Cow’s milk and all the products of which milk is one of the ingredients may contain numerous dangerous factors such as cancer cells, bacteria, leukemia virus, prions (the same which cause mad cow disease), cholesterol, triglycerides, antibiotics, dioxins, and many other risk factors. According to the World Health Organization ninety percent of the dioxins entering the human body come from dairy and meat products! Lactose and casein present in milk are regarded as the most common cause of allergic reaction. Apart from that, it is a scientifically proven fact that milk and dairy products instead of strengthening our bones actually weaken them leading to osteoporosis especially due too high amount of animal protein they contain.
One of the most reasonable arguments against consuming milk and dairy is the fact that no existing in our world animal naturally drinks milk beyond infancy, and no animal would naturally drink the milk of a different species. Human babies are supposed to drink only mother’s milk and should stop drinking any milk after infancy. Cow’s milk which is very high in protein is designed only for calves, who gain weight almost four times faster than human babies. There is a huge difference in the amount of protein found in human milk and cow’s milk because the growth demands of calves are much higher than growth demands of human babies. Calves grow much faster therefore also their protein needs are greater. It is therefore the very high protein content (especially casein) as well as many other risk factors present in milk and dairy that make these products unsuitable for human consumption and promote diseases among infants, children, and adults.
After reviewing almost 30 different studies and investigating the relationship between fat intake and overweight, scientists found out that in countries where milk and dairy products consumption is higher also the prevalence of obesity goes up. But I encourage you to avoid milk and dairy products not only because they contribute to obesity and overweight but even more because these products increase risk of many other health-related problems including cardio vascular diseases, cancers, leukemia, osteoporosis, diabetes, allergies, asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis, ear infections, or even very dangerous autoimmune diseases. Also consuming a low-fat milk and dairy products doesn’t really improve the situation as in most cases it is animal protein which causes the problem.
Keep in mind that dairy products, don’t have any complex carbohydrates nor fiber, and usually are high in animal protein and saturated fat. Many popular products such as ice creams, cakes, or even yogurts, apart from milk contain also a lot of refined sugar and almost 50% of fat. A glass of milk has about 50% fat. Also hard cheeses, which are listed among the most unhealthy products, have a lot of saturated fat (at least 65%).
Unfortunately, dairy industry uses very tricky ways of deceiving consumers in order to make them think that their products are safe and even healthy. For example, in spite of the fact that over 30% of calories in milk come from fat, somehow they are allowed to label milk only 2% fat! When consumers see 2% they think that this product is almost fat-free! The same is with cottage cheese which is labelled as “nonfat” in spite of the fact that 20% of its calories come from fat too.
Dr. McDougall blames the dairy industry’s propaganda for brainwashing people and creating “obsession over calcium that has become, in effect, a major contributor to the suffering and death of more than one billion people annually on Planet Earth from diseases of overnutrition – obesity, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and diabetes”. He also states that, “Because of their financial power and political connections, the people representing dairy industry can say whatever they want and no one can stop them”. This is why governments as well as the mainstream media still keep repeating the lie according to which milk is essential to good health while at the same time they ignore the numerous medical studies which repeatedly proved that milk is a serious health threat. In many countries people seem to be easily fooled by the dairy lobby.
The best example can be Americans who consume 3 times more dairy products than grains, and 5 times more than fruits! That is one of the main reasons why there are so many sick and obese people living in America and why the prevalence of osteoporosis and rates of hip fractures are highest in countries such as USA, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand or Australia, where animal protein consumption (including dairy products) is very high. On the other hand, people living in rural regions of Asia or Africa whose diet is based on unrefined plant foods and the consumption of animal protein is low have the lowest rates of osteoporosis and hip fractures. Unrefined plant foods are packed with organic calcium and at the same time contain much lower but sufficient amounts of protein thus having only positive effects on our bones.
For example, the African Bantu women consume no dairy products and their daily calcium intake, which comes from plant sources, is only about 300 mg and even the oldest women among them are free of osteoporosis, as well as many other degenerative diseases. Research has shown that one of the main causes they don’t suffer from osteoporosis is their plant-based and low in protein diet. On the other hand, the rates of osteoporosis-related bone fractures among Inuit (Eskimo), whose diet is very high in animal protein, are one of the highest of all population groups. It is also interesting that although their diet contains about 2,000 mg of calcium per day (mostly from fish bones) it doesn’t seem to help at all. There is no evidence that a higher calcium intake in adulthood will prevent or reverse osteoporosis.
The highly acidic nature of animal protein such as dairy and meat has been proved to be the major cause of osteoporosis and bone loss. Unlike plant foods which are high in proteins such as legumes (beans) the animal protein is rich in sulphur which creates a lot of acid during the digestion process and thus leading to acidosis. As a result our body tries to lower the acidity and regulate the pH using calcium phosphate. The problem is that this process contributes to osteoporosis as the calcium is taken from the bones thus making them weaker. It means that by consuming milk and dairy products, people are losing more calcium than they actually ingest thus leading to a negative calcium balance. It is estimated that because of this a stunning 25 million people only in America have been diagnosed with osteoporosis! Yet majority of physicians and nutritionists still encourage us to consume dairy in order to strengthen our bones!
The dairy industry now again attempts to brainwash people with the untrue idea according to which dairy consumption is supposed to promote weight loss and does not seem to be a major contributor to obesity. Older studies, however, clearly indicated that milk contributes to obesity and overweight. Nevertheless, whatever any study suggests it can’t deny the fact that milk and dairy products greatly elevate the risk of numerous listed above diseases and must contribute also to obesity because they contain fat, sugar, and unlike unrefined plant foods they have no fiber.
According to Dr. Benjamin Spock milk is very low in essential fatty acids and high in the saturated fats which lead to heart attacks, strokes, and overweight. Dairy foods are almost always high in fat, cholesterol, calories, and often sugar thus greatly contributing to obesity, heart disease, strokes, or diabetes. Remember that milk is even more dangerous when it is combined with sugar in the form of extremely popular foods such as ice creams, cakes, chocolate, and many other products.
Another popular physician – Dr. Mark Hyman, wrote about dairy: “Based on the research and my experience practicing medicine, I advise my patients to avoid dairy products completely. I like ice cream just as much as the next person, but as a scientist I have to look honestly at what we know… The USDA’s ‘up-to-date’ food pyramid recommendation of drinking 3 glasses of milk a day is not based on strict science. Some of the ‘experts’ who helped create the pyramid actually work for the dairy industry, which makes the US Department of agriculture’s recommendations reflect industry interests, not science or our best interests. In fact, Walter Willett, M.D., Ph.D. – the second-most-cited scientist in all of clinical medicine and the head of nutrition at Harvard’s School of Public Health – is one of the pyramid’s most vocal critics. He’s even called its guidelines ‘udderly ridiculous.’ That’s not something a Harvard scientist says lightly. According to Dr. Willett, who has done many studies and reviewed the research on this topic, dairy may increase risk of bone fractures by 50 percent! Calcium isn’t as bone-protective as we thought. Vitamin D appears to be much more important than calcium in preventing fractures.”
We are encouraged to consume milk and dairy because these products are contain amino acid tryptophan which is converted in our body to serotonin. It is true that tryptophan is also found in animal foods especially milk, but animal sources (including milk and dairy) contain way too much of other competitive amino acids thus hindering absorption of tryptophan. It means that because tryptophan is an amino acid (protein) therefore a diet rich in other types of protein (meat and dairy products) greatly hinders tryptophan from passing from the blood to your brain. It is so because tryptophan has to compete with many other amino acids (proteins) while trying to enter the brain and as a result only small amount of this important amino acid gets in. That is another reason why you should be on the plant-based and unrefined diet. It is not only rich in tryptophan, which is essential to produce serotonin, but at the same time, unlike the animal-based diet, it is not too high in protein, and also gives you opportunity to eat unrefined sweet carbohydrates which are necessary to allow tryptophan to reach brain where it is converted to serotonin thus helping you to control appetite and negative emotions.
In addition, since milk and dairy are too high in protein they tend to suppress the production of leptin in mice as it constantly creates an ER stress in the hypothalamus cells thus activating a harmful protein response and leading to leptin resistance which stimulated mice to consume more food, become less active and gain weight. Milk also contains numerous high-risk factors such as cholesterol, triglycerides, antibiotics, dioxins and may be contaminated with extremely dangerous and deadly prions or leukemia virus which are able to survive the pasteurization and cooking process. Cow’s milk contains a very powerful insulin-like growth factor (hormone) IGF-I which can stimulate normally slow-growing cancers (like breast, ovarian, and prostate) to grow very quickly.
Also Dr. Colin Campbell stated that studies give enough evidence that even usual levels of animal protein (meat and dairy) consumption has strong carcinogenic effect. Dr. Campbell (professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University) in his famous and bestselling book The China Study wrote: “What protein consistently and strongly promoted cancer? Casein, which makes up 87% of cow’s milk protein, promoted all stages of the cancer process. What type of protein did not promote cancer, even at high levels of intake? The safe proteins were from plants, including wheat and soy… Let there be no doubt: cow’s milk protein is an exceptionally potent cancer promoter… What most people don’t know, though, is that there is strong evidence that type 1 diabetes is linked to diet and, more specifically, to dairy products. The ability of cow’s milk protein to initiate Type 1 diabetes is well documented. The possible initiation of this disease goes like this: A baby is not nursed long enough and is fed cow’s milk protein, perhaps in an infant formula. The milk reaches the small intestine, where it is digested down to its amino acid parts. For some infants, cow’s milk is not fully digested, and small amino acid chains or fragments of the original protein remain in the intestine. These incompletely digested protein fragments may be absorbed into the blood. The immune system recognizes these fragments as foreign invaders and goes about destroying them. Unfortunately, some of the fragments look exactly the same as the cells of the pancreas that are responsible for making insulin. The immune system loses its ability to distinguish between the cow’s milk protein fragments and the pancreatic cells, and destroys them both, thereby eliminating the child’s ability to produce insulin. The infant becomes a Type 1 diabetic, and remains so for the rest of his or her life. This process boils down to a truly remarkable statement: cow milk may cause one of the most devastating diseases that can befall a child”.
In July 30, 1992, the renowned New England Journal of Medicine stated that, “Studies have suggested that bovine serum albumin is the milk protein responsible for the onset of diabetes… Patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus produce antibodies to cow milk proteins that participate in the development of islet dysfunction… Taken as a whole, our findings suggest that an active response in patients with IDDM (to the bovine protein) is a feature of the autoimmune response.”
It is a well-known fact that meat may contain prions which cause devastating and ultimately fatal infections in humans but only few people are aware of the fact that the same is true also in case of milk and dairy. For a long time it was impossible to detect prions in milk due to the insufficient technology. Now, however, it changed with the use of the new methods which are able to detect prions in both animal and human milk. Some time ago we were informed that a suffering from AIDS mother could not pass HIV to her child through her milk. Now, however, we know it is possible. Also today the inspired by powerful dairy lobby governments try to assure public that milk are free from prions and that it is impossible to contract these deadly proteins via milk and dairy consumption.
A careful analysis of the scientific data, however, doesn’t seem to justify this attitude. For example, a Japanese woman dying of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (human variant of mad cow disease) was found to have prions in her milk. In December 2006 Professor Nicola Franscini published a scientific paper according to which prion proteins, which cause mad cow disease in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans, were found in Swiss off-the-shelf milk and fresh milk.
Another study, performed by an international group of French, Norwegian, and British researchers and published in 2008 reported the presence of prions in sheep milk. Also a study conducted in the UK revealed possibility of „transmission of scrapie from ewe to lamb via milk”. The results of this study appeared in 2008 in BMC Veterinary Research. One of the newer studies demonstrated that sheep were capable of transmitting prions via milk to lambs that had never been exposed to prions. Surprisingly, the lambs developed scrapie after only two years. This alarming discovery was published in 2011 in the American Society for Microbiology and titled, “Prion disease spreads in sheep via mother’s milk”.
Unfortunately, animals are infected with the prions long before they can manifest any symptoms. It means that infected meat and dairy products can easily rich consumer before the diseased animals are recognized and isolated. In addition, since the prion-contaminated milk from still symptom-free cows is mixed in collection tanks with milk from other cows, it can easily contaminate the whole collected milk. Such milk is then used to produce different dairy products, distributed, and finally sold to an unaware of the danger consumer. What makes the things even worse is the fact that pasteurization or boiling contaminated milk can’t solve the problem because in order to destroy prions we would have to use extremely high temperature and burn milk (or meat) to ashes.
Tamai Y, Kojima H, et al. Demonstration of the transmissible agent in tissue from a pregnant woman with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. N Engl J Med 1992 Aug 27;327(9):649.
American Society for Microbiology (2011, January 20). Prion disease spreads in sheep via mother’s milk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 6, 2013: http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2011/01/110119191350.htm
C. Ligios, M. G. Cancedda, A. Carta, C. Santucciu, C. Maestrale, F. Demontis, M. Saba, C. Patta, J. C. DeMartini, A. Aguzzi, C. J. Sigurdson. Sheep with Scrapie and Mastitis Transmit Infectious Prions through the Milk. Journal of Virology, 2010; 85 (2): 1136
Franscini N, El Gedaily A, Matthey U, Franitza S, Sy MS, Bürkle A, Groschup M, Braun U, Zahn R. Prion protein in milk. PLoS ONE. 2006 Dec 20;1:e71.
Buehring GC, Philpott SM, Choi KY. Humans have antibodies reactive with Bovine leukemia virus. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2003 Dec; 19(12): 1105-13.
McDougall J. The McDougall Program for Women. Plume, 2000. Pages 59-70.
McDougall J. The McDougall Plan. New Win Publ. 1983; page 101.
Hegsted D. Fractures, calcium and the modern diet. Am J Clin Nutr 74: 571-3, 2000.
Walker A. The influence of numerous pregnancies and lactations on bone dimensions in South African Bantu and caucasian mothers. Clin Science 42:l89-196, l972.
Barzel US, Massey LK. Excess dietary protein can adversely affect bone. J Nutr. 1998; 128:1051‑3.
Abelow B. Cross-cultural association between dietary animal protein and hip fracture: a hypothesis. Calcific Tissue Int 50:14-8, 1992.
Weinsier R. Dairy foods and bone health: examination of the evidence. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Sep;72(3):681-9.
Recker R. The effect of milk supplements on calcium metabolism, bone metabolism and calcium balance. Am J Clin Nutr. 1985 Feb; 41(2): 254-63.
Kanis J. The use of calcium in the management of osteoporosis. Bone 24:279-90, 1999.
Walker A. Osteoporosis and calcium deficiency. Am J Clin Nutr 16:327, 1965.
New S. Dietary influences on bone mass and bone metabolism: further evidence of a positive link between fruit and vegetable consumption and bone health. Am J Clin Nutr 71: 142-151, 2000.
Gonda M. Bovine immunodeficiency virus. AIDS. 1992 Aug; 6(8): 759-76.
Sargeant JM. Associations between farm management practices, productivity, and bovine leukemia virus infection in Ontario dairy herds. Prev Vet Med. 1997 Aug; 31(3-4): 211-21.
Trono KG. Seroprevalence of bovine leukemia virus in dairy cattle in Argentina: comparison of sensitivity and specificity of different detection methods. Vet Microbiol. 2001 Nov 26; 83(3):235-48.
Kristensen P. Incidence and risk factors of cancer among men and women in Norwegian agriculture. Scand J Work Environ Health. 1996 Feb; 22(1):14-26.
Ferrer JF. Milk of dairy cows frequently contains a leukemogenic virus. Science. 1981 Aug 28; 213(4511): 1014-6.
Work Group on Cowâ€™s Milk Protein and Diabetes Mellitus. Infant feeding practices and their possible relationship to the etiology of diabetes mellitus. Pediatrics 94: 752, 1994.
Iacono G. Intolerance of cow’s milk and chronic constipation in children. N Engl J Med. 1998 Oct 15; 339(16): 1100-4.
Juntti H. Cow’s milk allergy is associated with recurrent otitis media during childhood. Acta Otolaryngol. 1999; 119(8): 867-73.
Tikkanen S. Status of children with cow’s milk allergy in infancy by 10 years of age. Acta Paediatr. 2000 Oct; 89(10): 1174-80.
Oranje AP. Natural course of cow’s milk allergy in childhood atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2002 Dec; 89 (6 Suppl 1): 52-5.
Bahna S. Allergies to Milk. Grune and Stratton, New York.
Barr SI. Effects of increased consumption of fluid milk on energy and nutrient intake, body weight, and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy older adults. J Am Diet Assoc. 2000 Jul; 100 (7): 810-7.
Remer T. Potential renal acid load of foods and its influence on urine pH. J Am Diet Assoc. 1995 Jul; 95(7): 791-7.
McDougall J. The Great Debate. High vs. low protein. www.drmcdougall.com
Massey LK. Dietary animal and plant protein and human bone health: a whole foods approach. J Nutr. 2003 Mar; 133(3): 862S-865S.
Holmes MD. Dietary correlates of plasma insulin-like growth factor I and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 concentrations. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2002 Sep; 11(9): 852-61.
Yu H. Role of the insulin-like growth factor family in cancer development and progression. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000 Sep 20; 92(18): 1472-89.
Cramer DW, Harlow BL, Willet WC. Galactose consumption and metabolism in relation to the risk of ovarian cancer. Lancet 1989; 2:66-71.
Mettlin CJ, Piver MS: A case-control study of milk-drinking and ovarian cancer risk. American Journal of Epidemiology 132(5): 871-876, 1990.
Janowski T. Mammary secretion of oestrogens in the cow. Domest Anim Endocrinol. 2002 Jul; 23(1-2): 125-37.