Does Milk Really Do The Body Good? Calcium and Protein: A Mixture For Disaster
By: Mark J. Occhipinti, M.S. , Ph.D, NDc.
It is a documented fact that consumption of dairy products can lead to the development of atherosclerosis, heart attack and strokes, and that high fat dairy products contain unsafe levels of environmental contaminants, including pesticide residues, antibiotics and estrogen steroids. 1,2 In addition, research has demonstrated a “calcium wash” along with other critical minerals (potassium, magnesium, and iron ) from the blood stream, causing a negative calcium balance which will result with an intake of only 24 ounces of dairy products daily. 3
Low animal protein diets create a positive calcium balance, meaning bones are not losing calcium; and high animal protein diets create a negative calcium balance, meaning osteoporosis is developing. As a result of this research data, low fat dairy products are now in vogue with many people assuming this to be a health advantage. However, as a result of their higher protein concentrations, low, especially nonfat dairy products, have been shown to make a greater contribution to osteoporosis, kidney problems and certain forms of cancers. 4
Dairy products are the leading culprit in food allergies. Low fat varieties are actually more allergenic due higher protein concentration. 5 In addition, it has been stated that dairy products cause a miraid of problems within the small intestines by interfering with intestinal permeability, thereby allowing large fragments of proteins to enter into the blood stream. This is also known as “leaky gut syndrome”. This can lead to a host of physical problems, including irritable bowel syndrome, malabsorption of nutrients, and obesity, mineral and amino acid deficiencies. 6
A STARTING POINT
A mother produces breastmilk containing antibodies to infectious agents that a newborn might be exposed to. If a mother breast feeds her newborn, a process known as diathelic immunity takes place, in which the baby receives the necessary antibodies to fight infection. 7 During the first 72-96 hours after childbirth, breastmilk contains colostrum, which carries immunoglobulins that greatly enhance the newborn’s immunity against disease. Babies deprived of colostrum have considerably higher rates of viral and bacterial infections. 8
During the first 6 months of life, a babies small intestines are highly permeable, to allow the maximum absorption of breastmilk, and antibodies. During this “leaky gut” period, the baby is most vulnerable to developing allergies. 9 An abundance of articles have pinpointed that allergies to dairy products begin in a new born’s small intestines as a result of bottle feeding (either cow’s milk directly or formula. Bottle fed babies suffer more of the following: pneumonia, middle-ear infections, respiratory infections, bacterial meningitis, neo-natal septicemia, thrush, and viral illnesses, including polio and herpes simplex. 10,19,20
In fact, the risk of influenza and spinal meningitis for bottle fed babies is as much as sixteen times greater than the risk for breastfed babies. 11 Recent, comprehensive studies involving thousands of babies bottle feed found a direct correlation with the development of immune system disorders, including diabetes, chronic liver disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, spastic bowel disease, food allergies, obesity, coronary heart disease, and multiple sclerosis. 12
The medical profession and the media encourage the public to drink milk and eat dairy products because “it does the body good”. Nothing could be further from the truth! Higher calcium and protein intake is proported to lower the incidence of osteoporosis according to the Dairy Council and the dietitians that refuse to study the medical literature that is not in accordance with the Dairy Industry Commandments. Dr. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., professor of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, is the Director of the China-Oxford Cornell Study, the largest study of diet and disease in medical history. His findings: higher animal calcium and animal protein intake is the primary cause of degenerative disease. 13
In February, 1995, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) lodged a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, stating that ads for milk and milk products are deceptive in that they imply that calcium in milk is the answer to the bone loss caused by osteoporosis.
PCRM holds that while calcium intake is important during early childhood and does influence bone mass, there are alternative sources, besides animal products, such as fruits, vegetables and grains to achieve our necessary calcium requirements of usable organic calcium. According to the research conducted by PCRM, milk consumption later in life actually contributes to calcium loss.
Research has demonstrated in countries with a lower animal calcium intake ( 1,200 mgs/day.14 PCRM urges women to control calcium loss in adulthood by exercise, reducing meat intake, reducing sodium intake and limiting caffeine and tobacco use. 15 Dr. Neal Barnard, M.D., president of PCRM, states that dairy ads give women a dangerously false sense of security”.
The PCRM further asseses that cow’s milk may cause diabetes, ovarian cancer, cataracts, iron deficiency, and allergies in both children & adults. Medical research also has made the association between cancer of the lymph system and the consumption of whole milk dairy products. 16,17 Whole milk and dairy products including milk, ice creasm, cheese contain fat soluble pesticides residues, sulfa drugs and antibiotics (the dairy industry labels this practice: BIO SECURITY) that have been linked to cancer in laboratory animals. 4,17,25
Milk Does Not Protect Women From Osteoporosis
Milk consumption does not protect against fractures, according to new data from the Harvard Nurses Study. The study recruited a group of 77,761 women who were between 34 and 59 years of age when the study began in 1980, and followed them for the next 12 years. 28 Those who drank three or more glasses of milk per day that is promoted by the Dairy industry had no reduction at all in the risk of hip or arm fractures compared to those women who did not consume any dairy products. Even after adjustments were made for weight, menopausal status, smoking and alcohol consumption and exercise levels.
In fact, but not surprisingly, the fracture rates were higher for those who consumed three plus servings (8 ounces per serving), compared to those who did not drink milk. 28
The findings resonate with international comparisons that show that fracture rates in Scandinavia, England, Canada, Denmark and other area where dairy consumption takes place is significantly higher than those countries were dairy consumption does not take place (Pacific Rim Nations, Africia, China).
The differences are the result of two other factors. First, in international studies, genetics play a role, with white women at higher risk than other groups. Second, other animal protein greatly increase calcium loss via the kidney.
Recognizing a dramatic rise in the number of Americans with osteoporosis (loss of bone mass, causing bone to become honeycombed, shrunken, brittle, and easily broken), the National Academy of Science, National Institutes of Health, and the USDA collaborated to raise the recommended daily calcium intake from 1000 mg. to 1500 mg. for kids over 10, women, and everyone past 50. And in 1993, the USDA allowed a bone-health claim for milk, reports Dr. Robert Heaney of Creighton University, Omaha. Dairy products are rich in calcium, to be sure; but they are also rich in protein. Dr. Vijaya Venkat of the Health Awareness Centre, Prabhadevi, Mumbai, India points out that nutritionists the world over believe that the Western diet provides too much protein. “There is too much protein in bovine milk, protein we do not need at all.” The particular proteins in milk (and other animal sources) “produce acidic ash in the blood. Since our blood has to be slightly alkaline all the time, the body withdraws calcium from the bones to neutralize this acid. Excess protein will weaken the bones,” Dr. Venkat writes. There are plenty of plant sources for calcium, researchers note. Citrus fruits, legumes, nuts, soy, and anything green. “Fruits and vegetables yield an alkaline ash, and don’t deplete calcium stores,” Alan Lamm reports. Citing research, he explains: “Meat, eggs, milk products, and fish are the most acid-forming foods. High protein diets lead to a gradual decrease in bone density.” Lamm, summarizing a study embraced by all the anti-milk journalists, reports that osteoporosis and its resulting bone fractures are most common in countries where dairy consumption is highest: Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Scandinavian countries. In an article in the August 28, 1997 News-Observer, Dr. Neal D. Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, writes: “The real causes of osteoporosis are the five factors that leach calcium from the bones: Animal protein, caffeine, sodium, tobacco, and sedentary lifestyle.” Dr. Venkat, states “(Osteoporosis) is a degenerative disease resulting from improper care of your body during younger and middle years.” The Harvard Nurses Study In recent writings, the research cited most often (by American writers, at least) is the Harvard Nurses Study, which investigated osteoporosis and bone loss in women. Dr. Robert M. Kradjian of Seton Medical Center at Daly City, Calif., explains, from 1980 to 1992 the Harvard Nurses Study followed 77,761 women between ages 34 and 59 to determine the relationship between milk consumption and osteoporosis. Dr. Kradjian and Dr. Bernard both report the bottom-line results of the study: “Those who drank three or more glasses of milk per day had no reduction in the risk of hip or arm fractures over the 12-year period, compared to women who drank little or no milk, even after adjustment for weight, menopausal status, smoking, and alcohol use.” Dr. Kradjian, adds “Fracture rates were higher for those who consumed three or more servings, compared to those who did not drink milk.” Milk: The Long White Trail Research, some of it done 30 years back and some reported only weeks ago, documents a long list of milk negatives. The thesis: Milk does a body harm. And milk’s adversaries, whose numbers are growing, have a boxcar load of studies to support them. Cow’s milk lacks essential fatty acids human infants need for neurological development. Babies drinking whole milk in their first two yearsdevelop allergies, colic, diabetes; milk causes internal bleeding in children, which contributes to anemia. Milk protein attacks the immune system. Cow’s milk contains “antibiotics (up to 84 different at last count), pesticides, chemicals, hormones(rBGH), blood, white cells (pus)(1/30 of every ounce), and bacteria from mastitis (udder infection)” which the USDA and FDA either do not test for (they do test for 4 of the up to 84 anti-biotics used), or which they allow to be present in unacceptably high levels. Various studies found “significant positive correlations” between milk intake and lung and ovarian cancers, leukemia, and Crohn’s disease. And, possibly, lung and prostrate cancers, Dr. Kradjian notes, but with reservations: “the weight of evidence” suggests it’s the animal fat in milk which triggers the growth of cancer cells. This implies that meat is equally damaging. “At least half of human adults” are lactose intolerant, which offers proof, according to Dr. Kradjian, that “cow’s milk was never intended for human consumption.” Milk consumption does not protect women fromosteoporosis; in fact, it may cause it. The body withdraws calcium from the bones to neutralize the proteins and lactic acids in milk. References:
1. Koop, E. The Surgeon’s General’s Report. Wash.Pub. No. 88-50210. 1988.
2. Werbach, R. Nutritional Influences on Illness.Tarz,Ca.1988.
3. Report of the Task Force on the Assessment of the Scientific Evidence Relating to Infant-Feeding Practices and Infant Health. Pediatrics, 74:579; 1984.
4. McDougall, J.M.D. Diet for A New America, 1992
5. .Welch,J. “Anti-Infective Properties of Breast Milk,” J. Of Pediatrics, 94:1, 1979.
6. “Allergy and Cot Death: With Special Focus on Allergic Sensitivity to Cow’s Milk Anaphylaxis,” Clin & Exp. Allergy, 20:359, 1990.
7. Goldman,A. “Host Resistance Factors in Human Milk,” J. Of Ped.82:1082; 1973.
8. Liebman, B. “Baby Formulas: Missing Key Fats?” Nutr. Action, October, 1990.
9. Ironside,A. “A Survey of Infantile Gastroenteritis,” British Med J, 3:20, 1907.
10. Robbins,J. May they All Be Fed. Chapter 6, 1992.
11. Erasmus Udo, Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, 2nd Ed. 1993.
12. Kaplan, S,M.D. Diet for A New America, Chapter 4, 1991.
13. McDougall, J. Ibid.
14. Erasmus,U. Ibid.
15. Barnard,N. M.D., Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Conference, 1995.
16. Ursin, G. et. al. Milk Consumption & Cancer Incidence: A Norwegion Prospective Study. British J. of Cancer G1 no. 3, Mar. 1990, pp 456-459
17. Goldberg, Burton, The Group, Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, Future Medicine Pub. 1996
18. Duggan, R. Dietary Intake of Pesticide chemicals in the United States, Pesticides Monitoring Journal, 2:140;1969
19. Bahna, S. Common Manifestations of Cow’s Milk Allergy in Children, Lancet, 1:304; 1978
20. Bahna, S. Cow’s Milk Allergy: Pathogenesis, Manifestations, Diagnosis, and Management, Advances In Pediatrics, 25:1; 1978
21. Eastham, E. Adverse Effects of Milk Formula Ingestion on the Gastrointestinal Tract-An Update, Gastroenterology, 76:365; 1979
22. Gerrard, J. Milk Allergy: Clinical Picture and Familial Incidence. Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, 97:780; 1967
23. Boat, T. Hyperactivity to cow’s Milk in Young Children: Journal of Pediatrics, 87:23; 1975
24. Jakobsson, I. Cow’s Milk Allergy as a Cause Of Infantile Colic, Australian Pediatric Journal, 13:276; 1977
25. Should Humans Drink Milk? Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Guide to Healthy Eating, Nov.-Dec., 1990, pp 10
26. Moll, L. FDA Milk Testing Is Not Enough, Vegetarian Times, April, 1991, pp16
27. Human Food Safety and the Regulation of Animal Drugs Report, 99th Congress, 1st Session (HR):99-461, 1985; testimony of Michael Jacobson
28. Feskanich, D., et al. Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12 year prospective study, Am J. Publ Health, 1997; 87:992-7
Robert M. Kradjian, M.D., a division chief at Seton Medical Centre, Daly City, Calif., http://www.afpafitness.com/MILKDOC.HTM
Dr. Vijaya Venkat of Health Awareness Centre, Prabhadevi, Mumbai, India, http://www.internetindia.com/health/health.htm
Alan Lamm, author and Kinesiologist/Homoeopath, http://www.alanlam.demon.co.uk/dyk3.htm
Neal D. Barnard, M.D., president, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington, D.C., http://www.sai.com/pcrm