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Q And A Clearinghouse
2nd Quarter, 2000

Updated July 5, 2000

This page answers the questions that arrived in the second quarter of 2000.

Send your questions to me, Steve Carper, at SteveCarper@CS.com.

Remember, I personally answer all questions that you send me, no matter what. The ones that are of sufficiently general interest get posted here, where I hope they can do the most good.

If you don't spot your question here, be sure to check my Q and A Quick Finder Index.


Q. Could you please deliver information to me concerning how ghee is produced/processed/manufactured?

    Ghee is a semiliquid form of butter that has been heated and strained so that all milk solids other than the fat have been removed. Theoretically, all the lactose is also gone, although this is of course subject to the extent and care of the straining.

    Ghee may be kept at room temperature for several months, or almost indefinitely if refrigerated.

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Q. I get LI-like symptoms from eating peanuts. Is this possible?

    Two different things may be happening. One is simply that you have a common reaction to nuts and that's what you are feeling.

    However, I've been told that shelled peanuts may be sprayed with whey powder to keep them fresh. I don't know if all peanuts are treated in this fashion, but if they bother you either try taking some lactase or avoid them altogether.

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Q. I occasionally get LI symptoms after eating at a salad bar and had heard that it may be because some of the vegetables (such as green peas and beets) make galactose as an intermediate digestive product. Is some other food intolerance at work, or is this just another facet of LI?


Q. I sometimes see lactase pills in a dollar store. Is there a chance that these pills have lost some of their potency?

    Yes, lactase pills, like any other, will lose potency the longer they sit. Although most pills have conservative expiration dates, I would never take a chance on pills that are that old.
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Q. Can someone who is highly lactose intolerant consume aspartame? I am afraid to use it because I read it may be taken from milk sugar.

    Aspartame is composed of two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine. You're not going to derive amino acids from a sugar. Both amino acids are naturally found in milk, but then so is almost everything else in the world, including necessary vitamins and minerals. Nor does the manufacturing process does get them from milk.
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Q. Is milk acidic and is it good or bad for ulcers?

    Milk used to be the drink of choice for ulcer sufferers to reduce acidity. Now no one recommends it because milk can actually slow the healing process. Ulcers are now known to be associated with the heliobacter bacteria and there are drugs that will combat it successfully.
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Q. I have severe lactose intolerance. I always experience LI problems when eating products with mayonnaise. I also know other LI people who have the same problem. Is it the caseinate in it that is giving me problems?

    I always thought that all regular mayonnaise was lactose free. This turns out to be almost, but not quite true. At the supermarket I found a couple of Kraft fat free products that contained a tiny amount of dried cream and a correspondant found a variety of Helman's that does contain caseinate.

    So is lactose the problem here? Probably not. Very few people would react to a tiny amount of dried cream or to the usually lactose-free caseinate.

    It is much more likely that if anything is bothering you about mayonnaise it is the eggs, especially the yolks, to which many people are sensitive. Some fat free mayonnaise has egg whites but no yolks. And there are egg-free mayonnaises in health food stores. You might try them just an as experiment.

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