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Q. Who would have dreamed that the very odd suggestion of vinegar in water would actually work for heartburn? After a bad acid-reflux episode one night, I swallowed 2 tablespoons of vinegar in 8 ounces of water. It took some time to get down, and it burned a little along the way, but I went back to bed and slept undisturbed for three hours. The next day, I drank some during the day and before bedtime and slept through the night. Last night was my second night of undisturbed sleep.

Should one take vinegar and water as a preventative or only when heartburn is present? I also am a little concerned about what vinegar can do to one’s teeth. Can you address that, please?

A. We have mostly heard from people who use vinegar as a remedy for heartburn symptoms rather than as a preventive measure. The question about its effect on teeth is important. Vinegar, lemon juice and other acids can soften tooth enamel. Make sure not to brush the teeth for about an hour after you have consumed the vinegar. Otherwise, the toothbrush may abrade the softened enamel. Rinsing with plain water after drinking vinegar water will probably help protect the teeth somewhat.

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Q. On your radio show, a caller with lactose intolerance asked about eating yogurt. I also am lactose-intolerant and have come up with a very good solution that I would like to share.

I buy lactase capsules, add a little bit of water and crush them with a mortar and pestle. They dissolve easily. I add this mixture to fresh yogurt and put it in the refrigerator for two hours. I can eat this without problems. I’ve also used this technique with cottage cheese.

A. Lactose intolerance results from a lack of the digestive enzyme lactase that breaks down milk sugar. Thanks for an interesting solution.