The Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse Has Moved.

My old website can be found at I am no longer updating the site, so there will be dead links. The static information provided by me is still sound.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or or or a whole lot of other places that Smashwords is suppose to distribute the book to. Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

I suffer the universal malady of spam and adbots, so I moderate comments here. That may mean you'll see a long lag before I remember to check the site and approve them. Despite the gap, you'll always get your say. I read every single one, and every legitimate one gets posted.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Not All Vegans are Created Alike

While searching for examples of people who still claim that "sugar rots teeth" I ran across "Sugar: Leaving a Legacy of Dental Decay, Obesity, and Dysfunctional Immune Systems for our Children, by Michael Dye. Dye is not a fan of sugar. He's not much of a fan of science either, cherry-picking statements out of old books, quoting others with his biases against sugar, mangling digestion, and managing not to cite a single medical journal article.

I found the article on the site of Gerry and Ray Coffey, who are Hallelujah Diet Health Ministers.

Uh oh. That rang a bell. There is a vegan diet book called The Hallelujah Diet, written by George Malkmus. Malkmus also wrote God's Way to Ultimate Health: A Common Sense Guide for Eliminating Sickness through Nutrition. In that book, his co-author was... Michael Dye.

Malkmus is a believer. From the comments on his books at Amazon, he believes in an interpretation of verse 1:29 in Genesis:

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

This is taken to mean that Christians should eat only food and vegetables and that meat was not part of the diet until after Noah's flood.

I can't pretend to understand this interpretation, but it does lead to veganism for its believers.

Unfortunately, Malkmus' Hallelujah Diet goes much further. He has been accused of running an MMP, a multi-level marketing plan, to sell his BarleyMax powder. And what do his diet books tell you to eat to achieve weight loss? You guessed it. BarleyMax powder.

There has been one actual scientific study of The Hallelujah Diet. Food and Nutrient Intake of Hallelujah Vegetarians, Michael Donaldson, Nutrition and Food Science, 2001, Volume 31, Number 6.

This study can be found in full at the diet's website, Hallelujah Acres, at:

Why? The author, Michael S. Donaldson, is Director of Research, Hallelujah Acres Foundation, Salisbury, North Carolina, USA.

He finds, not surprisingly, that the diet can work. Why is also not surprising. It is an extremely calorie restricted diet. People who can continue on it are bound to lose weight. Donaldson does not examine whether people can continue on it. He just studies their food intake given on a food diary and analyzes that.

You have to read between the lines of his seemingly positive conclusion:
This dietary pattern, both in food choices
and timing of eating, allows people to adopt a
low calorie diet that is sufficient in most
nutrients with little effort in restricting the
amount of food eaten. This dietary pattern,
when implemented and supplemented
carefully, meets the criteria for calorie
restriction with adequate nutrition, which has
been shown in many species to increase the
average and maximum lifespan of animals, and
to reverse and prevent chronic degenerative
diseases (Weindruch and Walford, 1988). On
low energy diets great care must be taken to
ensure adequate nutrition; if energy intake is
too low (< 50 per cent of DRI) one is at risk of
seriously compromising their health.

Some modifications of this dietary pattern,
to provide vitamins B12 and D, and higher
intakes of iron, selenium, zinc and protein,
may be necessary for successful long-term
health. Regular consumption of nutritional
yeast would help ensure adequate nutrition
for this vegan population; 1.5 tablespoons of
Red Star nutritional yeast (16g) contains 8g of
protein, 8·g of cyanocobalamin, 0.5mg of
iron, 3mg of zinc, and 22·g of selenium. The
use of supplemental vitamin B12 and
supplemental vitamin D during the winter at
high latitudes would cover the most critical
deficiencies of this diet.

He also cites low energy, inadequate nutrients, and that a "compromised" metabolic Vitamin B function was found in 50% of those surveyed.

And that 58% of them ate some animal products. That's correct. Defying a diet based on a religious principle, 82 out of 144 studies found the need to add animal products to a vegan, raw food diet.

I support veganism. And vegetarianism. And meat-eating, for that matter. You can have a healthy diet with any variation of the three.

The more you restrict your diet, however, the more aware you must be of what you do eat and the more care you must take to ensure that you are not depriving your system of what it needs for health.

I absolutely cannot recommend the Hallelujah Diet. Sensible veganism requires more care, more attention, and less of a powder sold by the people who write the books.

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