Our country has been fed the same line about dairy for thousands of years. We make sure our children drink their milk, because we want them to be healthy. We buy gallons upon gallons at a time, because can you imagine not having milk in your refrigerator? We are so certain milk is good for us that we actually rush to buy it before a snowstorm, like our health will deteriorate that rapidly if we do not have our trusty milk. But, why? Is there proof? What do the studies show? After all, we all know what the advertising campaigns tell us, but have you ever questioned the facts?
Recent studies suggest that dairy is not only unnecessary in our diets, but it may actually be causing us more harm than good. What about the calcium in milk that helps our bones grow stronger? Actually, dairy makes our bones weaker.
Dairy consumption does not reduce fracture risks at all. In fact, The Nurses’ Health Study suggests that dairy may increase the risk, by as much as fifty percent. Countries that consume less dairy and calcium have lower rates of osteoporosis.
Foods, like milk, that come from animal sources make the blood more acidic. When this happens, in order for the blood to neutralize the acids, it takes calcium from our bones. So, milk, which is supposed to make our bones strong, may actually be weakening them, and increasing our risks for osteoporosis.
The milk from a cow is designed to turn a newborn calf into a 400-pound cow in one year. In order for this to occur, the milk contains three times more protein than human milk, and more than twice the amount of calcium. Unlike humans, once a calf is weaned, it never drinks milk again.
These higher amounts of calcium may also be increasing your risk for cancer. Research shows that men’s risk of prostate cancer increases by thirty to fifty percent when they have higher intakes of calcium and dairy products. This is partially due to the fact that consuming dairy increases your insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which is known for “feeding” cancer. People who drank three servings of milk on a daily basis had a 10% higher level of the serum IGF-1.
A recent study from the UDSA, which was prompted by the Federal Trade Commission after claims were being made in their “Got Milk” campaign with no scientific basis, found that milk does not improve sports performance. It also showed that because of the amount of saturated fat found in milk, it could be linked to heart disease. Dairy may also contribute to these health factors:
- Sinus Problems
- Ear Infections
- Type 1 Diabetes
If you’re trying to find ways to be healthier, but aren’t sure if you’re ready to give up dairy, I suggest a trial run. Take a break from dairy consumption for a month. After that time, see how you’re feeling. Perhaps your sinuses and allergies will clear up. You may notice that your acne or eczema cleared up. Maybe you’ll notice fewer or no migraines. You might even notice that you have more energy. Think about how you’re feeling after one month of not consuming dairy. Then, with that in mind, introduce dairy back into your diet. If you notice all of your symptoms returning, then you’ll know that dairy is not for you. It’s a decision we all have to make for ourselves.
About Integrated Health Solutions
Dr. Charbel Harb is a licensed chiropractic physician and the Medical Director of Integrated Health Solutions. Our core belief is that each patient who walks through the doors is a person, not just a medical record or chart. Our greatest pleasure is bringing joy to our patients and helping them to fully embrace life, allowing them to enjoy each day: active, healthy and pain free.