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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Eliminate Cavities with Lower Lactose

Presumably everybody has heard that sugar "rots your teeth." You can find this pretty easily on the internet.

They're wrong. A somewhat more modern explanation can be found in the paper, "Serum Calcium, Phosphate, Fluoride and Lactic Acid in Dental Caries." by Jawed M, Shahid SM, Zia-ul-Islam and Mahboob T. Shiraz E-Medical Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1, January 2006.

The authors make two points. Patients who had cavities (or caries, in dental jargon) had reduced levels of calcium, phosphate, and fluoride; and increased levels of lactic acid.

This suggests ways to reduce or eliminate cavities. Increase the calcium, phosphate or fluoride or decrease the lactic acid.

Addig fluorine to water certainly helps with the first.

Now a Florida dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Hillman, has patented a means of doing the second.

An article by Art Levy at talked about Dr. Hillman's work:

Working in his research lab in 1976, Dr. Jeffrey Hillman accidentally discovered a mutant strain of Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria that causes tooth decay. Unlike typical Streptococcus mutans, this strain was lactose-deficient, meaning that after it gorged on sugar, it didn’t produce copious amounts of lactose acid, the stuff that digs holes in tooth enamel.


After years of clinical trials, first on rats and now on people, Hillman’s treatment is moving closer to market. Called Replacement Therapy, it essentially replaces the Streptococcus mutans already in the mouth with a modified, lactose-deficient strain. “It may take six months to a year, but eventually our strain will kick out the disease-causing strain,” he says. “A one-time treatment can give lifetime protection.”

You might well wonder what "lactose acid" is. It's our old friend "lactic acid" misunderstood by someone lacking in basic science.

Dr. Hillman still needs FDA approval, so don't expect to pour bacteria into your mouth any time soon. And don't get grossed out by the idea of pouring bacteria into your mouth. You probably do that every day, but just call it probiotics, or even yogurt. Bacteria can be your friend if you only let them.

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