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.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Omira Oberland-Milchverwertun lactose-free cheese

Another lactose-free product announcement from DairyFoods.com that I somehow managed to overlook when it first appeared.

Omira Oberland-Milchverwertun lactose-free cheese
In Germany, Omira Oberland-Milchverwertung GmbH, a dairy that developed the Minus L Laktosefrei line of cheese, fluid milk and yogurt a few years ago, continues to grow its dairy products line, as well as expand use of its lactose-free dairy foods into other products. Most recently, the company debuted mascarpone cheese, vanilla sauce and ready-to-eat pudding, all made with its lactose-free milk. There’s also a new instant cappuccino mix based on a dried milk powder derived from this milk. In addition, Minus L Laktosefrei mozzarella cheese is being used on a namesake line of frozen pizzas.

That's not much information and the Internet for once fails me when I look for more. German speakers can check the company's MinusL lactose-free products website for all their lactose-free milk products.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pierre's Lactose-Free Ice Cream

As you might imagine, I get a ton of unsolicited email because of this blog. People want to sell my lactose all over the world. Or sometimes they want to ship me lactose in bulk. Or a factory's worth of machinery that could be used to make, well, probably not lactose. Probably not anything I could spell or pronounce.

And much, much more. DairyFoods.com invited me to subscribe. Yeah, I laughed too, for a second. Then I realized what a wonderful opportunity that was.

You see, lactose-free milk products are dairy foods. I suddenly had an inside source that gave me announcements about new lactose-free products to share with you. High five.


The latest that popped up over there is Pierre’s Lactose Free Premium Ice Cream. It's not exactly breaking news, since apparently it's been available since early this year. I apologized in the last post for not getting the word out about a product as soon as it arrived. I feel a nice sense of warmth knowing that my little one-man tucked-into-holes-my-schedule blog is actually posting new things faster than the leading magazine in the dairy trade industry.

Anyway, I found the Pierre's website and everything about their new product line.

Pierre's introduces Lactose Free Premium Ice Cream

     Cleveland, OH – January 18, 2012 – Pierre’s Premium Ice Cream’s signature rich and creamy taste is now available – lactose free! Pierre’s is adding two flavors of Lactose Free Premium Ice Cream – Vanilla and Chocolate – to its famous assortment of delicious and innovative ice creams and frozen treats…satisfying even those who typically avoid ice cream due to an intolerance to lactose. Lactose intolerance is caused by a body’s inability to break down the natural sugars or lactose naturally contained in dairy products. Pierre’s Lactose Free Premium Ice Cream is made with the freshest, finest ingredients along with a lactase enzyme, which breaks down the lactose in the ice cream. Pierre’s Lactose Free Premium Ice Cream, available at most stores where Pierre’s products are sold, is packaged in specially designed red Pierre's Premium Ice Cream containers. The containers feature the words Lactose Free printed in a pattern along the lid rim along with a bright yellow Lactose Free logo located just above the scoop.The new flavors join the lineup as Pierre’s celebrates its 80th year in 2012. The Cleveland-based ice cream company first opened in 1932. Beginning with three flavors, French Vanilla, Swiss Chocolate and Strawberry, Pierre’s now produces over 55 unique flavors and sells over 235 different products.
I don't know in what stores you can find Pierre's Lactose Free Premium Ice Cream. Probably at least in Cleveland, since that's where their factory is. You can get an order (minimum three) sent overnight by calling their 800 number. Details can be found on their Gift Shop page.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kozy Shack Lactose-Free Dairy Pudding

The good people at Kozy Shack sent me an announcement for their new lactose-free dairy pudding, and I've been dilatory in posting it. So let me make up for that right now.

Fact Sheet

SWEET REVENGE: FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND LACTOSE FREE DAIRY PUDDING
 Kozy Shack® Makes Classic Pudding Available For Consumers Affected By Lactose Intolerance

* * *

The News: A first-of-its-kind, wholesome dairy dessert without lactose

Kozy Shack® Lactose Free Dairy Pudding in three delicious varieties: Rice; Tapioca; Chocolate

Consumers affected by lactose intolerance will be delighted to spot a new dessert with real dairy milk, but without the lactose. Kozy Shack® Lactose Free pudding is an indulgence made with wholesome natural ingredients delivering the same great taste and quality the brand is known for.

The Product: · Lactose Free · Made with Natural Ingredients · Good Source of Calcium · Made with Real Milk · No Artificial Preservatives · No Hydrogenated Oils · No Artificial Colors or Flavors · 130 Calories Per Serving · Kosher Dairy · Gluten Free

 Price: Suggested Retail Price $4.99/6-pack

Availability: Nationwide supermarkets

Kozy Shack® Noted as a “Supermarket Gem” by The New York Times for its ready-to-eat wholesome and delicious taste, Kozy Shack® traditional products meet today’s consumer lifestyle. For more than 40 years, Kozy Shack® has been providing the finest quality, ready-to-eat refrigerated desserts. Packaged for convenience, the products are available in ready-to-serve portions in the dairy cases of food retailers across the country. For this and other Kozy Shack® products, visit us at www.kozyshack.com or become a fan on Facebook.

Now the frustration. You can see a picture of the Lactose-Free cartons on the home page at KozyShack.com. But there's nothing about it on the Products page or anywhere else on the site. You may think this is weird behavior for a major company, but it's all too standard. I'm used to getting an announcement for a product and then not being able to find information about it on the company's own site. I still thank the people at Kozy Shack for thinking about me, but I need to remind them that getting the word out to their consumers directly is far more important.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ötzi the Iceman Was Lactose Intolerant

Hey all of you out there reading this who are lactose intolerant. Whenever anyone makes fun of our shared condition remind them of one big thing: We're normal, they're mutants! [Cue scary music]

As I've written over and over again - here's a post from 2005 - most adult humans in the world are genetically unable to produce the enzyme named lactase, which digests the milk sugar lactose. For most of us, our parents were lactose intolerant and their parents were and theirs and so on all the way back to our earlier ancestors.

A couple of years later, big news hit the scientific community that shouldn't have been news at all: "Just 7000 years ago, Europeans were unable to digest milk, according to a new analysis of fossilised bone samples..." Most Europeans today are lactose tolerant - they produce lactase all their lives instead of stopping at some early age - because they are heirs to a long tradition of domesticating animals that produce milk. Milk is good for you - remember than every time someone claims that milk is poison - and people who could drink milk as adults had a small but significant advantage in living long enough to produce healthy babies. That allowed the mutation that kept the lactase going for life throughout European populations and their descendents, including many in the U.S. and Canada. Being able to use DNA to check on the actual genes of individual humans who lived thousands of years ago is a scientific marvel of the first order, but it has just confirmed what earlier scientists had been saying all along in this case.

And now similar DNA testing has been performed on the most famous neolithic European, to my knowledge the only one who has a name: Ötzi.



Ötzi the Iceman is a mummified body of a man who lived about 5300 years ago. Because he was buried in ice, he's much better perserved than almost anyone else from that era and scientists have jumped at the chance to examine every aspect of his being. He's known to have died at around the age of 46 from an arrow wound and had knee problems that may have made it harder for him to escape his enemy.

To get yet more tantalizing info, scientists have been working feverishly to decode his DNA to see what it tells them. And no surprise, no surprise, one of the obvious things that pops out is that he was lactose intolerant. As this story in the New York Times, Lactose Intolerant, Before Milk Was on Menu by Sindya N. Bhanoo reports:

[R]esearchers have sequenced the complete genome of the iceman, nicknamed Ötzi, and discovered even more intriguing details. They report in the journal Nature Communications that he had brown eyes and brown hair, was lactose intolerant and had Type O blood.

The lactose intolerance makes sense, said Albert Zink, an anthropologist at the European Academy of Research in Bolzano, Italy, who was one of the study’s authors.

"In early times, there was no need to digest milk as an adult because there were no domesticated animals," Dr. Zink said. "This genetic change took hundreds of years to occur."

The original study appeared in the journal Nature.
"New insights into the Tyrolean Iceman's origin and phenotype as inferred by whole-genome sequencing," by Andreas Keller et al., Nature Communications 3, Article number: 698, doi:10.1038/ncomms1701
Abstract

The Tyrolean Iceman, a 5,300-year-old Copper age individual, was discovered in 1991 on the Tisenjoch Pass in the Italian part of the Ötztal Alps. Here we report the complete genome sequence of the Iceman and show 100% concordance between the previously reported mitochondrial genome sequence and the consensus sequence generated from our genomic data. We present indications for recent common ancestry between the Iceman and present-day inhabitants of the Tyrrhenian Sea, that the Iceman probably had brown eyes, belonged to blood group O and was lactose intolerant. His genetic predisposition shows an increased risk for coronary heart disease and may have contributed to the development of previously reported vascular calcifications. Sequences corresponding to ~60% of the genome of Borrelia burgdorferi are indicative of the earliest human case of infection with the pathogen for Lyme borreliosis.

Hmmm. I'm blood group O and I'm lactose intolerant. But I have blue eyes, the result of a different mutation. We're all mutants, just in different ways. And yes, I mean you too.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Intolerance Myths

So much misinformation out there. And so many phony tests being pushed by the Internet.

I like this article, Common intolerance myths by Julie Deardorff of the Tribune Newspapers. I've cited her articles before and I'm happy to see that she's still on the job.

As always, I'm quoting selectively from the article for fair use. Please click on the link if you want to read the whole thing.

Claim: Food intolerances are caused by eating a repetitive diet; this overloads the immune system and the body responds by rejecting those foods.

Reality: "The gut-associated immune system is well-equipped to deal with loads of antigenic material, and there is just no evidence that it may become overloaded by exposure to large amounts of the same antigen," said Stefano Guandalini, founder and medical director of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. Although the amount you eat never causes food intolerances, "if you are intolerant you will clearly have more symptoms if you eat more of that food," added Robert Wood, professor of pediatrics and chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins.

Claim: Hair sampling is a safe and noninvasive method of revealing nutritional deficiencies.

Reality: Hair is made up of a protein, keratin, that can be analyzed to determine its mineral content. That data can be used to find out if the body is lacking in certain minerals, but it can't tell you whether you have food intolerances, allergist Lee Freund wrote in "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Food Allergies." Double-blind studies haven't shown any diagnostic value for this test.

Claim: The IgG blood test is 95 percent reliable.

Reality: The test is prone to false positives and not considered reliable by any U.S. or European allergy or immunology society.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Miley Cyrus' Lactose "Allergy"

There are days when I long for the time when nobody knew what lactose intolerance was. Sure, that era was terrible, but no information is higher on the scale than bad information. Today lactose intolerance is an all-purpose joke that the ignorant trot out when they have nothing better to say.

Miley Cyrus is now nineteen, which means she's old enough to know better and old enough to take responsibility for her words.



Images like the above have appeared on the net, which show Cyrus as being disturbingly thin. Naturally, rumors about her having an eating disorder or anorexia sprang up. That's a serious subject and worthy of a serious response. Could be we so lucky? No, of course not.

Here's her actual twitter posts:



I hope I don't need to remind anyone reading this that lactose intolerance is not an allergy - it is, in fact, totally different in almost every way from true milk protein allergies. Gluten intolerance, more properly called celiac disease, isn't a real allergy either. Both are effects of food not being digested properly rather than immune system responses.

You, and by you I mean everybody out there within reach of a normal supermarket, can thrive on a complete, healthfilled, calorie-laden, and satisfying diet even if you can't have gluten or lactose, although the earliest parts of the transition period may be rough until you learn how to adapt. Glucose and lactose intolerances should never be excuses for poor nutrition, bad food habits, or losing excess weight.

Can Ms Cyrus make things even worse? You'd think not, and you'd be wrong. Among her many tweets was one showing her holding a bag of burgers from the popular California chain Carl's Jr. Her caption: "I can’t eat it. So I’m just gonna smell the shittttt out of it! My mouth is LITERALLY watering."

That's an eating disorder. That's the definition of an eating disorder. Or else that's stupidity of a magnitude that not even spoiled pop princesses should ever be allowed to get away with.

Me, I vote both.

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Sunday, April 08, 2012

Lactaid Discontinues Half-and-Half

It was less than two years ago that I made a big deal about Lactaid introducing a lactose-free true milk version of Halk-and-Half.

Oops. In our tiny niche of the supermarket world, products come and products just as quickly go. The disappearances are made with far less fanfare than the appearances, of course.

In case you blinked, the news was made public on Lactaid's Facebook page:

Erika Onorato
Why was lactaid half and half discontinued! I loved being able to have half and Half in my coffee everyday! Will it ever be brought back?
March 21 at 10:26am ·

Lactaid
Erika, we're sorry we discontinued your favorite LACTAID® product. Unfortunately, it was a business decision we made. At our next brand meeting, we'll be sure to bring up that our loyal fans are asking for it. Thank you for taking the time to let us know.
March 21 at 12:11pm


Lactaid still has more lactose-free true milk products than anybody else, to be sure. If you want them to continue you need to buy them. Every time my wife and I go visit her mother we take her shopping - she uses a walker now but zips around the store using a grocery cart faster than we can keep up - and always gets a couple of quarts of Lactaid ice cream. Let's hope she can always find it.

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