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

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Words Fail Me

This is from an actual newspaper interview in an actual newspaper. Pioneering Probiotics: Natren’s Founder Is on a Mission to Get You Healthy, by Nadra Kareem in the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Kareem interviewed Natasha Trenev, president of probiotic manufacturer Natren Inc.

Q: So, probiotics tackle a range of digestive problems. What about people who suffer from lactose intolerance. Do you have products to treat that?

A: Acidophilus (a bacteria) helps the body to digest lactose. It simulates the body to produce our lactose.

Did Trenev really say that, or anything like that? Did Kareem so misunderstand the quote that it could be mangled like that? Did no editor look at the article before it was printed?

Words fail me.

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Anonymous said...

probably should have said stimulates our body to produce lactase which is the enzyme that digests lactose. Usually lactose intolerant means that the enzyme lactase is missing or in small quantities.

Steve Carper said...

The problem with anonymous comments is that it's hard to tell who is speaking.

I can't tell whether you're someone from that article making a correction or a reader trying to explain what might have been meant.

Either way, what you say isn't correct either. No acidophilus pill or supplement of any sort can stimulate the body to manufacture lactase.

You can only say that the bacteria themselves manufacture lactase, which they use to digest the lactose so that it doesn't produce symptoms. But there is no way to spin that to say that the body - which has to mean the human body - produces any lactase.

Madison T said...

Hi Steve--

I am sure that was an article misprint. You can follow Natasha Trenev on her blog and ask her yourself directly at