Friday, August 5, 2011

Milk. It does a body good, or does it?

Here is an interesting article on Milk I found. I am a firm believer that milk is something that should not be drank by humans as we are the only species that continues to drink milk after being weaned from our mother and we drink the milk of an animal which isn't even our own species. I have switched to Almond or Rice milk and have made my family do the switch too. My kids protested initially but guess who won that battle? That's right, she who does the grocery shopping. :) It is an acquired test but a beneficial one and for those who suffer from different ailments, removing dairy alone can sometimes make a huge difference in how you feel. Read on and you may find this article interesting and a reason for some of the issues you may be experiencing today.


Despite having a low Glycemic Index and Load, milk (even fermented milk such as yogurt) has been shown to elicit a very high insulin response. This has been shown repeatedly in intervention studies (*1-6).

You may ask, "What's wrong with causing this high insulin response?". Constantly increasing insulin levels may make the insulin receptors less sensitive (Type 2 Diabetes). This can lead to insulin resistance. This is the primary defect causing The Metabolic Syndrome, and can also be a driving force in Obesity. In addition, a chronic state of high insulin levels have also been associated certain cancers, acne and juvenile myopia, among other diseases.

As you will read below, studies show that the negative affects of dairy outweigh the positive. How much damage has dairy done to your body over the years? We can provide you with a comprehensive analysis of your blood tests that will show how much internal damage has been done, and provide recommendations on reversing and repairing the damage.

Various studies have associated dairy consumption with Type 1 Diabetes (*7-14), especially when the initial exposure begins in the first months of life. In addition, studies have repeatedly shown a strong correlation between cow's milk consumption and Multiple Sclerosis (*15-19) as well as Rheumatoid Arthritis (*20).

What may be astonishing to some, case studies have shown that elimination of milk and dairy products from the diets of patients with RA improved symptoms, and the disease was markedly exacerbated on re-challenge. As if this weren't enough, cow's milk is also appears to have adverse effects in other auto-immune diseases, such as Crohn's disease (*21), Sjögren's syndrome (*22), IgA nephropathy (*23-25), and even Celiac Disease (*26).

While milk does contain proteins, fats, lactose, vitamins and minerals, it also contains various growth-stimulating steroid and peptide hormones.

Cow's milk, as well as human milk (and presumably milk from all mammals) contains insulin (*27-31). Bovine insulin - BI (which differs from human insulin) survives pasteurization.

We know this because immunity to this hormone is common in children who consume cow's milk or who have been exposed to infant formulas containing cow's milk (*32-35). Moreover, there is evidence that BI survives the human digestive processes and crosses the gut barrier intact. This is especially troubling for infants because they have higher intestinal permeability than older children and adults. Chronically high insulin levels have been associated with insulin resistance and Metabolic Syndrome.

IGF-1 (Insulin Growth Factor-1)
Cow's milk contains active IGF-1 (*36). While pasteurization and fermentation appear to reduce its content, cow's milk consumption, compared to various foods, is associated with higher plasma IGF-1 concentrations in both children (*37-40) and adults (*41-45). In addition, to containing active IGF-1, milks effect on insulin levels could lead to higher plasma IGF-1 (*58). IGF-1 is a hormone similar in molecular structure to insulin. It plays an important role in childhood growth and continues to have anabolic effects (increased body size) in adults. Several studies have shown that increased levels of IGF lead to an increased risk of cancer (*55).

Betacellulin (BTC) is quite new in the realm of investigating issue with dairy. It belongs to the Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) family of hormones, and it is found not only in cow's milk and whey, but also in cheese (*46), so it survives pasteurization and processing. Although no direct evidence exists yet, bovine milk contains peptidase inhibitors which prevent human gut enzymes from degrading EGF2 (and most likely BTC). A low ph, such as may be found in the gut, does not impair or prevent BTC from binding its receptor and there are EGF receptors in the gut, through which BTC may enter circulation (*47). BTC has a significant growth stimulatory effect on pancreatic cancer cells (*56).

Steroid Hormones
Most milk for human consumption is obtained from cows in the latter half of pregnancy. This is when estrogen metabolites are greatly elevated (*48-50). The next question is "do the estrogens survive pasteurization?". US researchers have measured estrogen metabolites in various milks and found that buttermilk contains the highest total amount of estrogen metabolites, followed by skim milk, 2% milk and whole milk (*48). This confirms the estrogens do in fact survive pasteurization and therefore are consumed when one drinks milk. Consuming milk and dairy products can account for 70–80% of the total estrogens consumed in the human diet (*48-49). Estrone sulphate has high oral bioactivity and is the most prevalent form of estrogen in cow's milk (*48-49). You should also know that estrone sulphate comprises 45% of the conjugated estrogens in Premarin and Prempro, the most frequently prescribed hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women (*49).

The evidence is accumulating concerning the adverse health effects associated with dairy consumption. Although evidence doesn't always show how dairy consumption can cause the adverse effects, dairy avoidance is highly recommended.

Milk has a very high calcium/magnesium ratio and may contribute to some micronutrient imbalances.

The role of calcium in preventing and treating osteoporosis is unclear — some populations with extremely low calcium intake also have extremely low rates of bone fracture, and others with high rates of calcium intake through milk and milk products have higher rates of bone fracture. Other factors, such as protein, salt and vitamin D intake, exercise and exposure to sunlight, can all influence bone mineralization, making calcium intake one factor among many in the development of osteoporosis (*82, 83-85, 89).

Calcium intake in the U.S. is one of the highest in the world, yet the US has one of the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world. Bone mineral content is dependent upon calcium intake and calcium excretion. Most people focus upon the calcium intake side of the calcium balance equation, however few consider that calcium excretion is just as important.

Bone health is very dependent on dietary acid/base balance. Simply put, generally speaking a high protein diet is ‘acidic' and a high fruit/vegetable diet would be considered "alkaline". When you consume food that's highly "acidic", the acid must be buffered by the alkaline stores in the body. Calcium salts in the bones represent the largest alkaline stores in the body. These calcium stores are depleted and eliminated in the urine when the diet produces a high acid load. Because the average American diet is loaded with acid producing grains, cheeses, salted processed foods, and fatty meats, it produces a net acid load and promotes bone de-mineralization. Don't get us wrong, you need protein! But you must consume plenty of green vegetables and fruits so your body doesn't use excess calcium from the bones to neutralize a highly acidic diet. In addition, consider your status of Vitamin D, Vitamin K and Magnesium levels. You may be missing something! Get tested to determine your status.

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