Got Milk? Not So Fast.
Milk consumption in America has decreased almost 30 percent since 1975, according to a recent article by the Wall Street Journal. This news has sent the dairy industry into a reported ‘crisis’, so SignatureMD’s concierge care doctors want to discuss milk consumption and its place in your diet. If you are looking for a healthy change to your diet this new year, eliminating dairy may cause a profound improvement in your health.
For some people, dairy consumption contributes to an assortment of health issues. Dairy is often laden with animal fat, and the fat free versions frequently have sugars of some sort replacing the removed fat. It stimulates mucous production and causes arterial plaque and blockages. It can also contribute to allergies, intestinal distress and obesity.
Do dairy products reduce calcium in the body?
Physicians and the dairy industry have praised milk for years and the benefits it offers. In fact, we’ve even written previous articles praising dairy products as a great source of calcium. Although dairy products are rich in calcium, some studies have suggested that consuming dairy may cause the body to pull calcium from our bones in order to help transport the proteins throughout the body, eventually being excreted in our urine. A 1997 American Journal of Public Health study found that women who consumed more dairy products were more likely to have bone damage or fractures, as compared to women who rarely consumed dairy. This study suggests a possible correlative association between bone issues and dairy consumption.
Critics of the study say that the amount of calcium lost when consuming animal protein is so small, it’s almost negligible, and that more research needs to be conducted into this field to determine how dairy products affect our bones.
Cow milk for baby cows is the natural order.
Cow’s milk contains two elements that make it very difficult for the human body to process. High levels of casein – milk’s primary protein – can cause damage to the intestines and stomach, which can lead to autoimmune and malabsorption disorders and overall poor health. The second problematic part of cow’s milk is lactose, which is the sugar in milk. Many people have a strong reaction with digestive disorders and upset stomachs. Milk may contain growth hormones, antibiotics, and other toxic chemicals.
These chemicals can cause endocrine disruption and have been associated with certain cancers. The most worrisome is bovine growth hormone (rBGH), a genetically engineered growth hormone used to increase milk production in cattle. According to the Cancer Prevention Coalition, Canada and European countries have banned American milk because it contains this hormone, which has been linked to increased rates of cancer. Milk containing rGBH is not labeled in the United States.
Additionally, the hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals used in dairy production work their way into the soil and groundwater, eventually making their way into lakes and streams.
Almond milk is superior to soy and cow milk for humans. Hemp milk also contains a high level of plant based omegas for brain health. Hemp milk thickens and froths nicely when steamed for coffee and tea, and is being used more frequently as more people discover this creamy and rich milk substitute.
Most unsweetened milks such as almond, hazelnut, coconut milk, rice, and hemp milk are lower in fat and higher in calcium and omega counts than dairy milk. On the other hand, soy milk is often genetically modified and can mimic female hormones in the body.
Despite some reports suggesting the decrease or elimination of cow’s milk from your diet, not all doctors are convinced. Dr. Robert Saltman, an endocrinologist practicing in St. Louis, says, “I know of no recommendations from the Endocrine Society of International Society of Clinical Densitometry to avoid milk consumption.”
As you reevaluate your eating habits through this upcoming year, take a look at dairy consumption and its place in your diet. The science behind the debate may not be cemented yet, but awareness about the foods you ingest is critical for your health.