Your article says that “lactose, a sugar in milk, commonly elicits allergic reactions.” Lactose and many other carbohydrates don’t elicit an allergic response.

Jonathan Stapley
West Lafayette, Ind.

Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest significant amounts of lactose because there’s a shortage of an enzyme that breaks down milk sugar. This condition shouldn’t have been described as an allergic reaction .–B. Bower Prehistoric British dairying pioneers didn’t need to wait “several thousand years” to digest the raw milk products they were using. After leaving the udder, milk quickly becomes colonized with lactobacilli that break down lactose.

Joann S. Grohman
Dixfield, Maine

The thesis that milking animals were kept to produce cheese and butter until the early English population could digest the milk intact is, at best, a dicey one. What is plausible is that the nutrient concentration, storability, and portability of cheese and butter were the chief motivators for their production. Or maybe it was the flavor.

Alan E. Kligerman
Pleasantville, N.J.