Milking the Facts
I used to be a huge milk drinker. I would constantly be running to the store to get more because I would go through it so fast. That was until I learned about all of the facts behind the components, processing and packaging of milk. Now I steer clear of it and haven’t felt better since. I’m not lactose intolerant but I noticed a big change in the way I felt after cutting milk out of my diet. It doesn’t take a diagnosable condition to realize that you’re much better off without something. This is true for wheat as well; you don’t need to be Celiac or be told that you have a gluten sensitivity to notice an improvement in your health when you cut it out of your diet. So just what did I learn that turned me off of milk so drastically?
First thing’s first, the milk I was drinking was regular grocery store milk out of the bags. If you’re going to spend the money on quality organic meats, you should certainly be doing the same with dairy products as well if you’re going to be consuming it. Conventionally raised cows are often sick from the unnatural feed of grains that they consume and the inhumane living conditions they are subject to. This results in poor quality meats and milk products. However, if you are buying organic milk there are still a whole host of other issues to take note of.
One very important fact about cow’s milk when it comes to the health of our bones is the calcium to phosphorous ratio. We are led to believe that milk is such an excellent source of calcium and that we need it for the maintenance of strong bones and teeth, but what we aren’t made aware of is the phosphorous content in it. In human breast milk there is a 2.35:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorous. This is the ideal proportion that humans need to build strong, dense bones. That is why it is so important to breast feed a growing baby.
Cow’s milk on the other hand has a 1.27:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorous. This is the ideal ratio for cow’s to build large porous bones. See the difference? When we consume this ratio we are actually leaching calcium from our bones because phosphorous is acidic and messes with the acid balance in our blood. Calcium is an alkalizing mineral that gets pulled from the bones and teeth when needed in order to alkalize the acid and maintain homeostasis (balance); which is what our bodies are constantly working to achieve. Moreover, phosphorous actually inhibits the absorption of calcium in the stomach, making the calcium in milk barely even absorbable and available to us in the first place.
What makes matters worse with regard to acid-base balance in the body is that cow’s milk contains four times more protein than human milk. Again, this is perfect for cows so that they grow very quickly but for us it only means more acidity in our bodies and more calcium being drawn out of bones to neutralize it.
Not only is milk one of the most acid-forming foods, it is also one of the most mucus-forming foods. This is believed to be caused by one of the proteins in milk, casein. An interesting note about casein is that it is also used to make adhesives such as glue, wood glue and labels. No wonder it can clog your sinuses and digestive tract. Your body detects this “glue” as foreign and produces histamines in response, leading to the formation of mucus.
The average person who consumes dairy on a regular basis has about three to four quarts of mucus distributed throughout their body! Autopsies have shown thick mucus layers covering all of the vital organs and tissues in the body (Robert Cohen). Remove dairy completely from your diet for at least a week and you will definitely feel the difference once this mucus is excreted from your system. People often describe it as a feeling of fog being lifted from them.
Another disgusting fact about milk is that it is actually just somatic cells-or pus cells. Therefore, when you drink a large glass of milk you’re actually drinking a large glass of pus. Gross isn’t it? Not only that, but cows are milked before they give birth, which means that their milk contains specific hormones to make their mammary glands grow bigger. Ever notice that young girls are hitting puberty sooner and on average are developing larger breasts than previous generations? This is the direct result from all of the hormones we are ingesting these days through water, pills and of course, milk.
One specific hormone that is very influential in our bodies is insulin growth hormone. IGF-1 is the key in causing rapid proliferation of all types of human cancers. The scary part about this is that cows have this exact same hormone as well. The IGF-1 that we make is quickly being bound to other proteins and broken down in our bodies. However, we are getting large doses of IGF-1 from milk as well but are not able to break it down as easily because of another problem with milk, homogenization.
By homogenizing milk we are essentially forcing the milk under extreme pressure into small holes to break down the fat molecules into tinier ones and increase the surface area of them (Jayson and Mira Calton). This allows all of the hormones that the milk contains to be better protected by being surrounded in fat globules which allows them to better survive the digestion process in the stomach. The IGF-1 hormone that normally breaks down within a couple seconds is now able to survive up to 30 minutes in the body where it can detect a cancer cell and cause it to multiply (Robert Cohen).
In addition to homogenization, pasteurization of milk also makes it worse for us to consume. It is a flash heat process that not only kills the good bacteria in milk, but also denatures the proteins. It changes the original molecular structure into a flattened one, which can pass through to the bloodstream much easier and contribute to “leaky gut.” The enzyme xanthine oxidase in milk is also now able to pass through the bloodstream unharmed after these processes and attacks the plasmalogen tissue on the artery walls. This results in cholesterol plaque formation to occur in order to fix the damage, contributing to atherosclerosis and heart disease.
I came across an interesting point made by Robert Williscroft when researching for this article. He mentioned that you will no longer find the popular slogan, “milk, it does a body good” on advertisements anymore as it has been replaced with the current one, “got milk?” This is because the milk council was recently challenged in court and could not provide substantial evidence proving that milk actually does a body good. So as a result they had to creatively, and sneakily I might add, change their slogan to be more accurate.
You may want to take all of this into consideration the next time you’re thinking of pouring yourself a glass of milk, slicing up some cheese, sautéing in butter, having a bowl of ice cream or taking a bite of a milk chocolate bar. Is the delicious taste of dairy products really worth all of the health problems that go along with it?
By: Megan McDonald CNP
- Book: Rich Food Poor Food by Jayson Calton and Mira Calton