We grow up learning that milk is a very good source of protein and calcium. We get exposed to many advertisements and health propaganda promoting drinking a few glasses of milk a day to get the proper nutrition we need.
We human are the only species that feed on cow milk to our young and continue to drink milk or take milk products even after weaning. The sad truth is that there are many side effects of consuming milk.
Before we look at what are the side effects, let’s have a look at the composition of milk:
- Water – 87.7%
- Carbohydrate (lactose) – 4.9%
- Fat – 3.4% (65% saturated, 30% mono-unsaturated, 5% poly-unsaturated)
- Protein – 3.3% (80% casein)
- Mineral – 0.7% (10% magnesium, 90% calcium)
Based on the known composition of milk plus the other unknown, here are the side effects on our health:
1) Respiratory problems
Milk has strong mucus forming substance that thickens the mucus in the respiratory system, clogging up the respiratory passages, causing irritation. This can lead to allergies, running nose, asthma and bronchitis.
Contrary to popular believe that milk gives strong bones and teeth, drinking milk can cause osteoporosis. Western diets consist of a lot on milk based products, but the incidents of osteoporosis is higher in the West compared to people on Eastern diets where milk based products are not a regular feature.
The metabolism of milk creates an acidic environment in the body. The body has to neutralize the acidic by drawing calcium and sodium from the bone. Therefore, calcium is leached out of the bone causing osteoporosis.
3) Growth hormone
In most dairy farms, cows are injected with recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone ( rBGH) to increase the production of milk in the cows by 20%. rBGH cause the cow’s udder to be inflamed and this could trigger a whole host of reactions:
- Inflammation caused pus to be secreted in the udder. Pus is a contaminant and bacteria found in the pus can cause Crohn’s disease.
- Increase in Insulin like growth factor ( IGF-1) in the udder which goes into the milk. 1998 Harvard School Public Health reported in Science that men with high IGF-1 have 4.3% increase risk of developing prostate cancer.
- The cow will naturally produce antibodies to counter the inflammation. These antibodies go into the milk
4) Skin problems
A report in the Journal of Dermatology 27 October 2009 linked acne production to the consumption of milk. Fat protein, sugar and hormones in the milk irritate the skin causing acne production. Many milk producing cow are pregnant, which produce hormones that are released into the milk. This milk will stimulate the production of sebum in the skin
Whiteley P from the University of Sunderland, Faculty of Applied Science reported a study in the Nutrition Neuroscience April, 2010. 72 children age between 4 to 10 years old were given a gluten and casein free diet for 24 months. They were found to have improvement in autism symptoms.
Casein is the main protein in milk. This protein is treated like a false opiate type chemistry causing behavioural issues. Taking cow milk out of the diet reverses autistic syndromes in autistic children in the study.
6) Lactose intolerance
Lactose is the naturally occurring sugar in the milk. Lactase, the enzyme that digests lactose in the body, decreases naturally after weaning. So consumption of milk after weaning will give the problem. Allergic reaction to the milk itself can also manifest as lactose intolerance.
Stay away from cow milk. Substitute with soy milk or oat milk. You will get the nutrition you need from alternative sources without the problems listed above.
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