Milk is a Natural?
by Don Bennett, DAS
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
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
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.
Lies? Milk Myths Debunked
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.
Lets 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
Myth 2: Drinking
milk can help you lose weight
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 industrys misleading campaigns about milk
and weight control. In response, the government no longer allows
advertising campaigns to claim that dairy products lead to weight
Myth 3: Milk
is natures perfect food
might be ideal for growing baby cows, but its 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
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
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 Americas 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.
here to see typical dietary recommendations regarding milk... recommendations
that are incorrect and unhealthy.
Drink Chocolate Milk
A Milk Message -
Examples of Advertising Tricks
- Rocket Fuel for Cancer
New Prostate Cancer
Studies Implicating Milk
The Milk Letter: A
Message to My Patients (This is a long article,
but VERY enlightening)
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