Lac Coactum. Curdled Milk.
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Curdled milk is best prepared by sterilising fresh milk by boiling, allowing it to cool to 40°, and adding a liquid culture of lactic acid bacilli. The mixture is then incubated in a suitable apparatus at a temperature between 38° and 43°, stirring occasionally, until a thick creamy product is obtained which is acid to the taste. The process may require from eight to twelve hours according to the concentration and activity of the culture employed. Lactic acid bacilli, for therapeutic purposes, are obtainable commercially in the form of liquid culture and in lightly compressed tablets. The latter contain the bacilli in a more or less dormant condition, and require a somewhat longer incubation than the liquid culture. The tablets and the liquid culture are sometimes taken with milk or sweetened water without further preparation.
Action and Uses.—Curdled milk is employed as an intestinal antiseptic to inhibit the growth of putrefactive micro-organisms. Its action is due to the nascent lactic acid produced in the alimentary canal as a result of the continued multiplication and growth of the lactic acid bacilli ingested; the contents of the intestinal tube are thereby rendered acid in reaction and then become an unsuitable nidus for the growth of putrefactive bacteria. For the production of curdled milk for therapeutic purposes, it is essential that a strain of lactic-acid-producing bacilli be employed that will survive in the intestine; the organism known as the bacillus of Massol, isolated from Bulgarian sour milk, is best adapted for this purpose, and should he exclusively employed. Curdled milk is administered in intestinal conditions characterised by abnormal fermentation, caused by organisms other than yeasts. It is used in colitis, typhoid fever, colon bacillus infections, appendical inflammations, and in rheumatic and other toxaemias. Owing to the partial peptonisation of the casein which takes place during the souring process, curdled milk is easy of digestion, and is a useful article of diet in many conditions. The daily dose is usually taken in two portions, after the morning and evening meals.
Dose.—300 to 600 mils (½ to 1 pint) daily.