Updated: Mar 3, 2019
It’s an old argument with people on both sides of the isle touting excellent points about milk. But does it do a body good?
Let’s keep in mind that, other than the sugar lobby, the dairy lobby is one of the most powerful in Washington.
So anything bad about milk is instantly whisked away in a flurry of anti-bad lobby-based writings and false research calling out scientists and in some cases attempting to discredit them. That makes finding good information difficult, and believing what is printed even more difficult.
First let’s look at what milk is.
Obviously it comes from a cow, but not all milk does. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) say we should add milk to part of a healthy diet. But let’s face it, the government have a track record of being wrong or worse yet, misguiding the American public on what is safe or not.
It’s akin to; if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. The FDA approve harmful drugs that kill thousands every day, the USDA are a self-promoting organization to sell more agriculture and the government food plate (and pyramid) has no idea that saturated fats are healthy and unsaturated fats promote tissue and cell oxidation.
In short, we cannot trust what they say is necessarily true. And we cannot trust that the food plate is healthy, buts that another topic.
The ADA recommends 2-3 servings of low-fat milk (or other low-fat dairy such as cheese or yogurt daily. They say it’s to get a good source of calcium and high-quality protein (the USDA recommend 3 cups a day for those nine and up). The question is, “Why?” Where is their research saying that all humans should drink milk?
So let’s start with milk, the raw product.
If we could buy milk raw it would be a different story, but we cannot. The law states that milk must be pasteurized, which kills most of the nutritional value of milk. But the problems start well before the pasteurization process begins.
The real issue begins with modern feeding methods. Methods that substitute fresh grass for high-protein, soy based feeds. The result is a cow with an abnormally large pituitary gland that can produce 2-3 times more milk than a cow that eats grass. Add to that a large dose of antibiotics and steroids to ensure they stay healthy and we have the beginnings of our recipe for disaster.
Have you heard the term “we are what we eat?” Well, if you feed an animal food that is not nutritious, how can you expect its milk, or meat for that matter, to be nutritious?
You cannot put garbage in then expect high grade nutrition to suddenly manifest in the store bought meat or milk? Put another way, if you ate nothing but doughnuts and Twinkies all day, every day, would you not expect your health to suffer?
So issue number one is the food. The next issue is the milk that we extract from the hyper-producing cow. You see we pasteurize the milk after we milk the cow. This is a process whereby the milk is heated to 145°F (62.8°C) for 30 minutes for a batch process, or 161°F (71.7°C) for 15 sec for a continuous process.
That’s good right? Well, the heat kills all the valuable enzymes. These are things like lactase which helps us digest lactose; galactase for the assimilation of galactose and phosphatase for the absorption of calcium.
In other words, the process of pasteurization destroys the natural enzymes within in that we would need to digest it and absorb its nutrients.
Best case scenario, milk is difficult to digest.
The pancreas does produce these enzymes, but not enough, not all the time and sometimes not at all.
Milk contains fat, and to prevent that fat from collecting at the top of the product we homogenize it. That means that the milk is passed through a fine filter at pressures equal to about 4,000 pounds of force per square inch. This breaks up the fat globules (liposomes) making them much smaller thus causing the milk fat to evenly disperse.
Here’s what we need to understand.
In a perfect world the milk of the cow is delivered to the baby calf. The calf drinks the milk which has more protein in it than we would need but to a growing calf it’s perfect. In a normal environment some of these proteins are lost to digestion, but homogenization ensures that more of them survive. Not only do these proteins survive but the tiny particles of fat and protein can pass through a leaky gut and into the blood.
The body reacts to this as it would any other foreign invader, it produces histamines, which then causes an allergy reaction.
It gets worse though.
Cow proteins resemble human proteins, and this reactive process can cause a full blown autoimmune response, leading eventually to autoimmune disease.
Certainly you need a leaky gut first for this to occur, but the hormones in the milk are for the calf’s hormones to grow, not yours.
Since these growth factors are almost identical to our own, they will affect our own stem cell growth too, healthy ones and unhealthy ones.
Here’s why that matters.
Cancer cells begin as cancerous stem cells. Chemo practices kill only the daughter cells produced by the stem cells, not the stem cells themselves. Too many hormones, especially by another animals hormones cause a disruption in these stem cells and stimulate the production of more daughter cells. In essence we are feeding the cancer.
Get the picture?
The homogenization process also breaks up the enzymes in the milk, which alters their state.
Homogenization causes the enzymes to become smaller but also abrasive. If these abrasive cells enter the bloodstream they can serve to irritate the arterial walls. This irritation triggers inflammation, which in turn triggers a mechanism of protection in which the body produces a layer of cholesterol in order to attempt to protect and repair the walls of the arteries.
Chronic irritation and inflammation however lead to the formation of atherosclerotic plaque, which attracts any excess calcium in the blood, causing the plaque to harden and the artery to become narrow. Eventually this mechanism can increase blood pressure and contribute to blocked arteries.
But, as the saying goes, there’s more; much more.
When we combine this mechanism of arterial destruction with two other phenomena, your health can get much worse, much quicker. First, by avoiding saturated fats, we often turn to vegetable oils, which helps speed plaque formation.
Next we eat sugar and white flour products, which triggers insulin production, another potent arterial irritant.
So, as you can see combined with a high sugar diet and vegetable oils, homogenized milk can produce a rapid acceleration in cardiovascular disease risk.
We could of course remove the butterfat from the milk, and then we would have skim milk.
But without the fat your body cannot actually absorb any of the fat soluble vitamins fortified into milk after processing.
Milk fat by the way is a great source of vitamin A. Without the fat you remove important trace minerals. Your body requires these minerals to allow your cells to produce energy and function properly.
But milk is a great source of vitamin D right?
Not so fast. The vitamin D in milk is synthetic D, and synthetic D is known to be toxic to the liver. Butterfat also contains some pretty impressive anti-carcinogenic properties, also destroyed by pasteurization and homogenization.
When it comes to 1% and 2% milk, we find that non-fat dried milk is added to it.
But unlike the natural cholesterol in fresh milk, the cholesterol in non-fat dried milk can oxidize. Oxidized or rancid cholesterol contributes to the chances of atherosclerotic plaque formation and heart disease. Oxidized cholesterol in fact has been considered the main cause of heart disease.
The same would be true for any dried or powdered product, but again the powerful lobby board tells us to be calm and not to worry because it’s a small risk!
Yet, like any dried product the non-fat powder also has a high nitrite content for preservation. Nitrites are nasty, they can form nitrosamines, molecules that have caused cancer in lab animals and humans. They can also cause a condition (mostly in children) called methemoglobinemia, whereby the ability of the blood to transport oxygen is decreased.
In 2013, the Dairy board lobbied Washington to add artificial sugar to their product without having to disclose it on their label.
The petition asks the FDA “to amend the standard of identity for flavored milk and 17 other dairy products (including nonfat dry milk, heavy cream, eggnog, half-and-half and sour cream) so that non-nutritive sweeteners are among the standard ingredients.”
The products would then not require any additional description on the label. They are likely to get their way too, given the heavy contributions from the Dairy Board to politicians in Washington.
What that means is that milk and refined sugars contribute to some of the country’s worst health issues. For instance, in observational studies higher dairy intake has been linked to increased risk of prostate and ovarian cancer risk.
In both animal experiments and human studies, dairy protein has been shown to increase IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor-1) levels which has now been implicated in multiple cancer types.
Cow’s milk may also play a role in the development of Type I diabetes through a process called molecular mimicry.
Across different countries, there are higher rates of multiple sclerosis in populations that consume milk products, although the correlation is strong that a leaky gut must first be present for this to occur.
D-galactose, found in milk has been found to be pro-inflammatory and actually is used to create aging in animal models for research.
While one would assume fracture risk to decrease in those who drink milk, the opposite is actually true. In fact both Sweden and the United States enjoy some of the highest calcium intakes of any nation, and the highest risk of fracture. Research also notes more acne and ear infections with milk consumption.
Milk is also considered one of the highest cited food allergens in the World today.
So should milk be a part of a healthy diet?
There is reasonable argument to say no, even before the FDA decided to approve the use of BGH (Bovine Growth Hormone) by dairy farmers to increase milk productivity.
An interesting side effect of BGH in cows is that it decreases body fat in cows. But that would actually increase its toxicity since the fat tends to store pesticides, dioxins, antibiotic residues and all carcinogens.
Another side effect is that BGH increases udder infection, which requires more antibiotics.
Prior to the use of BGH, 38% of milk sampled nationally was found to be contaminated by illegal residues of antibiotics and animal drugs.
This issue has likely increased with the use of BGH. Interestingly, we are unaware of the long term complications for drinking milk that has a 50% chance it has been contaminated with antibiotics.
Although chances are it has contributed greatly to our inability to ward off superbugs.
Did you realize that when we analyze milk from multiple species, they are not the same? True. Milk of goats, elephants, cows, camels, wolves, humans and walruses show marked differences, in their content of fats, protein, sugar, and mineral content.
Each designed to provide optimum nutrition to the young of their respective species. Each is different from human milk. This alone is reason not to drink it.
Here’s another reason.
Most animals are exclusively breast-fed until they have tripled their birth weight, which in human infants occurs around the age of one year. In no mammalian species, except for the human (and domestic cat) is milk consumption continued after the weaning period. Calves thrive on cow milk, humans thrive on human breast milk and elephants thrive on elephant milk.
Cow's milk is designed for calves, not humans.
Some evidence does support milk fat as being protective against Type 2 diabetes.
A study published in the December 2010 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine found that those who had the highest blood levels of a type of fatty acid from whole-fat (not nonfat) dairy foods had 60% less chance of developing Type 2 diabetes than men with the lowest levels.
But this is a strong endorsement of a higher saturated fat diet versus the low fat, high carbohydrate diet we currently consume.
Milk is high in sugar, approximately 40% of cow milks make up.
That most definitely raises insulin, even though it may have a low glycemic index.
I am not out to destroy the dairy industry, not by a long shot. But when you consider the over $8 million a year they donate to people in positions to make laws, and when you consider the billions spent on convincing the public that milk is safe when it is not, you really have to wonder where the FDA gets off taking their donations while recommending toxic, harmful products to the American people?
Or is it simply a cash cow they cannot turn down?.