Whether through allergy, lactose intolerance, hormone contamination or infectious agents, the consumption of dairy products has contributed to chronic health problems in both children and adults. In some individuals, avoiding dairy products may contribute significantly to both short and long term health improvements and a sense of well being.
The dairy industry owns the psychological exclusive rights to calcium in foods found in supermarkets. Few food manufacturers would dare to compete with the dairy message which infers that no other foods contain the calcium contained in milk, and without milk and dairy products you're certain to one day end up with bone-crippling osteoporosis. One should take a minute and think about where cows get their calcium from – the same calcium that not only builds their large bones but is also in the gallons of milk that they produce each day.
The dairy industry and milk processors invest hundreds of millions of dollars each year to guarantee that Americans will continue to drink milk and eat dairy products, investing their money to continually let Americans know that milk tastes good and the intake of milk and dairy products must be continued to insure good health. Milk mustaches are stylish.
Common knowledge of osteoporosis is based upon false assumptions. American women have been drinking an average of two pounds of milk or eating the equivalent milk in dairy products per day for their entire lives. Doctors recommend calcium intake for increasing and maintaining bone strength and bone density which they call bone mass. According to this regimen recommended by doctors and milk industry executives, women's bone mass would approach that of pre-historic dinosaurs. This line of reasoning should be equally extinct.
Milk and dairy products contain only small amounts of magnesium. Without the presence of magnesium, the body only absorbs 25% of the available dairy calcium content. The excess remaining calcium can cause problems: calcium builds up the mortar on arterial walls which becomes atherosclerotic plaques; calcium is converted by the kidneys into painful stones that can block the urinary tracts; excess calcium contributes to arthritis.
Osteoporosis is not a problem that should be associated with lack of calcium intake. Osteoporosis results from calcium loss. The massive amounts of protein in milk result in a 50% or greater loss of calcium in the urine. In other words, by doubling your protein intake there will be a loss of 1-1.5% in skeletal mass per year in postmenopausal women and this, multiplied over 20 years, is considerable. The calcium contained in leafy green vegetables is more easily absorbed than the calcium in milk, and plant proteins do not result in calcium loss the same way as do animal proteins.
A trial period of strict avoidance and observation of symptom reduction would confirm the importance of avoiding dairy products.
The continued use of dairy products along with supplemental lactase – a milk sugar digesting enzyme – could help distinguish between a simple lactose intolerance problem and other consequences of milk consumption.
Avoiding dairy extends beyond obvious items such as milk, cheese or yoghurt. You will have to read the labels on everything you want to eat. Milk is hidden in many foods, even those you might never think of, like luncheon meats, tuna, and chocolate. The long list of foods and ingredients to avoid includes:
Avoid dairy products containing 1% butterfat or more. This is part of the Swank Diet for Multiple Sclerosis sufferers.
Consider replacing a significant amount of the dairy products in your diet with high-fiber foods such as those made from fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans or grains.
Whilst drinking milk can be a 'quick fix' by neutralizing some of the acid, it also has a rebound action that eventually will encourage the secretion of more stomach acid, which causes the acid reflux.
A double-blind trial found that chronic constipation among infants and problems associated with it were triggered by intolerance to cows' milk in two-thirds of the infants studied. Symptoms disappeared in most infants when cows' milk was removed from their diet. [N Engl J Med 1998;339: pp,1100-4]
Dairy products are also devoid of fiber which is important in maintaining normal bowel movements.
One doctor reports that taking calcium without magnesium is one of the worst things you can do if you have hyperthyroidism because this increases any magnesium deficiency and increases the heart rate and likelihood of arrhythmia. This is one of the reasons why dairy products, which are high in calcium and low in magnesium, need to be restricted until magnesium levels are replenished.
Dairy products tend to be mucous-forming, making the mucous thicker. This makes it more difficult for natural processes to remove it, increasing the susceptibility to infections.
Dairy product consumption is not an appropriate way to reduce bone loss, as it will ultimately accelerate bone loss. However, this fact is ignored by marketing experts in the milk industry who make certain that women aged 35 and over are targeted consumers for milk and dairy products.
Harvard University's landmark Nurses' Health Study, which followed 78,000 women over a 12-year period, found that the women who consumed the most calcium from dairy foods broke more bones than those who rarely drank milk. Summarizing this study, the Lunar Osteoporosis Update (November 1997) explained: "This increased risk of hip fracture was associated with dairy calcium. If this were any agent other than milk, which has been so aggressively marketed by dairy interests, it undoubtedly would be considered a major risk factor."
A study published in the January, 2001 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the diets of 1,035 women, particularly focusing on the protein intake from animal and vegetable products. Deborah Sellmeyer, M.D., found that animal protein increases bone loss. In her study, women with a high animal-to-vegetable protein ratio experienced an increased rate of femoral neck bone loss. A high animal-to-vegetable protein ratio was also associated with an increased risk of hip fracture. Dr. Sellmeyer states: "Sulfur-containing amino acids in protein-containing foods are metabolized to sulfuric acid. Animal foods provide predominantly acid precursors. Acidosis stimulates osteoclastic activity and inhibits osteoblast activity."
Milk has been called "liquid meat". The average American eats five ounces of animal protein each day in the form of red meat and chicken, at the same time consuming nearly six times that amount (29.2 ounces) per day of milk and dairy products. How ironic it is that the dairy industry continues to promote the cause of bone disease as the cure!
Many foods naturally contain an abundance of calcium. One must wonder why Asians traditionally did not get bone-crippling osteoporosis... that is, until they adopted the "American Diet", a diet of milk and dairy products.
Here is a letter received by Robert Cohen, arch enemy of the dairy industry and despised by most dairy farmers. The letter was sent to him in January, 2002 by a long-time dairy farmer and speaks for itself:
You and I have stood on different sides of the fence for a number of years, but I've got a story to tell you, and an apology to offer. Catherine (my wife of 21 years) and I both grew up on dairy farms. We've been raising Holsteins as long as we can remember. Cath is just 42 years old, but she is crippled with rheumatoid arthritis. There is no record of this disease in her family, but she has been in pain for the past two years, much of it bedridden.
We've tried traditional and alternative therapies and medicines, but she only got a little short term relief. We even tried acupuncture. Try finding an acupuncturist in the rural Midwest! It was expensive, and didn't really work. Catherine's pain has been unbearable at times.
Despite there being no information on the internet linking dairy consumption to rheumatoid arthritis, and nothing in medical journals (I've searched online Medline), we made a resolution together to discontinue drinking our own milk, and not eat cheese or any other dairy product for six months, just to see if there would be some improvement.
I have to tell you this. Catherine feels like she's been to Lourdes. She's cured. There is some pain, but most is gone. I've had changes too which I'll discuss some other time. I thank you, and curse you at the same time. Milking cows is my livelihood. I've always believed that what I was doing was the right thing. I'm not going to sell my cows and sell my farm. I love the business. I just don't feel that good about it anymore. You were right about the arthritis. I don't know about the cancer and heart attacks, but you have given us a miracle that doctors were not able to provide. It did not take us three to six months to learn the truth. It took just three weeks. I've ridiculed your work in the past. Please accept my apology.
Since this type of joint pain can be a symptom of food allergy, dietary change may have a profound effect. Dairy products – the most common food allergen – are one likely causative factor.
"In the case of the eight year old female subject, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis was a milk allergy. After avoiding dairy products, all pain was gone in three weeks." [Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1985, 78]
"In systemic arthritis, like Rheumatoid, the cause is coursing through the blood, and it got there through the diet. When all of the joints are involved, the cause is not physical, but chemical. It's usually casein. (80% of milk protein is casein)." ["No Milk", by Daniel Twogood, D.C.]
"Certain foods trigger the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and eliminating these foods sometimes causes even long-standing symptoms to improve or even remit entirely. It is important to avoid the problem foods completely, as even a small amount can cause symptoms. All dairy products should be avoided: skim or whole cow's milk, goat's milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, etc." [Neal Barnard, M.D. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine]
Those with a tendency to form calcium stones may want to avoid foods rich in calcium, such as dairy products.
Studies have shown that giardia infection, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, can reduce the production of lactase in the small intestine, resulting in lactose malabsorption and its resultant diarrhea. Therefore, minimizing consumption of lactose-containing dairy products may improve diarrhea and the abdominal bloating and pain commonly associated with giardiasis. Studies have shown that reducing the consumption of lactose-containing foods to less than 6gm of lactose in a single dose should relieve symptoms. A 100-150gm serving of yogurt (about 1/2 cup) contains 3.0-5.3gm of lactose, and thus should be a safe amount to consume.
This bacteria becomes cultured in milk, and is not destroyed by pasteurization. Para-T crosses the species barrier to infect and cause disease in humans. Occasionally, the milk-borne bacteria will begin to grow in the human host, and irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease results. The USDA estimates that 30% of America's dairy herds contain cows infected with Para-T.
The October 10, 2003 issue of the International Journal of Cancer revealed that a high intake of cheese is associated with an elevated risk of testicular cancer in Canadian males. An analysis was made of the diets of 601 men who were diagnosed with testicular cancer, and of 744 controls. Food consumption data from seventeen food groups were analyzed from a 69-item food-frequency questionnaire. According to the researchers: "...high dairy product intake, in particular high intake of cheese (odds ratio [OR] = 1.87; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.22-2.86; p-trend < 0.001), is associated with an elevated risk of testicular cancer."
In 2002, the International Journal of Cancer (Ganmaa, et. al. 98: pp.262-7) reported that diet has an important influence on testicular and prostate cancer risk. The authors of the study found: "Cheese was found to be most closely correlated with the incidence of testicular cancer."
A new study suggests the growth hormones used to increase cows' milk production can increase the risk of breast cancer for milk-drinkers. Samuel Epstein, a U.S. researcher, presented a report on growth hormones and milk to the World Conference on Breast Cancer in Ottawa. He explained insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) stimulates breast-cell growth, and uncontrolled cell growth can lead to cancer. Epstein says blood tests from breast-cancer patients show high levels of IGF-1.
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