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  #1  
Old 01-04-2003, 05:04 AM
Boris B Boris B is offline
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Does raw milk have lactase in it or not?

A PhD and RD says No
Quote:
lactase is produced (in humans and other animals) by cells lining the small intestine it is not present in milk!
An MD says Yes
Quote:
milk has lactase ... [which is] lost in the heating of milk.
This other site says Yes
Quote:
Raw milk contains the active enzymes lactase and lipase
Some background: I'm lactose intolerant. Some of my friends (such great friends that they actually remember my condition and don't try to cram dairy products down my throat all the time!) told me I should try some raw milk as an experiment. They had some (no cow in the back yard ... I don't know if they bought it under the table or if it was a gift and I didn't ask) and recommended I try some. This was very brave of them given the symptoms of lactose intolerance.

Anyway, since they had suggested it before I asked them what the deal was ... just that raw milk is so great everyone should have it regardless of the symptoms? They said, No, it's because it already has lactase in it, it's just that pasteurization kills the enzyme. Naturally I countered that it's just a compound, it can't be killed, and they said Well, it gets denatured by pasteurizing.

I was surprised - I had never heard of this before; I do know of some lactase-fortified milk but it is far from raw. So I went online and found one site which agrees with me and a bunch which don't. I'm outvoted but I'm still skeptical. I included the MD and PhD references mainly in jest but it is a surprise that this is even argued ... it seems easily verified but I don't have any lab equipment. Or any milk for that matter.
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2003, 05:05 AM
Boris B Boris B is offline
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It wasn't the references I included in jest. I just meant I identified the degree titles the authors had in jest. Sorry for any confusion.
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  #3  
Old 01-04-2003, 08:44 AM
PosterChild PosterChild is offline
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Re: Does raw milk have lactase in it or not?

Quote:
Originally posted by Boris B
...said, No, it's because it already has lactase in it, it's just that pasteurization kills the enzyme. Naturally I countered that it's just a compound, it can't be killed, and they said Well, it gets denatured by pasteurizing.
I'll check if it's in milk, but lactase is an enzyme that degrades lactose (a sugar) which otherwise gets digested by bacteria in the intestines and excreted as CO2 which produces the farting, bloating, stomach ache, etc.

PC
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  #4  
Old 01-04-2003, 10:44 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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It strikes me as highly unlikely that an enzyme that degraes the lactose in the milk is already present in the milk. That would imply that raw milk digests itself.

Here is a doctor on the subject. Important point:

Quote:
First, lactase is produced (in humans and other animals) by cells lining the small intestine it is not present in milk! The only dairy product in which one could reasonably expect to find lactase is yogurt. And even in that case, the bacteria that actually produce the lactase are added to milk after pasteurization, so they're not heated to high temperatures.

Second, even if there were lactase in milk, it wouldn't do us much good. That's because this enzyme works best in the small intestine, where it is formed. The highly acidic environment of the stomach would inactivate it. So even if we drank milk with active lactase in it, it's unlikely that much if any of it would survive the stomach acid and arrive in the small intestine in an active state.
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  #5  
Old 01-04-2003, 11:08 AM
Duck Duck Goose Duck Duck Goose is offline
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??? I'm not getting this. Your friends are saying that raw milk has both lactose--the milk sugar that gives you gas--and lactase--the enzyme that digests the milk sugar--in it, at the same time?

How could that possibly be true? Because then the lactase would get busy digesting the lactose before the calf could make any use of it. Cow's milk is designed to be drunk by baby cows, remember, so it's designed to be nutritious, and it seems counter-productive to have it busy removing its own nutritious milk-sugar components while it's waiting in the udder to be drunk.

It's totally illogical.
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  #6  
Old 01-04-2003, 12:55 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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If you're lactose intolerant, try yogurt or kefir. These milk products have bacteria which help with the digestion of lactose.
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  #7  
Old 01-04-2003, 01:25 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Please note that both your "yes" sites are special pleading raw milk propaganda vehicles and that both reference the ancient experiments of Dr. Pottenger.

Could they cite anything more recent or of more relevance? Highly doubtful.

I know of no evidence whatsoever that raw milk contains lactase, and I have studied the subject for over twenty years. As noted above, it would make no sense. Lactase is made in the intestines of all mammals under the age of weaning and so there is no need for the lactose to come pre-digested.

The battle between pasteurized and raw milk was fought out in the early part of the century, and both sides had points on their sides. (See, for example, Nature's Perfect Food: How Milk Became America's Drink, by E. Melanie Dupuis.) Raw milk lost out because it was too expensive to produce in quantity and bacterial problems could too easily creep into even "model" farm systems.

I don't doubt that raw milk, produced under perfect sanitary conditions, is perhaps a better product than pasteurized milk, if only because pasteurization kills off vitamin C. But I do doubt that it has any special health benefits.

And it certainly doesn't have lactase. Ruth Kava's article is correct.
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  #8  
Old 01-04-2003, 02:48 PM
susan susan is offline
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Hi Boris. Are your friends just using you for experiments? Or are you looking for a beverage yourself? If the latter, I've found Silk much nicer than most of the soy beverages. I served their eggnog this month and nobody guessed that it was soy.
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  #9  
Old 01-04-2003, 06:07 PM
odd-socks odd-socks is offline
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Boris

I think the only way you're going to be able to know if it upsets your system or not, is by trying it and I can understand why you might not want to

I think it depends on the individual person's sensitivty: one of my friends sploshed skimmed milk into my tea thinking it "would be alright" without me knowing - only to find it wasn't. heh.
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  #10  
Old 01-04-2003, 06:26 PM
Yeah Yeah is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by barbitu8
If you're lactose intolerant, try yogurt or kefir. These milk products have bacteria which help with the digestion of lactose.
Actually, the bacteria are probably dead and beyond helping you with anything by the time you get the product. However, it doesn't make any difference, because they have already turned most of the lactose (which you are intolerant of) into lactic acid (which you can tolerate) in the process of turning fresh milk into yoghurt or kefir.
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  #11  
Old 01-04-2003, 07:57 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Many of the yogurts state on the container that they contain live bacteria. If this is not so, I would think the FDA would have stepped in by now. It's a moot point as far as the lactose goes; however, it is important from the probiotics viewpoint.
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  #12  
Old 01-04-2003, 08:38 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Good fresh yogurt made with live and active cultures has cultures that are live and active when you spoon them into your mouth. Good thing, too, because much of the lactose still remains in the yogurt, but the lactase made by the cultures helps digest the lactose when it reaches the intestines.
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  #13  
Old 01-04-2003, 08:45 PM
irishgirl irishgirl is offline
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oh no.
raw milk?
you want to catch something?

seriously. pasteurisation was introduced for a reason, never mind your LI.

since most of the adult world is also lactose intolerant, you just gotta do what they do, chug down the yoghurts and kefirs, avoid the moo juice.
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  #14  
Old 01-04-2003, 09:35 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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...most of the adult world is also lactose intolerant...

Huh? First time I ever heard such a thing, and I can't say I find it believable. There sure are a mess of adults who put milk on cereal, eat ice cream, etc. without complaint. Cite? Clarification?
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  #15  
Old 01-04-2003, 09:46 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is online now
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Sorry Gary T, but irishgirl is right.
From:
http://www.geocities.com/Paris/4664/moreli.html

Lactose Intolerance: A Common Problem
Most of the global population is lactose intolerant. The production of a high amount of lactase into adulthood exists only in a minority of ethnic groups. Here's a brief scientific project description on The Decline of Intestinal Lactase at Weaning and in Human Adult-Type Lactose Intolerance, by Prof. G. Semenza and Dr. N. Mantei


Groups among whom lactose malabsorption predominates (60% to 100%):

Africa: South Nigerian peoples, Hausa, Bantu
Asia: Thais, Indonesians, Chinese, Koreans
Near East and Mediterranean: Arabs, Jews, Greek Cypriots, Southern Italians
North and South America: Eskimos, Canadian and U.S. Indians, Chami Indians
Groups among whom lactose absorption predominates (2% to 30%)

Africa: Hima, Tussi, Nomadic Fulani
Europe: Danes, Finns, Germans, French, Dutch, Poles, Czechs, Northern Italians
India: Punjab and New Delhi areas
Source: adapted from Johnson et al. 1974
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  #16  
Old 01-04-2003, 09:47 PM
ENugent ENugent is offline
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Gary, lactose intolerance is the rule for many east and central Asians, and I believe for those of African descent, as well. Lactose tolerance is mostly found in cultures with a long history of domestication of cattle, and not even in all of those (e.g., India).
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  #17  
Old 01-04-2003, 11:07 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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Well, learn something every day. Thanks for the info.
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  #18  
Old 01-05-2003, 10:33 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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The classic study on the incidence of lactose intolerance is Nevin S. Scrimshaw and Edwina B. Murray: "The Acceptability of Milk and Milk Products in Populations with a High Prevalence of Lactose Intolerance," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1988;48:1080-1159, a meta-analysis of all the hundreds of individual population studies done up to that time. Indeed there haven't been that many since, probably because there were so few places left to study and the studies weren't bringing in anything new. In truth, most of the earlier studies should be redone with more representative populations and more modern, more accurate LI tests, but LI just isn't a glamour field.

Anyway, the study found that except for a few rare instances, the only populations with a majority of people who were tolerant to lactose as adults were those descended from northern white Europeans. The vast majority of Asians, Africans, and Native populations were LI as adults. Those around the Mediterranean Sea were about 50/50 and this faded to 5-15% LI as you looked north into Europe. There was even a correlation between how early a population became LI and how large a percent of adults were LI, the earlier the larger.

The results from the study, which isn't on the net that I found, along with some analysis of why so many Americans have the false belief that the whole world has a dairy culture like theirs, can be found in Milk Is Not for Every Body: Living With Lactose Intolerance, by Steve Carper.
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  #19  
Old 01-05-2003, 11:38 AM
CC CC is offline
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yeah, but....

OK, but now I've got a question: If, as RealityChuck's cite tells us, ingestion of lactase is pretty useless due to its inactivation by stomach acid, how do lactase products (Lactaid, etc.) work?
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  #20  
Old 01-05-2003, 12:17 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is online now
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At least some lactase products are enteric coated. Check the label. Enteric coating means it's protected from breakdown in the stomach, and becomes active in the small intestine.
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  #21  
Old 01-05-2003, 12:25 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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From Carper's book (p. 116)

Quote:
The lactase produced by a related fungus known as Aspergillis oryzae proved to have an optimum pH of 4.5-5.5 and a stable range of 3.0-7.0, as well as an optimum temperature of 37 [degrees]. When taken with food, this form of lactase readily withstands the buffering it takes in the stomach and survives to digest lactose in the small intestine. Today all major brands of lactase pills use A. oryzae lactase.
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  #22  
Old 01-06-2003, 02:08 AM
Boris B Boris B is offline
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Thanks for the replies

PosterChild wrote,
Quote:
... lactase is an enzyme ...
Quite right, that part I knew. It was just their claim that lactase was somehow "killed" that didn't sit right.

Duck Duck Goose wrote,
Quote:
??? I'm not getting this. Your friends are saying that raw milk has both lactose--the milk sugar that gives you gas--and lactase--the enzyme that digests the milk sugar--in it, at the same time?
My friends are very sweet but they are sometimes a bit less ... rigorously analytical than I would like. I shouldn't talk though, they did have me doubting. I was kind of looking for a grain of truth in what they were saying, like maybe raw milk had some ingredient that jump-started our guts to produce lactase on our own...? Okay, I admit I have no idea where they got this idea but there are certainly others laboring under the same misconception.

barbitu8, I've never heard of kefir. I'll look it up. If it's much like yogurt I'll probably like it. If someone named yogurt suggested I tried barbiturates as a milk substitute I would say no, though.

Shoshana, I think my friends are just being enthusiastic. I know calcium is important so I drink fortified orange juice ... I'm not actually looking too hard for a milk substitute. I have had some pretty nasty soy-based ones but I don't think I've tried Silk. I'll by a carton next time I get one of those inexplicable Rice Krispies cravings. (One important note: some non-dairy creamers are very tasty, and they look really low in calories and fat until you figure out that the serving size for a creamer is about a teaspoon! Not surprising for a product made mostly of soybean oil and corn syrup. It makes for a pretty rich bowl of cereal, I can tell you that.)

That's a great list, Qadgop the Mercotan. I take it the second group (Fulani, Danes, Punjabis) is the lactose tolerant group?
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  #23  
Old 01-06-2003, 04:19 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Kefir is similar to a liquid yogurt. Health food stores primarily carry it, but our local Harris-Teeter also has it in its health food dairy case. However, it is the only one of the regular grocery stores to carry it.
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  #24  
Old 01-06-2003, 04:22 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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I forgot to note that it is absolutely delicious. I can drink a whole carton in one sitting, but I rarely get to be seated as I usually drink it standing up at the refrig.
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  #25  
Old 01-06-2003, 04:56 PM
Yeah Yeah is offline
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I take it the second group (Fulani, Danes, Punjabis) is the lactose tolerant group?

Yes. I don't know about the Punjabis, but the Fulani (also known as the Peul) and the Danes make some dynamite cheeses.
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  #26  
Old 01-06-2003, 05:05 PM
irishgirl irishgirl is offline
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just skipped in to do a happy dance, cause Qadgop agreed with me!

i feel so proud!
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  #27  
Old 01-06-2003, 05:49 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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That would be a jig, wouldn't it?
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  #28  
Old 01-09-2003, 03:55 PM
Boris B Boris B is offline
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Thanks!

Well, the Rice Krispies craving didn't come up, but a Lucky Charms craving did. (Okay, I'm over 30 and I love Lucky Charms. Be real gentle when you point and laugh.) So I went out and got some Silk at Shoshana's suggestion. It is great! Actually, it's odd to call it "great" since it doesn't have much taste, but it's pretty darn milky and doesn't have the nasty flavor that other soy milks have IMHO.
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  #29  
Old 01-09-2003, 05:12 PM
Bob Scene Bob Scene is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Duck Duck Goose
Cow's milk is designed to be drunk by baby cows, remember, so it's designed to be nutritious, and it seems counter-productive to have it busy removing its own nutritious milk-sugar components while it's waiting in the udder to be drunk.

It's totally illogical.
Actually, it's not that illogical. Lactase doesn't destroy the nutritional value of lactose in any way. Lactose is a dimer of glucose and galactose. Lactase just breaks the bond between the two. The resulting glucose and galactose are as nutritious as the lactose was.
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  #30  
Old 01-09-2003, 06:34 PM
sailor sailor is offline
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The incidence of LI is exagerated

Quote:
the study found that except for a few rare instances, the only populations with a majority of people who were tolerant to lactose as adults were those descended from northern white Europeans. The vast majority of Asians, Africans, and Native populations were LI as adults. Those around the Mediterranean Sea were about 50/50 and this faded to 5-15% LI as you looked north into Europe.
I do not belive this. I can guarantee that LI does not affect anywhere close 50% of people in Southern Europe. Even in China, milk is not consumed mostly for cultural reasons, but most of my Chinese friends drink milk and eat cheese with no problem.

Maybe LI is a matter of degree and some people could not consume large quantities of milk but can sonsume smaller amounts with no problem.
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  #31  
Old 01-09-2003, 08:33 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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You get to the heart of the question of what the phrase "lactose intolerance" means. Oddly, there is no general agreement on this. See this page for a discussion of the many terms that are used for the general condition, inside the medical community and out.

Medical studies tend to use a comparatively huge lactose load. This will trigger a reaction in the vast majority of people who have any decrease in the amount of lactase they produce. This practice has been criticized as not being representative of milk tolerance in the real world. This is one of the reasons I posted above that newer and more accurate tests need to be done.

Of course LI is a matter of degree. Virtually all studies have found that most people who consider themselves to be LI can still have some milk. But the consistency of all the tests done worldwide indicates that on the genetic level, the world's population is divided into two alleles, one whose genetic makeup dictates that lactase production will be reduced at some point in their lives, and a mutation that has become recently widespread that allows lactase production to be continued unabated throughout life. There's really not much question that if you define LI on the genetic level, the percentages I quoted will be pretty much accurate. (But only within fairly homogenous ethnic populations. Intermarriage tends to spread lactose tolerance, since that version of the gene is dominant.)

Whether any individual of any ethnic background can have some dairy products at a meal is an entirely different matter.
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  #32  
Old 01-09-2003, 09:37 PM
mightyaphrodite mightyaphrodite is offline
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Raw milk is actually better for you, but you won't be able to buy it (at least, not in Canada; I don't know about the US). In Canada, it's illegal to sell milk that has not been pasteurised, but organic farmers who have cows will often drink raw milk at home. Overall, you really do NOT need milk in your diet, so I wouldn't worry about it. If you want to drink milk, then go to your local pharmaceudical store (in Canada, our equivalenet would be Shoppers Drug Mart) and find a bottle of lactase enzyme pills. If you can't find any, ask your doctor to prescribe you some. Otherwise, you could always buy Lact-eze, a lactose-free milk beverage.
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  #33  
Old 01-09-2003, 10:01 PM
pud_lumpkins pud_lumpkins is offline
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you know, milk actually has about 1.3% sperm in it? haha, just kidding
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