Should we be drinking milk to have better health? Or is milk actually the cause of health problems? This is the question asked so commonly that every month a new study or review comes out in the news.
We will start by sharing how difficult it was to uncover the truth about milk’s healthfulness for our bodies. On this note, we just want to remind you to look at who sponsors each of the studies you read and to evaluate what their financial focus is when deciding what is the truth in media.
It tastes great, makes the best melted cheese sandwiches and is a must-do on pizza. It is touted to give us bone strength, needed protein and calcium for healthy teeth. Have you ever asked if these studies were truthful? where this information came from? who sponsored the study?
The truth we uncovered was hard to take because our youngest children were the ones most affected by drinking milk. It further disappointed us that the “experts” had lied to us for years with little concern regarding the verified serious health conditions caused by milk consumption.
Milk Consumption Causes Type 1 Diabetes in Babies
Were going to get right to the data with this issue and give you the links to search further into the topic. This is a hard realization because milk and cheese are such an integral part of our daily diets…but is a cheese sandwich worth damaging your health?
Studies show that insulin dependent (Type 1 Childhood Onset) diabetes is linked to consumption of dairy products/ formulas with milk products included during infancy (first years of life).
A 2001 Finnish study of 3,000 infants demonstrated that early introduction of cows milk increased susceptibility to type 1 diabetes. This includes all forms of milk, casein, or powdered formula made from milk products.
The American Academy of Pediatrics showed data demonstrating that infants had up to a 30% decrease in type 1 diabetes if they were not given any milk products in the first years of life.
To understand why this happens studies show that the infants immune system is likely reacting to the beta-lactoglobulin (milk whey protein). The infants immune system sees the beta-lactoglobulin as foreign, produces the antibody which cross-reacts with the glycodelin, and triggers the diabetes.
Even if babies are not given any milk or formula with milk products (casein, whey, , mothers can pass on the milk antibodies to her baby if she is a milk drinker. It has log been known that milk given to babies causes colic and intestinal discomfort. Pediatricians now know that breastfeeding mothers can have colicky babies if the mothers consume cow’s milk. The cow’s antibodies can pass through the mother’s bloodstream, into her breast milk, and to the baby.48,49
Milk Consumption Does Not Improve Your Bones
According to data collected by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:
Clinical research shows that dairy products have little or no benefit for bones. A 2005 review published in Pediatrics showed that milk consumption does not improve bone integrity in children.2 In a more recent study, researchers tracked the diets, physical activity, and stress fracture incidences of adolescent girls for seven years, and concluded that dairy products and calcium do not prevent stress fractures in adolescent girls.3 Similarly, the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, which followed more than 72,000 women for 18 years, showed no protective effect of increased milk consumption on fracture risk.1
We will be the first to admit there is conflicting advise and data on milk proteins relationship to bone growth and strength and bone brittleness and disease. One interesting fact is that the countries with the highest consumption of dairy products also have the highest incidence of osteoporosis.
On this issue you need to evaluate the data and decide for yourself what’s right. Remember that leafy greens offer much more usable calcium than milk provides.
Milk Consumption Linked to Reproductive Cancers
Consumption of dairy products has also been linked to higher risk for various cancers, especially to cancers of the reproductive system. Most significantly, studies verify that dairy product consumption has been linked to increased risk for prostate and breast cancers.
The most recent data discovered last year by Gertrude Buehring, a professor of virology in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology at the U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health uncovered a link between bovine leukemia virus (BLV) among U.S. dairy and beef cattle herds to the incidence of breast cancer in women.
A 2007 USDA survey of bulk milk tanks found that 100% of dairy operations with large herds of 500 or more cows tested positive for BLV antibodies. This may not be surprising, since milk from one infected cow is mixed in with others. Even dairy operations with small herds of fewer than 100 cows tested positive for BLV 83% of the time.
Projected Buehring et al, As many as 37% of breast cancer cases may be attributable to BLV exposure. Human to human transmission is also plausible,” wrote Buehring et al. “Milk-borne transmission of BLV from cow to calf occurs naturally and HTLV, the human virus closely related to BLV, is transmitted primarily from nursing mother to child in endemic areas. Scary data
The danger of dairy product consumption is related to increases in insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which is found in cow’s milk. Consumption of milk and dairy products on a regular basis has been shown to increase circulating levels of IGF-1.
Studies in diverse populations have shown a strong and consistent association between serum IGF-1 concentrations and prostate cancer risk. One study showed that men with the highest levels of IGF-1 had more than four times the risk of prostate cancer, compared with those who had the lowest levels.
In addition to increased levels of IGF-1, estrogen has been shown to create conditions for cancers of the reproductive systems: breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. Consumption of milk and dairy products contributes to the majority (60-80 percent) of estrogen intake in the human diet.
The consumption of dairy products may also contribute to development of ovarian cancer. In a study conducted in Sweden, consumption of lactose and dairy products was positively linked to ovarian cancer. A similar study, the Iowa Women’s Health Study, found that women who consumed more than one glass of milk per day had a 73 percent greater chance of developing ovarian cancer than women who drank less than one glass per day.
Dairy Products Contain Harmful Contaminants
Milk contain a multitude of contaminants that range from hormones to pesticides. Milk naturally contains hormones and growth factors produced within a cow’s body. These along with the standard synthetic hormones given to cows to increase growth and milk production affect normal hormonal functioning in humans.
When treating cows for conditions such as mastitis, or inflammation, of the mammary glands, antibiotics are used, and traces of these antibiotics have occasionally been found in samples of milk and dairy products. This treatment is used frequently, because mastitis is a very common condition in cows, due to dairy product practices which have cows producing more milk than nature intended.
Here’s a list of other additives in milk gathered from the Global Healing Website
- Gastrointestinal Peptides:
Nerve and epidermal growth factors, and the growth inhibitors MDGI and MAF
- rBGH (Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone): a genetically engineered hormone directly linked to breast, colon and prostate cancer. This is injected into cows to increase milk production. 
- Pus: National averages show at least 322 million cell-counts of pus per glass! This is well-above the human limit for pus-intake, and has been directly linked to paratuberculosis bacteria, as well as Crohn’s disease. The pus comes from infected udders on the cows known as mastitis.
- Blood Cells: The USDA allows up to 1.5 million white blood cells per millilitre of commonly-sold milk. Yes, you are drinking cows blood in the milk and the USDA allows this!
- Antibiotics: Currently, cows are in such a state of disease and mistreatment that they are continually being injected with antibiotic medicines, and rubbed down with chemical-laden ointments to deal with their chronic infections. Currently, regulating committees only test for 4 of the 85 drugs in dairy cows. This means that the other 81 drugs in cow’s milk are coming directly into your glasses and bodies. Estimates show that 38% of milk in the U.S. is “contaminated with sulfa drugs or other antibiotics,” according to a study by the Centre for Science in the Public Interest and published in the Wall Street Journal on December 29, 1989. A study from the FDA data showed that over half of all milk was laden with traces of pharmaceuticals yet nothing has been done to control this.
National Institute of Health states that the data collected on human dietary reactions to harmful additives in milk “could be considered as a remarkable concern for consumers, producers and public health authorities.” Wow, are you as surprised as we were that this hasn’t gone viral yet?
Milk Increases Fat Storage/ Obesity
Studies conducted by Brigham Young University and other scientific entities on both children and middle age non-diabetic adults share the same results: ingestion of dairy products creates an increase in insulin increase much greater than the glycemic ranges stated. Surprisingly to us, the insulin increases were even greater than ingesting bread!
Children who drank more than three eight-ounce servings of milk a day gained the most weight, even after the researchers took into consideration factors such as physical activity, other dietary factors and growth.
These same results held even when they changed the intake to drinking low-fat milk. The study of more than 12,000 children nationwide found that the more milk they drank, the more weight they gained: Those consuming more than three servings each day were about 35 percent more likely to become overweight than those who drank one or two.
Studies have shown that the casein (80%) and whey (20%) found in cow’s milk causes increases in insulin like growth factors.
As we have shared in previous articles, increases in insulin = increases in fat storage.
A surprising proven correlation to milk drinking we had not thought of previously is the strong connection in teenagers between milk consumption and acne.
Our Thoughts and Suggestions
We realize that giving up milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, etc. is extremely difficult in our society because it is a staple food.
After reading that we are the only creature in the animal kingdom that continues to drink milk after the age of two, and that we are the only animal that drinks the milk of another animal….we began to wonder if drinking it really made that much sense.
Cows milk is meant for cow babies, how did we get to the point where we decided to drink it, too? Here’s what we uncovered:
- Milk drinking began 7,500 years ago in Europe and moved across the continents as the people migrated with their domesticated cattle
- Over time farmers developed the ability to produce the enzyme lactase to digest the milk sugar lactose
- Lactose tolerance varies between nationalities and populations according to their development of this digestive enzyme over generations
- In normal humans, the enzyme that does so (lactase) stops being produced when the person is between two and five years old
- Less than 40% of people in the world can digest lactose after childhood: 0% of Native Americans, 5% of Asians, 25% of African and Caribbean peoples, 50% of Mediterranean peoples and 90% of northern Europeans. Sweden has one of the world’s highest percentages of lactase tolerant people.
- For most, the undigested milk sugars end up in the colon, where they begin to ferment, producing gas that can cause cramping, bloating, nausea, flatulence and diarrhea
We gave up milk, cheese and everything with casein (butter and ghee do not create this insulin reaction, and whey has a lesser reaction) for one month and documented our results. We were surprised at the consistent results for all participants:
- less intestinal troubles
- more regular bowel movements
- increased energy
- flatter stomachs
- weight loss
But…all missed the taste of cheese and milk products…so we got to work finding items that fit the bill for health promoting replacements!
Kite Hill Almond “Cheeses” – above and beyond our expectations for the best tasting cheese substitute we have tried. Comes in many flavors and consistencies and is very tasty on everything from crackers to lasagna. Two drawbacks are that it doesn’t melt like “real” cheese and it is primarily found at Whole Foods Markets.
Nutritional Yeast – surprisingly it does taste very similar to parmesan cheese and can be used as a substitute in recipes. Here’s a recipe we like.
Adding extra sauces, spices and toppings – sorry we haven’t found a good shreddable cheese substitute but were working on recipes to create some. If you have suggestions for tasty brands without casein, sugar, soy beans or any harmful oils…send them our way!
Overall, the decision is yours to continue or stop ingesting milk products. Our goal is to give you the information so that you can have the opportunity to make educated choices and know the symptoms to keep an eye out for. Once again, don’t get too confused by all the media biases – look at the authors and supporters of the studies to gauge their truthfulness.