Most consumers know about vitamins A and D being present in milk, which is to say they are present in the fat of whole milk (additional vitamin D is added to all reduced fat milk products.) Lactose (a milk sugar) can be found, and many of you also know that the major mineral in milk is calcium (about 300 milligrams in a cup of cow’s milk), yet did you know that you can get almost the same amount in a cup of collard greens or turnips.1
You should also know that milk is 87% water and about 13% solids, and of those solids two are types of proteins: casein (the primary one), and whey.2 If you knew that, then maybe you’ve also heard that the several types of caseins found in milk are implicated in many of the chronic health problems plaguing humanity.
A German medicine and health theory scientist asked—and then answered—this important question in 2009: has milk consumption promoted chronic diseases in Western cultures? Based on his read-ing and analysis of available study evidence, he concluded in the journal Medical Hypotheses that “the adverse long-term effects of milk and milk protein consumption on human health” is a key reason for the upsurge in “most chronic diseases of Western societies.”3
What alarmed this scientist was how the proteins in milk (the caseins) increase IGF-1 serum levels in milk drinkers. Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 is the hormone that manages the rates at which human cells grow, reproducing themselves while discarding old cells. This hormone is naturally found in cow’s milk. Animal-based foods cause the human body to produce more IGF-1, stimulating the development of cancer. That is the reason high IGF-1 blood levels have become a predictor of cancer, especially breast and prostate cancer.4 The more milk and dairy products you consume, the greater your risk.
Even more alarming for this scientist was the long-term generational effect of drinking milk. “Of special concern,” he wrote, “is the possibility that milk intake during pregnancy adversely affects the early fetal programming of the IGF-1 axis which will influence health risks later in life.” In other words, a mother who consumes milk while she is pregnant may be passing a lifetime of health risks, including cancer, on to her unborn child.5
Besides growth hormone, another possible contributing factor to the onset of cancer comes from the estrogen and progesterone in cow’s milk. The development of hormone-dependent cancers such as breast, ovarian and uterine may stem from milk and dairy products because “the milk we drink today is produced from pregnant cows, in which estrogen and progesterone levels are markedly elevated,” reported a 2005 issue of the journal Medical Hypotheses.6
Mother’s milk naturally contains chemicals essential for brain development, such as lecithin and the amino acid taurine, neither of which is present in average quantities of cow’s milk. Human milk’s protein is mostly albumin, whereas cow’s milk protein is mostly casein.7
“Casein has been shown to experimentally promote cancer and increase blood cholesterol and atherosclerotic plaque” leading to heart disease, concluded nutritional biochemist T. Colin Campbell in his landmark book, The China Study.
These casein proteins are but one of the Trojan Horse assassins that target human health and hide inside the animal fluid that has been promoted as ‘Nature’s gift to humanity.’ You will find a list of others in a later chapter dealing with the chemical contaminants commonly found in dairy products.
One pathogen found in dairy products, particularly eggs, deserves special red-flag attention. You may remember the news headlines back in 2010 when a nationwide recall of 380 million eggs occurred because of contamination by salmonella, bacteria which causes a range of serious illness symptoms in humans.
More than 200 people a week over the course of that entire summer got sick from eating the contaminated eggs, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The symptoms ranged from diarrhea, vomiting and severe stomach pains to arterial infections in the more serious cases. The salmonella pathogen gets inside the eggs as a result of hens being infected, which is one consequence of chickens being packed together in tightly confined, unsanitary conditions.8
It only took one Iowa-based egg production company that dis-tributed its product under 16 different brand names—including Lucerne, Albertson, and Ralphs—to spread the sickness nationwide with one plant’s contaminated eggs. Ready to see sludge waste products added to milk? That’s already happening in Australia and New Zealand and may be coming soon to U.S. store shelves, if it hasn’t already. To cut costs and ‘water down’ milk, numerous milk brands add something called permeate to their product. It’s mucus-like in its appearance and allegedly enables milk producers to standardize protein and fat levels in milk.
Two high-lactose waste products are created by the production process used for dairy products—whey permeate from cheese production and casein, and milk permeate from the ultra-filtration process. While there are no direct impacts on human health identified as of now, the fact that levels of permeate being added aren’t disclosed—it’s ‘commercially sensitive information’ said a dairy spokesman—and that more protein and fat is added makes the process problematic.9
Ready to see Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners in milk and dairy products? That’s the plan hatched by the International Dairy Foods Association and the National Milk Producers Federation.
In a petition filed in early 2013, these two dairy giants asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to amend the “standard of identity” for milk and 17 other dairy products—from condensed milk to whipping cream, sour cream and yogurt—to allow the use of artificial sweeteners “without bearing a nutrient content claim” as part of its name, which is to say, without consumers being aware.
The actual petition was filed in 2009 but the proposed rule change wasn’t opened to public comment until four years later.
Why on Earth is the dairy industry doing this? According to the petition, they want to “promote more healthful eating practices and reduce childhood obesity by providing lower-calorie flavored milk products.” And they want to do it without informing consumers what is really in those dairy products.10
Will adding a new layer of artificiality to milk-based products really help in the battle against obesity? No! It will probably have just the opposite effect.
A mounting body of science evidence informs us that artificial sweeteners like aspartame interfere with human hormones and brain chemistry regulating appetite. Because they are more intensely sweet than ordinary sugar, these substitutes “rewire taste receptors so less sweet, healthier foods aren’t as enjoyable, shifting preferences to higher calorie, sweeter foods,” commented Professor Dana Small of Yale University, an expert in the neuropsychology of flavor and food.11
At a fundamental level the artificial high-intensity sweeteners alter the way that sweet tastes are processed in the brain so that sweet taste no longer signals the arrival of calories. It’s physiological trickery and that increases your risk for weight gain and contract-ing type 2 diabetes.
To illustrate this phenomenon, a team of six French researchers writing in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2013 described how they evaluated the sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened drinking habits of 66,118 women over a 14-year period. Their risk of developing type 2 diabetes was 15% higher among diet drinkers who were consuming as little as 500 ml. a week. Those who drank 1.5 litres of diet drinks a week (more than a quart) had a 59% higher risk of diabetes.12
Article by | Brian Clement, PhD, LN
- Dan Winters. “Worrying About Milk.” Discover. August 2000.
- Brown, Amy. Understanding Food: Principles & Preparation, 3rd ed. (Wadsworth, 2008).
- Melnik BC. “Milk—the promoter of chronic Western diseases.” Med Hypotheses. 2009 Jun;72(6):631–9.
- Campbell, T. Colin. The China Study. 2006 (BenBella: Dallas), pg. 179. Ibid., Melnik.
- Ganmaa D. Sato A. “The possible role of female sex hormones in milk from pregnant cows in the development of breast, ovarian and corpus uteri cancers.” Med Hypoth-eses. 2005;65(6):1028–37.
- “Milk for the Human Infant.” www.rawfoodexplained.com/why-we-should-not-eat-animal-products/dairy-products.html.
- William Neuman. “Egg Recall Expanded After Salmonella Outbreak.” The New York Times. Aug. 18, 2010.
- Amelia Wade. “What’s really in our milk? The added ingredient causing a stir.” The New Zealand Herald. Sept. 18, 2012. www.nzherald.co.nz.
- “Flavored Milk; Petition to Amend the Standard of Identity for Milk and 17 Additional Dairy Products.” The Federal Register. 2/20/2013. www.federalregister.gov.
- “Artificial sweeteners tied to obesity, type 2 diabetes.” CBC News. Feb. 17, 2013. www.1cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/02/15/artificial-sweeteners-diet-nutrition. html.
- Fagherazzi G. Et al. “Consumption of artificially and sugar-sweetened beverages and incident type 2 diabetes in the Etude Epidemiologique aupres des femmes de la Mutuelle Generale de l’Education Nationale—European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort.” Am J Clin Nut. 2013 March; 97(3):517–523.