The Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse Has Moved.

My old website can be found at www.stevecarper.com/li 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 Smashwords.com or Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com 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.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Answers on Probiotics

Julie Deardorff, the Chicago Tribune's health and fitness reporter, has an interesting column that, wonder of wonders, actually names names when it comes to product recomendations based on studies. Just a few excepts.

QUESTION: Which probiotic strain do I want?

ANSWER: "If you have a specific health concern, see if any products on the market have been specifically tested for that condition," said industry expert Mary Ellen Sanders, co-founder and executive director of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics. "For mild irritable bowel syndrome, I'd encourage Procter & Gamble's Align [probiotic supplement] since they have data with this population. Women with vaginal concerns I might direct toward FemDophilus, again since there is research on this," she said.

Q: What's the deal with yogurt?

A. All non-heat-treated yogurts do contain live active cultures, which include the bacteria used as starter cultures to make the yogurt [Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilis], Sanders said. "Yogurts may also contain added cultures, including probiotics. A wider range of health benefits have been documented for some of these added probiotic strains," Sanders said. But "many of the organisms in yogurt cannot survive in the acidic environment of the stomach," said Sri Komanduri, an assistant professor of medicine in gastroenterology and nutrition at Rush University Medical Center. Sanders also suspects many yogurts marketed as "probiotics" with added strains don't contain enough bacteria to be effective or haven't been studied.

Q: Are there non-dairy sources of probiotics?

A. Try naturally fermented pickles that don't contain vinegar; sauerkraut; the Korean condiment kimchi; soy yogurt; and miso. New products include probiotic-enriched fruit juices, teas and water, which are popular in Europe. Kashi's Vive is a probiotic-enriched cereal. Many supplements also claim "dairy free."

Q: What's the difference between live active cultures and probiotics?

A. Live cultures are often food-fermentation agents and haven't necessarily been tested for health benefits. Probiotics are live microbes that show a health benefit when consumed in high enough doses.

Q: What should the dose be?

A. It depends on the probiotic strain, what health effect you want to see and whether it has been studied. Most research shows doses greater than 1 billion have effects.

Q: What are the best brands to take?

A. The most researched brands include Culturelle, Florastor, Jarrow-dopilus, Fem dophilus, Theralac, VSL # 3, Activa, DanActive and Yakult, according to "The Probiotics Revolution."

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