzer machines? That's right. Quin-Tron.

    Quin-Tron even makes the kits that the lab people use to test you with. I have one that contains a little bottle of 25 grams of lactose, plus instructions for running the test.

    The Quin-Tron site can be found at www.quintron-usa.com. Most of it is technical info about their various machines, but if you look in their Clinical section, you'll find a page called "Genetics and Milk Digestion?" which has a nice discussion of the history of milk tolerance and a few lines on how and why their test works.

    But basically, I'm mentioning this because it just goes to prove once again that you can find things on the net that you would never know where to search for in the paper world.

       

    SUIZA FOODS BUYS MORNINGSTAR

    Suiza Foods, one of the largest producers of milk products in the country, has capped a year of a million acquisitions by purchasing the Morningstar Group.

    Morningstar is the licensee for making Lactaid milk in the western half of the country. It also purchased Presto Foods a couple of years ago, thereby making it the manufacturer of Mocha Mix, the refrigerated nondairy milk substitute, which is also only available in the west.

    (Mocha Mix frozen dessert products, however, are manufactured and distributed by Dreyer's Ice Cream, again only in the midwest and west. Convolutions within convolutions.)

    Suiza is already the owner of Garelick Farms, which distributes a line of lactose-reduced milks in the Boston area. So although no official announcements were made, this new acquisition might mean more and better distribution of reduced-lactose and nondairy products across the country.

       

    WHO BUYS WHOLESALE LACTOSE? AND OTHER CONUNDRUMS

    Ever wondered what lies at lactose.com or the equally intriguing lactoseintolerance.com? Well, not much.

    According to the InterNIC Search service, lactose.com is owned by Lactose Wholesale, of Austin, Texas.

    Not a place we'd probably want to visit, since we're trying to avoid lactose in wholesale quantities, but it doesn't seem to make a big difference in any case. I get a "can't find domain name" error whenever I try to visit it.

    Lactoseintolerance.com isn't much better. That's registered to Raya Systems of Mountain View, California.

    They are a health care company that manufactures software, they say. They make Super Nintendo games for children with asthma, diabetes, etc., to help families manage health care through educating children via computer games. They wanted the domain name in case they decide to work in that area.

    Mysteries and disappointments. That's the Web for you.

       

    LACTOSE INTOLERANCE, A NEW SYMPTOM

    A note from Vol. 113, No. 4 of the
    International Archives of Allergy and Immunology.

    "Lactose-Intolerance May Induce Severe Chronic Eczema

    "The primary acquired lactase deficiency of the adult is known to cause various disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract while extraintestinal symptoms are unusual. Here we report on a histologically proven chronic eczema requiring corticosteroid treatment for several months. It was obviously induced by a concomitant lactose intolerance since the introduction of a lactose-free diet led to a complete disappearance of the eczema and allowed the discontinuation of the corticosteroid treatment. As far as we know, this is the first case report of an eczema caused by a lactose intolerance."

       

    A LACTOSE-FREE ALTERNATIVE FOR BABIES

    Adding lactase to milk isn't the only way to free it of lactose. Mead Johnson & Company, headquartered in Evansville, Indiana, developed a mechanical process to remove the lactose from milk to manufacture Lactofree. If you need an alternative to soy formula for infants who do not have an allergy to milk, this is what Mead Johnson has to say:

    "Lactofree is a milk-based, lactose-free formula that provides the benefits of milk protein without the feeding problems sometimes associated with lactose. Lactofree is designed for babies with common feeding problems (such as fussiness, crying, gas, diarrhea) when due to lactose sensitivity. It is appropriate for everyday feeding for the first full year and beyond. Lactofree has a similar appearance, color, and odor as other milk-based formulas and is priced comparably as well in most areas. Lactofree is available in 14 oz Powder, 13 oz Concentrated Liquid and 32 oz Ready-To-Use forms. Nursettes (3 oz Ready-To-Use glass bottles and 8 oz pop-top cans) can be purchased by calling 1-800-BABY 123.

    "To help us provide the kind of information you want, please send your questions and suggestions to Mead Johnson. If your question isn't answered, you can receive a personal response by calling our infant formula toll-free number (1-800-222-9123) or our adult nutritional products toll-free number (1-800-247-7893) 8am - 4:30pm, central time, weekdays." Go find them at www.meadjohnson.com


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