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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lactic Acid Is Not Lactose

Here's one of the all-time most common questions on lactose intolerance, from the British newspaper The Independent.

I do not eat dairy products, but I have heard that sourdough bread contains lactic acid. Could this be the cause?

The doctor writing the column writes a technically correct response, except for one tiny little detail. He doesn't actually answer the question.

The proper answer is that lactic acid is not lactose. It can be made from lactose, but that's not the issue. No byproduct of lactose will cause any distress to those who are lactose intolerant.

In fact, no ingredient in food that starts with "lac" will ever be a problem to those with lactose intolerance. Not lactates, or lactones, or lactylates, or any of the dozen other chemical names that might be encountered. The only "lac" to worry about, ever, is lactose.

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