“Milk is a great source of calcium”…
“Milk is important for strong bones and teeth”…
“Kids need milk to grow up to be big and strong”…
How would you feel if I told you that all of the above statements were lies? Big, fat, dirty, extremely dangerous, and very well funded lies? And that between 1988 – 1993 of the 2,700 research articles investigating milk that were recorded in medical archives in just the US alone, NONE of the researchers advised that milk was a good, great, or even excellent food for humans.
(Want to know what the real focus of those research articles were…?? Intestinal bleeding, bovine leukemia, asthma, heart disease, childhood diabetes, anemia, allergic reactions, arthritis and cancer!)
Still Got Milk?
So how is it that in a time where we have access to more information than ever before we are still being led down the same industry funded path to an early grave? What do I mean by that? Remember when cigarettes were not just harmless but endorsed by the doctor on TV, and good ol’ Coke contained its name sake? Money talks. And often at the expense of human health. Which means we need to get smarter. Much smarter. Think I’m just a cynic? Let me borrow the words of some pretty impressive individuals;
Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, T. Colin Campbell asks;
“The information we have on cow’s milk protein would make it the most relevant, significant, chemical carcinogen we consume. The question is, why doesn’t the public get to know this?”
That’s a very good question, and Jennifer K. Reilly RD, Senior Nutritionist with the Cancer Project has a pretty good answer;
“… they are giants, they have an easy time getting their message out. Whereas the individuals who really understand the research, and understand that dairy products are risky, unhealthy and definitely unnecessary, they don’t have the financial backing for the most part and they wont be able to get the word out…”
Seems pretty typical of big business to me. But what’s the fuss about? People drink milk everyday, in schools, in cafes, in coffee, at breakfast, but what does it actually do to our bodies, and why? And what makes it a “risky”, “unhealthy”, “chemical carcinogen”? Let’s take a closer look.
All mammals make milk. We know this. This milk is produced in response to pregnancy and birth and it’s function is to support, nurture, feed and hydrate a baby, and to help that baby to grow. This is a completely normal and natural biological function and all mammals that become pregnant and give birth will produce milk to nourish their young. We see humans doing it all the time. This is nothing new.
All mammalian milk contains lactose. And all mammalian babies produce an enzyme to breakdown this lactose. This enzyme, lactase, helps to break apart the lactose so it can be digested and absorbed. However after weaning it is normal to lose this enzyme, and for most babies this enzyme disappears after the age of about two years.
Humans are the ONLY species in existence that continue to drink milk after they have been weaned… and the milk of ANOTHER SPECIES at that!
Did you know that 75% of the worlds population is lactose intolerant? They no longer possess the enzyme necessary to break down lactose as they have no need for it. They have been weaned! Congratulations! You grew up and graduated to solid foods! YAY!
85% of the caucasian population however have a genetic mutation that allows them to digest lactose into adulthood. This is not the case for any other race, or any other mammal, which quite literally makes them mutants! I’d like to see the dairy industry try and spin that one!
For the rest of the world the most common symptoms that occur when milk is consumed are; runny nose, abdominal pain, asthma, wheezing, rashes, hives, constipation, diarrhea, growth retardation, iron-deficient anemia, and/or itchy swollen eyes.
Lactose is a sugar molecule, and if you can’t break it down, (because you lack the enzyme necessary to do so), then it will travel undigested through the small intestine and wind up in the large intestine which is full of bacteria. These bacteria will happily go to work FERMENTING those sugars which in turn creates lots of gas and leads to bloating and cramping. The sugars themselves also draw water into the bowels which causes diarrhea.
But what about the phlegm?
To put it as simply as possible, about 5,000 years ago a mutation occurred in a particular amino-acid in cattle. As a result of that mutation (which changed the original ‘A2’ milk to the more common ‘A1’ milk) one of the proteins found in milk solids, beta-casein (a chain of 229 amino-acids) is now broken apart in our digestive systems, instead of staying together as one molecule. This breaking of the chain unfortunately means that another, smaller protein molecule is released (from the broken bits), and it acts as a powerful opiate in the body. This causes increases in phlegm production in both the respiratory and digestive tracts, as well as other addictive, sleepy, opiate-like symptoms.
If you’ve ever felt sleepy after drinking milk, or know someone who has a glass before bed…. that’s why!
Unfortunately this small protein also contributes to a host of other, much more serious health consequences, like; type 1 diabetes, autoimmune disease, heart disease, impaired immune function, and neurological impairment including autism and schizophrenia.
Still Got Milk?
But what about the Calcium? We NEED to drink milk for calcium, right?
Almost all of the calcium in our bodies is found in our bones, and some in our teeth. There is a small amount that circulates in our blood, and we need this for vital functions like muscle contraction, heartbeat and nerve impulses. Some of the calcium that circulates in our blood however is excreted in our urine, sweat and feces, so it needs to be renewed by the calcium either in our bones or through our diet.
When it comes to dietary calcium the best sources are actually plant sources, especially green vegetables (collard, watercress, beet greens, spinach, broccoli…), and beans (turtle, navy, soy, white…). Tahini is also a great source as sesame seeds are high in calcium. Vegetable sources of calcium not only have a higher level of absorption than animal sources, but generally also contain half the calories! They help to keep calcium in the bones, and combined with sunlight (vitamin D) and exercise will help to build and maintain a strong healthy skeleton.
Unfortunately there are several factors that work to reduce bone strength by increasing the amount of calcium that is excreted by or lost from the body. There are four factors in particular which are well-known to increase calcium loss, these are;
- diets high in sodium
- and diets high in animal protein, including cows milk!
But why? If milk contains calcium, why would it increase the amount of calcium that we LOSE rather than how much we store?
We need to look at the physiological effect that animal protein has on our body rather than what we may believe or not believe about cows milk and calcium.
Our blood has a very narrow pH range (acid-alkaline balance) in which it is able to support life. If anything pushes our blood pH outside of this range we have very sophisticated control mechanisms in place to bring it back into balance. If we did not, we would be very susceptible to disease or death on a very regular basis!
Animal protein, and more specifically in this case cows milk, actually has an acidifying effect on our blood. When the acidity level of the blood increases we need to bring this back into balance by ‘buffering’ or neutralising the acid with substances that are more alkaline, and the main buffering agent used by the blood is, you guessed it, CALCIUM!
This means that every time you drink a glass of milk, your blood becomes a little more acidic, and to bring this back into balance your body will pull calcium OUT OF YOUR BONES to buffer the acidity. The more milk you drink, the more calcium is pulled out of your bones, and the more calcium you will excrete through your kidneys, which along with osteoporosis, can also lead to kidney stones!
Basically when you drink milk, you’re pissing your bones down the toilet. Harsh, but true.
Hang on…. did you just say that MILK CAUSES OSTEOPOROSIS???
Sure did! The Harvard Nurses Health Study also looked at milk consumption in relation to bone health, and after following 70,000 women for 18 years they found that those who drank the most milk had the least protection against hip fractures. On top of that, world-wide studies have also shown that the countries with the highest levels of milk consumption also have the HIGHEST levels of osteoporosis!
So that puts the “unhealthy” claim to rest, but what makes it “risky” and a “chemical carcinogen”?
Well for that one my dear, you’ll have to wait for the next installment…..