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Health101.org
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Milk is a Natural?

by Don Bennett, DAS

     "Milk Does a Body Good, Milk Has Something for Everyone, Milk is a Natural, Got Milk?" We've all been subjected to the American Dairy Association's TV programming regarding milk. You've seen well-known public figures sporting milk mustaches. But how much do you really know about this white liquid?
      Admittedly, the ads are catchy and entertaining. But do these clever commercials say anything more than, "DRINK MILK"? Do they speak to our intellect with facts that support their contention that milk is good for us, or are these 60 second bits of TV programming crafted merely to appeal to our psychological wants and desires? (Mmm, milk 'n cookies. Mmm, don't those milk-drinking models look good. Hmm, drink milk, be famous!) Does the ad's message, "Milk has calcium for strong bones" mean that milk is good for our bones? What good is calcium if your body doesn't make effective use of it due to interference from milk's other factors (very acid forming).
      Let's take an in-depth look at milk consumption. As we give thought to this topic, we need to set-aside for a moment everything we think we know, and use logic and common sense. We know we're designed to drink our mother's milk for sustenance prior to our consumption of solid food. No other mammal continues to drink milk after this period, yet we do. Mammal milks vary in design from animal to animal. Human milk is different from cow milk is different from dog milk, etc. In the case of bovine baby vs. human baby, cow milk is designed to nourish the calf's relatively rapid bone growth (a calf will gain approximately 40% of its full-grown weight in its first six months, while a human baby will gain only about 10%). A human infant's brain experiences more rapid growth compared to that of a calf, and logic would dictate that its mother's milk provides for that. This would explain why mammal milks have different compositions; they are uniquely designed for those who are intended to consume it.
      Two questions now present themselves: Why are we the only species that continues to drink milk after it's time to be weaned from it? And why is this milk from another species? One possible answer: It has become a profitable industry. And any time a profitable product of questionable value is promoted by large corporations, can mis- and dis-information be far behind? An expression comes to mind: Let the buyer beware.
      Some people have trouble digesting milk and other dairy products. This condition has been termed "lactose intolerance". But might this be a normal condition? Assuming we're not supposed to consume milk past childhood, the fact that it gives some adults digestive problems would be normal wouldn't it? If this is so, why do drug companies regard it as an abnormal condition; something to be treated with over-the-counter medications?
      Here's a story that didn't make the front page: There are watchdog groups that scrutinize media advertising, looking for false or deceptive statements. When the TV ad campaign, "Milk Does a Body Good" aired, a lawsuit was initiated by just such a group charging that, while cow's milk does a calf's body good, it's questionable whether it does a human's body good, thus the ad could be deceptive in nature. The case was settled out of court; the milk people agreeing to discontinue the ad if the suit was dropped. The ad was replaced with, "Milk: It Has Something For Everyone"; a meaningless statement if ever I've heard one, but one that was sure not to be challenged.
      And did you know that: Milk is one of the foundations of heart disease, and an explanation for America's number one killer? That milk is a reason one out of six American women will develop breast cancer? That twenty-five million American women over the age of forty have been diagnosed with arthritis and osteoporosis, and these women have been consuming in excess of two pounds of milk products a day for their entire adult lives? That the calcium in milk is not adequately absorbed, and milk consumption is a probable cause of osteoporosis? That the countries with the highest per capita consumption of dairy products have the highest incidence of osteoporosis? That milk is responsible for allergies, colic, colitis, earaches, colds and congestion in young children? That research indicates a bovine protein in milk destroys insulin-producing beta cells of the human pancreas causing diabetes? And that sixty-percent of America's dairy cows have leukemia virus?
      Got milk? I think a better question is: Want milk?
      If you find the above hard to believe, read Milk: The Deadly Poison by Robert Cohen (available at Barnes & Noble). If you must have "milk", why not consider a dairy alternative: almond milk, or rice milk. For those with a blender, you can even make your own; there are "nut milk" recipe books.
      While we're on the subject, the best T-shirt I've ever seen sported a drawing of a cow. Under this cow were two people on their hands and knees drinking her milk as a baby calf would, and the caption read, "MILK IS A NATURAL?"
      Those of you with access to the Internet, do visit www.notmilk.com for some fascinating information on this very misunderstood subject.
      So remember, what you don't know CAN hurt you! And what may also do you great harm is what you know, that just ain't so.

 

White Lies? Milk Myths Debunked

Recently, a study was called into question for suggesting that chocolate milk could be beneficial for teens recovering from concussions. Not surprisingly, the study was funded by the dairy industry. For decades, milk marketers have been spreading misleading information about the supposed health benefits of dairy products. Thanks to these marketing campaigns, milk myths abound in our culture. But science doesn't support them. Let’s take a look at five common claims about dairy products:

Myth 1: Milk builds strong bones

The dairy and bone health link is one of the most pervasive milk myths. One large-scale Harvard study followed 72,000 women for two decades and found no evidence that drinking milk can prevent bone fractures or osteoporosis. Another study of more than 96,000 people found that the more milk men consumed as teenagers, the more bone fractures they experience as adults. Similarly, another study found that adolescent girls who consumed the most calcium, mostly in the form of dairy products, were at greater risk for stress fractures than those consuming less calcium.

Myth 2: Drinking milk can help you lose weight

While advertisers would like you to believe that drinking milk can slim you down, studies consistently show that dairy products offer zero benefits for weight control. One major study even found that dairy products might lead to weight gain. In 2005, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine petitioned the FTC to put an immediate end to the dairy industry’s misleading campaigns about milk and weight control. In response, the government no longer allows advertising campaigns to claim that dairy products lead to weight loss.

Myth 3: Milk is “nature’s perfect food”

Cow’s milk might be ideal for growing baby cows, but it’s far from a perfect food for humans. More than 60 percent of people are lactose intolerant, which can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like cramping, diarrhea, and bloating (and lactose intolerance as an adult is natural, not a condition to be treated). Regular consumption of dairy products has also been linked to prostate cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Myth 4: Kids need milk to be healthy

After babies are weaned from breast milk, they do not need any type of milk to be healthy. Milk consumption during childhood has even been linked to colic and type 1 diabetes. Another study found no evidence that low-fat milk plays any role in preventing childhood obesity.

Myth 5: Milk is heart-healthy

Milk and other dairy products are the top sources of artery-clogging saturated fat in the American diet. Milk products also contain dietary cholesterol. Diets high in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease, which remains America’s top killer.

Myth 6: "Milk, it does a body good"

If we're talking about a human body, then, no, cow's milk does not do a body good. And when the dairy industry launched this ad campaign, they were sued because of this fact. They settled out of court with the provision that the ad had to be stopped immediately, and replaced by another ad that had to be approved. The replacement ad campaign that the milk industry came up with was: "Milk: It Has Something For Everyone". Since this was a meaningless statement, there was no choice except to approve it.

So, do you like being taken advantage of? Because that's what the dairy industry is doing: taking advantage of you for the sake of profit at the expense of your health.

 

Click here to see typical dietary recommendations regarding milk... recommendations that are incorrect and unhealthy.

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Want Osteoporosis? Drink Chocolate Milk
A Milk Message - Examples of Advertising Tricks
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New Prostate Cancer Studies Implicating Milk
The Milk Letter: A Message to My Patients (This is a long article, but VERY enlightening)
Milk Makes Japanese Kids Grow Taller
Not Milk! - An MD Speaks Out Against Milk Products
Early Sexual Maturity and Milk Hormones
Scientist Says Cancer Linked to Dairy Products