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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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

Monday, January 28, 2008

Answers to Questions from Readers, part 13

Q. a. Is goat milk lactose free?
b. My mom claims to have become lactose intolerant. since a lot of my diet here is milk based, with lots of cheeses naturally, will I be going wrong by substituting goat or sheep cheeses and other milk products in my recipes?

a) Goat's milk contains almost exactly the same amount of lactose as cow's milk. For a listing of the lactose contents of dozens of different animal milks, go to my Lactose Zoo page.

b) Goat's milk cheese will have about the same amount of lactose as cow's milk cheese or sheep's milk cheese: very little. All aged cheeses are low in lactose. Substituting one for the other shouldn't make a bit of difference.

Q. I noticed that I get occasionally get LI symptoms after eating Chinese takeout, especially dishes with thick, starchy sauces. This may be a long shot, but is it possible that they contain lactose?

My guess is probably not. Usually in cooking, sauces are made thick and starchy by adding corn starch rather than milk powder. I can't guarantee this, of course, and recipes are often adapted to local customs. Some people do have corn allergies, by the way, so it may in fact be the corn that is the problem. (I hate to suggest anything so obvious that you've probably already considered it, but just to be thorough, have you tested yourself on dishes with and without MSG?)

You might also want to simply ask the next time you're in a restaurant in which you've had problems whether the dish does indeed contain any milk. Most places will be happy to check for you.

Q. Could LI over a period of time lead to osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis does not a single cause, although inadequate calcium intake, especially while young, is thought to be a major factor. So LI by itself cannot cause osteoporosis. However, since milk is leading source of calcium, someone who does not drink milk (whether because of LI or not) must ensure a substitute calcium source, either though other calcium-containing foods or by taking calcium supplements. This would be true of anyone, regardless or LI status.

Q. My mother is severely lactose intolerant, and she recently came across a new one that she hasn't seen before. It's a chocolate bar ingredient: "milk fat." What part of milk is that? Is it suitable or not for an LI person to consume?

It's the fat that is taken out of milk when lowfat or skim milk is made fat-free. Since fat makes things taste better, milk processors sell off the waste fat to other manufacturers. It should have little or no lactose, however, being pretty close to pure fat.

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