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.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lactose Not a Cause of Arthritis

Dr. Robert Shmerling's column, which I found in the Baltimore Sun, addressed the kind of basic question about lactose that I also get frequently.

Q: Does the lactose in dairy products cause pain and stiffness in the joints of people with arthritis?

The first part of his answer is a direct no.
A: There is no known association between lactose in dairy products and arthritis;

He does a careful qualification:
however, our understanding of the causes of and effects of diet on most types of arthritis is limited. At some point in the future, researchers could discover an important role for lactose or other nutritional components in the development of arthritis.

This is an entirely reasonable admission. We just don't know much about the issue and it's fair to say that someday lactose may be implicated. I just want to emphasize that absolutely nothing known or suspected today gives even the slightest hint of a connection with lactose. More than that:
There are more than 100 types of arthritis and for most there is no known dietary connection.

I'm getting signs of arthritis as I age just like almost everybody else. But I'm positive that lactose doesn't play a part. Maybe the world of science and medicine will surprise us all one day, but I'm going to assume not.

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