Q And A Clearinghouse
3rd Quarter, 1999
Updated October 5, 1999
This page answers the
questions that arrived in the third quarter of 1999.
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. a) Is there a place on the
web where I can order large quanitities of Lactaid for
b) Is there a prescription form of the
enzyme that I can get from my doctors?
a) I wish. I've checked all the major pharmacy sites and
none of the prices look very special to me. For 120 regular-strength
Lactaid tablets, www.planetrx.com charges $13.49;
www.soma.com charges $12.89; and
www.drugstore.com charges $12.99. They all also carry
Dairy Ease and some smaller-name brands, and they may also
have varieties you don't always find in the average store,
like chewable Lactaid. But discounts? Not with shipping charges added.
b) Not that I know of. If you need a larger dose either
take Lactaid Ultra [triple-strength] or more of the smaller doses.
Q. Can lactose intolerance
in children cause behavioral problems in children if left undetected?
Only two small possible problems. Truly undetected LI may
result in your child's having what is politely called
"anal leakage." Once you know about LI, however,
you should be able to avoid this by either keeping your child
away from large amounts of milk or by making sure you
keep lactase pills available at all times.
If children do stay away from
milk, there is always the "different child" syndrome, in
which they dislike not being like everybody else. This is
usually not a major problem; children with milk allergies,
who must be many times more cautious about milk than anyone
with LI, soon learn how to cope.
Q. It seems that I can't
digest anything high in carbohydrates without extreme LI
symptoms. Is there lactose in spaghetti?
potatoes? biscuits? bread? cake?
There can be - and most likely is - lactose in biscuits,
breads, and cake, (although definitely not in spaghetti and
potatoes unless it's added in cooking) but that's probably
totally besides the point. Lactose and most other carbohydrates
share one trait in common: they must be broken down into
simpler sugars by digestive enzymes. Usually the lactase
enzyme that digests lactose is the only one missing, but
that does not have to be the case. And in fact the inability
to digest carbohydrates may be an indication of a more
serious underlying problem. I would advise you to talk
to your doctor about this and see if testing needs to be done.
Q. The packaging of Kraft's
Cracker Barrel Cheese states that it's lactose free (or no lactose).
Your listing didn't include this cheese.
What do you know about this?
I know that you're reading it wrong, exactly what Kraft wants you
to do. It does not in fact say lactose free. It says
0 grams of lactose per serving,
a very different thing. All aged cheeses are low in lactose.
If you choose your serving size carefully enough, you can always
get the lactose content down below 0.5 grams in a serving, at
which point the government will legally allow you to say 0 grams.
So the lactose content is undoubtedly less than 0.5 grams per ounce,
which is the size of their serving. But if there are 0.4 grams per serving,
that is a full 1.5% lactose. (There are 28 grams in an ounce:
0.4 divided by 28 is just about 1.5 percent.) It may be much lower,
but there is no way to tell. In the meantime it is a clever
marketing gimmick, but the cheese is probably not lactose free, even though
it is almost certainly tolerable by almost anybody with LI.
Q. Is "Lecithin" a lactose
milk product? It seems as if it is derived from a Latin root
word for milk, and therefore I am afraid to eat anything
containing it without taking a lactase tablet.
My dictionary shows it as coming from the Greek for egg yolk,
which is quite correct. It has nothing to do with milk.
Q. I have noticed on
frozen yogurt labels that most lack acidophilus. Does
acidophilus lose something in freezing?
If you look at most yogurt packages, you'll see a label or a
seal that takes about "live and active cultures." If the
cultures aren't live then they won't do much of anything
for you. Frozen yogurt has a problem this way. It's not
quite as simple as saying that freezing kills the cultures
- it seems to depend more on the exact manufacturing process
as well as on how much culture is used - but finding frozen
yogurt that is as tolerable as regular yogurt is going to be
hit or miss. I know that I sometimes have very different
reactions even to a familiar brand. All you can do is try
different brands to see if one works.
Q. How many grams of
lactose in a "serving" of milk chocolate?
I've never seen a number. I suspect that's because recipes
for milk chocolate can vary sufficiently that analysis of
any one is not very meaningful. For what its worth, there's
proabably a lot more chocolate than milk by weight in
milk chocolate. A 1 ounce candy bar would therefore have
much less than a gram of lactose. Not very much.
Q. I keep seeing ingredients
like malted barley, malted this and malted that.
I used to drink malts and malted milk when I was young.
Is there any kind of milk in "malt"?
The only milk in malted milk is in the milk.
Any malt by itself should be milk-free.
And "malted" barley or any grain merely means sprouted grain.