Seeds, nuts, and crunchy raw vegetables like kale, cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower provide magnesium and calcium as well as others, more in line with what our bodies need than milk. It is, after all, designed for young calves, not adult humans.
Another common myth is that a breast-feeding mother needs to drink cow’s milk in order to lactate. This, of course, is not founded in truth. The move away from breast-feeding led to the substitution of human milk with cow’s milk which is very different in its protein, calcium, phosphorous, iron, and essential fatty acid content. The early feeding of human babies on cow’s milk is now known to increase the likelihood of developing a cow’s milk allergy, and affects one in ten babies. Common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, persistent colic, eczema, hives, catarrh, bronchitis, asthma, and sleeplessness. The American Society of Microbiologists has suggested that some crib deaths may be attributable to cow’s milk allergy.
Conversely, breast milk is nothing but good news. A breast-fed baby has, on average, a four point higher IQ as reported in April 2003 at the American Oil Chemists Society in Kansas City. This advantage can be doubled by giving the pregnant and breast-feeding mother a supplement of omega-3 fish oils.
So, if you’ve got milk then you’ve got problems. Milk consumption is strongly linked with increased risk for cardiovascular disease as well as breast and prostate cancer. Our bodies produce an antibody against milk and that is good reason to believe that milk is not an ideal food. Finally, 70 percent of people stop producing lactase, the enzyme to digest milk sugar, once they have been weaned.
The unbiased science-based research points toward a very small amount of dairy intake in a healthy diet. New evidence suggests that dairy consumption may be the main reason that people in the West have a massive risk of breast and prostate cancer, while Asians don’t. The figures for the chances of women in China dying from breast cancer are one in ten thousand, as opposed to close to one in thirty-three for the United States. For prostate cancer, the difference is even greater. In Rural China, the incidence is 0.5 in one hundred thousand, yet it is estimated that, by 2015, one in six men in the U.S. will have a diagnosis of prostate cancer at some point in their lives.
Why is a disease that is virtually nonexistent in China ruining and often prematurely ending the lives of so many men in Britain and the U. S.? Is it genetics, diet, or environment?
The emerging evidence and logic is pointing toward hormone-disrupting chemicals. We now know that prostate and breast cells are stimulated to grow by hormonal messages. Any oncologist will tell you that these hormone-sensitive cells go into overgrowth when exposed to too much estrogen or estrogen-like chemicals. The late Dr. John Lee presented conclusive evidence in favor of “estrogen dominance” being a primary cause of breast cancer. He explained in his book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer, that estrogen is the hormone that makes things grow and that progesterone keeps cells healthy.
While milk naturally contains small amounts of estrogen, changes in farming practices now make it possible to milk cows continuously, even while they are pregnant. The pregnant cows produce milk with much higher levels of estrogen. The research and the reasoning combine to make a powerful case against the consumption of milk produced in this manner.
Milk allergy or intolerance is very common among children and adults. Growing evidence is linking child-onset diabetes to allergy to BSA (bovine serum albumin) in dairy products.
While there is a genetic predisposition to insulin-dependent diabetes (IDD), this is only part of the picture. Genetically susceptible children who had been breast-fed for at least seven months or exclusively breast-fed for at least three or four months were found to have a significantly decreased incidence of IDD, which suggested another factor. Children who have not been given cow’s milk until they are four months or older also showed the same substantially reduced risk. The highest incidence of IDD is found in Finland, which has the world’s highest consumption of milk products.
Animal studies showed that rats bred to be susceptible to diabetes had a much higher risk of contracting the disease if their feed contained either milk or wheat gluten. In one study, even the addition of 1 percent skimmed milk to their diet increased the incidence of IDD from 15 percent to 52 percent.
In 1993, Dr. Hans-Michael Dosch, professor of immunology at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, identified BSA (bovine serum albumin) as the specific factor in dairy products that increased the risk of diabetes and showed that it cross-reacted with the cells of the pancreas. He and his fellow researchers theorized that diabetes-susceptible babies introduced to BSA earlier than four months, before which age the gut wall is immature and more permeable, would develop an allergic response to BSA. As a result, their immune cells would mistakenly destroy not only the BSA molecules but also pancreatic tissue. He went on to show that, of 142 newly diagnosed IDD children, 100 percent had antibodies to BSA, compared with 2 percent in unaffected children. Dr. Dosch believes that the presence of these anti-BSA antibodies indicated future child-onset diabetes in 80 to 90 percent of cases.
He believes that keeping children off dairy products for at least their first six months reduces the risk by half. BSA can, however, pass from the mother’s diet into her milk. Therefore, if breast-feeding mothers avoid beef and dairy products, the risk can be completely removed in genetically susceptible children. The current opinion is that about one in four children is genetically susceptible. Avoiding milk may also have benefits for a child’s mental development. The vast majority of autistic children and many who suffer from hyperactivity prove allergic to milk.
From the current evidence, given the present state of intensive farming, neither meat (particularly beef) nor milk (especially for young children) should be staple foods if you really want to pursue optimum nutrition. But this is no loss. Not only is it possible to have a healthy diet without including dairy products and meat, it’s also almost certainly going to decrease your risk of the common killer diseases. Nutritional experts recommend avoiding beef and eating meat no more than three times a week, substituting more fresh vegetables and whole foods such as beans, lentils, and whole grains. In addition, choose only organic meats and free-range chicken or fish. For milk, substitute rice milk or almond milk.