Archive for the ‘The Latest Information & Topics’ Category

Relationship of Lactose Intolerance & Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Interesting abstract just published on Lactose Intolerance and its relationship with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Dec 13. pii: S1542-3565(12)01492-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2012.11.034.

Prevalence and Presentation of Lactose Intolerance, and Effects on Dairy Product Intake, in Healthy Subjects and Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Yang J, Deng Y, Chu H, Cong Y, Zhao J, Pohl D, Misselwitz B, Fried M, Dai N, Fox M.


Department of Gastroenterology, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital affiliated to College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, PR China; Department of Gastroenterology, The First People’s Hospital of Hangzhou.



The effects of lactase deficiency on digestive symptoms and diet in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have not been well defined. We assessed lactose absorption and tolerance, and the intake of dairy products in healthy volunteers (controls) and patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS (D-IBS).


Sixty patients diagnosed with D-IBS at the College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, China and 60 controls were given hydrogen breath tests to detect malabsorption and intolerance following administration of 10 g, 20 g, and 40 g lactose, in random order, 7-14 days apart; participants and researchers were blinded to the dose. We assessed associations between the results and self-reported lactose intolerance (LI).


Malabsorption of 40 g lactose was observed in 93% of controls and 92% of patients with D-IBS. Fewer controls than patients with D-IBS were intolerant to 10 g lactose (3% vs 18%; OR (95% confidence interval), 6.51(1.38-30.8); P=.008), 20 g lactose (22% vs 47%; OR, 3.16 (1.43-7.02); P=.004), and 40 g lactose (68% vs 85%; OR, 2.63 (1.08-6.42); P=.03). H2 excretion was associated with symptom score (P=.001). Patients with D-IBS reported LI more frequently than controls (63% vs 22%; OR, 6.25; 95% CI, 2.78-14.0; P<.001) and ate fewer dairy products (P=.040). However, self-reported LI did not correlate with results from hydrogen breath tests.


The risk of LI is related to the dose of lactose given and intestinal gas production, and is increased in patients with D-IBS. Self-reported LI, but not objective results from hydrogen breath tests, was associated with avoidance of dairy products. number: NCT01286597.

More Milk Facts

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Here are some facts about milk you may not have known.  All the more reason to conquer your lactose intolerance!  I’m especially interested in the claim that calcium prevents obesity.  So much talk of dairy making you fat…maybe not!

BEWARE: Of the Coffeehouse!

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Beware the coffeehouse…

The warm inviting atmosphere of the uptown coffee shop lures you in. You sit in one of the creaking, flowery-upholstered mismatched chairs, open your favorite book and reach for a hot, steaming cup of…LACTOSE??? For crying out loud. Just when you thought everything was safe and cozy, the froth skimming your upper lip carries that familiar odor of warm milk. Unfortunately, lattes are full of it. Most coffee drinks have only a shot of espresso, and the rest of the beverage is steamed milk. Here is what you need to know to survive a trip “out for coffee” with your best friend.

Stay away from convenience stores. Yes, Quick Stop and Tom Thumb have “cappucino” machines, but this coffee is undoubtedly made with a dairy product, most likely dried milk. You could always ask the clerk if the machine is dairy free, but how and why would he know?

Good news! When I first wrote this section, chain coffeehouses, like Caribou Coffee and Starbucks, did not cater to the lactose intolerant. But! Thanks to the immesurable pressure I’m sure they felt after thouroughly exploring my website, both have added West Soy Vanilla soy milk to their menu.

You may still visit your locally run coffeehouse. This is the coffeehouse that does not have a mass produced menu. The menu is usually written on a chalkboard screwed to a natural brick wall above the counter. The furniture decidedly does not match and looks like it came from Goodwill or a fire auction. (You may have noticed chain coffee places imitating this look with mass produced chalkboards.)

Local coffeehouses may have soy or rice milk to substitute in their lattes for milk. This lets them cater to not only lactose intolerant customers, but also to vegans (who don’t consume any animal products). You may recognize these vegans by their colorful hair and ornate piercings. Do not be afraid! Befriend these people, as they are usually friendly and help make more dairy-free foods and drinks available for the lactose intolerant, too.

Regardless of where you go, be aware your drink won’t be as frothy and pretty as your friends’, because nothing froths quite like real milk. (This is why some places don’t carry substitutes.) If rice milk is substituted, your drink will be sweeter, and if soy milk is substituted, your drink will have a more earthy flavor (read: it will taste vaguely like dirt).

Even if you ask for soy or rice milk, make very sure the flavoring they add is not full of lactose. Usually this is only a concern if you order a chocolate flavored latte. Oh! And don’t forget to tell them you do not want whip cream! Often, people don’t make the non-dairy connection of choosing rice milk and smother your otherwise digestible drink with rich whip cream.

To be safe anywhere, order your coffee straight and black. No lattes, cappucinos, or anything with whip cream on top.

I am not the only one who has run across this problem. Caffeinated Magazine features a writer in a similar situation. Read James P. Oliver’s essay and review of coffee houses in Spokane, WA.

Where do I go? Java Joe’s Coffeehouse in Des Moines, IA serves soy milk coffees. The Daily Grind in Stillwater, MN serves rice milk coffees. And now, both Caribou and Starbucks, conveniently located in any highrise tower or local strip mall, carry soy milk as well.

You can thank me. 🙂

Health Risks on being Lactose Intolerant

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

There are some health risks you should be aware of if you are lactose intolerant.

Milk contains a great deal of essential nutrients and vitamins your body needs to grow and stay strong. If you’re lactose intolerant it is important to make sure you’re getting enough of these nutrients, especially calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is particularly important for women because it keeps bones strong and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

If you are lactose intolerant, it is important to find other means to get these essential nutrients. For instance, there are many nondairy foods that contain calcium, including:

  • Broccoli, okra, kale, collards, and turnip greens
  • Canned sardines, tuna, and salmon
  • Oranges
  • Calcium-fortified juices
  • Soy products such as soy milk, tofu, and soybeans
  • Almonds

* Try the USDA Nutrient Database and search for calcium to find foods to fit your needs.

Another option: Rice Dream (non-dairy beverage), distributed by Imagine Foods, Inc. is truly a dream come true! It has 30% of your daily value of calcium per serving (the same amount as milk). I buy Organic Original Enriched (it is also available in chocolate), and although it takes some getting used to when compared to milk, it is great on cereal and used in hot chocolate or coffee. For more information, contact Imagine Foods, Inc., 350 Cambridge Ave., Suite 350, Palo Alto, CA, 94306.

To absorb calcium, your body needs vitamin D. Most people get enough vitamin D by being out in the sun for short periods of time each day. Vitamin D is also found in fortified milk, fortified soy milk, butter, margarine, egg yolks, and liver.

If you don’t know whether you are getting enough calcium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients found in milk products such as magnesium, potassium, protein, and riboflavin, you might want to talk to your doctor.
Kids and Calcium

Q: What if my 5-year old can’t drink milk?

A: It seems hard to believe, but healthy bone-building habits during youth can greatly impact risk of osteoporosis (the brittle bone disease) later in life. That’s because bones don’t reach their peak density or thickness until the age of about 35, so maximizing calcium intake from childhood until this age is what helps bones become as strong as possible. The best time to start working on osteoporosis prevention is with kids and young adults, especially females since they’re at higher risk. If your child can’t eat the recommended 3-4 servings of dairy foods daily, try calcium-fortified juices, cereal and breads. Tofu processed with calcium and salmon canned with edible bones are also excellent sources, while greens, sunflower seeds, blackstrap molasses, and dried figs are good sources. Talk to your child’s pediatrician about supplements if you’re still concerned they may not be getting enough calcium.

A message from Andrew

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

The Plight of the Lactose Intolerant

Have we been neglected? I think so. On a 1996 search of Yahoo!, I found one matching category and only two web pages about lactose intolerance. Compare this to the thousands of matches for any other affliction, and you see that yes, the lactose intolerant community has been neglected. Since I published this website in 1996, the entries have continued to increase! Thank you for your interest in making lactose intolerance more well known. As more web pages appear on the Internet, food companies and grocery stores become more aware of the needs of people who cannot consume dairy. I receive email, phone calls, and letters not only from lactose intolerant people worldwide, but from manufacturers interested in making food more edible for the lactose intolerant. (And have you noticed the new Lactagen commercials? Yay! There seems to be better solutions coming out!)

This page is an entertaining, informational resource on lactose intolerance. I advocate and recommend products based on my experience and success with these products whenever possible. If you have product recommendations, questions, comments, recipes, or anything lactose intolerance related to share, I encourage you to post them on the blog. This informational hub for lactose intolerance is only as strong and informative as your participation.

We, the dairy-inable, are an Invisible Minority. Welcome to your virtual support group! Empower yourself–read on.

Disclaimer: No medical doctor has reviewed the contents of this website/ blog. This website/blog was development for the purpose of providing a central place for lactose intolerant individuals to come to share basic information and personal insight. It is advised that you check with your physician or medical advisor before acting upon anything learned from this site.