5 Health Claims About Cow’s Milk That You Need to Quit Believing

GP

Let’s get to the low down and dirty on dairy in a few words: it’s a bad choice! But don’t let us be the one to tell you that. How about Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Neal Barnard, T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Mercola,Dr. Joel Kahn, and Dr. Joel Fuhrman?

Forbes magazine even detailed a study conducted in Britain at the end of last month that proves dairy milk is a bad choice. The milk drinkers in the study were not only more likely to die of cancer and heart disease, but also at a higher risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis. Then there’s the issue of vitality and wellness. Dr. Joel Kahn, a vegan cardiologist, explains that a life without dairy (and meat, fish, and eggs) is full of vitality, choices, and heart healthy nutrition.

Milk Myths From Mass Media Marketing 

But the mass amount of marketing from the media would like you to believe otherwise. The “Got Milk?” campaign slogan is still booming with popularity as The National Dairy Council uses celebrities to promote the use of milk in our culture. Children are told they need at least three servings a day to grow up big and strong, and trendy fitness foods like Muscle Milk and Power Bars are promoted to athletes looking to pump up their muscles with some protein. But let’s get real here: we don’t need milk to be strong, healthy, or fit. 

1. It’s Natural

Since more people are aware of dairy milk’s dangers these days, milk marketers are attacking non-dairy milk choices as unnatural or inferior sources. But let’s think about this for a minute: how is processing some almonds into milk any less natural than mechanically milking a pregnant cow that’s been impregnated multiple times a day (via artificial insemination, aka raped) who has udders that are likely infected and filled with bacteria? Keep in mind that that same cow’s children she gives birth to are stripped away from her at the moment of birth. That milk has to be extensively cleaned and heated (pasteurized), which destroys some the nutrients actually found in milk, so some nutrients are added back into the milk after processing. Hmm..doesn’t sound too natural to us!

2. It’s a Good Source of Biological Protein

Everyone knows plants contain protein by now, so the new health claim regarding milk and protein is that it’s higher in its BV (biological value.) What a stretch! Don’t believe the myth that you need mammary liquid from another animal to get enough protein. If you don’t need milk from your mother after a certain age, why would use need breast milk from an animal? Plenty of plants are packed with protein and offer plenty of beneficial protein with none of the harmful side effects of dairy. You don’t even have to combine foods (like rice and beans) as we once thought to get enough. Try some of our favorite sources.

3. It Prevents Osteoporosis

Cow’s milk has been found to promote osteoporosis, not prevent it. Because dairy is so acidic and inflammatory, it’s been found to cause excessive bone loss, debunking the myth that calcium from dairy is the best option. What builds your bones? Greens, nuts, seeds, seaweed, beans, and legumes- all of our favorite foods!

4. It Keeps You Strong

Athletes often believe they need whey protein, milk, yogurt, or dairy-based fitness foods to keep them strong and build lean muscle. Again, wrong! Thanks to plants that encourage muscle strength, decrease inflammation, and promote greater satiety than dairy-based products, not one bit of dairy is needed to keep you strong. Learn How to Get Stronger on a Plant-Based Diet and how this vegan bodybuilder gets fit and buff without one bit of dairy in his diet.

5. It Keeps You Thin

The newest trendy health claim about dairy is that it promotes weight loss and a smaller waistline. You don’t need dairy to maintain a healthy weight or even lose weight. In fact, weight loss is one of the first benefits most people notice when they approach a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle. While small amounts of dairy may not lead to weight gain, it isn’t a ‘must-have’ for weight loss, to say the least. And while a junk-food plant-based diet isn’t the answer to a healthy weight either, no one can argue that a balanced, whole foods, plant-based diet will help you reach a healthy weight naturally.

How To Go Dairy-Free:

Though dairy is one of the hardest foods for people to give up, it’s completely doable. Pick up some non-dairy milk, coconut or almond yogurt in place of dairy yogurt, try a vegan cheese or make your own, and go for coconut butter or non-dairy butter in place of regular butter.

Here are some helpful resources to ease you into the transition away from dairy easily and deliciously:

So while the popular endorsed saying might not be “Got Kale?”, we can change that when we continue to ignore the media hype surrounding the ridiculous health claims given to cow’s milk. Check out our entire dairy-free living section to read up on our best tips and get some food tips for working dairy-free calcium into your diet and join us in a dairy-free, delicious lifestyle!

Image Source: bluewaikiki.com/Flickr

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Here’s Why Cow’s Milk Doesn’t Do a Body Good

Milk marketing campaigns will have you believe that if you don’t consume the recommended three 8 ounce servings of dairy a day, that likely, you’ll fall over and die from a bone fracture, develop osteoporosis, or become puny and weak. But use your brain- dairy milk was made for cows by nature to make them big and bulky- something I doubt any of us are aspiring to.

The Low Down and Dirty on Dairy

Cow’s milk also contains the milk protein casein, a natural drug-like chemical found in milk that has addictive properties. This is helpful for baby cows since it keeps them coming back for more breast milk from their mothers, which they need to be healthy and strong. But do we need casein? Obviously not, since this protein has been linked to cancer, food addictions, diabetes, and more.

Also consider that over 10,000 years ago, when animal domestication began, no one consumed cow’s milk to get their calcium, Vitamin D, or protein – they ate mostly plants for these benefits. Though breastfeeding is recommended for humans (and all other mammals), we weren’t designed to consume milk from our species after a certain age. Why in the world would we continue to breastfeed from another species? This is essentially what we’re doing when we drink cow’s milk, mind you. Only pregnant cows produce milk, and many are impregnated multiple times a day due to the high increase for milk demand in this country. With that not only comes animal cruelty, but also extra hormones from the pregnant, lactating cows. Yum, right?

Why Dairy Milk is Not a Health Drink

Millions of people suffer from lactose intolerance a day, therefore avoiding dairy. And guess what? They’re absolutely fine. Lactose is a sugar found in milk that’s not only hard to digest, but also high in calories. A glass of skim milk is not a low calorie beverage, despite what marketing claims would have you believe. It still contains 12-13 grams of sugar, all from lactose. This not only contributes to higher insulin levels, but also added calorie intake. A glass of unsweetened almond milk on the other hand? You’re looking at 30 calories, 0 grams of sugar, 50 percent more calcium than dairy milk, and only 2 grams of fat, all from the healthy almonds the milk is made from. Which do you think is the real health drink?

What About Bone Health?

In case you haven’t heard, dairy milk has consistently been linked to causing osteoporosis and bone loss. A study published by JAMA Pediatrics this year, followed over 100,000 men and women for more than two decades, from their teenage years into their adulthood. Those who consumed dairy milk were found to have no greater protection against fractures or bone loss compared to those who didn’t consume dairy milk. However, a study in THE BMJ found that increased dairy consumption was associated with a much greater risk of bone fractures and death. Well now, there’s something you won’t see on the “Got Milk?” campaign slogan!

Something Else The Dairy Industry is Hiding

Aside from health, let’s talk about the low down and dirty on the environment- something most people don’t think about when turning up a glass of moo milk. There are 270 million dairy cows in the United States used for milk production. Cow’s manure and dairy milk processing contributes to higher levels of CO2 from greenhouse gas emissions, which also has a negative impact on climate change. This not only means we’re breathing all of these gases and emissions from manure back in, but also means that the manure, pesticides, hormones, and herbicides used for feeding dairy cowsare being dumped back into our local water resources by irresponsible dairy milk producers.

Don’t trust a milk label- it’s designed to make you think you need milk to be healthy and you don’t.Protein and calcium are found abundantly in plants, and plant-based milks are an incredible alternative to dairy-based milk. Ditching dairy– now that’s what really does a body good.

Image Source: Andrew Magill/Flickr

This content provided above is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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10 Fascinating Facts About Cow’s Milk

A side from hearing that cow’s milk helps bones grow strong, what else do you “know” about it? In the USA, we grow up hearing all about the benefits of dairy milk. We are told we need to drink it to be healthy. But, do we really? Are there any cold, hard facts about milk that contradict this health claim? There certainly are! Here are ten fascinating facts about cow’s milk.

1. Dairy has been linked to a host of health problems!

10 Fascinating Facts About Cow's MilkPCRM/Wikimedia/Wikimedia

2. High dairy consumption means a higher rate of osteoporosis.

10 Fascinating Facts About Cow's MilkThe Journal of Nutrition/elizalO/Flickr

3. Despite the happy imagery we often see of cows in the grass, dairy farms pollute the Earth.

10 Fascinating Facts About Cow's MilkFAO/Wikipedia

4. “Dairy Farms?” Or maybe we can call them slaughter houses?

10 Fascinating Facts About Cow's MilkUSDA/Wikimedia Commons

5. The amount of lactose intolerant people is more numerous than you think!

10 Fascinating Facts About Cow's MilkPCRM/Wikimedia Commons

6. Sorry cows – soybeans are far superior to your milk. 

10 Fascinating Facts About Cow's MilkHarvard/Wikimedia Commons

7. Got plants?

10 Fascinating Facts About Cow's MilkOne Green Planet/Wikimedia Commons

8. It’s strange when you really stop to think about it, right?

10 Fascinating Facts About Cow's MilkOne Green Planet/Chris Booth/ Flickr

9. Would you like some pus with that glass of milk? 

10 Fascinating Facts About Cow's MilkHeise Health Clinic/Wikimedia Commons

10. Movin’ on over to the green side!  

10 Fascinating Facts About Cow's MilkWall Street Journal/Wikimedia Commons

Now that you’ve read the facts, click here for dozens of brands of plant-based milks and hundreds of options to choose from. You’re bound to find one to meet your individual tastes and nutritional needs! Then, check out these fantastic nut milk recipes.

This content provided above is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

482 COMMENTS ON “10 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT COW’S MILK”

Milk and Prostate Cancer: The Evidence Mounts

milk

Could milk cause prostate cancer? Here are the facts: Major studies suggesting a link between milk and prostate cancer have appeared in medical journals since the 1970s. Two of six cohort studies (research studies following groups of people over time) found increased risk with higher milk intakes. Five studies comparing cancer patients to healthy individuals found a similar association. One of these, conducted in northern Italy, found that frequent dairy consumption could increase risk by two and one-half times.1

In 1997, the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research concluded that dairy products should be considered a possible contributor to prostate cancer. And yet another research study came out in April 2000 pointing to a link between dairy and prostate cancer: Harvard’s Physicians’ Health Study followed 20,885 men for 11 years, finding that having two and one-half dairy servings each day boosted prostate cancer risk by 34 percent, compared to having less than one-half serving daily.2

A Smoking Gun?

Researchers are looking, not only at whether milk increases cancer risk, but how. The answer, apparently, is in the way milk affects a man’s hormones. Dairy products boost the amount of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) in the blood. In turn, IGF-I promotes cancer cell growth.3-5 A small amount is normally in the bloodstream, but several recent studies have linked increased IGF-I levels to prostate cancer and possibly to breast cancer as well.

Milk does other mischief. Its load of calcium depletes the body’s vitamin D, which, in turn, may add to cancer risk. Most dairy products are also high in fat, which affects the activity of sex hormones that play a major role in cancer.

And it would come as no surprise that milk might affect the growth of cancer cells. After all, its biological purpose is to support rapid growth in all parts of a calf’s body. After the age of weaning, calves (like all mammals) have no need for milk at all, and there is never a need to drink the milk of another species.

Researchers are investigating whether dairy products might be culprits in other forms of the disease. Ovarian cancer, in particular, may be linked to galactose, a sugar produced from the milk sugar lactose. Yogurt, cheese, “lactose-free” milk, and other dairy products contain substantial amounts of galactose.

Other parts of the diet affect cancer risk, too. Meat and fatty foods in general are implicated in increased risk, while tomatoes, watermelons, and other bright red fruits contain lycopene, which reduces cancer risk.

The bottom line: While researchers will study the causes of cancer for years to come, health-conscious families may well want to trade dairy—and all animal products—for a healthy, vegan diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. When to make the switch? Evidence suggests that the earlier in life healthy diet habits begin, the better your protection.

What!? Does Everything Cause Cancer?

As a matter of fact, no. Whole grains, beans and other legumes, vegetables, and fruits are cancer fighters. Plant foods are low in fat, high in fiber, and loaded with protective cancer-fighting nutrients. But animal products—meat, dairy, eggs—are linked to several forms of the disease. They contain plenty of fat to harbor cancer-causing chemicals and to drive up the levels of cancer-promoting hormones in your body. They have no fiber that would normally sweep carcinogens from your digestive tract and are low in cancer-fighting antioxidants. And under cooking temperatures, the creatine, amino acids, and natural sugars in meat can actually turn into cancer-causing chemicals.

A cancer-prevention diet includes plenty of:

  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, asparagus
  • Fruits: strawberries, kiwi, melon, bananas, apples
  • Whole grains: breads, cereal, oatmeal, pasta, rice
  • Legumes: beans, peas, lentils

The most healthful diets eliminate meat, dairy products, eggs, and fried foods. To make the transition easy, you may wish to use rice milk, soymilk, meat substitutes, or egg substitutes.

References
1. World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Re-search. Food, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. American Institute for Cancer Research, Washington, D.C., 1997, p. 322.
2. Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Ma J, Ajani U, Gaziano JM, Giovannucci E. Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physicians’ Health Study. Presentation, American Association for Cancer Research, San Francisco, April 2000.
3. Cohen P. Serum insulin-like growth factor-I levels and prostate cancer risk—interpreting the evidence. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1998;90:876-879.
4. Cadogan J, Eastell R, Jones N, Barker ME. Milk intake and bone mineral acquisition in adolescent girls: randomised, controlled intervention trial. BMJ. 1997;315:1255-1260.
5. Heaney RP, McCarron DA, Dawson-Hughes B, et al. Dietary changes favorably affect bone remodeling in older adults.J Am Dietetic Asso. 1999;99:1228-1233.

Health Concerns about Dairy Products

Dairy

 

Many Americans, including some vegetarians, still consume substantial amounts of dairy products—and government policies still promote them—despite scientific evidence that questions their health benefits and indicates their potential health risks.

Bone Health

Calcium is an important mineral that helps to keep bones strong. Our bones are constantly remodeling, meaning the body takes small amounts of calcium from the bones and replaces it with new calcium. Therefore, it is essential to have enough calcium so that the body doesn’t decrease bone density in this remodeling process. Though calcium is necessary for ensuring bone health, the actual benefits of calcium intake do not exist after consumption passes a certain threshold. Consuming more than approximately 600 milligrams per day—easily achieved without dairy products or calcium supplements—does not improve bone integrity.1

Clinical research shows that dairy products have little or no benefit for bones. A 2005 review published in Pediatrics showed that milk consumption does not improve bone integrity in children.2 In a more recent study, researchers tracked the diets, physical activity, and stress fracture incidences of adolescent girls for seven years, and concluded that dairy products and calcium do not prevent stress fractures in adolescent girls.3 Similarly, the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, which followed more than 72,000 women for 18 years, showed no protective effect of increased milk consumption on fracture risk.1

It is possible to decrease the risk of osteoporosis by reducing sodium intake in the diet,4,5 increasing intake of fruits and vegetables,5,6 and ensuring adequate calcium intake from plant foods such as kale, broccoli, and other leafy green vegetables and beans. You can also use calcium-fortified products such as breakfast cereals and juices. Soybeans and fortified orange juice are two examples of products which provide about the same amount of calcium per serving as milk or other dairy products.7

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to increase bone density and decrease the risk of osteoporosis,8,9 and its benefits have been observed in studies of both children and adults.8,10-11

Individuals often drink milk in order to obtain vitamin D in their diets, unaware that they can receive vitamin D through other sources. Without vitamin D, only 10-15 percent of dietary calcium is absorbed.12

The best natural source of vitamin D is sunlight. Five to 15 minutes of sun exposure to the arms and legs or the hands, face, and arms can be enough to meet the body’s requirements for vitamin D, depending on the individual’s skin tone.13 Darker skin requires longer exposure to the sun in order to obtain adequate levels of vitamin D. In colder climates during the winter months the sun may not be able to provide adequate vitamin D. During this time the diet must be able to provide vitamin D.

Few foods naturally contain vitamin D, and no dairy products naturally contain this vitamin. Therefore, fortified cereals, grains, bread, orange juice, and soy or rice milk exist as options for providing vitamin D through the diet.14 Supplements are also available.

Fat Content and Cardiovascular Disease

Dairy products—including cheese, ice cream, milk, butter, and yogurt—contribute significant amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat to the diet.15Diets high in fat and especially in saturated fat can increase the risk of heart disease and can cause other serious health problems.

A low-fat, plant-based diet that eliminates dairy products, in combination with exercise, smoking cessation, and stress management, can not only prevent heart disease, but may also reverse it.16,17

Cancer

Consumption of dairy products has also been linked to higher risk for various cancers, especially to cancers of the reproductive system. Most significantly, dairy product consumption has been linked to increased risk for prostate18-20 and breast cancers.21

The danger of dairy product consumption as it relates to prostate and breast cancers is most likely related to increases in insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which is found in cow’s milk.22 Consumption of milk and dairy products on a regular basis has been shown to increase circulating levels of IGF-1.23,24 Perhaps the most convincing association between IGF-1 levels and cancer risk is seen in studies of prostate cancer. Case-control studies in diverse populations have shown a strong and consistent association between serum IGF-1 concentrations and prostate cancer risk.25 One study showed that men with the highest levels of IGF-1 had more than four times the risk of prostate cancer, compared with those who had the lowest levels.26 In the Physicians Health Study, tracking 21,660 participants for 28 years, researchers found an increased risk of prostate cancer for those who consumed ≥2.5 servings of dairy products per day as compared with those who consumed ≤0.5 servings a day.19 This study, which is supported by other findings,27,28 also shows that prostate cancer risk was elevated with increased consumption of low-fat milk, suggesting that too much dairy calcium, and not just the fat associated with dairy products, could be a potential threat to prostate health.

In addition to increased levels of IGF-1, estrogen metabolites are considered risk factors for cancers of the reproductive system, including cancers of the breasts, ovaries, and prostate. These metabolites can affect cellular proliferation such that cells grow rapidly and aberrantly,29 which can lead to cancer growth. Consumption of milk and dairy products contributes to the majority (60-70 percent) of estrogen intake in the human diet.

In a large study including 1,893 women from the Life After Cancer Epidemiology Study who had been diagnosed with early-stage invasive breast cancer, higher amounts of high-fat dairy product consumption were associated with higher mortality rates. As little as 0.5 servings a day increased risk significantly. This is probably due to the fact that estrogenic hormones reside primarily in fat, making the concern most pronounced for consumption of high-fat dairy products.

The consumption of dairy products may also contribute to development of ovarian cancer. The relation between dairy products and ovarian cancer may be caused by the breakdown of the milk sugar lactose into galactose, a sugar which may be toxic to ovarian cells.30 In a study conducted in Sweden, consumption of lactose and dairy products was positively linked to ovarian cancer.31 A similar study, the Iowa Women’s Health Study, found that women who consumed more than one glass of milk per day had a 73 percent greater chance of developing ovarian cancer than women who drank less than one glass per day.32

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is common among many populations, affecting approximately 95 percent of Asian-Americans, 74 percent of Native Americans, 70 percent of African-Americans, 53 percent of Mexican-Americans, and 15 percent of Caucasians.33 Symptoms, which include gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, and flatulence, occur because these individuals do not have the enzyme lactase to digest the milk sugar lactose. When digested, the breakdown products of lactose are two simple sugars: glucose and galactose. Nursing children have active enzymes that break down galactose, but as we age, many of us lose much of this capacity.34Due to the common nature of this condition, and in order to avoid these uncomfortable side effects, milk consumption is not recommended.

Contaminants

Milk contains contaminants that range from hormones to pesticides. Milk naturally contains hormones and growth factors produced within a cow’s body. In addition, synthetic hormones such as recombinant bovine growth hormone are commonly used in cows to increase the production of milk.35Once introduced into the human body, these hormones may affect normal hormonal function.

When treating cows for conditions such as mastitis, or inflammation, of the mammary glands, antibiotics are used, and traces of these antibiotics have occasionally been found in samples of milk and dairy products. This treatment is used frequently, because mastitis is a very common condition in cows, due to dairy product practices which have cows producing more milk than nature intended.

Pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and dioxins are other examples of contaminants found in milk. Dairy products contribute to one-fourth to one-half of the dietary intake of total dioxins.36 All of these toxins do not readily leave the body and can eventually build to harmful levels that may affect the immune, reproductive, and the central nervous systems. Moreover, PCBs and dioxins have also been linked to cancer.37

Other contaminants often introduced during processing of milk products include melamine, often found in plastics, which negatively affects the kidneys and urinary tract due to their high nitrogen content,38 and carcinogenic toxins including aflatoxins. These are additionally dangerous because they are not destroyed in pasteurization.39

Milk Proteins and Diabetes

Insulin-dependent (type 1 or childhood-onset) diabetes is linked to consumption of dairy products in infancy.40 A 2001 Finnish study of 3,000 infants with genetically increased risk for developing diabetes showed that early introduction of cow’s milk increased susceptibility to type 1 diabetes.41In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics observed up to a 30 percent reduction in the incidence of type 1 diabetes in infants who avoid exposure to cow’s milk protein for at least the first three months of their lives.42

Health Concerns for Children and Infants

Milk proteins, milk sugar, fat, and saturated fat in dairy products pose health risks for children and encourage the development of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. While low-fat milk is often recommended for decreasing obesity risk, a study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhoodshowed that children who drank 1 percent or skim milk, compared with those who drank full-fat milk, were not any less likely to be obese.43Moreover, a current meta-analysis found no support for the argument that increasing dairy product intake will decrease body fat and weight over the long term (>1 year).44

For infants, the consumption of cow’s milk is not recommended. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants below 1 year of age not be given whole cow’s milk,45 as iron deficiency is more likely due to the low amount of iron found in cow’s milk as compared with human breast milk.46 Colic is an additional concern with milk consumption. Up to 28 percent of infants suffer from colic during the first month of life.47Pediatricians learned long ago that cow’s milk was often the reason. We now know that breastfeeding mothers can have colicky babies if the mothers consume cow’s milk. The cow’s antibodies can pass through the mother’s bloodstream, into her breast milk, and to the baby.48,49

Additionally, food allergies appear to be common results of cow’s milk consumption, particularly in children.50,51 Cow’s milk consumption has also been linked to chronic constipation in children.52

Conclusions

Milk and dairy products are not necessary in the diet and can, in fact, be harmful to health. It is best to consume a healthful diet of grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fortified foods including cereals and juices. These nutrient-dense foods can help you meet your calcium, potassium, riboflavin, and vitamin D requirements with ease—and without facing the health risks associated with dairy product consumption.

References

1. Feskanich D, Willett WC, Colditz GA. Calcium, vitamin D, milk consumption, and hip fractures: a prospective study among postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;77:504–511.
2. Lanou AJ, Berkow SE, Barnard ND. Calcium, dairy products, and bone health in children and young adults: a reevaluation of the evidence.Pediatrics. 2005;115:736–743.
3. Sonneville KR, Gordon CM, Kocher MS, Pierce LM, Ramappa A, Field AE. Vitamin D, calcium, and dairy intakes and stress fractures among female adolescents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012;166:595-600.
4. Reid DM, New SA. Nutritional influences on bone mass. Proceed Nutr Soc. 1997;56:977–987.
5. Lin P, Ginty F, Appel L, et al. The DASH diet and sodium reduction improve markers of bone turnover and calcium metabolism in adults. J Nutr. 2001;133:3130–3136.
6. Tucker KL, Hannan MR, Chen H, Cupples LA, Wilson PWF, Kiel DP. Potassium, magnesium, and fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with greater bone mineral density in elderly men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;69:727–736.
7. National Institutes of Health. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center. Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Bone_Health/Nutrition/. Accessed September 24, 2013.
8. Prince R, Devine A, Dick I, et al. The effects of calcium supplementation (milk powder or tablets) and exercise on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. J Bone Miner Res. 1995;10:1068–1075.
9. Going S, Lohman T, Houtkooper L, et al. Effects of exercise on bone mineral density in calcium-replete postmenopausal women with and without hormone replacement therapy. Osteoporos Int. 2003;14:637–643.
10. Lunt M, Masaryk P, Scheidt-Nave C, et al. The effects of lifestyle, dietary dairy intake and diabetes on bone density and vertebral deformity prevalence: the EVOS study. Osteoporos Int. 2001;12:688–698.
11. Lloyd T, Beck TJ, Lin HM, et al. Modifiable determinants of bone status in young women. Bone. 2002;30:416–421.
12. Holick MF, Garabedian M. Vitamin D: photobiology, metabolism, mechanism of action, and clinical applications. In: Favus MJ, ed. Primer on the Metabolic Bone Diseases and Disorders of Mineral Metabolism. 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Society for Bone and Mineral Research; 2006:129-137.
13. Holick M. The vitamin D epidemic and its health consequences. J Nutr. 2005;135:2739S–2748S.
14. Zhang R, Naughton D. Vitamin D in health and disease: current perspectives. Nutr J. 2010;9:65.
15. Warensjo E, Jansson JH, Berglund L, et al. Estimated intake of milk fat is negatively associated with cardiovascular risk factors and does not increase the risk of a first acute myocardial infarction. Br J Nutr. 2004;91:635–642.
16. Szeto YT, Kwok TC, Benzie IF. Effects of a long-term vegetarian diet on biomarkers of antioxidants status and cardiovascular disease risk. Nutrition. 2004;20:863–866.
17. Ornish D, Brown SE, Scherwitz LW, et al. Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? Lancet. 1990;336:129–133.
18. Qin L, Xu J, Wang P, Tong J, Hoshi K. Milk consumption is a risk factor for prostate cancer in Western countries: evidence from cohort studies. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16:467–476.
19. Song Y, Chavarro JE, Cao Y, et al. Whole milk intake is associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality among U.S. male physicians. J Nutr. 2013;143:189-196.
20. Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Ma J, Gann PH, Gaziano JM, Giovannucci E. Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physicians’ Health Study.Am J Clin Nutr. 2001;74:549-554.
21. Kroenke CH, Kwan ML, Sweeney C, Castillo A, Caan Bette J. High-and low-fat dairy intake, recurrence, and mortality after breast cancer diagnosis.J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013;105:616-623.
22. Voskuil DW, Vrieling A, van’t Veer LJ, Kampman E, Rookus MA. The insulin-like growth factor system in cancer prevention: potential of dietary intervention strategies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005;14:195–203.
23. Cadogan J, Eastell R, Jones N, Barker ME. Milk intake and bone mineral acquisition in adolescent girls: randomised, controlled intervention trial. BMJ. 1997;315:1255–1260.
24. Qin LQ, He K, Xu JY. Milk consumption and circulating insulin-like growth factor-I level: a systematic literature review. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2009;60:330-340.
25. Cohen P. Serum insulin-like growth factor-I levels and prostate cancer risk—interpreting the evidence. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1998;90:876–879.
26. Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci E, et al. Plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 and prostate cancer risk: a prospective study. Science. 1998;279:563–565.
27. Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Ma J, Gann PH, Gaziano JM, Giovannucci E. Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physicians’ Health Study.Am J Clin Nutr. 2001;74:549–554.
28. Tseng M, Breslow RA, Graubard BI, Ziegler RG. Dairy, calcium and vitamin D intakes and prostate cancer risk in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Epidemiologic Follow-up Study cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;81:1147–1154.
29. Farlow DW, Xu X, Veenstra TD. Quantitative measurement of endogenous estrogen metabolites, risk-factors for development of breast cancer, in commercial milk products by LC-MS/MS. J Chromatogr B. 2009;877:1327-1334.
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Would We Be Healthier With a Vegan Diet?

 

A July 2012 Gallup poll puts the percentage of American adults who say they consider themselves vegetarian at 5%, and those who consider themselves vegans—who eat no meat or dairy products—at 2%.

Do they know something everyone else doesn’t?

Far more Americans in a 2006 Gallup poll said they eat red meat and dairy regularly: 60% and 71%, respectively.

But of course, that isn’t necessarily confirmation of the benefits of meat and dairy: Good health, like good sense, does not always reside with the majority.

No one is arguing that Americans should be required to eat meat or dairy products—or broccoli, for that matter. For many people, the decision comes down to convenience, habit and taste.

But whatever you currently like to eat, digging into some of the issues that define this debate could be good for your health. Indeed, there’s obviously more at stake here than pleasing our taste buds.

What does science say on the subject? Here, two scientists offer their thoughts.

T. Colin Campbell, who argues that a vegan diet is healthier than diets that include meat and dairy products, is professor emeritus of nutritional sciences at Cornell University and co-author of “The China Study.” Nancy Rodriguez, who says it’s healthy to eat meat and dairy products as part of a balanced diet that includes each of the major food groups, is a professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Connecticut, in Storrs.

Yes: Cut Animal-Based Protein

By T. Colin Campbell

I was raised on a dairy farm. I milked cows until starting my doctoral research over 50 years ago at Cornell University in the animal-science department. Meat and dairy foods were my daily fare, and I loved them.

G. Hodges/Jon Reis PhotographyT. COLIN CAMPBELL: This diet ‘can prevent and even reverse 70% to 80% of existing, symptomatic disease.’

When I began my experimental research program on the effects of nutrition on cancer and other diseases, I assumed it was healthy to eat plenty of meat, milk and eggs. But eventually, our evidence raised questions about some of my most-cherished beliefs and practices.

Our findings, published in top peer-reviewed journals, pointed away from meat and milk as the building blocks of a healthy diet, and toward whole, plant-based foods with little or no added oil, sugar or salt.

My dietary practices changed based on these findings, and so did those of my family. So, what is this evidence that has had such an impact on my life?

In human population studies, prevalence rates of heart disease and certain cancers strongly associate with animal-protein-based diets, usually reported as total fat consumption. Animal-based protein isn’t the only cause of these diseases, but it is a marker of the simultaneous effects of multiple nutrients found in diets that are high in meat and dairy products and low in plant-based foods.

Trojan Horse

Historically, the primary health value of meat and dairy has been attributed to their generous supply of protein. But therein lay a Trojan horse.

More than 70 years ago, for example, casein (the main protein of cow’s milk) was shown in experimental animal studies to substantially increase cholesterol and early heart disease. Later human studies concurred. Casein, whose properties, it’s important to note, are associated with other animal proteins in general, also was shown during the 1940s and 1950s to enhance cancer growth in experimental animal studies.

 

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credit info is included on the chart

Casein, in fact, is the most “relevant” chemical carcinogen ever identified; its cancer-producing effects occur in animals at consumption levels close to normal—strikingly unlike cancer-causing environmental chemicals that are fed to lab animals at a few hundred or even a few thousand times their normal levels of consumption. In my lab, from the 1960s to the 1990s, we conducted a series of studies and published dozens of peer-reviewed papers demonstrating casein’s remarkable ability to promote cancer growth in test animals when consumed in excess of protein needs, which is about 10% of total calories, as recommended by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences more than 70 years ago.

One of the biggest fallacies my opponent presents is that a diet including meat and dairy products is the most efficient way of giving the body the nutrients it needs with a healthy level of calories. Plant-based foods have plenty of protein and calcium along with far greater amounts of countless other essential nutrients (such as antioxidants and complex carbohydrates) than meat and dairy.

Higher-protein diets achieved by consuming animal-based foods increase the risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and many similar ailments, caused by excess protein and other unbalanced nutrients as well.

It’s also worth noting that the government recommendations for certain population groups to increase their protein and iron consumption come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an agency long known to be subservient to the meat and dairy industries.

The dairy industry has long promoted the myth that milk and milk products promote increased bone health—but the opposite is true. The evidence is now abundantly convincing that higher consumption of dairy is associated with higher rates of bone fracture and osteoporosis, according to Yale and Harvard University research groups.

Pain Relief

Some of the most compelling evidence of the effects of meat and dairy foods arises when we stop eating them. Increasing numbers of individuals resolve their pain (arthritic, migraine, cardiac) when they avoid dairy food. And switching to a whole-food, plant-based diet with little or no added salt, sugar and fat, produces astounding health benefits. This dietary lifestyle can prevent and even reverse 70% to 80% of existing, symptomatic disease, with an equivalent savings in health-care costs for those who comply.

The Wall Street Journal

This treatment effect is broad in scope, exceptionally rapid in response (days to weeks) and often, lifesaving. It cannot be duplicated by animal-based foods, processed foods or drug therapies.

By contrast, any evidence that low-fat or fat-free-dairy foods reduce blood pressure is trivial compared with the lower blood pressure obtained and sustained by a whole-foods, plant-based diet.

Based on the scientific evidence, and on the way I feel, I know beyond any doubt that I am better off for having changed my diet to whole and plant-based foods.

Dr. Campbell is professor emeritus of nutritional sciences at Cornell University and co-author of “The China Study.” He can be reached at reports@wsj.com.

No: It’s a Question of Balance

By Nancy Rodriguez

For years a wealth of scientific research has supported the idea that healthy nutrition begins with a balanced diet consisting of the basic food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains and protein and dairy.

University of ConnecticutNANCY RODRIGUEZ: ‘It is simply untrue to suggest that animal protein causes cancer.’

Each group offers nutrients that are essential to our health. Experts agree that the most important thing to remember when considering a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is that essential nutrients removed from the diet with the elimination of meat or dairy need to be obtained from other foods.

Individuals who stop eating meat and dairy products are at risk of not getting enough calcium, vitamin D, protein, vitamin B12, zinc and iron in their diets—all nutrients that come mostly from food products derived from animals.

What happens then? Insufficient calcium and vitamin D can compromise bone structure. Lack of zinc can hinder growth in children. B12 and iron assist production of red blood cells, which deliver oxygen throughout the body. Proteins are essential for building and maintaining muscle and keeping our brains healthy. And animal proteins provide all the essential amino acids, nutrients our bodies cannot make on its own.

Calorie Efficiency

Including dairy and meat in a balanced diet can be an important way to get essential nutrients without excess calories—a key consideration given concerns about our overweight and undernourished nation. Our average daily consumption of dairy products, for example, provides more than half of the recommended daily amount of calcium and vitamin D in our diets, for only one-tenth of the calories. A three-ounce serving of beef has less than 10% of the calories in a typical 2,000-calorie-a-day diet while supplying more than 10% of the daily value for 10 essential nutrients.

Contrary to popular belief, Americans aren’t eating too much protein. According to Economic Research Service data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the daily caloric contribution of flour and cereal products increased by about 200 calories per person from 1970 to 2008, compared with only a 19-calorie increase from meat, eggs and nuts.

The Dietary Guidelines (the U.S. government’s science-based nutritional recommendations, compiled and issued every five years) have noted that some Americans need more protein, and that adequate consumption of iron and B12 (both found in lean meat) is a concern for specific population groups. The Dietary Guidelines are founded on evidence-based, peer-reviewed scientific literature, and take into account the entire body of research, not just a single study.

Proponents of a vegan diet paint a grim picture of the effects of animal protein on human health. But the effects of powdered, isolated casein on rats tells us very little about what traditionally consumed forms of milk will do to humans. And it tells us nothing that can be generalized to all “animal nutrients.” Casein is one of many proteins found in milk and is recognized around the world for its nutritional quality.

It is simply untrue to suggest that animal protein causes cancer. The American Cancer Society, along with other leading health organizations, emphasizes that the effects of foods and nutrients need to be considered in the context of the total diet. Research from many sources shows that other factors, such as not smoking, responsible alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight and regular physical activity, are much more important to reducing cancer risk than eating or avoiding any individual food.

There is scientific evidence that low-fat or fat-free dairy and lean meat, as part of a balanced diet, produce specific health benefits such as reducing blood pressure. Fat-free, low-fat and reduced-fat options are widely available, as are lactose-free milk and milk products. Many of the most popular beef cuts are lean, including top sirloin, tenderloin, T-bone steak and 95% lean ground beef.

Calcium Question

Finally, contrary to my opponent’s assertions, dairy’s role in strengthening bones has long been established by the nutrition and science community. Don’t take just the Dietary Guidelines’ word. Dozens of randomized, controlled, clinical trials—the gold standard in research—have demonstrated that calcium and dairy products contribute to stronger bones. These trials far outweigh any observational studies which, by their very design, cannot show a causal relationship between eliminating meat and dairy foods and a subsequent improvement in health.

Government and public health organizations around the globe encourage daily consumption of dairy foods to promote good health and help prevent disease. We all have emotional and cultural connections to various foods; many of us have opinions on what to eat, how much and why. But appreciating the science behind nutrition helps us make smart choices about the best way to feed ourselves and the world.

Dr. Rodriguez is a professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. She can be reached at reports@wsj.com.

Boy-recovers-from-autism-by-removing-dairy

Boy Recovers From Autism By Removing Dairy & Gluten

Autism rates around the planet are rising and many are asking questions about how they can best treat or remedy symptoms to increase quality of life overall.

Ethan Fox began showing strong signs of Autism recovery when his diet was changed to no longer include gluten and dairy. Ethan’s parents acted on the advice of Dr. Kenneth Bock who is an autism specialist and author of ‘Healing The New Childhood Epidemics. Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies.’ It is believed that changing an autistic child’s diet to no longer include gluten and dairy can assist 60% of children with the disorder.

There is much concern that the rise in autism is directly linked to the rise in vaccines since the early 1990′s. While this theory has been debunked on several occasions by mainstream health, many independent studies are confirming the link, suggesting that mainstream health has a vested benefit in the continuation of their practices. Many researchers in the field strongly believe the current vaccine schedule is unsafe and health professionals are turning a blind eye to the real and factual results. Many arguments against the mainstream approach to this research is that they have not properly studied or tested the link between autism and vaccines and therefore are irresponsibly drawing conclusions.

Autism in the U.S. alone has increased by over 2700 percent since 1991. It was at that point that vaccines for children doubled, and even today we still see an increase in the number of immunizations. Before 1991, 1 in 2500 children were diagnosed with autism whereas now 1 in 91 children are diagnosed.

Although research by Epidemiologist Tom Verstraeten and Dr. Richard Johnston, an immunologist and pediatrician from the University of Colorado, both determined that thimerosal was responsible for the sudden rise in cases of autism, their findings were quickly dismissed by the CDC.

The graph illustrates the link between the MMR vaccine and the rise in autism

The graph illustrates the link between the MMR vaccine and the rise in autism

Further research on the link between a gluten free diet having positive results for autistic children is furthered by the a study focused solely on dietary therapy for children with autism. I have included a link to the study in the sources, below is an excerpt from the study’s abstract.

‘We report the history of a child with autism and epilepsy who, after limited response to other interventions following her regression into autism, was placed on a gluten-free, casein-free diet, after which she showed marked improvement in autistic and medical symptoms. Subsequently, following pubertal onset of seizures and after failing to achieve full seizure control pharmacologically she was advanced to a ketogenic diet that was customized to continue the gluten-free, casein-free regimen.’

– See more at: http://documentarylovers.com/news/boy-recovers-from-autism-by-removing-dairy-gluten/#sthash.oSeKaOHA.dpuf

Low fat and Skim Milk Linked to Increased Prostate Cancer Risk

While total calcium and vitamin D intake does not appear to impact the risk of prostate cancer, consuming your 3-a-day of dairy in the form of low fat or skim milk may actually increase the risk of malignancy, according to two studies recently published in the American Journal of Epidemiology …

 

Past research had indicated a potential link between dietary calcium and dairy product intake and prostate cancer, though the supporting evidence was not clear.  In order to explore this topic further, these two large studies were launched.

The first was led by Dr. Song-Yi Park, from the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.  His group conducted a Multiethnic Cohort Study of 82,483 men between the ages of 45 and 75, from 1993 to 2002.  During that time, 4,404 of the men developed prostate cancer.  No association was found between calcium and vitamin D and prostate cancer, regardless of if the source was via supplements or dietary intake. However, consumption of low fat and nonfat milk was related to an increased risk, while whole milk correlated with a decreased risk of total prostate cancer.  The study does suggest that an association with milk consumption may vary by fat content, particularly for early forms of this cancer.

Another study, led by Dr. Yikyung Park, from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, produced similar results.  Their research was conducted between 1995 and 2001, following 293,888 men.

Similar to the findings out of the University of Hawaii, skim milk was linked with advanced prostate cancer. In contrast, calcium intake from non-dairy foods was actually tied to a reduced risk of non-advanced prostate cancer.

If you aren’t interested in increasing your fat and calorie intake, but have concerns of prostate cancer risk, then perhaps green tea would be the best beverage of choice.  A third study published in December, found that men who drank five or more cups a day may cut their risk of developing advanced prostate cancer in half, when compared to those men who drank less than one cup a day.

Further studies will be required to solidify any of these possible connections.

SOURCES:
American Journal of Epidemiology, December 1, 2008.
Reuters: Nonfat Milk Linked to Prostate Cancer

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About Alisa Fleming

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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