Answers to Questions About Milk

After a review of 56 articles was published in the Journal Pediatrics (the voice of the American Academy of Pediatrics-See below) in March 2005, documenting that milk does not strengthen bones, stunned reporters in Salt Lake City took to the streets to interview people. Just about all the mothers with a mic in their face stated they didn’t care and they would continue to give milk to their children. In my opinion, this signals that no amount of evidence will any time soon undo the perception that “milk does a body good.” Nonetheless, here are some answers to posted responses and more references. But, the best is for you do do your own research. Don’t take my word or anybody else’s as the final arbiter.

Are there no nutritional benefits to milk?

There are many nutritional benefits to milk; it has many amino acids, sugars, vitamins and minerals. In fact, the most perfect food is milk, as long as it is our own mother’s. The problem is the downside of milk. So, the cost-benefit analysis will depend on your own opinion and how much you love the taste…. and sugar. Milk is much like processed red meat. These foods are very nutritious, but, the incidence of health problems to both is well documented. In a pinch (famine, etc) we do well to eat both. But, as a daily food they are problematic.

Is the calcium or some other component of milk the cause of increased cancer risk?

No, it’s the growth hormones, antibiotics and pesticides given to cows to increase yield and profits. In addition, milk from cows or any other non human species has insulin from those foreign species, which increases not only the risk of diabetes in humans, but also the risk of cancer, since insulin acts like growth hormone. The calcium in milk is the reason why the industry claims that milk strengthens bones. But, its acidity and inflammatory effects on the gut curtail the absorption of minerals, so the net result is a much lower rate of absorption of calcium, not enough to significantly strengthen bones.

Are all forms of milk equally bad for you (whole, 2%, skim)?

No. The more processed the milk is, the worse it is for us. Cottage cheese seems to be the worst. Taking out fat out of milk does help those who have cholesterol problems; however, many of those people need to also eliminate excessive sugar, which is a concern in milk, too (lactose.) I believe “sugarholics” are the ones who find it nearly impossible to give up milk, ice cream and cheese.

“Would soda be a preferred beverage to milk or is water the only acceptable beverage for a healthy diet?”

Soda is just as bad for different reason, but equally addicting, in my opinion. It is the millions of dollars in advertisement by the food industry that creates the unfortunate impression that beverages are limited to soda and milk. After discouraging processed fruit juices prepared with High Fructose Corn Syrup, I encourage my patients to drink pure, organic, refrigerated carrot juice, in addition to green tea, and Pom wonderful. Any fruit and veggies juice will do. If you have weight or metabolic problems, try to get used to diluting these juices with water. After losing the addicting taste of excessive sugar, people find that q combination of 1/3 juice and 2/3 water is an excellent treat and very nutritious. Isn’t it amazing that our society feels that water is not good enough?

More references:

“Studies probe microbes in raw milk, swine,” JAMA 2007;298:1388

Legalizing raw milk is ill advised
76% of the time it has Listeria monocytogenes and Coxiella burnetti. The latter is more virulent.
“Diet Gains Legitimacy as Potential Factor in Acne,” J. Skin and Allergy news, May 2008, page 9. Report on Annual Hawaii Dermatology Seminar, Waikoloa, 2008

· Milk, high sugar, high fat diets the culprit

· 6.096 girls aged 9-15 drinking more milk had more acne. And 4,273 teen boys had more acne with milk consumption, J. Am Acad Derm 2008 [doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2007.08.049]

· Mik has progesterone, dihydrotestosterone precursors, somatostatin, prolactin, insulin growth factor-releasing hormone, insulin-like growth factors1 and 2, and other substances that could stimulate pilosebaceous activity, J. Am Acad Dermatol 2005;52:360

· No acne in natives in Paraguay and Papua New Guinea, because they don’t eat refined foods

· A low glycemic diet lowers insulin resistance and improves acne, J. Am Acad Derm 2007;57:247

· Low glycemic diet has 30 % more fiber than average diets and substantially more poly unsaturated fats, both of which decrease androgen levels that worsen acne, J. Am Acad Derm 2007;57:1092

Ovarian cancer risk higher with milk

J. Lancet 2006;367:797,

“To realize tea’s health benefits, hold the milk,”

European Heart J., January 9th, 2007

“Cow’s milk allergy,” J. Skin and Allergy News, January 2006, page 49

Even though half of children who develop milk allergy by 7 months of age develop tolerance by 2 years of age, those who are IgE positive tend to remain allergic longer. These children, by the time they turn 8.6 years old, have more asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, atopic eczema, urticaria, and more allergies in general. This study included 6,209 children, 118 of which had their allergy to milk confirmed by an elimination challenge (J. Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2005;116:869.)
Milk associated with autism

J. Applied Nutrition 1990;42:1

“Calcium, dairy products, and bone health in children and young adults,” J. Pediatrics 2005;115:736

* 58 studies reviewed. Most of them found no relationship between dietary calcium intake, and measurement of bone health.

* Dairy consumption is among highest in the USA, yet, osteoporosis and fracture rates are also high.

* Animal protein, including milk, is associated with urinary calcium losses.

* Doubling protein intake in creases loss of calcium by %50.

* Physical activity in 12-18 year-olds strengthens bones more than calcium intake.

* “We found no evidence to support the notion that milk is a preferred source of calcium.

* The NIH does not say that milk is the preferred source of calcium. Only the industry interpreted it so.

* “Calcium in dairy products is not as well absorbed as that in many dark green leafy vegetables… Dairy products contain protein and sodium (the latter competeswith calcium), and some dairy products, especially processed cheeses, clearly increase the urinary excretion of calcium as a result of the increase sodium, sulphur containing amino acids, and phosphorus content. Although dairy products tend to contain more calcium I absolute amounts than calcium-rich plant foods, when absorption fraction is taken into account, the amount of plant food needed to get the same amount of absorbable calcium is modest. For example, one cup of cooked kale or turnip greens, 2 packets of instant oats, two thirds cup of tofu, or 1 2/3 cups of broccoli provide the same amount as 1 cup of milk, as would 1 cup of fortified orange juice, soy milk, or basic 4 cereal.”

“Dairy products do not lead to alterations in body weight or fat mass,” American J. Clinical Nutrition 2005;81:751

“Experts charge new US dietary guidelines pose daunting challenge for the public,” says the JAMA 2005;293:918

“The health benefits of milk have been contradictory… there are many reasons to be suspicious of the need to have 3 cups of milk a day.”

J. Allergy 2004;59:1017

Cow’s milk increases risk of wheezing attacks

Children fed cow’s milk early in life are more obese as adults, and have more hypertension and Heart disease (AJCN, May 2003.)

“Acne vulgaris: a disease of western civilization,”
J. Arch Derm 2002;138:1584

It comes from processed food high in refined sugars and low in essential fatty acids and micronutrients. Acne is not seen in primitive societies eating the paleolithic diet.

“Got Milk? Got acne? New research suggests link,” Atlantic Dermatology Conference, J. Skin and Allergy News, June 2004, p6

* Harvard study with 47,000 participants.

* It’s not just raging hormones… There are multiple sources of hormones that turn into the male hormone 5 alpha dihydrotestosterone, a driving force behind acne, and milk is one of them… There is a high volume of hormones produced in the milk of cows, particularly when pregnant… [it] contains progesterone and other steroid hormones… [which] break down ito dihydrotestosterone.”

* Milk also increases levels of IGF-1 which promotes acne through hyperkeratinization.”

Milk allergy on the rise: 1/3 of practice if Ped G.I. fellow

J. Family Practice News, April 2004, p91

Breast milk higher in Linoleic acid is linked to mother’s consumption of cow’s milk. The higher the Linoleic acid of breast milk, the higher the chances of eczema developing in child by one year of age (J. Allergy 2004;59:394.)

Estrogen in milk increases risk of prostate cancer

J. Med Hypothesis 2004;62:133

Daily consumption of ½ L of milk increases the risk of Diabetes three times. It goes up to 5 times in genetically susceptible children.

J. Diabetes 2000;49:912

Viruses may trigger Diabetes type I by sensitizing children to bovine insulin through GALT AM J. Clin Nut 2003;78:1053

“Cow’s milk protein-sensitive enteropathy at school age”

J. Pediatrics 2001;139:797

* Milk sensitivity does not disappears by age 3-5 yrs.

* Children did better with allergies off milk

* Cow’s milk associated with lymphonodular hyperplasia in duodenun

* Later in life: development of celiac dz? Breast feeding protects against celiac dz

Am J. Clin Nut 2002;75:914

Milk causes immune response in intestinal mucosa (J. Ann All Asthma, Imm 2003;90:348.)

GERD and Cow milk allergy (J. Pediatrics 2002;110:972.)

J. Ann Neurology 2002;52:793

Dairy consumption raises risk of Parkinson’s Disease.

Book “Eat, drink and be healthy,” Dr Willet, Harvard

* Misinformation and old food pyramid: “shaky scientific grounds”

* Examples: “All fats are bad, all carbs are good, eat lots of dairy to prevent osteoporosis”

* “No long term studies have shown reduced risk of fractures with high milk intake”

* “Whether the USDA is capable of revising the pyramid without being influenced by meat and dairy lobbying remains to be seen.”

* New concepts: glycemic index, differences in fats and carbs

* New pyramid: whole grains and oils at the bottom, then fruits (2-3) and veggies in abundance

Then nuts, legumes

Then Fish, poultry, eggs

Then dairy of Calcium supplement

Then Red meat, butter and high glycemic foods.

“Dairy consumption, obesity and the insulin resistance syndrome in young adults,”
JAMA 2002;287:2081

Letters to editor 2002;288:693

* Most dairy consumption is cheese: not accounted for. SO milk “drinkers” may be healthier, and eating less cheese

Ctr for Science in Public Interests, 2/6/2001

Farm life in childhood and milk = asthma

J. Lancet 2001;358:1129

More lactose intolerance in Chron’s

J. Clin Gastroent 2002;34:49

Early milk exposure; more asthma

J Allergy and Clin Imm 2001;108:720

TOO FEW STUDIES TO CONCLUDE THAT “MILK DOES A BODY GOOD.”

AM J CLI NUT 2000;72:681

  1. Teri Reply

    Good Day Dr. Rodier,

    I have teenage nephews. They live in the same home and eat the same foods, the difference in age is 3 years. The older one(16) has had skin problems for years and the younger one (14) has clear skin.

    Honestly, there is an abundance of processed foods, dairy, meats and sugar in the home.

    Is it reasonable that one child would have such a severe case of acne and the other seemingly unaffected?

  2. Anonymous Reply

    I have teenage nephews. They live in the same home and eat the same foods, the difference in age is 3 years. The older one(16) has had skin problems for years and the younger one (14) has clear skin.

    Honestly, there is an abundance of processed foods, dairy, meats and sugar in the home.

    Is it reasonable that one child would have such a severe case of acne and the other seemingly unaffected?

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