How is galactose produced?
There are several methods to produce galactose: chemical, enzymatic and physical procedures can be used. Milk sugar (lactose, a disaccharide), the source substance for galactose derived from milk products (i.e. whey), is split into its two compounds, glucose and galactose. Furthermore, it is possible to extract galactose from plants like the larch or legumes, but because these sources hold only small amounts of galactose, this method is considerably more expensive.
Unfortunately, some of the respective production methods hold serious disadvantages; for example, splitting lactose chemically with the use of acid hydrolysis can result to extensive contamination of the final product with toxic agents such as heavy metals. The enzymatic method is also problematic since it often uses genetically modified lactase (the enzyme responsible for splitting up lactose) and thus poses the risk of contaminating the galactose with genetically modified proteins or protein fragments.
The most secure production procedure is the physical method that we use: lactose is split into its compounds by applying high pressure so that neither the source material nor the final product (i.e. galactose) can get in touch with any unwanted or dangerous substances in the process. Thus, the risk of accidental contamination is minimized. At the end of the process stands a final product which features high-purity quality (> 99 %) and is safe for consumption.
Is galactose a pharmaceutical product?
No, galactose is a food product that can be found in several foodstuff products of everyday life (mostly in dairy products, but also in specific legumes, fruit and vegetables). Thus, galactose can be sold without restriction and does not need to be prescribed by medicine professionals.
What are the general instructions for taking galactose?
The general advise is to take 6 grams of high-purity D(+)Galactose twice a day. Galactose can also be dissolved in tea or water.
If taken following the instructions mentioned above, a small tub of high-purity D(+)Galactose (100 grams) lasts about 8 days, the mid-sized tub (250 grams) lasts about 3 weeks; the big tub (500 grams) lasts approx. 5 - 6 weeks.
What does the "D" in D(+)Galactose stand for?
All sugars consist of a chain of at least 3 C-atoms (carbon). The most abandunt sugars (e.g., glucose, galactose, mannose) feature chains of 6 C-atoms; hence, they are categorized as hexoses. These C-atoms are attached to hydroxyl (OH) groups which makes them water-soluble. D or L in "D(+)Galactose" refers to the position of the OH-group attached to the penultimate C-atom (C5 in hexoses): if the resepective hydroxyl group shows to the right (latin: dextrum), it is marked as "D", if it shows to the left (latin: laevum), it is marked as "L".