Milk Does A Body Good

By Raymond Francis

As I lecture across the country, people call months later to thank me because their chronic disease is in remission. Yes, medical miracles happen and here's one of my secrets on how to make them happen: simply do not drink milk or eat dairy products. Anyone can profit from this advice; for many the benefits are miraculous.

We were all brought up with the myth that "milk does a body good." This is why most parents believe that milk is a desirable and essential part of a child's diet. But 70% of the world's population doesn't drink milk. The fact is mother nature never intended mammals to drink milk after weaning. In fact, in no mammalian species, except for a small percentage of humans, is milk consumption continued after weaning. In the words of Dr. Frank Oski, Director of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, "No one should drink milk." Mother's milk is actually a perfect food—for infants. The chemical composition of milk is uniquely designed for the infants of each species. Consumption by adult mammals or cross-feeding to other mammals is a bad idea. Feeding elephant milk to cats, mouse milk to giraffes, or cow milk to humans will damage health. Cow milk is a major contributor to our chronic disease problems. When people stop consuming dairy—health improves. The reason for this is that the sugar, fat, protein, and minerals in cow's milk are not appropriate for human consumption. In addition, virtually all milk is pasteurized which further changes the chemistry of the milk and makes it even more damaging.

Milk contains a sugar, called lactose, which is found only in milk. Mammals are born with the ability to make an enzyme, called lactase, which digests the lactose. All mammals, including the majority of humans, lose the ability to make this enzyme after weaning. Without this enzyme, consuming milk causes numerous medical problems ranging from mild to serious. Many people have this problem without knowing it. I have met people who wonder why they have so much gas after drinking milk. Most likely they are lactase deficient. Milk is contaminated with low-level residues of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, sulfa drugs, dioxin, PCBs, and other chemicals. According to the USDA, "No milk available on the market today, in any part of the U.S. , is free of pesticide residues." These chemical residues can bioaccumulate in our tissues and eventually reach concentrations where they cause birth defects, cancer, and other problems. About 80% of the average person's pesticide load comes from consuming meat and dairy. One example of what happens after years of this bioaccumulation was cited by John Robbins in Diet for a New America. Robbins noted that the milk of most American mothers who are breast feeding is so contaminated with PCBs, dioxin, and various pesticides that, " would be subject to confiscation and destruction by the FDA were it to be sold across state lines." These chemicals store in the mother's fat which is then used to make the mother's milk. Robbins goes on to say, "The EPA has concluded that the average American breast-fed infant ingests nine times the permissible level of dieldrin, one of the most potent of all cancer causing agents known to modern science." It shouldn't be a surprise that cancer has become the leading cause of death for children under the age of fourteen. All this is happening because of the mother's bioaccumulation of toxins from her own consumption of meat and dairy.

Milk is also contaminated with viruses and bacteria. Government regulations state that after pasteurization milk should contain no more than 20,000 bacteria per milliliter. A study done by Consumer Reports found that seven out of twenty-five milk samples had in excess of 130,000 bacteria per milliliter. One sample had almost three million, and others had too many to count. Exposing yourself to this level of bacterial contamination is not a good idea. A host of infectious diseases have been traced to consumption of pasteurized milk. In addition, you may be putting an unnecessary and injurious load on your immune system.

Cow milk contains the wrong proteins for human consumption. It is rich in proteins called caseins which are difficult for humans to digest. Cows have four stomachs so they don't have a problem, but we do. These undigested proteins enter the lower intestines where they putrefy. This creates highly toxic by-products which poison us. Undigested proteins can also enter into systemic circulation, provoking allergic reactions. This is why milk is so highly allergenic. Dr. Frank Oski says that, "At least 50% of all children are allergic to dairy." An even higher percentage of adults are allergic. Allergic reactions tax the immune system, and lower resistance to infection and other diseases. Cow milk is rich in calcium, but is a poor source of calcium. It can also cause calcium losses. Cow milk contains 1200 mg. of calcium per quart while human milk contains only 300 mg. However, an infant actually absorbs more calcium from a quart of human milk because the calcium in the cow milk is less bioavailable. While there is a lot of calcium in cow milk, there is also a lot of phosphorous. The calcium combines with the phosphorous in the digestive tract and prevents its absorption. In addition, cow milk is low in magnesium and magnesium is necessary for calcium metabolism. Calcium that is not properly metabolized ends up as kidney stones, gout, and atherosclerotic plaques.

Another problem is that cow milk is high in protein which metabolizes to strong acids. These strong acids could harm us, so the body uses calcium to neutralize them, thus robbing bones of calcium and causing calcium losses. The U.S. has only 4% of the world's population but it consumes more dairy than the other 96% combined. If milk was good for our bones, we would have the strongest bones in the world. Instead we have one of the highest osteoporosis rates in the world. The countries with the highest dairy consumption have the most osteoporosis. Vegetables like broccoli, chard, and kale are rich sources of calcium. We need to get our calcium the same place cows get theirs—from plants.

Milk contains too much fat. Fifty percent of the calories in milk come from fat, 60% of which is saturated. Children as young as two and three already have early signs of atherosclerosis because of excessive fat intake, and heart disease is our number one cause of death.

Pasteurizing milk adds additional health risks by changing the entire physio-chemical state of the milk. For instance, pasteurization reduces the bioavailability of milk's calcium by 50 percent. Enzymes are deactivated. The structure of protein molecules is changed. The milk chemistry is substantially altered so that when pasteurized milk is fed to calves, for which it was intended as a perfect food, all the calves die within two months. Experiments feeding pasteurized dairy to cats, mice, rats, and calves all had the same result. The animals get sick and die. If pasteurized milk kills all these animals, why do we think it's good for us?

Milk consumption is clearly connected to a variety of diseases. One is iron-deficiency anemia in infants. According to Dr. Frank Oski in Don't Drink Your Milk, about 20% of all children under the age of two suffer from iron-deficiency anemia. In about half of these cases, an allergy to milk causes intestinal bleeding leading to loss of iron and anemia. Ear infections are another problem. Most ear infections can be prevented by removing dairy from a child's diet. Multiple sclerosis has a striking correlation with the amount of milk consumed. Juvenile delinquents were found to consume ten times more dairy than other adolescents of similar age and background. Diabetes, kidney disease, eczema, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, appendicitis, streptococcal infections, leukemia, Lou Gehrig's disease, colds, flu, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, and ovarian cancer also have strong connections to milk consumption.

According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, ovarian cancer is highest in those countries with the highest dairy consumption. Cottage cheese and yogurt appear to be the worst offenders because their dairy sugars have been pre-digested into a sugar called galactose, which is thought to be instrumental for this cancer.

In conclusion, there is little scientific evidence that cow's milk is of much nutritional benefit to humans, while there is ample evidence that it causes disease. Infants should be breast fed for more than a year. After that, milk is unnecessary. Cow milk and its products should be avoided by children and adults alike, and especially by potential mothers.

Raymond Francis is an M.I.T.-trained scientist, a registered nutrition consultant, author of Never Be Sick Again and Never Be Fat Again, host of the Beyond Health Show, Chairman of the The Project to End Disease and an internationally recognized leader in the field of optimal health maintenance.

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