DEAR DR. BLONZ: Do you have any kind of experience, information or scientific study about hydrogen proxide as a cure for cancer? I did not find anything on PubMed (the online library of the National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine) and hope you can help me find information on this therapy. -- Y.G., via email
DEAR Y.G.: Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a water molecule with loosely attached extra oxygen on board, is a powerful oxidizer -- more powerful than chlorine. It is corrosive to the nose, throat and lungs, and can cause irreversible tissue damage to the eyes, including blindness.
While this stuff might kill a cancer cell, and all other cells, if directly applied in a petri dish, there is no way -- I repeat: no way -- it can ever get to the site of any cancer inside the body. The hydrogen peroxide will oxidize and destroy the first tissue it comes in contact with. Given the inherent dangers, the idea that drinking diluted hydrogen peroxide can increase the oxygen level in all our cells and help our immune systems destroy cancer is ludicrous. Sorry to shoot this down, but I'm glad you asked before you tried.
DEAR DR. BLONZ: I was told I am lactose intolerant. Does that mean I must exclude all dairy products, such as butter and cheese of all kinds? I drink lactose-free milk without a problem, and eat yogurt, also. -- M.A., via email
DEAR M.A.: Lactose intolerance is the inability to efficiently digest the main carbohydrate (lactose) found in dairy products. Because the lactose does not get digested, it will not be properly absorbed, thus leaving it to travel down the remainder of the digestive tract -- sometimes attracting water along the way. It ends up in the large intestine with other unabsorbed food components and waste materials. The bacteria that reside in the large intestine, also known as our intestinal flora, will use the lactose as food, giving off gas as a metabolic waste product. The gas, together with the added fluid, can create muscle cramps and digestive distress that are the symptoms of lactose intolerance.
Those with lactose intolerance might think they need to stay away from butter or cheese because they are milk products, but most lactose gets removed from these foods as they are made. Yogurt, although made from milk, is often well-tolerated by people who have lactose intolerance because yogurt bacteria produce their own lactose-digesting enzyme, or lactase.
Lactose intolerance is not the same as a milk allergy, the allergy being where there is specific reaction to the protein in the milk or milk product. Cheese should be avoided by those with milk allergies. Butter does not contain protein, but in the unusual case of an acute allergic sensitivity, even this may have to be avoided.
It sounds like you have a handle on your situation: There is no need to avoid butter or cheese, and you are already able to enjoy yogurt. There may also be no problem with small amounts of milk products, such as putting half-and-half in your coffee.
Send questions to: "On Nutrition," Ed Blonz, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO, 64106. Send email inquiries to email@example.com. Due to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.