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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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

Thursday, May 31, 2007

GoDairyFree's Product Lists Updated

Alsia Fleming, of, has updated her product lists.

She says:

Regardless of the reason, millions of milk-free consumers are left wondering, “What CAN I eat?” Luckily, one entrepreneurial company has spent months compiling the solution. Go Dairy Free ( has just released their second annual Non-Dairy Product Lists. The complete listing boasts thousands of products, with many available in a variety of flavors. Going well beyond the basics, each list includes the following:

• More Than Non-Dairy – Contrary to what the name might imply, milk isn’t the only sensitivity covered in these extensive lists. There are separate product lists and special diet columns specifically for no gluten, no soy, vegan (no eggs, dairy, meat, or fish, with special notations for honey), dedicated dairy-free equipment, and kosher certified. One dietary consideration often warrants another. Many dairy-free consumers with lactose intolerance or food allergies may find themselves taking on a gluten-free lifestyle, for example. These product lists aim to suit additional dietary considerations whenever possible.

• Comprehensive – From cereals to baking mixes, to milk alternatives, the people at Go Dairy Free have scoured every aisle to help fill special diet cupboards and refrigerators. Their shopping trips have covered both mainstream grocers and natural food grocers, identifying only those foods that are dairy ingredient-free (including casein, lactose, and whey).

• Trans Fat Free – In an effort to promote health and natural food when making a special diet transition, Go Dairy Free has followed the mission to make their listings free of hydrogenated oils (trans fats) and high fructose corn syrup.

• Active Links – Questions on the products? The individual listings have active links allowing consumers to click right through to the company’s website to obtain more information.

Go Dairy Free released their first product lists in 2006, though the updated 2007 roster has two new members. A separate consumer company contact list is now available with well over 500 manufacturers, company websites, and consumer email and phone lines. Also, a new nut-free product list has been added, complete with its own company contact list to verify ingredients and manufacturing processes.

The products lists are not free, averaging about $10 each.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

LI Celebrity Alert: Victoria Rowell

My, the PR people at Lactaid have been busy lately. First they conscript Angélica Vale for a Lactaid milk ad campaign, and now they announce that "Victoria Rowell joins LACTAID® Milk to educate lactose intolerant African-Americans about the importance of calcium and Vitamin D."

From the press release:

Today, an estimated 40% of African-American women in the U.S. over age 50 have either low bone mass or osteoporosis2, where bones become increasingly brittle and painful. Consuming calcium-rich foods and beverages daily can help reduce the risk for these conditions, however there are limited options available for people who are lactose intolerant and experience stomach discomfort after consuming dairy-based products. Today, actress, author and philanthropist Victoria Rowell joins LACTAID® Milk, the nation's #1 lactose-free milk brand, to educate lactose intolerant African-Americans about the importance of calcium and Vitamin D and the products available to help manage symptoms easily and effectively.

"Lactose intolerance is a common condition for African-Americans. I am also lactose intolerant and used to avoid dairy because I did not want the stomach discomfort that followed," said Rowell. "Over the years, I have realized that avoiding dairy can put me at risk for osteoporosis. Products like LACTAID® Milk and LACTAID® Fast Act Dietary Supplements help me manage my lactose intolerance without eliminating dairy from my diet, putting my mind at ease about my bone health now and in the future. I also love that I can still enjoy my favorite foods with family and friends."

People who are lactose intolerant -- a condition where the body is deficient in the lactase enzyme which breaks down lactose, the milk sugar in dairy foods and beverages -- often avoid dairy products altogether. According to the National Institutes of Health, African-American women consume only half of the recommended daily amount of calcium3. As a result, these women run a higher risk of nutrient deficiencies that may affect bone health and lead to related conditions, like osteoporosis, later in life.

(2) National Osteoporosis Foundation, Fast Facts

National Institutes of Health, Osteoporosis and African American Women, May 2006
For more information on lactose intolerance and LACTAID® Brand products, visit

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Lactose-Intolerant Superbaby

The enzyme lactase, the one that digests lactose, doesn't develop in the fetus until the ninth month. Premature babies, therefore, are often born with lactose-intolerance, although this usually goes away when the baby catches up with itself.

Liam Hoekstra was one such premature baby. And a sickly one.

Liam was born four weeks early and had a small hole in his heart. He also had eczema, enlarged kidneys, was lactose intolerant and had severe stomach reflux that made him vomit several times each day, his mother said.

He's more than up for it since, as a story by Jeff Alexander appearing in several papers, revealed.
Liam Hoekstra was hanging upside down by his feet when he performed an inverted sit-up, his shirt falling away to expose rippled abdominal muscles.

It was a display of raw power one might expect to see from an Olympic gymnast.

Liam is 19 months old.

But this precocious, 22-pound boy with coffee-colored skin, curly hair and washboard abs is far from a typical toddler.

"He could do the iron cross when he was 5 months old," said his adoptive mother, Dana Hoekstra of Roosevelt Park. She was referring to a difficult gymnastics move in which a male athlete suspends himself by his arms between two hanging rings, forming the shape of a cross.

"I would hold him up by his hands and he would lift himself into an iron cross. That's when we were like, `Whoa, this is weird,'" Hoekstra said.

Liam has a rare genetic condition called myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy, or muscle enlargement. The condition promotes above-normal growth of the skeletal muscles; it doesn't affect the heart and has no known negative side effects, according to experts.

Liam has the kind of physical attributes that bodybuilders and other athletes dream about: 40 percent more muscle mass than normal, jaw-dropping strength, breathtaking quickness, a speedy metabolism and almost no body fat.

Only a few people are known to have this condition. The worst side effect for Liam today is that he eats six meals a day and can't gain weight.

Expect a tv series about, oh, next Thursday.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Complete Gluten-Free Cookbook is Also Lactose-Free

Not quite as far-ranging as Sophie-Free Cooking, Donna Washburn and Heather Butt's Complete Gluten-Free Cookbook: 150 Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free Recipes, Many with Egg-Free Variations still goes a long way toward solving many of the problem that those with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies have.

According to the Book Description:

Gluten-free foods needn't be plain or unappetizing. When there's a food allergy such as celiac disease, wheat intolerance or lactose intolerance, that usually means cooking two separate meals. That's no longer the case, however, thanks to the imaginative recipes in Complete Gluten-Free Cookbook. Everyone can enjoy these tantalizing recipes, which include everything from baked goods, pasta dishes, appetizers and family meals to mouthwatering desserts. Here is a sampling of the inspired gluten-free recipes, most of which have an egg-free variation:

Asparagus risotto
Wild rice latkes
Skillet cornbread
Bacon and tomato biscuits
Coconut shrimp
Curried beef with rice noodles
Date orange streusel cake
Cherry almond biscotti
Pear hazelnut tart
Shirley's old-fashioned donuts.
In addition to the 150 recipes, there is extensive information about various gluten-free flours, legumes and rices. Also included are tips and techniques for baking lactose-free and egg-free products, making the book helpful for those with other allergies.

It's 320 pages with a list price of $22.95.

I had a hard time deciding where to put this in my bookstore, but finally decided that it had to go on my Allergy Cookbooks page in my Milk-Free Bookstore on my web site because it covered so many different problems.

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Sophie-Safe Cooking: New Dairy-Free Cookbook

Not just a diary-free cookbook Every recipe in Emily Hendrix's Sophie-Safe Cooking: A Collection of Family Friendly Recipes That are Free of Milk, Eggs, Wheat, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish and Shellfish runs the gamut of the major allergy problems facing parents today.

The Book Description says:

If you are allergic to one or more of the eight most common food allergens, Sophie Safe Cooking is the allergy cookbook for you. Every recipe in Sophie Safe Cooking is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, fish and shellfish. The recipes are easy to follow and call for familiar, easy to find ingredients. All of the recipes have been tested by cooks like you, and loved by tasters with and without allergies. Even with food allergies, you can still have pancakes for breakfast, meatballs at dinner, and cookies or cake for dessert. 12 million people in the United States alone have food allergies, and they find ways to enjoy their food. With more than 100 recipes, including muffins and breads, main dishes, salads, sides and even desserts, this cookbook will help you to enjoy your food as well!

It's 132 pages and has a list price of $16.95.

You can check it out at Amazon from my Allergy Cookbooks page in my Milk-Free Bookstore on my web site.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Apples and Fish May Prevent Allergies

An apple a day keeps the doctor away and fish is brain food, according to ancient proverbs, but allergy fighters? The latest study gives them a decided maybe.

Saskia Willers, a doctoral student at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, presented the findings today at the American Thoracic Society's International Conference in San Francisco.

She looked at questionnaires that mothers of 1212 children filled out when their child was 32 weeks old and then again at five years. The children were also given allergy tests then.

Julie Bhatia of HealthDay News wrote in a syndicated article:

The study found that children of women who ate more apples and fish during their pregnancy were less likely to develop asthma or allergic disease. Specifically, children of women who ate fish once or more a week were 43 percent less likely to have had eczema at age 5 than children of mothers who never ate fish.

Those whose mothers ate more than four apples a week during pregnancy were 37 percent less likely to have ever wheezed, 46 percent less likely to have had asthma symptoms, and 53 percent less likely to have had doctor-confirmed asthma compared to children of mothers who ate one or no apples a week.

"We were quite surprised to see a protective effect of apples, because, to our knowledge, no other study had seen that before," says Willers. "For fish, there is an earlier study that found a protective effect of maternal fish intake during pregnancy on childhood asthma."

No protective effect was found against asthma or allergic diseases from many other foods, including vegetables, fruit juice, citrus or kiwi fruit, whole grain products, fat from dairy products or margarine or other lowfat spreads.

Why? Well, that's the big question. Apples have flavonoids, antioxidants that have been in the news as virtual cure-alls. Still, many of the foods found to have no effect at all also contain flavonoids, so that's not much of an answer.

As for the fish, their omega-3 fatty acids may be their best feature.

They'll be going back to do more testing because no one can yet say how much apple and fish to eat or whether certain types are better or worse than others.

And a big caveat:
Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, adds that pregnant women should be careful about not eating too much fish because of the potential mercury and other pollutants in fish. "The study supports the health benefits of increased fruits, vegetables and fish, but pregnant women need to exercise caution with king mackerel, tilefish, shark and swordfish, and should limit albacore tuna to 6 ounces per week," she says.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

No Increased Risk of Food Allergies for Premature Children

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, always a major source of the latest news on studies of dairy and other food allergies, carried the report of a study whose objective was "To determine whether premature or low-birth-weight children have an increased risk of developing food allergy compared with term or normal-birth-weight children."

The risk of developing food allergy in premature or low-birth-weight children by JJ Liem, Al Kozyrskyj, SI Huq, and AB Becker. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2007 May;119(5):1203-9. Epub 2007 Mar 26

An article on the study by Stephen Daniells in quoted the lead author as saying:

"To the best of our knowledge, this population-based study is the first to examine prematurity or low birth weight and the risk of developing food allergy."

"Our data suggest that no association exists between gestational age and birth weight with the development of IgE-mediated food allergies. As a result, the theory that an immature gut mucosa results in increased permeability to large-molecular-weight proteins and predisposes the baby to early sensitization needs to be questioned," he added.

This contradicts the findings of previous studies, which appeared to find that "immature gastrointestinal tracts as found in premature babies result in an increased uptake of food antigens."
The researchers analysed 13,980 children were born in 1995 and living in the province of Manitoba, and of these, 592 children were found to have food allergy. When the data was analysed with respect to birth weight and maturity, no association with food allergy was observed.

"Prematurity and low birth weight are not associated with a change in risk for development of food allergy in childhood," said the researchers.

The researchers did find that food allergy was associated with a maternal history of asthma and food allergy, however.

"The theory is that at a young age (ie. less than 3 years), an immature and permeable gastrointestinal tract will result in increased antigen uptake. Thus, highly allergenic foods may be absorbed more easily, increasing the risk for sensitization," said Liem.

"However, our large, population-based epidemiologic study does not support [this]. A possible mechanism preventing sensitization might be the development of immunologic tolerance to orally ingested allergens in premature infants.

"Such tolerance might result from interaction of high antigen concentration with the immature immune system of the preterm infant," he said.

"These data prompt us to ask whether it may be possible that introducing highly allergenic proteins (such as peanut) early in life would tolerise (as opposed to sensitise) a child to that particular antigen?" said the researchers.

They called for carefully designed and monitored studies to identify the best approach to the introduction of foods for infants and young children. put it more directly:
The researchers argued that weaning policies that advocate the avoidance of potential food allergens, such as gluten, lactose, peanuts and shellfish, may not be necessary. Indeed the paper went as far as to argue for deliberate introduction of potential food allergens into the diet of young children in order to stimulate tolerance, a suggestion that will need careful consideration, and to be backed by additional research.

Note that this was also suggested by the results of an earlier report, summarized in Desensitizing Food Allergies Possible in New Study

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Friday, May 25, 2007

McDonald's Labeling Lawsuit

When you see a headline like Family Accuses McDonald's Of Failing To List All Ingredients - Boy Had Allergic Reaction After Eating French Fries, I'm sure you'd get scared if you too had a child who was anaphylactic to dairy.

Early last year, Ryan's mom, Judy Gray, gave him McDonald's french fries, thinking they were milk free, but that same day he went into anaphylactic shock.

Several important points here.

1) McDonald's has since greatly improved its online food lists to warn of all potential allergens. Go to Nutrition Info page for the full listing.

You'll see that French Fries are now giving warnings:
French Fries:
Potatoes, vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor (wheat and milk derivatives)*, citric acid (preservative), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), dimethylpolysiloxane (antifoaming agent)), salt. Prepared in vegetable oil ((may contain one of the following: Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated corn oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness), dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent). *CONTAINS: WHEAT AND MILK (Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients.)

Natural beef flavor contains milk. Who knew? I bet a lot of those who try to keep kosher wouldn't think of it.

2) The article says "The lawsuit claims that Ryan's exposure to milk hurt his chances of outgrowing his allergies. Doctors said that while prolonged exposure could aggravate the allergy, it is very unlikely that a small amount could affect his chances of outgrowing it." What the doctors say certainly sounds more plausible to me. You are unlikely to permanently damage your child by a chance feeding of french fires.

For both those reasons, don't get as scared by the headline as the article wanted you to be.

Now, is McDonald's culpable for not put up warnings earlier? That I don't know, and I certainly don't have enough facts to judge. The lawyer states this is one of many lawsuits nationwide. Maybe so. Maybe they have scared McDonald's into doing the right thing. In that case I'm all for them. As long as they don't start throwing around false claims to scare you themselves. We don't need any more fear. We need information. What McDonald's is providing now is a good start.

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Attention Edina, MN: Potential Scam Warning

Personally, I run the other way while holding tight to my wallet when I hear the words Holistic Health Fair.

But the one to be held in Edina, MN on June 2 sends chills down my spine.

According to their press release:

Wilson Chiropractic Center, in business for 43 years, offers family healthcare and specializes in allergy elimination. Using a method called Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique, or NAET, the doctors at Wilson Chiropractic Center are able to treat chronic allergic reactions, including severe environmental allergies and peanut allergies, even lactose intolerance and pet allergies. Allergic reactions occur when our immune systems are exposed to allergens and then become over-reactive to them. "We utilize chiropractic care and a form of acupuncture to -- in essence -- rewire the nervous system so that the immune system can properly handle allergens the way it was meant to," Dr. Burke said. "It's important to understand that antihistamines and other allergy medications just suppress the symptoms rather than treating the underlying cause of the reaction." He added that antihistamines can also lead to digestive problems and other serious side effects.

If that paragraph wasn't enough warning that standard medical science is on holiday, perhaps an earlier post of mine will shake some sense into you: Beware Allergy Scam - Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET).

In it I quoted from Quackwatch:
NAET is a bizarre system of diagnosis and treatment based on the notion that allergies are caused by "energy blockage" that can be diagnosed with muscle-testing and permanently cured with acupressure and/or acupuncture treatments. Its developer, Devi S. Nambudripad, DC, LAc, RN, PhD, is described on her Web site as an acupuncturist, chiropractor, kinesiologist, and registered nurse who practices in Buena Park, California. [my note: since this was written she also claims an M.D. from an Antigua diploma mill]


The Bottom Line
NAET clashes with the concepts of anatomy, physiology, pathology, physics, and allergy accepted by the scientific community. The story of its "discovery" is highly implausible. Its core diagnostic approach -- muscle testing for "allergies" -- is senseless and is virtually certain to diagnose nonexistent problems. Its recommendations for dietary restrictions based on nonexistent food allergies are likely to place the patient at great risk for nutrient deficiency, and, in the case of children, at risk for social problems and the development of eating disorders. I believe that practitioners who use NAET have such poor judgment that they should not be permitted to remain licensed. If you encounter a practitioner who relies on the strategies described in this article, please ask the state attorney general to investigate.

Not even other chiropractors are willing to put their faith in this "technique."

I found the following on the website of American Specialty Health, which bills itself as:
The nation’s leading provider of:
Chiropractic • Acupuncture • Naturopathy
Dietetics • Fitness Clubs • Personal Trainers
Massage Therapy • Vitamins and Minerals
Tobacco Cessation • Weight Management

Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET) is considered to be scientifically implausible, does not meet professionally accepted standards, and lacks research and literature for efficacy and/or utility. Use of this technique/procedure shall be cause for failure to meet ASHA criteria for network participation.

A belief, theory, or mechanism of health and disease is said to be implausible if it requires the existence of forces, mechanisms, or biological processes that are not known to exist within the existing framework of scientific knowledge.


Evidence and Research:
Based on the review conducted, ASHA is unaware of any published studies on the efficacy of this specific treatment.

Non-specific harm (labeling). Harm caused to a patient by the transmittal of false or misleading information that may cause emotional harm, a false sense of security, a false sense of vulnerability, dependency, or otherwise create in the patient a set of beliefs about their health that is manifestly untrue.

Indirect harm (substitution). Harm caused to a patient by substituting a specific diagnostic or therapeutic procedure whose safety, therapeutic effectiveness, or diagnostic utility is either unknown or is known to be unsafe, ineffective, of no diagnostic utility, for a diagnostic or therapeutic procedure of known safety, effectiveness, or diagnostic utility.

Don't put your allergies - or, heaven forfend, your children's allergies! - into the care of those who invent their own worlds of medicine.

UPDATE: December 2008
ASHA has changed its link and the document contained in that link. They have sanitized the language used. It now reads:

ASHA clinical committees have determined that Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET®) is not established as clinically effective, is not professionally recognized, poses a health and safety risk through Substitution Harm and Labeling Effects, and is considered to be scientifically implausible. ...

Evidence and Research:
Based on the review conducted, ASHA is unaware of any published studies on the efficacy of this specific treatment.

Here's a scientific view from the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA): Unorthodox Techniques for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Allergy, Asthma and Immune Disorders:
Allergy elimination techniques (also known as advanced allergy elimination and Nambudripad's allergy elimination in some countries)
Use: Treatment of food, inhalant and chemical sensitivity / allergy.

Method: This treatment is based on the concept that “allergen” is perceived by the brain as a threat to the body’s well being. Exposure to allergen disrupts the flow of nervous energies from the brain to the body via “meridians”, resulting in symptoms. The technique seeks to “re-programme” the brain by applying acupressure applied to both sides of the spinal column (where energy flowing along meridians intersects with nerve roots) while the patient is in direct contact or close proximity to purported allergen.

Evidence: No evidence

Comment: This technique combines concepts of kinesiology, reflexology, acupuncture and radionics. Proponents claim to be able to cure almost any allergy or sensitivity. This approach lacks scientific rationale or published evidence of efficacy. It is also a potentially dangerous technique if used for to treat dangerous food, drug or venom allergy. The only proven “allergy elimination” techniques are those of conventional injectable (add WEB LINK) and sublingual/oral immunotherapy (add WEB LINK) for treatment of allergic respiratory disease and stinging insect allergy. At this point in time, proven standardised methods for curing food allergy have not been established, but research is ongoing.

And on another site I find this:
Others in the medical community state it has placebo effects at best. A recent review: Teuber, Suzanne S.; Porch-Curren, Cristina (2003). "Unproved diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to food allergy and intolerance." Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology. 3 (3): 217–221.  concludes that “there have been no studies supporting the use of these techniques, and several have refuted their utility. A beneficial placebo effect may be responsible for the perceived clinical effectiveness in many cases of food intolerance.” There is a distinct lack of studies of NAET, another review of complementary allergy tests: Morris, A. (2006). "COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE ALLERGY TESTS". Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology 19 (1).  goes so far as to state that "NAET has to be the most unsubstantiated allergy treatment proposed to date."
The most unsubstantiated allergy treatment proposed to date. Consider that the next time somebody proposes anecdotal evidence in its favor.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Manischewitz Dairy-Free Chocolate and Vanilla Frostings

OK, you probably never heard of the R.A.B. Food Group. But they are probably the biggest name in kosher foods. They own Rokeach, Mother's, Mrs. Adler's, Goodman's and many others.

And Manischewitz.

Which is filling a tremendous need in the dairy-free community by introducing Dairy-Free Rich & Creamy Vanilla Frosting and Dairy-Free Rich & Creamy Chocolate Frosting to go along with their pareve Extra Moist Yellow Cake Mix and Extra Moist Chocolate Cake Mix.

Those with dairy allergies who were disappointed that Duncan Hines discontinued its line of dairy-free cakes mixes now have something to turn to.

And the frostings, they say, are the only dairy-free frostings on the market. They're sold in a 12 ounce re-sealable canister with a suggested retail price of $2.29.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Beware Whey Low

A sugar substitute that is low is calories and has no aftertaste sounds like an achievement. But what if one of its ingredients is lactose?

Lee Zehner, who holds a doctorate in chemistry, developed Whey Low after his wife, Sue, was diagnosed with diabetes in 1999, wrote Rosalie Robles Crowe in the Arizona Daily Star.

He makes it out of sucrose, fructose and lactose because he:

theorized that if the three sugars could be formulated the right way, they wouldn't be fully absorbed by the body, thereby making the sugar more healthful. Not only that, it would eliminate the gastrointestinal problems that often accompany the use of sugar alcohols.

The chemistry of Whey Low is interesting:
"There is an interaction among the three sugars that prevents the sucrose and lactose from being fully absorbed in the small intestine."

Basically, that's where nutrients are broken down and absorbed into the body, he said, adding, "If it doesn't happen there, it doesn't happen."

Instead, the sucrose and the lactose pass into the large intestine, which contains good and bad bacteria.

"Lactose is known to feed the good bacteria, forcing out the bad bacteria. Meanwhile, sucrose is simply consumed by all bacteria," Zehner said.

This reads to me as if Whey Low dumps undigested lactose into the large intestine. True, those people with the right bacteria may not experience any symptoms. But a good many of us with lactose intolerance do not have the "good" bacteria.

Whey Low is just beginning to reach the market.
Retail stores, mostly in the East and Midwest, are beginning to stock Whey Low. A few commercial bakeries and other such companies also are using it in their products.

Worse, you'll find it in some restaurants, such as Rock Creek Restaurant in Bethesda, MD.

On the Whey Low FAQ page, they address lactose intolerance:
8. Is the milk sugar (lactose) in Whey Low® problematic for lactose-intolerant individuals?

The small amount of milk sugar in Whey Low® has not caused any problems of which we are aware. The three lactose-intolerant consumers in our Consumer Survey reported no gastrointestinal disturbances at all from the use of Whey Low®. Lactose-intolerant people can ingest as much as a single dose of 12 grams of lactose per day (equivalent to the lactose in one 8-oz. glass of milk) without any symptoms, according to Suarez FL, Savaiano DA, and Levitt MD, N Engl J Med. 1995 Jul 6;333(1):1-4. Normal daily consumption of Whey Low® as a tabletop sweetener should not cause any problem for lactose-intolerant individuals.

It's obviously true that the small amount of lactose in a single packet of sweetener is probably not an issue for most people with lactose intolerance, just as the amount of lactose in a single pill is not an issue.

I am concerned, though, that the amount used in baking may add up. And the oral testimony of three people is worthless as an actual test measure.

My conditional advice, therefore, is to avoid Whey Low or use it very sparingly to see what it's effects will be.

And the same holds true for people with dairy allergies. Pure crystalline lactose should contain no dairy proteins, and those who are not known to be anaphylactic to dairy probably will not have any reaction to it. As always, though, be very cautious.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

LI Celebrity Alert: Angelica Vale

Angélica Vale gained fame in the telenovela La fea más bella, one of the Spanish Language precursors to the ABC show Ugly Betty.

She's now appearing in ads for Lactaid milk.

As the press release says:

“Like the majority of Hispanics, I am lactose intolerant and used to avoid dairy because I did not want the stomach discomfort that followed,” said Vale. “Over the years, I realized that avoiding dairy can put me at risk for osteoporosis. Products like LACTAID® Milk and LACTAID® Fast Act Dietary Supplements help me manage my lactose intolerance without eliminating dairy from my diet, putting my mind at ease about my bone health now and in the future. I also love that I can still enjoy my favorite foods with family and friends.”

The reminder is an important one, since nearly 60% of Hispanic women in the U.S. over age 50 have either low bone mass or osteoporosis where bones become increasingly brittle and painful, they say, quoting the National Osteoporosis Foundation. And, according to the National Institutes of Health, Hispanic women consume less calcium than the recommended daily amount across all age groups. As a result, these women run a higher risk of nutrient deficiencies that may affect bone health and lead to related conditions, like osteoporosis, later in life.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

UK Allergy Patients 'Failed by National Health Service'

With Allergy Awareness Week about to start in the UK, sponsoring organization Allergy UK is turning up the heat on what it sees as patients being put at risk by bad diagnoses and poor follow-up.

A BBC News article reported on the group's claims:

GPs and pharmacists do not know enough about allergies, putting patients lives at risk, campaigners say.

Allergy UK said training on the subject was extremely limited and many people were going undiagnosed.

And the pressure group said even when diagnoses were made, medics often had nowhere to send patients as there were limited specialist allergy clinics.


After listening to the hundreds of people contacting them, Allergy UK believes doctors and pharmacists are too slow to pick up allergies, leaving people vulnerable to severe reactions.

A spokeswoman said: "Doctors and other health professionals get little training about dealing with allergies.

"It means patients are being put at risk."

The charity also criticised the lack of specialist allergy clinics. Many hospitals have some kind of service, but there are just six clinics in the country which deal with all types of allergy.

Doctors appear to give this claim more credence than pharmacists:
Professor Mayur Lakhani, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Allergies must be taken seriously and we would like to see a stronger emphasis on training in allergies in both undergraduate and postgraduate medical training.

"At the moment we don't have the facilities to adequately investigate, manage and treat patients with allergies and we would like to see a programme of national action implemented in primary care."

But the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain rejected the idea that pharmacists were not trained enough.

A spokeswoman said: "Pharmacists receive five years education and training, a large focus of which is on allergy."

However, I know that I've read and heard numerous complaints from both dairy allergy sufferers and those with lactose intolerance in the UK. All insist that doctors don't pay attention to their symptoms, don't diagnose them properly, and don't know what information to give. And they lament the poor range and quality of specialty foods, although these have been getting better in recent years.

Allergy UK "is planning to launch a website for health professionals giving information about allergies and the common symptoms." Let's hope that the professionals pay attention.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Dairy-Free Snacks Now Gluten-Free Too

What don't Nonuttin' snacks have? Lots.

* No Peanuts
• No Tree Nuts
• No Dairy
• No Egg
• No Wheat
• No Barley
• No Rye
• No Trans Fats
• No Colours
• No Artificial flavours
• No Preservatives (including sulfites)
• No Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
• No Animal By-Products

The snacks, made by Nonuttin' Foods, Inc., are now also gluten-free. The press release says that starting in April of this year:

they implemented new gluten-free formulas, and became the first company to begin using pure, gluten tested oats and oat bran in granola products. The Nonuttin’ facility is now completely wheat and gluten-free.

They don't specifically say that they're vegan, but no dairy or egg or animal by-products is usually a good indication. Check if you want to make doubly sure.

The snacks include Apple Cinnamon Granola Bars, Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, Double Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars , Granola Clusters - Vanilla Cinnamon, Raisin Granola Bars, and Sulfite Free Dried Apples. Canadian customers can also get Divvies Chocolate Chip and Molasses Ginger Cookies.

That's right, they're Canadian. U.S. residents can order, but go to their order page for complete information or call toll free 1-866-714-5411.

But wait - there's more!

Our good friend Alisa Fleming of is making Nonuttin' their monthly prize.
For a chance to win a $50 e-gift certificate to Nonuttin’ Foods, sign up now for the free e-newsletter at Each month Go Dairy Free offers a prize to one lucky newsletter subscriber, chosen at random. This month’s Nonuttin’ prize is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada.

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Hong Kong Food Labeling Law to Reveal Dairy

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004 gave the food industry until January 1, 2006 to change the ingredients labeling on packaged foods so that any presence of the major allergens had to be made specific and obvious. They weren't happy about it, but today food labels make it easier for all those with dairy allergy and other food allergies to know exactly what's in the foods they're thinking of buying.

Many countries have passed similar laws, with similar delays. Everywhere the food industry has grumbled, dragged their heels, and held out until the last minute, if not beyond.

It's Hong Kong's turn.

The 36-month grace period of their Food & Drugs (Composition & Labelling) (Amendment) Regulation will expire on July 9. A Hong Kong government web site, Health & Community reported on the law.

The new law requires the declaration on prepackaged food labels the presence of the eight most common allergy causing substances - cereals containing gluten, crustaceans and crustacean products, eggs and egg products, fish and fish products, milk and milk products (including lactose), tree nuts and nut products, sulphite, and peanuts, soybeans and their products. These allergens account for more than 90% of all food allergic reactions.

Center for Food Safety

Unfortunately, a preliminary study on peanut and tree nut allergens, made public by Centre for Food Safety Community Medicine Consultant Dr Ho Yuk-yin, found that 18 of 53 samples had an unreported presence. This means that the industry still hasn't caught up.

Same old story, wherever you go. One by one the countries of the world will force labeling to be complete, accurate, and clear. As much of a capitalist as I am, I'm fully aware that no industry ever polices itself or voluntarily supplies all the information that consumers need. Government intervention is an absolute necessity everywhere. Sorry, libertarians.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Similac Sensitive R.S. Lactose-Free Formula

Abbott's Laboratories has just announced an expanded, improved line of Similac® infant formulas. The latest additions to the Similac family include Similac Sensitive™ and Similac Sensitive R.S.™ – both designed to address common feeding problems such as fussiness and gas – and Similac® Go & Grow™, designed to help older babies get the nutrition they need as solid foods are introduced into their diets.

Their press release says:

Similac Sensitive is made with a unique blend of carbohydrates that helps reduce fussiness and gas due to lactose sensitivity. Research shows almost half of all babies with feeding issues are switched to a tolerance formula, like Similac Sensitive, by three months of age.1 Similac Sensitive provides moms a new alternative to address these feeding challenges.

Similac Sensitive R.S., made with added rice starch, is a new formula specifically designed to help reduce the frequency of common spit-ups. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, almost all infants reflux or regurgitate a portion of their feeding at one time or another.2 Similac Sensitive R.S. has been clinically shown to reduce the frequency of spit-up by 54 percent.3

1 ACNielsen HH Panel 2000-2003, Ziment 2002-2003.
2 Marsha Kay, MD, “Common Gastrointestinal Problems in Pediatric Patients.” The American College of Gastroenterology,
3 Among healthy 2-month-old infants, compared to standard formula. Clinical Study AJ68, February 2001, Ross Products Division, Abbott Laboratories, Columbus, Ohio.

One other possibility for those with dairy allergy concerns is Go & Grow.
Another new formula from Abbott, Similac Go & Grow, is specially designed for the needs of growing babies, ages 9 to 24 months. Similac Go & Grow offers balanced nutrition for older babies as solid foods and milk are introduced into their diets. Similac Go & Grow provides at least 25 vitamins and minerals and more than 30 percent of the Daily Value of calcium, iron and vitamin C in just one 8-fluid-ounce sippy cup. Similac Go & Grow is available in both milk- and soy-based formulas, and will replace Similac® Advance® 2 and Isomil® Advance® 2 as the Similac solution for improved toddler nutrition.

Suggested retail price for Similac Sensitive is $13.79 for 12.9-ounce Powder, $24.99 for 25.7-ounce Powder, $4.49 for 13-fluid-ounce Concentrate and $5.99 for 32-fluid-ounce Ready To Feed (RTF). For Similac Sensitive R.S. the suggested retail price is $5.99 for 32-fluid-ounce RTF. Similac Go and Grow's suggested retail price is $10.99 for 12.9-ounce Powder and $19.99 for 24-ounce Powder.

The information about Sensitive or Sensitive R.S. isn't up yet at the website. However, this page about Similac® Lactose Free Advance at the Ross Labs site may be of help, and you can search for the other Similac products from there.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Maggie Moo's Zoomers: Lactose-Free Smoothies

MaggieMoo's International Ice Cream and Treatery does super premium, i.e. high-fat, ice cream, and makes a big production of blending in a range of cookies and other sweets into the ice cream while you watch. Just like Marble Slab Creamery, which was also just bought by MaggieMoo's new parent company, NexCen Brands, Inc. Since they're both competing with the mammoth Cold Stone Creamery, this must be the coming next big thing.

OK, so what does this have to do with us lactose intolerant types?

A press release just announced some great news.

MaggieMoo's International, a super-premium ice cream brand known for introducing innovative frozen treats, announced today the launch of its new line of low-fat, lactose free, fresh ice cream and fruit smoothies - "Zoomers™". Made with fresh fruit and available in six flavors, Zoomers™ are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and fiber - offering a healthy option for people on the go.


Available at Treateries nationwide beginning May 23, 2007, the new Zoomers line-up is offered in four flavors: strawberry banana, creamy mango, mocha coffee and caramel coffee. It also includes two Super Zoomers™ flavors: raspberry pomegranate and triple berry pomegranate. Each flavor is available in three sizes - small, regular and large.

Made with fresh berries and pomegranate juice, Super Zoomers™ help consumers get their fill of healthy antioxidants, nutrients and enzymes believed to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Additionally, in the large size, Super Zoomers™ have at least the 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the USDA Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of fruit servings per day.

Four Zoomers™ flavors contain natural fruits high in vitamin C such as strawberries and orange juice. Vitamin C offers numerous health benefits from strengthening the immune system to reducing the risk of certain cancers.

Zoomers™ are a great source of fiber, which plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight and supporting a healthy digestive system. One small Triple Berry Pomegranate Super Zoomer™ has thirteen grams of fiber, 140 percent of the RDA of vitamin C, and only one gram of fat.

Does this mean they are using lactose-free ice cream? Not clear. I'll see if I can get more details.

To promote the new smoothies line, MaggieMoo's is doing a sweepstakes, with the prize being a brand new LX50 model Vespa® scooter, with a retail value of approximately $3,500. The sweepstakes will run from May 23rd to September 11th.

The press release says you should go to the website for details. 'Cept there ain't any. Nothing on Zoomers either. Maybe some time before May 23 their web techs will get on the ball. Otherwise, Maggie will have some splainin' to do.

Those 200 stores are dispersed among more than 40 states so there may be one close to you. Let me know what you think.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

More Info on Diallertest Dairy Allergy Skin Test

More details are emerging about the major new skin testing system for dairy allergies that I posted about last week in Skin Patch Dairy Allergy Test Announced.

The German site has a article on the Diallertest system. One thing it emphasizes is that the system helps to identify "hypersensitivities." These are reactions mediated by other antibodies than the IgE antibodies that cause true allergy and are the source of anaphylactic reactions. Many people have them but don't realize they are allergies, or confuse them with lactose intolerance because gastrointestinal symptoms are the result.

In the past decade, food allergies have become a major point of concern for paediatricians, especially those treating very young children. The number of cases has almost doubled over the last ten years. EUREKA project E! 3292 MULTI-PATCH has helped to develop a full range of ‘DIALLERTEST’ products, aimed at detecting the most frequently observed children’s allergies, including milk, corn, soy and house dust mites. Already being marketed internationally, the results represent a major success for European medical research and development.

The scientific approach to allergies has evolved explains Pierre-Henri Benhamou of France’s DBV technologies. Aside from the well-known ‘immediate’ forms of allergy, which involve rapid acute symptoms upon allergen ingestion, ‘delayed’ types have also been described since the 1990s. Here, clinical symptoms, usually digestive or cutaneous reactions, occur several hours, days or even weeks after. “These allergies are caused by foods that form the base of the day-to-day diet,” says Benhamou, “and to which the patient becomes only gradually sensitised. Unlike the more traditional forms of allergy, the delayed forms pose important problems in terms of diagnosis.”

“What’s different about the ‘DIALLERTEST’ system is that it uses DBV’s new E-patch technology,” explains Benhamou. “This allows us to set dry powdered milk onto the patch by means of electrostatic forces. Thus, no additive or wet substance is needed to hold the suspected allergen in place. This represents an important simplification of the patch test.” It means that a much tighter control over the quantity of allergen is delivered, a more measurable and reproducible reaction, and, ultimately, more reliable and standardised screening for cow’s milk protein allergy. It will also allow doctors to keep allergens in their best reactive state, the powdered form. The materials used in ‘DIALLERTEST’ patch tests are all bio-compatible, specially conceived for the pharmaceutical industry.

When will you see this test? Soon, one hopes.
Today, our products are being distributed in Mexico, Australia and the countries of the ex-USSR, and the necessary paperwork is also being completed for distribution in the US and with the European drug agency (EMEA).

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Non-Dairy Calcium Sources

I've covered this before, but it's always an important topic, especially for vegans and those with severe dairy allergies.

From Lisa Ryckman's health column in the Rocky Mountain News.

"To be sure you are getting enough, aim for three servings of high-calcium foods each day," [Beth Jauquet, a registered dietitian with Cherry Creek Nutrition] says. "Non-dairy sources include calcium-fortified orange juice, dried figs, tofu, fortified soy milk, canned sardines and salmon with bones, enriched cereals and green vegetables like broccoli, collards and kale."

To be sure she's getting enough of dairy's other key nutrients - vitamin D, vitamin A and potassium - give her green- and orange-colored fruits and vegetables daily, Jauquet says.

"Add at least three ounces of whole grains daily, incorporate fish like salmon and tuna on a regular basis and add beans to her diet at least three times each week," she says.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Equal Time Report: World Milk Day

I think it's just a coincidence. I know some people say that there aren't any coincidences. I say that if people aren't smart enough to know better then they aren't smart enough to doing the planning that would make coincidences impossible.

What am I talking about?

The fact that May Is Allergy Awareness Month Worldwide. And that June 1st is World Milk Day.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is the one to make the declaration.

Since the first World Milk Day was held in 2001, many countries spread throughout the world have participated in the celebrations and the number is growing each year.

Why hold a World Milk Day? The Day provides an opportunity to focus attention on milk and to publicise activities connected with milk and the milk industry. The fact that many countries choose to do this on the same day lends additional importance to individual national celebrations and shows that milk is a global food.

Where did it begin? FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) was asked to propose a specific day on which all aspects of milk could be celebrated.

Why 1st June? This date was chosen because a number of countries were already celebrating a national milk day on or around this time. Late May was originally proposed, but some countries, for example China, felt they already had too many celebrations in that month. While most countries hold their celebrations on 1st June, some choose to hold them a week or so before or after this date.

The Dairy Council of the UK has already leapt in with a ringing endorsement of milk. The sections on lactose intolerance and milk allergy are both accurate, so it's okay with me.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Turtle Mountain Adds New Dairy-Free Flavors

I'd said before that I appreciate the hard time reporters have, writing on new subjects every day, but I wish reporters would get things right more often.

Take this article by Anna Ferguson of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The name reads Purely Decadent. Well, that sounds promising. And then the ice cream label states it is dairy-free. For a die-hard ice cream eater, the two just don’t go together. But for the lactose-intolerant, the thought of ice-cold ice cream, without the stomach pains later, is a dream come true.

Turtle Mountain recently introduced pints of dairy-free, gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream to its the Purely Decadent line, as the first dairy-free cookie dough flavor available on the market. The ice cream is delicious. It’s rich and creamy rather than gritty, like most non-dairy options. All-natural, gluten-free and vegan-friendly, the recipe is seriously sweet, presumably to make up for the lack of cream.

If you’re looking at this as a diet version of ice cream, be warned: there is nothing light about it — from calories to taste. It packs the same nutritional punch as the regular dairy version, with the same satisfying flavor.

Retailing for $3.49 a pint, the ice cream is sold at select grocery and natural food stores. Visit

Despite the mention of a lack of cream, I don't see how anybody reading that could help but think that Turtle Mountain Purely Decadent is ice cream.

It isn't. It's a soy-based, non-dairy ice cream substitute. Some people may certainly find it to be an acceptable substitute, but many won't. There are real lactose-free ice creams on the market, from companies like Lactaid and Breyer's. But those are not the same as the many soy- or rice-based substitutes.

And Ferguson doesn't even get the whole Turtle Mountain story. They've introduced three other flavors as well: Coconut Craze; Pomegranate Chip; and So Very Strawberry.

Turtle Mountain also notes that its Purely Decadent products have "less than half the fat of Super Premium Dairy Ice Cream" and contain "only 65% of the calories." That may or may not make them light, but they are still not quite the same either.

None of this is to say that Turtle Mountain isn't a fine product. I've been listing them for years on the Frozen Desserts page in my Product Clearinghouse. But they don't make ice cream and don't claim to. They strive for a superior ice cream substitute. Make the distinction clear.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

More on Food Label Allergy Warnings

When is dairy-free not dairy-free?

When you carefully check the full list of ingredients on the back of the package to see a warning that milk is present, that's when.

This is all due to the food labeling laws that went into effect last year. All foods should have the new labels by now.

An article by Vikki Valentine, How to Read a Food Allergy Warning Label on, gives the details again.

As of January 2006, all food products must clearly say on the package if they contain any of the foods that are responsible for most allergies: milk, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, wheat, egg, crustacean shellfish or fish.

"Before this labeling act went into effect, there were 20 different ways that milk could appear on a label," says Anne Munoz-Furlong, founder of the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. "That made it impossible to teach a 7-year-old to look at a label and to know what to avoid. Now, words are in simple language, and you don't need a science dictionary when you go to the grocery store."

For instance, if an ingredient contains casein, which is a milk protein, the label must include the words "contains milk," or the ingredients list must include "milk."


Dairy Free: "Free" labels, such as "peanut free" and "gluten free," aren't regulated by the FDA. "Dairy free" can be particularly tricky. On the front, a product may say "dairy free," but on the back, casein/milk may be listed under ingredients. Examples of food advertised as "dairy free" that may contain milk: coffee whiteners, whipped toppings, imitation cheeses and some soft-serve ice creams.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Lactose-Free Yogurt Cheese

Every discipline has its experts, its certification programs, and its academic degrees. Even cheese.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is home to the only doctorate-level cheesemaker training program in the United States. The program, administered by the Center for Dairy Research, was established in 1994 and has graduated 49 cheesemakers. Cheesemakers can earn a master's certificate in a variety of cheeses, including Cheddar, Gouda, Swiss, Havarti, Brie, farmer's and feta.

That's what Shannon Green wrote in the Monroe Times. The article was celebrating Paul Reigle, 42, of Maple Leaf Cheesemakers, Inc., who was awarded a master certification for the production of yogurt cheese last month.

Photo credit: Brenda Steurer

Participants in the master's program must take up to five advanced cheesemaking courses over three years, provide regular samples of their chosen product, have their facility inspected by a board of experts and take several exams.

Reigle said his final exam contained 99 questions and took him approximately 40 hours over the course of a month to complete.

He took courses in grading cheese, aging, pasteurization and sanitation. Each course requires at least 16 hours of instruction.

And what about that lactose-free real milk cheese?
Yogurt cheese is a semi-soft cheese with a mild flavor and is considered a healthful cheese, containing active acidophilus cultures.

"It's lactose-free, so anybody can eat it," Reigle said.

Maple Leaf produces four flavors of yogurt cheese: plain, jalapeno, black pepper and tomato basil. The cheese is sold locally at Brennan's, among other places.

You can find a longer article about Paul Reigle here.

Contact info: Maple Leaf Cheesemakers, Inc.
N890 Twin Grove Rd
Monroe, WI , 53566-9520
Phone: 608-934-1234
FAX: 608-934-1235

Contact info: Brennan's
Brennan's Country Market
19000 West Bluemound Road
Brookfield, WI 53005
(262) 285-6606

Brennan's Country Market
5533 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 233-2777

Brennan's Country Market
1422 Northport Drive
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 241-2969

Brennan's Country Market
8210 Watts Rd.
Madison, WI 53719
(608) 833-2893

Brennan's Country Market
701 8th Street
Monroe, WI 53566
(608) 325-4433

Brennan's Country Market
218 Hoesly Drive
New Glarus, WI 53574
(608) 527-4383

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Frogurt's Back with Pinkberry

When is "frozen heroin juice" a good thing?

Well, never, but lovers of Pinkberry frozen yogurt describe it in hallucinatorily addictive terms. "Crackberry" is another. And "I would get Pinkberry IV'ed into my veins if I could."

Photo credit: Cindy Yamanaka

Pinkberry is a small chain of frozen yogurt stands in Los Angeles and New York, started in 2005 by Hyekyung "Shelly" Hwang.

Katherine Nguyen writes on the Orange County Register's website about this Frogurt frenzy.
Pinkberry gets credit for introducing the treat from Korea – a swirl of plain-flavored frozen yogurt studded with simple fresh fruit and kiddie cereal toppings. It's touted as having half the calories of regular ice cream – about 25 calories an ounce or 125 calories for a 5 oz. serving.

At first bite, the sour and yogurty taste may provide a jarring contrast to the sweet and ice-cream-like frozen yogurt many might be accustomed to. You can eat it unadorned, but tropical bits of pineapple, mango and kiwi perfectly complement the tang of the plain yogurt, and additions like Fruity Pebbles and Cap'n Crunch can prove irresistible.

Deborah Netburn of the Los Angeles Times did a full write-up of Hwang last year in The taste that launched 1,000 parking tickets: Pinkberry addicts cramp the style of one neighborhood.

I would link to the Pinkberry website, but it requires a hideous navigation of javascript just to enter the site, so I absolutely refuse. Redo your website if you want traffic, Pinkberry.

There are other similar frozen yogurt outlets in Southern California. With luck this growth is a leading indicator of the fad weeping the rest of the country.

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LI Celeb? Alert: Chris Watters

Does anyone remember Who Wants to be a Superhero? Anyone? I mean even octogenarian Stan Lee, its creator, probably doesn't. Stan "The Man" Lee created the Marvel Age of comics back in the 1960s with the Fantastic Four and has never seen a movie camera that he didn't want to stand in front of. He's made cameos in all the movies made from his superheroes and he hosted WWTBASH, a reality show to find a "real-life" "superhero."

That show flicked out of public awareness like an American Idol loser, but wonder of wonders, it's being picked up in Britain.

And an article on reminds up that Chris Watters "won" the American show.

So just what are Major Victory's powers?

"Here's the full story: I was involved in a speaker cabinet factory incident; it blew up. Through the years I gained my powers, my powers are I can jump 375 yards in the air, I can manipulate sound and I can levitate. In fact I'm levitating right now because I'm just so happy!

"And my kryptonite is that I'm lactose intolerant. But what I've found is that when I do have a little bit of milk I can jump just a little bit higher.

"And my hair: It's not really a super power; I kind of do that every morning. It's just super. I've always had good hair, that's just genetics."

He jokes that the initial thinking behind his own costume – the original designs of which were the contestants' own work – was "can I get into it".

"I like the shiny pants. [Pings underwear] That has a resonance that is just amazing. Plus now I have a cape and I cut the ends of my gloves off so you can see my phalanges," Major Victory adds.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

LI Celebrity Alert: Jessica Simpson

A syndicated article from Bang Showbiz reveals the single fact about Jessica Simpson's life that hasn't already been beaten to death by the celebrity mags.

Jessica Simpson has revealed dairy products give her terrible wind.

The 'Dukes of Hazzard' star - who is getting in shape for her new movie in which her character joins the Marines - has to watch her diet because her lactose intolerance causes her to omit gas from "all ends."

Jessica told US TV show 'Extra,' "I am going to be all ripped. But it's tough, I'm not good on sugar. Or dairy - you'll hear it come out of all ends!"

That may be why she's in that "Who? Me?" pose.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

May Is Allergy Awareness Month Worldwide

Anaphylaxis is difficult, dangerous, and even life-threatening, both to children and to adults.

This picture does say 1000 words.

Example of an Anaphylaxis allergic reaction

There's been no formal proclamation by the U.N., but countries all over the world are noting some form of Allergy Awareness weeks in May.

This week already is Allergy Awareness Week in Australia and will be next week in New Zealand. To raise awareness, the not-for-profit group Anaphylaxis Australia along with Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is distributing allergen information cards that, according to the official press release:
list common ingredients derived from each of the major allergens and also have essential advice for people who are food allergic about eating out, including a reminder to always carry an Epipen. The cards are small enough to fold into a wallet and take shopping.

They are also working with their governments to require standards similar to those already in place in the U.S.
"Anaphylaxis Australia is also doing some excellent work with the food industry to make allergen labelling clearer; for example, by highlighting allergens in the ingredient list and making 'may contain' labelling more useful by more accurate descriptions such as 'made on the same production line as products with nuts'".

What about the rest of the world?

National Allergy Week takes place 21st - 25th May in the UK, put on by Allergy UK.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has declared May to be Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.

Contact info:
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
1233 20th Street NW, Suite 402
Washington, DC 20036
(800) 7-ASTHMA (727-8462)
(202) 466-7643
(202) 466-8940 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Angel Waldron

And the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network is making May 13-19 Food Allergy Awareness Week

Contact info:
Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network
11781 Lee Jackson Highway, Suite 160
Fairfax, VA 22033
(800) 929-4040
(703) 691-2713 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Jennifer Love

Go to the sites, look at the information there, and spread the word to parents, schools, day care centers, workplaces, and any other sites where people may need to know more about dairy allergies and all other types of food allergies.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Skin Patch Dairy Allergy Test Announced

How would you like a test to see if your child is allergic to dairy that is "Practical, simple to use, and painless as it is completely non-invasive, and it can be applied directly by the parents to the child's back at home."

Sure sounds good. The product, under the name Viaskin, has been announced by DBV Technologies.

According to an investment information site:

DBV Technologies was formed by two paediatricians in March 2002, for the purposes of developing food allergy diagnostic tests. The company won the Altran Foundation Innovation Award in 2003, and receives backing from the French Innovation Agency (Oséo-ANVAR).

DBV Technologies has developed and patented a non-invasive, painless, affordable, and highly-reliable patch system based on an original electrostatic technique.

In 2004, DBV Technologies launched the first test patch that can be used to diagnose cow's milk allergy, a condition afflicting approximately one out of every 12 newborns. Within only 18 months, over 20,000 of these diagnostic tests were sold in pharmacies.

The company is currently developing other therapeutic applications for its patch, including vaccinations, cutaneous drug administration, and the diagnosis of and desensitisation to other allergies (wheat, dust mites, etc.).

The latest news about the Viaskin patch is being announced at the 2007 BIO International Convention, the Global Event for Biotechnology, now ongoing at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

DBV Technologies' press release, found at, says:
Viaskin is a dry, disc-shaped cutaneous device system that holds an active ingredient in powder form on an electrically charged plastic film that only delivers it when Viaskin is placed on the skin.


Application of the disc creates a occlusive chamber between the disc and the skin, making the chamber's conditions humid enough to hydrate and release the active ingredient, and to open the skin's pores to better absorb the active ingredient.

Diallertest Milk uses this technology to diagnose cow's milk protein allergy and is suitable for everyday medical practice.

Practical, simple to use, and painless as it is completely non-invasive, and it can be applied directly by the parents to the child's back at home.

It significantly improves the effectiveness in the diagnosis of cow's milk protein allergy.

The faster the diagnosis and treatment, the lower the risk of developing allergosis.

DVB is also developing Diallertest to diagnose dust mite, soy, and wheat allergies.

The milk allergy test will soon be available to the United States.

DBV Technologies and Numico, a Dutch company specialising in the production and sale of nutritional foodstuffs, have announced a distribution agreement for Diallertest Milk that will extend its original network to include the entire world.

Since February 2006, Nutricia, Numico's French subsidiary, has distributed Diallertest Milk in France.

Today, about 70,000 tests have already been prescribed.

The test is available in Australia, France, the Middle East, and New Zealand.

Founded in 2002, DBV Technologies was created by Pierre-Henri Benhamou, a pediatrician specialising in gastro-enterology, allergosis, and nutrition, and Bertrand Dupont, a qualified engineer from the Arts et Metiers institute.

Today it is chaired by Jean-Francois Biry, CEO.

The company has perfected and globally patented the Viaskin technology.

Let's hope we hear more about Viaskin becoming commercially available in the U.S. soon.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Lactose Does What?

I despair about getting accurate information about milk in general and lactose specifically out to the general public when members of the medical profession profess versions of reality I am not familiar with.

The National Website of Wales featured an article about a debate to be held on the value of milk by "Two eminent Welsh professors - both from Cardiff University's School of Medicine."

One of them, Peter Elwood, talks about studies that have been done on long-term effects of drinking milk, something one would think was within his specialty of epidemiology.

There have been 13 major studies throughout the world which provide evidence about milk drinking, heart disease and stroke – these state that there is a 15% to 20% reduction in the incidence of heart disease and stroke in people who drink milk.


Drinking milk raises cholesterol by a very small amount, far smaller than most people seem to imagine, but it also lowers blood pressure. Those who focus on milk and cholesterol only are ignoring the effect it can have on blood pressure and possibly other factors that we don’t yet know about.


Another condition, which has become a very hot topic, is the metabolic syndrome. It is important because it predicts heart disease quite strongly and diabetes very strongly.

There are four studies throughout the world to look at this and milk drinking and again they show a substantial reduction in metabolic syndrome in people who drink the most milk – that’s quite convincing.

Unfortunately there are only two studies to look at diabetes and milk consumption but both show a reduction in diabetes in people who drink the most milk.

The conditions which are responsible for more than half of deaths show a beneficial effect from drinking milk.

There is also very, very good evidence that milk drinking is associated with a reduction in colon cancer – the second most common form of cancer.

Against this evidence is the report from Tony Campbell, a medical biochemist:
It’s commonly believed that lactose intolerance causes problems like gas, constipation and diarrhoea, but it can also bring about a whole range of problems like migraines, chronic fatigue, eczema, hay fever, and muscle and joint pains.

We have hundreds of patients who didn’t know these troubles until they came to us and they changed the way they managed their conditions.

We now have a genetic test that judges how sensitive people are.

If you are sensitive to lactose, what happens is that when it reaches the bacteria in your intestine, it breaks down, generating gases, which are what causes the distension.

But they also create toxins, which are absorbed into the body, causing a whole range of problems.

This is the really revolutionary part of our research.

Anthony K. "Tony" Campbell is a legitimate researcher and has published articles on lactose intolerance in legitimate medical journals. You find his name familiar. I did a post on Tony's Lactose Free Cookbook last year. He and co-author Stephanie B Matthews have a little self-publishing empire on LI, including a pamphlet called "The hundred commonly asked questions in the lactose intolerance clinic," which I would love to get my hands on.

Unfortunately, that book still reads available 2006 with no other information. And also unfortunately, I can find no evidence of a working genetic test for sensitivity in any of Prof. Campbell's articles. The closest lies in "Systemic lactose intolerance: a new perspective on an old problem," by S B Matthews, J P Waud, A G Roberts and A K Campbell, Postgraduate Medical Journal 2005;81:167-173.
Two polymorphisms, C/T13910 and G/A22018, linked to hypolactasia, correlate with breath hydrogen and symptoms after lactose. This, with a 48 hour record of gut and systemic symptoms and a six hour breath hydrogen test, provides a new approach to the clinical management of lactose intolerance.

I don't know who is doing this test or what kind of sensitivity it talks about.

And even weirder, I don't understand where the research comes from that blames lactose for a range of symptoms always associated with cow's milk protein allergy, a totally different ailment.

I'm confused, and as always when I'm confused, I'll try to dig deeper and give you a better idea of the real situation.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Temporary Lactose Intolerance - It Can Happen to You

There are three types of lactose intolerance.

Congenital lactose intolerance is extremely rare. It occurs in a very few babies who can't make lactase at all. If they aren't put on a dairy-free formula immediately, they starve to death.

Primary lactose intolerance is also called, imprecisely, adult-onset lactose intolerance. In reality it can occur any time after the age of weaning. The ability to make lactase decreases or disappears and the symptoms of lactose intolerance strike.

But there is also secondary lactose intolerance, sometimes called temporary lactose intolerance. It occurs whenever there is damage to the intestines that knocks out - temporarily or permanently - the ability to manufacture lactase. Many conditions, from surgery on the intestines, to diseases, to drugs, to long-term abuse of the system can cause it. Whether the ability to manufacture lactase comes back depends entirely on the original cause of the damage and how well the intestines heal.

I mention temporary lactose intolerance now because there's a celebrity case of it in the news.

Golfer Trevor Immelman is back to full health after losing 22 pounds in a few weeks to a parasite.

The South African lost 22 pounds after it was diagnosed he had picked up a parasite which severely affected him for three weeks, but having regained his health, Immelman found himself in fine fettle again as he posted a solid four-under-par 68 to lead the South African challenge at Quail Hollow.

The 27-year-old described how he picked up a debilitating bug a month ago, just two days before the start of the Masters.

"I started feeling really ill. I pretty much slept in the restroom. My stomach felt like it was moving around inside me," Immelman recalled.

The cure? Antibiotics, of course. And his doctor also put him on a lactose-free diet.

Why? Two possible reasons. Without knowing more about the parasite or its effects, it might be that the bug affected the intestines and the extremely delicate and sensitive lactase-making villi, tiny projections on the insides of the intestines.

And antibiotics themselves are designed to kill bacteria. It's hard to discriminate among bad bacteria and good bacteria, so the "good" bacteria that live in the large intestine and digest any lactose that comes their way also get killed when a person takes a course of antibiotics. That means that the symptoms of undigested lactose often occur. The last time I took a course of antibiotics, it was a horrible week of roiling intestines and spasming diarrhea.

Oddly, the answer for this can be milk. Or, much more specifically, yogurt with the live and active cultures that work to recolonize the intestines. Unfortunately, time is still the best healer for temporary lactose intolerance from most of its causes.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Doctors: Learn to Diagnose Celiac Disease!

Once a rare and virtually unknown disease in the U.S. celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, has become fairly well known and understood. Even better, there are many resources available for dealing with it, including many foods that are gluten-free as well as lactose-free. The lactose-free foods part is necessary because celiac disease destroys the villi, the tiny projections on the insides of the intestines where the lactase enzyme is made.

I've covered this topic in several recent posts, including Gluten-Free, Casein-Free (GFCF) Diet Helps Autistic Children, The Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP), and New Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet Cookbook.

Apparently, celiac disease, or as they spell it coeliac disease, is not as well known in the U.K.

It's absolutely chilling to read Family's battle to have disease diagnosed by Lucia Clifford on the Warwick Today website.

To see her now, Summer Wareing is like any other active five-year-old.

She began to suffer with the symptoms of coeliac disease, but doctors put her ill health down to a reaction to her recent MMR booster.

Summer continued to suffer with severe diarrhoea and her condition was so bad, her mum Ruth took her to the doctor every couple of weeks. She was told to stop being 'neurotic' and that children pick up all manor of bugs.

As the weeks passed, the three-year old was losing more and more weight and had her tummy had become extremely bloated.

Ruth, of Burton Green, said: "After one particularly bad night, I took Summer to our local A and E department where the doctor just laughed and said: "It's the weekend, what do you want me to do about it?"


Out of sheer desperation, they turned to private medical care. However, even this was not straightforward and the family had to persist before Summer finally had a blood test for coeliac disease.

When the results came back positive, her family were just relieved to finally have an answer, a diagnosis. However, unfortunately they couldn't begin to help their daughter by starting her on a gluten-free diet until she had had a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. By the time biopsy was performed, Summer had no villi left in her intestines, which had led to an intolerance to lactose and she weighed less than when she was 18 months old.

Ruth added: "Trying to feed her on a gluten-free diet was a nightmare, she had become so afraid of food, all she knew was that when she ate her tummy hurt. Her doctors told me she was becoming a fussy eater and that we were making her worse because we were being sympathetic to her."

Eventually Summer did begin to trust again and did begin to eat but it wasn't easy trying to find gluten-free foods, while also omitting milk (due to her lactose intolerance), that would entice a three-year old.

Now five years old, Summer is thriving and according to her mum 'has way too much energy'.

It's hard to know whether this is an indictment of Britain's National Health Service (NHS), or just a general lack of knowledge among U.K. doctors.

Either way, the government doesn't come out very well.
People diagnosed with coeliac disease can be prescribed an NHS prescription for basic food including bread, pasta and flour.

Due to current funding considerations within the NHS, some PCTs have sought to restrict or stop prescriptions for gluten-free foods. Due to the comparatively high cost of gluten-free food for many people on lower incomes the prescriptions are essential to ensure they maintain a healthy diet. Coeliac UK has opposed measures to restrict prescriptions where it effects staple foods.

Coeliac UK is "the charity for people with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis*." Looks to be lots of good information and lists of gluten-free food on the site.

And try to make doctors aware of the problem so that no future Summers are so dark and stormy.

*"Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) is an important associated disorder or complication of celiac disease which is manifested in the form of a skin rash. There is strong evidence that the changes in the intestinal mucosa and the immunologic findings in the majority of patients diagnosed with DH are identical with those found in celiac disease. Gluten has been found to have a close relationship with this skin rash. DH is often referred to as "celiac disease of the skin" while CD is referred to as "celiac disease of the gut."
from the Celiac Sprue Association.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Breaking News: Nuts, Seeds, and Fruits Aren't Dairy!

I appreciate the fact that products are entering the marketplace that are specifically aimed at those of us with food avoidance issues. I learned I was lactose intolerant in 1978 and many foods then didn't even have complete ingredients listings let alone dairy-free versions.

But some common sense is also needed. Cookbooks that proclaim that they have special recipes for dairy-free meals and then include recipes of foods that would never normally have milk products in them are cheating you. They'd do better to state the obvious and then go on to do the real work of showing how to cook with sometimes finicky substitutes.

In the same way, don't wave fruits, nuts, and seeds at me and proclaim you've made a dairy-free snack.

Who does this? For one, Mrs. May's Snacks.

The Trio bar will be available in four different fruit flavors and like all Mrs. May's snacks, the bars are vegan, non-GMO, cholesterol free, dairy free, wheat free, certified gluten free, kosher and contain no artificial flavors and colors.

What's in a Trio bar?
The bar is named Trio because each bar contains a combination of three nuts (almond, cashew and pistachio), three seeds (sesame, sunflower and pumpkin) and three fruits (dates, raisins and one-of-four fruit flavors including strawberry, cranberry, blueberry or tropical fruit) to create a healthy, crunchy and substantive snack.

Healthy is always good. And I still remember those first years of walking through supermarkets and reading ingredients on every single product on the shelves. It's helpful to be able to pick up a Mrs. May's product and not have to think twice about the contents.

And a startling number of processed foods you'd never believe would be a problem sometimes contain dairy products.

Just remember that you don't need to pay money for somebody else's non-dairy fruits. They all come that way.

I guess what I'm saying is that the more you learn about foods, recipes, and cooking, the easier a time you'll have finding good, healthy, tasteful ingredients that you'll like and are perfect for your tastes and styles. Don't depend on crutches when you don't have a limp.

To be fair, look for Mrs. May's products at her website.

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