HOW BIG FOOD & EDUCATION MADE US BELIEVE ‘MILK DOES THE BODY GOOD’ WHEN IT REALLY DOESN’T


Oh, good old dairy! I’m sure you remember being a kid and having your mother tell you, Drink your milk! You need it to grow and be strong! Or perhaps your mom was ahead of the curve and saw through the mass marketing campaign designed to convince us that we require milk to live a healthy life.

 Aside from the obvious reasons why we don’t need cow’s milk — no other animal drinks the milk from another species; we no longer need milk once weaned from our  own mother’s; and cow’s milk is, well, meant for baby cows to grow into giant cows — we most certainly do not need dairy.

Got Milk?

This whole dairy façade began upon the premise that we need calcium, which we do, and that we can only get it through dairy products, which is false. There are a number of vegetables that contain even more calcium than milk, including broccoli, kale, cabbage, and watercress, along with a variety of nuts and seeds. But we never see ads on television telling us to eat our broccoli, even though it has many more health benefits than milk. Simply put, there is no lobbying behind broccoli.got-milk-superman

Milk is heavily pushed into the mainstream media; of course we all remember those infamous Got Milk? advertisements which used celebrities to endorse milk and which portrayed drinking milk as being both cool and health conscious. And now they have gone even further with the new ad campaign funded by Canadian dairy farmers, Milk Every Momentwith a slogan that pulls on your heart strings: “Not everything made sense when you were a kid, but drinking milk did.” They certainly know their business.

The following video created by Vox outlines the absurdity of milk quite nicely. Have a look!

Milk Simply Isn’t Good For Us

I should be clear about this statement: conventional pasteurized milk is not good for us. The cattle used to create this milk are pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, all of which end up in the milk we are consuming — along with blood, puss, and fecal matter. The pasteurization process, moreover, destroys any beneficial enzymes within the milk. Not to mention that these dairy cows are virtually kept pregnant until retirement, without even having an opportunity for their calves to drink the milk that was made for them in the first place.

It’s a horrific, backwards system. And while many people believe that raw, organic milk does offer many health benefits, it is actually illegal to sell this milk in Canada (go figure). Either way, I still don’t think milk is a necessary staple; cow’s milk is made for baby cows.

A large study coming from researchers at the Uppsala University in Sweden found that drinking milk led to an increased mortality rate and actually made bones more prone to fracturing, not less. Recently published in the peer reviewed British Medical Journalit was specifically conducted to examine whether high milk consumption is associated with mortality and fractures in both men and women.

The study took place across three different counties in Sweden, and used data from two large Swedish cohorts, one with 61,433 women aged approximately 39-74 years old and one with 45,339 men aged approximately 45-79 years old. They were all administered food frequency questionnaires. The study used “multivariable survival models” that were “applied to determine the association between milk consumption and time to mortality and fracture.

The results were as follows:

During a mean follow-up of 20.1 years, 15 541 women died and 17 252 had a fracture, of whom 4259 had a hip fracture. In the male cohort with a mean follow-up of 11.2 years, 10 112 men died and 5066 had a fracture, with 1166 hip fracture cases. In women the adjusted mortality hazard ratio for three or more glasses of milk a day compared with less than one glass a day was 1.93 (95% confidence interval 1.80 to 2.06). For every glass of milk, the adjusted hazard ratio of all cause mortality was 1.15 (1.13 to 1.17) in women and 1.03 (1.01 to 1.04) in men. For every glass of milk in women no reduction was observed in fracture risk with higher milk consumption for any fracture (1.02, 1.00 to 1.04) or for hip fracture (1.09, 1.05 to 1.13). The corresponding adjusted hazard ratios in men were 1.01 (0.99 to 1.03) and 1.03 (0.99 to 1.07). In subsamples of two additional cohorts, one in males and one in females, a positive association was seen between milk intake and both urine 8-iso-PGF2α (a biomarker of oxidative stress) and serum interleukin 6 (a main inflammatory biomarker).

The study concluded  that high milk intake was associated with higher mortality in one cohort of women and in another cohort of men, and with higher fracture incidence in women, though it concluded that,  “Given the observational study designs with the inherent possibility of residual confounding and reverse causation phenomena, a cautious interpretation of the results is recommended.”

This is just one example; there have been countless other studies that reveal this same risk.

Okay I’ll Give Up Milk, Now What?

You are not alone! The truth about milk is starting to come to light and many are opting for alternatives.

“U.S. milk consumption has been steadily declining by 25 percent per capita since the mid-1970s. Americans, on average, drink 37 percent less milk today than they did in 1970, according to data from the USDA,” said Nil Zacharias, Co-Founder of One Green Planet, “On the other side, non-dairy milk sales are up 30 percent since 2011, representing a $2 billion category, and growth is expected to continue outpacing dairy milk sales at least through 2018. Consumers don’t want milk anymore, and better alternatives are growing every day.”

Almond, cashew, rice, hemp, soy, and pea-protein milks are all available to you at most grocery stores. The demand for these alternatives is increasing so more options are becoming available all the time. You can even, quite easily, make your own nut milks. Check out this recipe for a homemade almond milk, or this one for a homemade cashew and almond milk blend.

Let’s just leave the cow’s milk to go where it was intended: the baby cows!

 

Despite how unnatural milk consumption beyond infancy is in the natural world — every other species weans their young off milk after a certain age and then never drinks it again — humans continue to be bombarded with the idea that cow’s milk not only ‘does the body good,’ but is also the best source of calcium available to us. We are told that we cannot achieve strong and healthy bones if we do not consume this type of calcium, and thanks to remarkable marketing efforts on the part of the dairy industry, we believe it.

The idea that milk is needed for strong bones is a widespread belief, but research is now showing there may be significant flaws to this supposition. Many people are unaware that humans never possessed the enzyme necessary to break down the sugar in milk (lactose) in the first place, and many still don’t. At some point in human evolution, some of us experienced a mutation in the LTC, or lactase, gene, which allowed a small portion of us to process lactose as adults. Approximately 65-75 percent of the population, however, remains incapable of properly processing lactose, which begs the question, is consuming the milk that’s meant for young cows really natural and healthy for human beings?

Calcium can be found in abundance in many plant-based sources, but all we hear about, unfortunately, is milk and calcium supplements — a reality which clearly serves both the dairy and the pharmaceutical industry.

Calcium Supplements

Millions of people in the United States take calcium supplements, but does anyone ever ask why? Sayer Ji from Greenmedinfo.com explains the situation:

The seemingly universal popularity of taking elemental calcium supplements results from the promotional efforts of conventional health “experts” and organizations like the National Osteoporosis Foundation (whose corporate sponsors include the calcium manufacturers Oscal and Citrical). Also, the World Health Organization created a radically new definition of “normal” bone density in 1994 when it took the 25-year old young adult standard (which is peak bone mass in a women’s life cycle), also known as the “T-score,” and applied it to all women, irrespective of their age. (source)

There is no shortage of concerning research on calcium supplementation. One notable example, published in the journal Heart, found a 24-27 percent increased risk of heart attack in those who took 500mg of elemental calcium a day. These findings were also confirmed by another study that was recently published in the British Medical Journal. (source)(source)

This particular study involved 24,000 people between the ages of 35 and 63, finding that those who took regular doses of calcium supplement increased their risk of having a heart attack by an alarming 86 percent, compared to those who took no calcium supplements at all. The University of California Berkeley reiterates:

However, studies published in the past few years have probably made many people wonder if they should stop taking the pills. First, some studies have linked calcium pills to increased risk of heart disease. And in 2012, the influential U.S. Preventive Services Task Force dropped a bombshell when its draft recommendations concluded that standard doses of supplemental calcium and vitamin D don’t prevent fractures in postmenopausal women.  (source)

These studies do not come without criticism. For the particular study cited above, Dr. Deepak Bhatt, a cardiologist at Harvard Brigham and Women’s hospital stated,

The study did not provide iron-clad evidence of a connection between calcium supplements and heart attack. Although it’s not the first report suggesting this connection, no study has definitely  proven that excessive calcium intake contributes to plaque formation and heart disease (source)

Harvard says calcium supplements are still safe to take, and it’s important to keep in mind that many other studies have not found a link between calcium pills and coronary risk, but some have.

It’s no secret that calcium is needed for many bodily functions, and getting adequate amounts of calcium during childhood is very important for bone health (though it’s important to mention that many studies have shown that calcium is not as important for bone health as we believe).

For example, a study conducted by researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden found that drinking milk actually led to an increased mortality rate and made bones more prone to fracturing — not less. (source)

And a study published in the American Journal of Public Health showed that dairy consumption might actually increase the risk of fractures by 50 percent. (source)

In a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, Harvard pediatrician David Ludwig emphasizes that bone fracture rates tend to be lower in countries that do not consume milk compared to those that do, also noting that there are many other sources of calcium. (source)

Sayer Ji had this to say about why we shouldn’t really be surprised by the dangers of calcium supplements:

People really should not be so surprised at the idea that calcium supplementation may be toxic to cardiovascular health. After all, many subject themselves to coronary and cardiac calcium scans in order to ascertain their risk of cardiovascular events and/or cardiac mortality. This is because we know that calcium of the wrong kind in the wrong place can result in serious adverse health effects. There are, in fact, quite a few in the field of nutrition who have long warned against supplementation with elemental calcium; which is to say, calcium from limestone, oyster shell, egg shell and bone meal (hydroxylapatite).  (source)

Why Calcium From Food Is Better

There are a number of foods that can provide one with adequate amounts of calcium. The list is quite long in fact, including things like kale, oranges, beans, green peas, chickpeas, quinoa, seeds, hemp, and more. Apart from the information listed above, why take supplements when you can simply take food, especially if there is research showing these pills are potentially harmful? Moreover, your body is actually “hardwired” to reject low quality calcium sources, because supplements are not usually bound to the amino acids, lipids, and glyconutrients that are commonly found in food and which aid in absorption:

Inorganic or “elemental” calcium, when not bound to the natural co-factors, e.g. amino acids, lipids and glyconutrients, found in “food” (which is to say other living beings, e.g. plants and animals), no longer has the intelligent delivery system that enables your body to utilize it in a biologically appropriate manner. Lacking this “delivery system,” the calcium may end up going to places you do not want (ectopic calcification), or go to places you do want (e.g. the bones), but in excessive amounts, stimulating unnaturally accelerated cell-division (osteoblasts), resulting in higher bone turn over rates later in life. (source)

Other great ways to strengthen your bones include consuming more planet-derived calcium, magnesium, Vitamin K2 (from grass-fed organic animal products), and trace minerals, as well as getting natural sunlight (vitamin D). Although the mainstream medical industry won’t emphasize this, one of the best ways to have healthy bones is to eat a diet rich in raw, fresh whole foods that maximize natural minerals, so your body has the materials it needs to do what nature intended it to do.

Book Recommendation To Learn More

Almost a decade ago now, Robert Thompson, M.D., wrote a book called The Calcium LieApart from doing your own research and going through all of the studies, this book is a a great place to start. The book details how what we’ve been led to believe about calcium and its role in preventing osteoporosis is a myth.

When Dr. Thompson wrote this book, he stated that the overconsumption of calcium creates other mineral deficiencies and imbalances that will increase one’s risk of heart disease, kidney stones, gallstones, osteoarthritis, obesity, hypothyroidism, and Type 2 diabetes. Since his book was published, a number of studies have emerged which lend further credibility to his theories.

It’s a great place to start if you’re looking to further your research.

Aspartame in “Milk?”


Most of us believe that drinking milk is good for our health. Milk can provide us with some of the essential nutrients we all need, like calcium and potassium. And did you know… a glass of milk is also a terrific source of high-quality protein?

For these reasons, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends children and adults alike consume two to three servings of dairy per day. But somehow, Americans of all ages seem to be drinking less and less milk. And according to the Academy, only 25 percent of kids ages nine to 19 drink the recommended amount of milk each day.

One reason for this may be that schools have started to ban the sale of chocolate milk (and other flavored milk) because of its high caloric content. And in order to compete with other low-calorie drinks (i.e. diet colas) the dairy industry is planning to replace the sugar in flavored milk with aspartame, or another non-caloric sweetener.

The problem is, the FDA strictly regulates something called the “statement of identity” for food items. That means if you’re calling something “milk,” it better be mostly what came out of the cow. That’s why we see products labeled Soymilk, not Soy Milk, get it?

Hence, the addition of aspartame as an artificial sweetener will change the standard of identity of “milk” and would require something like “Chocolate Milk” to be labeled, “Reduced Calorie Chocolate Milk.” International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) recently petitioned the FDA to change this clause. They say children are adverse to the “low-calorie” label and that this labeling change will negatively affect milk sales.

And to avoid any confusion, aspartame (along with any other artificial sweetener) will not be secretly added as some hidden ingredient to flavored milk. There seems to be a huge misception out there regarding this. It will still be an added ingredient, listed on the ingredients label, just like any other additive. Even if the Dairy Industry gets its way… Fear not! You will still be able to tell if your chocolate milk has an artificial sweetener in it. Just flip over the container and look at the ingredients label: if you see “aspartame,” “sucralose” or “acesulfame potassium” you will know that the beverage you’re holding contains an artificial sweetener!

All artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, are regulated by the FDA. The FDA sets an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for each sweetener, as well as other additives. The ADI is the maximum amount of a product that is considered safe to consume each day during a person’s life time. According the the American Cancer Society, the ADI for aspartame is set to be about 100 times less than the smallest amount that might cause health concerns, based on studies done in lab animals.

Some studies suggest moderate intakes of aspartame is not harmful to your health, but research is not conclusive. However, the average person would have to drink 21 cans of diet-soda each day to reach acceptable daily intake. Sucrose, or table sugar, on the other hand has many known health risks in the excess we consume it. Still, the controversy around aspartame, including its possible link to cancer and other diseases, has many U.S. citizens concerned… and even outraged. Over 116,000 individuals have signed on to a Sum of Us petition that urges the FDA to “forbid milk and dairy products to include aspartame or other artificial sweeteners.”

The standard-of-identity laws are there for a reason. So here is my advice for the Dairy Industry: If you want to put artificial sweeteners in milk, just start calling your “milk-like drink” something else. Leave the “milk” label for the real stuff.

Dairy Industry Trying to Hide Aspartame in New Definition of ‘Milk’


Recently big dairy has made a big push to amend the definition of milk – to allow them to add aspartame and other sweeteners without consumers knowing!

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) filed a petition with the FDA1 requesting the agency “amend the standard of identity” for milk and 17 other dairy products. 

This was done to provide for the use of any safe and suitable sweetener as an optional ingredient — including non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame to deceive you by not having to indicate its use on the label.

If the amendment goes through, that would mean anytime you see the word “milk” on the label, it could include aspartame, sucralose, or any other dangerous artificial sweetener, but you could never be quite sure, since there will be no mention of it — not by listing the artificial sweetener used, nor with a no- or low-calorie type label, which is a tip-off that the product might contain a non-nutritive sweetener.
According to the Federal Register:

[T]he proposed amendments would assist in meeting several initiatives aimed at improving the nutrition and health profile of food served in the nation’s schools. Those initiatives include state-level programs designed to limit the quantity of sugar served to children during the school day.

As if that’s not nonsensical enough, the IDFA and NMPF argue that the proposed amendments would “promote honesty and fair dealing in the marketplace.” How could altering the definition of “milk” to include unidentified artificial sweeteners possibly promote honesty or fair dealing in the marketplace, you might ask?
According to the IDFA and NMPF, nutrient content claims such as “reduced calorie” are not attractive to children and have led to an overall decline in milk consumption in schools. Essentially, as with the GMO labeling issue, they don’t want you or your child to be “confused” or perhaps “scared away” by truthful labeling.
The IDFA and NMPF actually maintain that “consumers can more easily identify the overall nutritional value of milk products that are flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners if the labels do not include such claims.”
They also state that consumers generally don’t recognize milk — including flavored milk — as necessarily containing sugar. Therefore, since you don’t realize that flavored milk might contain added sugar, sweetening the product with non-nutritive artificial sweeteners, while listing it as simply “milk” on the label, will make it easier for you to identify its overall nutritional value.
Get it? If not, you’re not alone.
In order to understand this twisted logic, you need to know that the FDA already allows the dairy industry to use the unmodified “milk” label for products that contain added sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
Artificial sweeteners are allowed to be added, but must currently be listed on the label. Quoting Section 130.10 of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, the IDFA and NMPF claim no extra labeling is required for artificial sweeteners because sugar is added to milk without labeling it, and “the modified food is not inferior in performance,” and “reduced calories are not attractive to children.”
Therefore marketing products as such is neither of benefit or detriment to anyone… Knowing that nutritive sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup can be added without being listed as an ingredient, is it any wonder that people generally “don’t recognize” these products contain added sugar?
Going along with their twisted reasoning, since they don’t have to tell you there’s HFCS in that flavored milk or yogurt — which leaves you ignorant of the fact that it’s there — it might “confuse” you were they to tell you another version contains an artificial sweetener. It also puts those products at a market disadvantage, since the HFCS-containing products don’t have to list it — the HFCS is simply hidden as part of the “milk” designation.
Hence, hiding ALL added sweeteners from you would “promote honesty” and “fair dealing in the marketplace.” Not only is this a perfect example of how you may be consuming hidden fructose in your diet, even if you are an avid label reader… it’s also a valuable lesson in just how little you’re allowed to know about the foods you buy.
The petition also requests the FDA similarly amend the standards of identity for 17 other milk and cream products, to allow the use of any safe and suitable sweetener in the optional ingredients, without specifying the type of sweetener used on the label:
  • Acidified milk
  • Cultured milk
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Nonfat dairy milk
  • Nonfat dry milk fortified with vitamins A and D
  • Evaporated milk
  • Dry cream
  • Heavy cream
  • Light cream
  • Sour cream, and acidified sour cream
  • Light whipping cream
  • Eggnog
  • Half-and-half
  • Yogurt
  • Lowfat yogurt
  • Nonfat yogurt
Many are surely scratching their heads wondering WHY anyone would want to alter the definition of milk. One potential clue — besides sheer unbridled greed on behalf of the dairy industry who’d rather not give you the option of choosing — can be found in an April 13, 2011 letter from the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) to Julie Brewer, Chief of the Policy and Program Development Branch of the Child Nutrition Division of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The letter was in response to the USDA’s proposed rule to revise the meal patterns and nutrition requirements for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. One of the proposed changes was to limit flavored milk products to fat-free versions only — a change the NMPF claimed would have a negative impact on the goal of increasing overall milk consumption.

The letter reads in part:

The proposed rule will not be a success if milk consumption drops as a result of flavored milk choices that are not appealing (or at least not as appealing as competitive beverages students may bring to school from elsewhere). Flavored milk was included as an option in the proposed rule in recognition that the small amount of added sugar (flavored milk contributes only 2-3% of added sugars to the diets of children and adolescents) is an acceptable trade-off for the extensive nutrient contribution flavored milk provides.


Therefore, NMPF urges the Department to modify the proposed rule to include both low-fat and fat-free flavored milk as options available to schools. To limit the potential for additional calories in a low-fat flavored milk (as compared to a fat-free formulation) we urge the establishment of a calorie limit on flavored milk of 150 calories per eight-ounce serving.


This will provide schools the flexibility to procure milk products that maintain high levels of acceptability and nutrient intake, while also assuring that flavored milk fits within overall calorie limits for meals. Many milk processors have proactively committed to and met a goal of 150 calories per serving as a way to limit the amount of sugar in flavored milk, and have worked within this constraint to formulate products that have demonstrated acceptability among students in schools across the country.

In essence, it has little to do with making your purchasing decisions easier, and more to do with:
  • Fooling your kids into drinking otherwise unpopular fat free or low fat milk, and
  • Allowing the national school breakfast and lunch programs to “look good” by successfully reducing overall calories of the meals while simultaneously helping the dairy industry protect profits
I’m not sure what’s more frustrating here, the fact that the USDA insists on using the flawed theory of calories as a measure of the “healthfulness” of school meals; their misguided insistence on fat free and low fat products to combat obesity; or their ignorant stance on artificial sweeteners.

Do humans actually need milk and dairy products in adulthood?


A lot of people will have already made up their mind about whether humans need dairy in their diet and will be thinking that the answer is obviously “yes” or obviously “no”. But nutrition is based on science not opinion – so, here’s the latest research on the matter.

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Milk is an interesting foodstuff. The sugar in it is called lactose and lactose requires a chemical or enzyme called lactase to allow it to pass across the walls of the gut into the blood stream.

When we are babies, we all produce plenty of the lactase enzyme which allows us to absorb our mother’s milk.

In populations where milk consumption has been historically low, such as Japan and China, most children will have stopped producing lactase soon after weaning and – producing almost entire populations that may be unable to absorb the lactose in milk – this we call “lactose intolerance”.

In populations where milk consumption has always been high, such as in Europe, most adults continue to produce lactase for their whole lives and can digest milk quite happily with only around 5 percent of the population being lactose intolerant.

Continuing to produce lactase into adulthood is actually an inherited genetic variation which has become so common because being able to tolerate milk has a selective advantage.

Milk is a useful source of protein, energy, calcium, phosphate, B vitamins and iodine, meaning that those with the mutation were generally healthier and produced more children than those who couldn’t tolerate milk, and so the presence of the mutation increased.

The symptoms of lactose intolerance include wind, bloating and diarrhoea so if you don’t experience any of those after drinking milk or eating ice cream then you’re fine.

Fermenting

There is good evidence that milk has been part of the human diet in Northern Europe for more than 8,000 years which is when people there first moved from being nomadic to having a more structured way of life.

Because 8,000 years ago most people didn’t tolerate milk well, they quickly realised that if the milk was fermented and became cheese or yogurt it could be better tolerated.

This is because these processes encourage bacteria to use up most of the carbohydrate – the lactose – in the milk so people who didn’t produce the lactase enzyme could still benefit from the nutrients in the milk.

Today people with lactose intolerance can drink kefir, a fermented milk drink made with a yeast starter, which some suggest also has probiotic benefits for the gut as well as many other health benefits.

So dairy has been pivotal to nutrition and important to the survival of many populations in the world and most Europeans and North Americans are well adapted to digest it.

So if you have been told that humans aren’t adapted to have dairy in their diet, that isn’t correct. Similarly, it isn’t true to say that dairy promotes inflammation or acidity.

Calcium

Nutritional scientists and dietitians have often assumed that because milk is rich in calcium, it is therefore good for maintaining the calcium levels in our bones.

However, a couple of recent big studies have brought this into question. A further systematic review of the evidence concluded that actually, it doesn’t seem to matter how much calcium you get from your diet, your risk of fracturing your bones remains the same.

That said, we have seen that in cultures, where dairy plays a very minimal part in the traditional diet such as in China and Japan, the incidence of hip fracture – a common outcome of poor bone mineral density – is 150 percent higher than that of white American or European populations.

One thing to remember about these studies is that they are looking at calcium intake in adulthood. However, we know that the strength of our bones is actually determined by our diet as children and teenagers.

When we look at studies of children who have an allergy to cow’s milk, for example, we see that the strength of their bones is significantly compromised by the lack of milk in their diet and that desensitisation through treatment so their diet can include milk also strengthens their bones.

Interestingly, children with this allergy who are given alternative sources of calcium other than milk still find the strength of their bones compromised. This suggests that calcium-containing alternatives to dairy are still not good enough at promoting bone density in children.

While milk intake is really important for the healthy development of children’s bones, consuming milk as an adult doesn’t appear to decrease your risk of fractures. But there are lots of other nutrients in milk and dairy foods.

Studies have found that if dairy is replaced in the diet by foods containing the same amount of calcium such as green leafy vegetables or soya milk fortified with calcium, the diet contains less protein, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, riboflavin, vitamins A and B12.

Milk and dairy foods are also a great source of all essential amino acids which are the small protein molecules that build muscles and repair tissue damage. Obviously the protein and micronutrients could be found from other sources but obviously not without careful planning.

When it comes to health, the bottom line is we probably don’t need dairy in our diets – as adults – but milk and dairy foods are convenient and good value and provide lots of essential nutrients which are trickier to source from other foods.

Where milk drinking is the cultural norm we have adapted to tolerate it very well and it can be very nutritious.

How The Dairy Industry Tricked Humans Into Believing They Need Milk 


Despite the fact that one can get their daily recommendation of calcium, potassium, and protein from fruits and vegetables, the dairy industry has spent billions of dollars to convince consumers otherwise.

 

Despite the fact that one can get their daily recommendation of calcium, potassium, and protein from fruits and vegetables, the dairy industry has spent billions of dollars to convince consumers otherwise.

Got Milk? We sure hope not. Despite being a somewhat tasty addition to coffee, tea, and delectable treats, the ingredient – when pasteurized – is highly toxic to the human body. In fact, physicians such as Dr. Willet, who has conducted many studies and reviewed the research on the topic, believe milk to be more of a detriment to the human body than an aid.


 


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This is because despite popular belief, the food has never been shown to reduce fracture risk. In fact, according to the Nurses’ Health Study, dairy may increase risk of fractures by 50%! This concerning finding is supported by the fact that countries with lowest rates of dairy and calcium consumption (like those in Africa and Asia) have the lowest rates of osteoporosis.

Considering that approximately 3/4 of the world’s population is unable to digest milk and other dairy products, it seems clear the food is not an ideal substance for consumption. However, the average consumer doesn’t know this. From celebrity endorsements to advertisements by the dairy industry, most have been taught to believe that dairy is an ideal food for optimum health.


Because there’s so much misinformation surrounding the subject, Vox recently created a video which illustrates the facade of the dairy industry. One of the points made is that despite the fact that consumers can get the daily recommendation of calcium, potassium, and protein from fruits and vegetables, the dairy industry has spent billions of dollars to convince the populace otherwise.

If you were taught that one must drink milk to grow up “big and strong,” you’re not alone. However, now is the time to get educated on the facts.

Because milk is very mucus-forming in the human body, it is believed to contribute to allergies, ear infections, Type 1 diabetes, anemia, and even constipation. In addition, the food may contribute to various types of cancers as consumption of the product increases the body’s level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).

The good news is that there are plenty of tasty, creamy dairy alternatives that are not only easy-to-make, they’re affordable. ‘Milks’ from rice, almonds, cashew, hemp, and even coconut can be found in most grocery stores, and some companies even sell dairy-free ice cream – such as Ben & Jerry’s! In fact, the non-dairy milk market has surged within the past few years. Almond milk sales, in particular, have increased by 250 percent from 2000-2015 to almost $895 million.

Egg, Milk, And Peanut Allergies Can Be Prevented By Adding All 3 Foods To An Infant’s Diet Before Age 1


Early introduction is the new standard for food allergy prevention.

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Food allergies are an everyday struggle for both the children who deal with them and their parents. Avoiding peanut products may not be all that difficult, but the same cannot be said for milk or eggs. Although there are treatment options available for childhood food allergies, many experts have moved toward preventing them alltogether — the standard for allergy prevention has recently shifted from delayed to early introduction of these foods.

Researchers from McMaster University in Canada presented at the American Thoracic Society’s 2016 International Conference this past week. Their findings from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development Study show that children who eat egg, peanut, and cow’s milk products before the age of one are less likely to become allergic to these foods.

“There’s some literature that suggests there is a critical window of development in infancy, maybe between 4 to 6 months, whereby early introduction of foods could induce tolerance instead of sensitization,” lead investigator Maxwell Tran told Medical Daily. Tran called this study “the first to determine the effects of timing of food introduction to cow’s milk products, egg, and peanut, on food sensitization at age 1 in a general population-based cohort,” in astatement.

Tran and his colleagues gathered data on 1,421 children at the ages of 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months old to record how long parents exclusively breastfed the kids; the diversity of foods parents introduced them to; and when eggs, peanut products, and cow’s milk products were added to their diets. Each infant underwent skin prick testing to determine whether they had developed allergies to those foods by their first birthday.

The vast majority of parents introduced cow’s milk products, often via cow’s milk-based formula, to their children before the age of 1, and 48 percent did so between 0 and 6 months. On the other hand, most parents held off on introducing eggs. Six percent of parents introduced eggs between 0 and 6 months, 76 percent between 7 and 12 months, and 19 percent after 12 months.

Overall, introducing each food product before the age of 1 was associated with a lower risk for sensitization to the corresponding food allergen. Introducing eggs during that time led to a significant drop in the odds of becoming allergic to any of the three food allergens. While less food diversity was associated with a higher risk for all allergies, exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months was only linked to cow’s milk allergies.

“It’s possible that delayed food introduction and avoidance have led to an increase in food allergies over the years,” Tran added. “But more recently, there have been plenty of observational studies and a couple of randomized controlled trials that have showed protective effects of early food introduction for allergy prevention. The results of our study definitely support that and that’s why we’re now seeing these new recommendations around the world that suggest there’s no reason to delay the introduction of foods beyond 6 months, or even 4 to 6 months.”

In spite of the many proven benefits tied to breastfeeding, evidence has shown that it can lead to the development of certain food allergies. Food proteins found in human breast milk, especially mothers with a family history of allergies, can trigger the development of food allergies. Around six million children in the United States are living with a food allergy, which is equivalent to one out of every 13 kids.

Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases conducted a similarstudy that compared the eating habits of children from Israel, who were given peanuts at an early age, and Jewish children living in the United Kingdom, who did not eat peanuts. Introducing peanuts early in life lowered Israeli children’s risk for developing an allergy to them by 81 percent.

Before any parents go sprinkling peanuts on top of all their children’s food, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recommends they check with their doctor or allergist to make sure their child is not at a higher risk. Upon receiving approval, allergenic foods should only be introduced after complementary foods and only at home as opposed to a restaurant or daycare. Parents should also gradually increase the amount of allergenic food if no allergic reaction occurs. Lastly, parents should begin introducing one new food every three to five days.

Stop having milk, it makes you fat, gives you cancer


Let’s face it. Things have changed now. Just like we don’t wear the same clothes we did few years ago, we really don’t have to eat the same food, which we grew up on.

And one such food item is milk. It’s not as healthy as it is appears. I guess everyone’s mother forced them to drink a glass of milk daily when they were growing up. Apparently for parents, milk was, and continues to be the staple healthy consumable for their kids.

It is sad that milk is one of the reasons why kids and even adults are getting fat. One can’t deny that it is considered to be high in calcium and even some amount of proteins, but it comes with so much of lactose sugar that our body is unable to digest it and often finds a way to store it as fat.

Here are four reasons why milk is not good for you:

1. Weight gain: There have been numerous studies including the one by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) found out that drinking cow’s milk and even skimmed milk lead to weight gain in both adults and kids. Skimmed milk is plain sugar water and has almost zero nutritional value but only lactose sugar which eventually leads to bloating and weight gain.

2. Lactose intolerance: Most of the people across the globe are lactose intolerant, which means they can’t digest lactose ie milk sugar in their bodies. This intolerance leads to severe cramps, bloating and diarrhoea.

3. Prostate cancer: This may come as a shocker. It’s ironic considering consumption of dairy does the opposite that is slow down the progress of cancer, especially of prostate.

4. Worse for abdomen fat: Believe it or not, milk is no good news if you are trying to slim down, especially your waistline. Lactose sugar loves our abdomen area and always finds creative ways to store fat there. If you gunning for six-pack abs and hoping milk will help, think twice.

Come to think of it, people living in the rural areas can still get away with drinking milk, given their lifestyle. But those living in the cities will have a tough time to shed that extra load that tags along with milk.

Consuming Milk and Dairy Linked to the Development of Parkinson’s Disease


Flickr-milk-bluewaikiki

Time magazine just published the a report on the results of a medical study looking at the factors that contribute to Parkinson’s disease, a slowly progressing neurodegenerative disease that is physically and mentally crippling for those who suffer from it.

Looking specifically at the connection between the consumption of dairy products and the risk of contracting Parkinson’s disease, the new research shows a causal link between the consumption of milk and dairy products and a decrease in density of the neurons in the areas of the brain typically affected by Parkinson’s disease.

The study looked at data from a research project conducted in Hawaii in the 1980’s to determine that milk contaminated with the no longer used agricultural insecticide, heptachlor epoxide, had somehow carried the toxic compound into the patient’s brains where it had accumulated.

“Abbott and his team studied 449 brains and recorded the density of neurons in specific areas of the brain known to be affected by Parkinson’s. They found that men who reported drinking more than two glasses of milk a day (16 oz) showed the thinnest nerve networks in these areas, suggesting compromised function of these nerves, compared to men who drank little or no milk. The milk drinkers also had residues of specific organochlorines called heptachlor epoxide.”

Parkinson’s disease is on the rise, and people are looking for answers, but does this mean you should immediately stop drinking milk? According to researchers, the study does not signal that milk, or milk contamination, directly cause Parkinson’s disease, however, the study does provide more evidence that diet and lifestyle may play an important role in whether or not someone contracts Parkinson’s disease.

“The data certainly don’t mean that anyone who drinks several cups of milk a day is putting themselves at risk of developing Parkinson’s. What it does mean is that diet and lifestyle risk factors should be considered more deeply. “This adds to the literature that diet may indeed play a role in Parkinson’s,” says Abbott. “But it also tells us that there is more to food than just its nutritional value. There’s contamination, and what’s on that food.” [Time]

At a time when the public is beginning to understand how corporations and governments are pushing un-natural foods and chemicals on people while restricting and demonizing natural alternatives that work, this report lends more credibility to the growing body of evidence that eating organic foods is an intelligent choice to limit exposure to toxic agrochemicals.

Furthermore, raw milk has been known for generations to be beneficial to human health, yet the government persecutes raw milk vendors at times more severely than they do drug dealers, demonstrating that the establishment wishes to put up every roadblock possible to prevent people from achieving natural health without dependency on big pharma.

Ironically, another recent study suggest that cannabis may in fact be a very effective cure for Parkinson’s disease, which is the exact opposite of what we have been told for years by themainstream media about this widely illegal, but highly potent natural medicine.

You’re Drinking the Wrong Kind of Milk.


When my in-laws moved from India to the United States some 35 years ago, they couldn’t believe the low cost and abundance of our milk—until they developed digestive problems. They’ll now tell you the same thing I’ve heard a lot of immigrants say: American milk will make you sick.

It turns out that they could be onto something. An emerging body of research suggests that many of the 1 in 4 Americans who exhibit symptoms of lactose intolerance could instead be unable to digest A1, a protein most often found in milk from the high-producing Holstein cows favored by American and some European industrial dairies. The A1 protein is much less prevalent in milk from Jersey, Guernsey, and most Asian and African cow breeds, where, instead, the A2 protein predominates.

“We’ve got a huge amount of observational evidence that a lot of people can digest the A2 but not the A1,” says Keith Woodford, a professor of farm management and agribusiness at New Zealand’s Lincoln University who wrote the 2007 book Devil in the Milk: Illness, Health, and the Politics of A1 and A2 Milk. “More than 100 studies suggest links between the A1 protein and a whole range of health conditions”—everything from heart disease to diabetes to autism, Woodford says, though the evidence is far from conclusive.

Holsteins, the most common dairy-cow breed in the United States, typically produce A1 milk.  

For more than a decade, an Auckland-based company called A2 Corporation has been selling a brand of A2 milk in New Zealand and Australia; it now accounts for 8 percent of Australia’s dairy market. In 2012, A2 Corp. introduced its milk in the United Kingdom through the Tesco chain, where a two-liter bottle sells for about 18 percent more than conventional milk.

But critics write off the success of A2 Corp. as a victory of marketing over science. Indeed, a 2009 review by the European Food Safety Authority found no link between the consumption of A1 milk and health and digestive problems. So far, much of the research on the matter is funded by A2 Corp., which holds a patent for the only genetic test that can separate A1 from A2 cows. And in 2004, the same year that A2 Corp. went public on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, Australia’s Queensland Health Department fined its marketers $15,000 for making false and misleading claims about the health benefits of its milk.

The A1/A2 debate has raged for years in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe, but it is still virtually unheard of across the pond. That could soon change: A2 Corp. recently announced plans to offer its milk in the United States in coming months. In a letter to investors, the company claims that “consumer research [in Los Angeles] confirms the attractiveness of the A2 proposition.”

The difference between A1 and A2 proteins is subtle: They are different forms of beta-casein, a part of the curds (i.e., milk solids ) that make up about 30 percent of the protein content in milk. The A2 variety of beta-casein mutated into the A1 version several thousand years ago in some European dairy herds. Two genes code for beta-casein, so modern cows can either be purely A2, A1/A2 hybrids, or purely A1. Milk from goats and humans contains only the A2 beta-casein, yet not everyone likes the flavor of goat milk, which also contains comparatively less vitamin B-12—a nutrient essential for creating red blood cells.

About 65 percent of Jersey cows exclusively produce A2 milk  

The A1 milk hypothesis was devised in 1993 by Bob Elliott, a professor of child health research at the University of Auckland. Elliott believed that consumption of A1 milk could account for the unusually high incidence of type-1 diabetes among Samoan children growing up in New Zealand. He and a colleague, Corran McLachlan, later compared the per capita consumption of A1 milk to the prevalence of diabetes and heart disease in 20 countries and came up with strong correlations.

Critics argued that the relationships could be explained away by other factors, such as diet, lifestyle, and latitude-dependent exposure to vitamin D in sunlight—and in any case started to fall apart when more countries were included.

African cows also tend to produce A2 milk. 

Yet a 1997 study by Elliott published by the International Dairy Federation showed A1 beta-casein caused mice to develop diabetes, lending support to the hypothesis, and McLachlan remained convinced. In 2000, he partnered with entrepreneur Howard Paterson, then regarded as the wealthiest man on New Zealand’s South Island, to found the A2 Corporation.

Starting in 2003, A2 Corp. sold milk in the United States through a licensing agreement, but pulled out in 2007 after it failed to catch on. Susan Massasso, A2 Corp.’s chief marketing officer, blamed mistakes by the company’s US partner, but declined to elaborate. But now the market dynamics may be changing in A2 Corp.’s favor as compelling new research on the A1/A2 debate grabs headlines in the Australian and UK press.

When digested, A1 beta-casein (but not the A2 variety) releases beta-casomorphin7 (BCM7), an opioid with a structure similar to that of morphine.  Studies increasingly point to BCM7 as a troublemaker. Numerous recent tests, for example, have shown that blood from people with autism and schizophrenia contains higher-than-average amounts of BCM7. In a recent study, Richard Deth, a professor of pharmacology at Northeastern University in Boston, and his postdoctoral fellow, Malav Trivedi, showed in cell cultures that the presence of similarly high amounts of BCM7 in gut cells causes a chain reaction that creates a shortage of antioxidants in neural cells, a condition that other research has tied to autism. The study, underwritten in part by A2 Corp., is now undergoing peer review in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

Nearly 80 percent of Guernsey cows tested in the US are pure A2, the highest percentage of any traditional breed, according to the American Guernsey Association

The results suggest that drinking A2 milk instead of A1 milk could reduce the symptoms of autism, Trivedi says, but, he adds: “There’s a lot more research that needs to be done to support these claims.”

Researchers without ties to A2 Corp. are also lending increasing support to the A1 hypothesis. One peer-reviewed study conducted at the National Dairy Research Institute in India, published in October in the European Journal of Nutrition, found that mice fed A1 beta-casein overproduced enzymes and immune regulators that other studies have linked to heart disease and autoimmune conditions such as eczema and asthma.

The leading explanation for why some people but not others may react poorly to A1 milk implicates leaky gut syndrome—a concept that got its start in alternative medicine circles but has been gaining wider traction in the medical establishment. The idea is that that loose connections in the gut, like tears in a coffee filter, allow rogue proteins such as BCM7 to enter the body and run amok. The body brings in immune cells to fight them off, creating inflammation that manifests as swelling and pain—a telltale symptom of autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and diabetes, and autism.

The A2-producing Normande is a popular breed in France. 

Though many adults may suffer from leaky guts, the condition is normal in babies less than a year old, who naturally have semi-permeable intestines. This may pose a problem when they’re fed typical cow-milk formula. A 2009 study documented that formula-fed infants developed muscle tone and psychomotor skills more slowly than infants that were fed (A2-only) breast milk. Researchers in Russia, Poland, and the Czech Republic have suggested links between BCM7 in cow milk formula and childhood health issues. A 2011 study implicates BCM7 in sudden infant death syndrome: the blood serum of some infants that experienced a “near-miss SIDS” incident contained more BCM7 than of healthy infants the same age. Capitalizing on those findings, A2 Corp. also sells an A2-only infant formula, a2PLATINUM, in Australia, New Zealand, and China.

The mainstream dairy industry in the United States may be more interested in the A1/A2 debate than it lets on. For example, US companies that sell bull semen for breeding purposes maintain information on the exact A1/A2 genetics of all of their offerings. And breeders have already developed A2 Holsteins to replace the A1 varieties typically used in confined agricultural feeding operations. “There is absolutely no problem in moving across to A2 and still having these high-production cows,” says Woodford, the Devil in the Milk author, who has in more recent years worked as a consultant for A2 Corp.

But the transition to A2 milk would take a bit of money and a lot of time—probably about a decade, Woodford believes. “The mainstream industry has always seen it as a threat,” he says, “whereas another way of looking at it is, hey, this can actually bring more people to drinking milk.”

Indian cows produce A2 milk. 

For now, here in the United States, the best way to get milk with a higher-than-average A2 content is to buy it from a dairy that uses A2-dominant cow breeds such as the Jersey, the Guernsey, or the Normande. In Northern California, for example, Sonoma County’s Saint Benoit Creamery specifies on its milk labels that it uses “pastured Jersey cows.”

The heirloom A2 cow breeds tend to be hardy animals adapted to living on the open range and not producing a ton of milk, but what they do produce is comparatively thicker, creamier, and, many people say, a lot tastier than what you’ll typically find at the supermarket.

“People taste our milk and they say: ‘Oh my gosh, I haven’t tasted milk like this since I left home,'” and came to America, says Warren Taylor, the owner of Ohio’s Snowville Creamery, which has been phasing out A1 cows from its herds. For the time being, the switch to A2 milk “is going to be for the small producers—people like us,” he adds. “It’s just a part of our responsibility.”

A Natural Protein in Breast Milk That Fights HIV.


For decades, public health officials have puzzled over a surprising fact about HIV: Only about 10-20 percent of infants who are breastfed by infected mothers catch the virus. Tests show, though, that HIV is indeed present in breast milk, so these children are exposed to the virus multiple times daily for the first several months (or even years) of their lives.

Now, a group of scientists and doctors from Duke University has figured out why these babies don’t get infected. Human breast milk naturally contains a protein called Tenascin C that neutralizes HIV and, in most cases, prevents it from being passed from mother to child. Eventually, they say, the protein could potentially be valuable as an HIV-fighting tool for both infants and adults that are either HIV-positive or at risk of contracting the infection.

The research, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was inspired by previous work by other researchers showing that, both in tissue cultures and live mice, breast milk from HIV-negative mothers was naturally endowed with HIV-fighting properties. Scientists suggested that a few different proteins in the milk could potentially be responsible, but no one knew which one.

As part of the study, the researchers divided breast milk into smaller fractions made up of specific proteins via a number of filters—separating the proteins by size, electrical charge and other characteristics—and tested which of these fractions, when added to a tissue culture, prevented the cells from being infected by HIV. Eventually, using mass spectrometry, they found that one particular protein was present in all the HIV-resistant fractions but in none of the others: Tenascin C.


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“The protein works by binding to the HIV envelope, and one of the interesting things is that we were even able to narrow down exactly where on the envelope it binds,” says Sallie Permar, the study’s lead author. Her team found that the protein binds to a crucial region on the virus’ envelope that normally locks onto a receptor called CCR5 on the outside of human T cells,allowing it to fuse its membrane with the cell’s. With the region covered up by Tenascin C, HIV’s normal route of attack is blocked, and the virus’ effectiveness is greatly diminished.

Still, the researchers say that other natural elements in milk might play a role in fighting HIV as well. “It’s clearly not the whole story, because we do have samples that have low amounts of this protein but still have HIV-neutralizing activity,” Permar says. ”So it may be acting in concert with other antiviral and antimicrobial factors in the milk.”

Whatever those other factors are, though, the finding vindicates recent changes to UN guidelines that recommend even HIV-positive mothers in resource-poor countries should breastfeed, if they’re taking anti-retroviral drugs to combat their own infection. That’s because—as statistics bear out—the immense nutritional and immune system-boosting benefits of breast milk outweigh the relatively small chance of transmitting HIV through breastfeeding. Tenascin C, it seems, is a big part of why that transmission rate is surprisingly low, and sufficient access to anti-retroviral drugs can help drive it even lower—as low as 2 percent.

The next steps, Permar says, are determining which area of Tenascin C is active in binding to HIV and whether it can effectively prevent transmission in a live animal, as opposed to a tissue culture. If it works, it could potentially be incorporated into an HIV drug with broader applications. Possible uses include giving it in a concentrated form to infants who can’t breastfeed or even administering it to those who do to increase their level or resistance. It’s even conceivable that it could someday be adapted to reduce the risk of HIV transmission in adults as well.

One immediate advantage, says Permar, is that “it’s like to be inherently safe, because it’s already a component for breast milk. It’s something babies eat everyday.” Other potential treatments, on the other hand, must be screened for toxicity.

Tenascin C’s presence in breast milk, though, prompts a deeper question: Why would milk naturally include a protein that battles HIV, a virus that evolved extremely recently in our evolutionary history, sometime in the early 20th century?

“I don’t think it’s in breast milk to combat HIV specifically, but there have been other, related infections that have passed through breastfeeding,” Permar says. “Our work has shown that Tenascin C’s activity isn’t specific to HIV, so we think it’s more of a broad-spectrum anti-microbial protein.”

In other words, Tenascin C is effective at combating a large variety of infections (perhaps related to its role in adults, where it holds various types of tissue together, necessitating receptors that can bind to a wide array of different cells). The fact that it happens to bind at just the right spot on HIV’s outer envelope so that it combats the virus’ transmission, as Permar puts it, is “a gift from evolution.”