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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 discount prices?

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.

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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.
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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?



     


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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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