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Who is milking whom when it comes to big bucks being made from milk and cheese? Luckily for dairy companies, milk is still connected to a health myth, which is that we should have it every day. So we have unrestricted access to as much dairy as we like and the message is that it is completely safe in large quantities. In fact, the implied message is that as a health drink it can’t be overdosed on and the more the better.

Whilst it might have been true at some point in history that a small intake of dairy from happy-go- lucky animals who grazed on fresh meadows containing health promoting weeds and vitamin B rich soil, (and provided the farmer lived next door meaning the milk was therefore unadulterated and fresh), was a good supplement for those who may have been otherwise undernourished. Today’s milk does not live up to such qualitative standards though and nor does the way it is produced by the gallon or the amounts ‘forced’ into our diets.

The false and old fashioned health claims, applied out of context, are actually not substantiated by independent studies and this out-dated and false “health message” can lead to very severe health problems within both children and adults. Independent studies, i.e. not those sponsored by the dairy industry, found the following problems with a large intake of modern milk:

  • Contamination Toxicity
  • Heart Disease
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Digestive Upsets
  • Colic
  • Allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Skin Disease
  • Calcium Loss (not gain)

It has also been found to be ineffective at improving Osteoporosis.

What is milk?

Milk is reproductive tissue from mammals, containing more than 60 hormones which are designed to help new-born species to grow fast and is as such with anabolic properties, even when low in fat. Milk can come from any animal such as a cow, sheep, camel, buffalo, etc. as well as the human, and believe it or not, making cheese out of human breast milk made a New York restaurant famous! Milk is designed for the tender new-borns of its species, who have the capacity and need to utilise the milk to grow at very fast speeds and they will be using this anabolic, fatty and nourishing substance for a limited amount of time only.

So what happens when we have outgrown the need and capacity for milk yet continue to consume it in large quantities? Here is a summary of what independent studies have found:

Milk contamination

For a start, milk is not pure! Pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and dioxins are examples of contaminants found in milk. In fact, dairy products contribute to anywhere between a quarter and half of the dietary intake of total dioxins. Such toxins do not readily leave the body and can eventually build to harmful levels that may affect the immune, reproductive and central nervous systems. Moreover, PCBs and dioxins have also been linked to cancer. Other contaminants are also often introduced during the processing of milk products such as melamine, often found in plastics, which negatively affects the kidneys and urinary tract due to its’ high nitrogen content and carcinogenic toxins including aflatoxins. These are additionally dangerous because they are not destroyed in pasteurisation.

Cancer

A link has been discovered between men and women consuming large amounts of dairy and a higher chance of developing cancer, especially cancers of the reproductive system such as prostate, ovarian and breast.

When dairy product consumption exceeds the capacity to digest, i.e. the enzymes’ capacity to break down lactose, it can build up in the blood and may affect a woman’s ovaries. Some women have particularly low levels of these enzymes, and when they consume dairy products on a regular basis, their risk of ovarian cancer can be triple that of other women.

Digestive Problems

Many people are lactose intolerant, with symptoms including gastrointestinal distress, diarrhoea and flatulence which occur because these individuals do not have the enzymelactase with which to digest one of the milk sugars known as galactose.

lactase with which to digest one of the milk sugars known as galactose.
When digested, dairy’s breakdown products of lactose are two simple sugars: glucose and galactose and whilst nursing children have active enzymes that break down galactose, as we age many of us lose much of this capacity. Not being able to digest certain types of food, as with those who are lactose intolerant is certainly a reason for concern as a good digestion is a prerequisite for health although sometimes boiling the milk with turmeric can make it more digestible for those who are suffering from impaired digestive strength.

Heart Disease

Lovers of unrestricted food consumption containing cheese, cream and all kinds of dairy products can suffer from high cholesterol accumulation and can subsequently develop heart disease. On the other hand, a low-fat, plant-based diet that eliminates dairy products, in combination with exercise, smoking cessation, and stress management, can not only prevent heart disease, but may also reverse it.

Weight Gain

Milk is full of growth hormones as it is designed for babies. These growth hormones interfere with our adult hormonal system leading to weight gain even when using reduced fat milk known as skimmed milk. Osteoporosis

Numerous studies have been trying to find the positive link between calcium intake from milk and osteoporosis but could not make this conclusion. Calcium availability and calcium absorption are two different
aspects. Vitamin D (sunshine) is required for calcium absorption and there is calcium in green leafy vegetables such as kale, so the old sayingeat your greens and play in the sun» takes on a far greater meaning when it there is calcium in green leafy vegetables such as kale, so the old saying «eat your greens and play in the sun» takes on a far greater meaning when it comes to calcium.

Whilst milk cannot be linked to helping to prevent or reduce osteoporosis, it is possible to decrease the risk of it by reducing sodium intake in the diet, increasing intake of fruits and vegetables, and ensuring adequate calcium intake from plant foods such as kale, broccoli, and other leafy green vegetables and beans. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to increase bone density and decrease the risk of osteoporosis as well, and its benefits have been observed in studies of both children and adults.

Allergies

Food allergies appear to be a common result of cows milk consumption, particularly in children. Cow’s milk intake has also been linked to chronic constipation in children.

Diabetes

Insulin-dependent diabetes (Type I or childhood-onset) has been linked to consumption of dairy products by researchers in 1992 who found that a specific dairy protein sparks an auto-immune reaction, which is believed to destroy the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.

Colic In Babies

Colic has been linked to mothers who are breastfeeding and consuming large amounts of milk.

Is Dairy Free Possible?

A botanical diet is indeed possible and requires only a little bit of practice as part of a healthy lifestyle. And if you suffer from a health problem, or indeed if you don’t, I would like to invite you to go dairy free for a little while and find out whether this makes a difference to you. Some people report the clearing up of skin problems, more energy and easier breathing.

If you do notice a difference in how you feel without dairy, I’d love to her from you.

 

 

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