Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or 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.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Milk For the Lactose Intolerant?

You should know by now that even if you're lactose intolerant, yogurt is the dairy product that's for you. The live and active cultures that make yogurt yogurt help to digest the lactose that's in the milk. It's auto-digesting, as the tech types talk. And those bacteria will reproduce in your colon, driving out the bad bacteria that ferment lactose and cause the symptoms of gas, bloating, and flatulence that make lactose intolerance a misery.

But what if milk did that? Real, drinkable milk?

That's the theory behind Dannon's DanActive. Known for years in Europe as Actimel, DanActive is currently making the big rollout into American stores.

Okay, technically, DanActive isn't milk but a "cultured dairy drink." (In fact, when it was first test-marketed the company labeled it a dietary supplement. I like the change because as a dairy drink it gets regulated by the FDA and has to display the full set of nutrition information mandated by law.) It contains 10 times as many bacterial cultures as the best yogurt, using Lactobaccilis casei, Lactobacillis bulgaricus, and Streptococcus thermophilus. These are lactic acid bacteria, similar to the ones traditionally used in yogurt and cheeses. DanActive also gets to claim all the benefits of probiotics, which are all the marketing rage.

Halfway between milk and yogurt drinks in texture, DanActive comes in blueberry, strawberry, vanilla, and plain.

So. Does it work? They say yes.

People who have difficulty digesting lactose may tolerate products that contain live and active cultures, such as DANACTIVE. The cultures begin breaking down the lactose while the product ferments and also while being digested. Because of this, dairy products with live and active cultures may be tolerated.

DanActive is being sold in Whole Food Market stores, among others. I don't have one near by and I haven't seen the product in any local stores.

UPDATE 2007: The DanActive Store locator shows that it is in supermarkets all over the country.

Interesting idea, though. If you try some, let me know what you think.

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Anonymous said...

That's interesting to hear of other LI suitable milk drinks. I just learned Lactaid makes eggnog now!

The site has a recipe for cappucino eggnog, plus a cute Santa/Reindeer e-card and a coupon for Lactaid in the stores.

Anonymous said...

Danactive is good stuff. Tasty too- it's not as harsh tasting as some yogurts, but it is definitely not a milk replacement. It DOES work wonders for probiotic smoothies.

Anonymous said...

I've been drinking DanActive for approximately a month now. Though there are claims of its validity, I am a true believer, whatever the nay-sayers spew.

I have NEVER (and I'm pushing 40) been "regular". Now this could very well be due to a specific diet or stressors in my life (as I exercise regularly and tend to eat healthy), but since drinking DanActive, I now know what it means to be "regular" or what I suspected "regular" would be like.

And I am not lying when I say I feel so much better now that I am 'regular'. I believe I've always been semi-lactose intolerant since I can't tolerate ice cream (real) and usually steer clear of milk products due to it completely bloating me.

I'll stand by this brand's claim any day, even if I do have to shell out $3 a 6-pk.