“Got milk?” We see it all the time, on T-shirts, television commercials and advertisements. “Milk…it does a body good,” we are told by the media and the dairy industry. If you don’t drink milk, where are you going to get your calcium? Will you end up with osteoporosis? What about vitamin D? These are the kinds of questions that immediately pop into most people’s minds when it is suggested that they or somebody else stop consuming milk. I remember being angry and confused when I first discovered information that seemed to prove that milk and dairy products were not the healthy foods I believed them to be. As a child and young teenager, I religiously drank my milk, thinking that I was doing my body a favor.
Perhaps you feel angry that I even suggest that milk is not the great health food it is touted to be. Consider the facts: All cow’s milk, including “organic” milk, contains more than 50 active hormones, scores of allergens, and loads of fat and cholesterol. The recommended three glasses of milk per day contains the same amount of cholesterol found in 53 slices of bacon! Other ingredients in most cows’ milk include measurable quantities of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, blood, pus, feces, bacteria, viruses, and up to 200 times the levels of dioxins that are considered “safe.” One cubic centimeter of cow’s milk is allowed to contain up to 750,000 pus cells and up to 20,000 live bacteria!
Another noteworthy constituent of cow’s milk is a growth hormone called Insulin-like Growth Factor One (IGF-1). IGF-1 is the hormone responsible for causing a 60-pound calf to rapidly grow into a 600-pound cow. No wonder that 50 percent of Americans are obese! Contrary to what the dairy industry tells us, milk does not promote weight loss; instead, it promotes weight gain. In one study funded by a grant from the International Dairy Foods Association, 204 healthy men and women were asked to increase their intake of skim or 1 percent milk by three cups per day for 12 weeks. At the end of the 12 weeks, those consuming the extra milk had gained an average of 1.32 pounds.
Not only does IGF-1 cause our waistlines to grow by inches, it also causes the rapid growth and proliferation of breast, prostate, and colon cancers. Dr. Walter Willett, M.D., chief investigator for the ongoing Harvard University Health Professionals Follow-up Study, has found that consumption of two or more glasses of milk per day is associated with nearly twice the risk of advanced and metastatic prostate cancer. Data from Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s landmark scientific study, the China-Oxford-Cornell Study, indicates that women who derive their protein from animal products, including milk, are five times more likely to die of breast cancer than women who follow a plant-based diet. Research out of Sweden’s Karolinska revealed that women who drink two glasses of milk a day double their risk of ovarian cancer.
Along with IGF-1, another cancer-causing substance in milk is a protein called casein. Casein represents 80 percent of the protein in milk. This protein is a powerful binder and is used as a glue to make sturdy furniture and to hold beer-bottle labels in place. Casein is also a polymer used to make plastics. In his book The China Study, Dr. Campbell tells about one of his studies, funded by a research grant from the National Institutes of Health. In the study, he administered aflatoxin, a known carcinogen, to rats. One group he fed with a diet of 20 percent casein and the other group he fed with a diet of 5 percent casein. After 100 weeks, all of the animals fed 20 percent casein were dead or near death from liver tumors. The group that was fed 5 percent casein was alive, active and healthy. The same results were found when mice were dosed with HBV, another known carcinogen. These implications in rodents apply to humans because of the almost identical protein requirements in rats and humans and because protein operates in humans almost the same way it does in rats.
Another protein present in milk is whey protein. Whey is made up of bovine blood protein. The body’s reaction to this foreign protein often causes an auto-immune response, as the antibody used to destroy the invader turns against the body’s own cells. The New England Journal of Medicine reported in 1992 that insulin-dependent Type 1 diabetes is linked to the body’s production of antibodies to cow’s milk.
Multiple sclerosis is also associated with the consumption of dairy products, according to the British medical journal Lancet. Two-thirds of MS victims are women, the group most often targeted by the dairy industry’s scare tactics regarding osteoporosis. Populations that consume no cow’s milk rarely get MS.
Perhaps the most rampant fallacy regarding dairy products is the idea that milk is needed to prevent osteoporosis. We are told that the calcium present in dairy products will keep our bones strong. It is interesting to note that most of the calcium present in cow’s milk is useless to the body. In order for calcium to be absorbed, magnesium must be present in equal quantities. Since one cup of milk contains 291 milligrams of calcium and 33 milligrams of magnesium, only around 11 percent of the calcium can be absorbed.
The more pertinent issue related to osteoporosis is how much calcium one loses. Milk contains a high level of protein, and like meat is extremely acid-forming in the body. The body must have the resources to neutralize these acids. The average diet is so low in alkaline minerals that the bones dissolve in order to release the minerals necessary to neutralize these dietary acids. So milk not only offers no protection against osteoporosis, it causes the very disease that we are told it prevents.
As proof, the highest rates of hip fractures worldwide occur among populations that consume the most dairy products. The lowest rates of fractures are found among people who eat little or no dairy products. The United States consumes more dairy products than almost any other country, and in turn, has one of the highest rates of osteoporosis. One study of postmenopausal women tested the effects of milk on bone health and found that those who received extra milk for a year lost more bone than those who didn’t.
Where do cows get their calcium? Not from milk. They, like every other species on the planet (other than one segment of the human population), consume no milk after weaning. The cows get their calcium from the green plants they consume. Since magnesium is the center atom of the chlorophyll molecule, making greens one of the richest sources of this mineral needed for calcium absorption, the calcium in green plants is available to and easily used by the body. In addition, green plants are alkalizing to the body. When the body has sufficient amounts of alkaline minerals, there is no need for it to break down bone in order to neutralize acids. We should rely on greens to strengthen our bones rather than consuming unsuitable and harmful lactose substances that will leach calcium from our hard tissue. If you eat an abundance of green leafy vegetables and sprouts along with green vegetable and sprout juices and in addition perform weight-bearing exercises, you need not worry about osteoporosis.
What about raw dairy products? Some proponents of a raw food diet will tell you that all the dangers of dairy products only apply when dairy products are cooked and processed. When dairy products are raw, they say that they still contain the enzymes needed to digest the milk. Actually raw dairy products contain dangerous bacteria and are always indigestible. Scientists at South Dakota State University tested raw milk from 131 dairy herds and discovered the presence of salmonella, listeria, campylobacter, yersinia, E. coli, and staphylococcus. A recent deadly outbreak of deadly E. coli on spinach was traced to bovine fecal run-off from an adjoining farm. According to the Los Angeles County report, some of the diseases associated with pathogens in raw dairy products can lead to death, especially among vulnerable persons. In 1985, a listeria outbreak was linked with cheese made from raw milk produced in Los Angeles. One hundred forty-two cases were reported and among them were 48 deaths. Three hundred ninety-four cases of salmonella have been reported in Los Angeles County alone since 1973, in 101 of which raw milk had been consumed. Through molecular fingerprinting, these were linked to the same strain of bacteria found in raw milk samples.
The fact that raw milk contains enzymes does not negate its high fat and cholesterol counts, or the truth that it contains dangerous hormones and proteins that are foreign to our bodies. Nature did not intend for us to drink milk after weaning – and certainly not the milk of another species.
Whether it is raw or pasteurized, if you’ve got milk or any of its offspring – cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream, etc. – you’ve also got illness. Milk is not “nature’s perfect food.” Milk is a false food and does a body harm.
Vol 26 Issue 4 Page 30