Dairy Products And Health Concerns – Part 1
Today, I’d like to share with you an article on dairy products and health concerns related to this topic. Many people, including some vegetarians, still consume substantial amounts of dairy products—and governments’ policies still promote them—despite scientific evidence that questions their health benefits and indicates their potential health risks.
You cannot see any other mammals consuming other mammals milk so why should it be different for us, Humans? Cow’s milk is meant to be for calf as well as human’s breast milk is naturally created for human babies. Not even mentioning how badly the poor animals are treated, injected with hormones such as recombinant bovine growth hormone which are commonly used in cows to increase the production of milk, taking away their little calf immediately after its born. How sad 🙁 People tend to close their eyes to these things and just consume whatever the government is promoting to be healthy.
Please, read through and learn more about the negative impact of dairy products on our general health. Share this article with your friends and relatives for their kind consideration and deeper research.
1. Bone Health
Calcium is an important mineral that helps to keep bones strong. Our bones are constantly remodeling, meaning the body takes small amounts of calcium from the bones and replaces it with new calcium. Therefore, it is essential to have enough calcium so that the body doesn’t decrease bone density in this remodeling process. Though calcium is necessary for ensuring bone health, the actual benefits of calcium intake do not exist after consumption passes a certain threshold. Consuming more than approximately 600 milligrams per day—easily achieved without dairy products or calcium supplements—does not improve bone integrity.1
Clinical research shows that dairy products have little or no benefit for bones. A 2005 review published in Pediatrics showed that milk consumption does not improve bone integrity in children.2 In a more recent study, researchers tracked the diets, physical activity, and stress fracture incidences of adolescent girls for seven years, and concluded that dairy products and calcium do not prevent stress fractures in adolescent girls.3 Similarly, the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, which followed more than 72,000 women for 18 years, showed no protective effect of increased milk consumption on fracture risk.1
It is possible to decrease the risk of osteoporosis by reducing sodium intake in the diet,4,5 increasing intake of fruits and vegetables,5,6 and ensuring adequate calcium intake from plant foods such as kale, broccoli, and other leafy green vegetables and beans. You can also use calcium-fortified products such as breakfast cereals and juices. Soybeans and fortified orange juice are two examples of products which provide about the same amount of calcium per serving as milk or other dairy products.7
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to increase bone density and decrease the risk of osteoporosis,8,9 and its benefits have been observed in studies of both children and adults.8,10-11
Individuals often drink milk in order to obtain vitamin D in their diets, unaware that they can receive vitamin D through other sources. Without vitamin D, only 10-15 percent of dietary calcium is absorbed.12
The best natural source of vitamin D is sunlight. Five to 15 minutes of sun exposure to the arms and legs or the hands, face, and arms can be enough to meet the body’s requirements for vitamin D, depending on the individual’s skin tone.13 Darker skin requires longer exposure to the sun in order to obtain adequate levels of vitamin D. In colder climates during the winter months the sun may not be able to provide adequate vitamin D. During this time the diet must be able to provide vitamin D.
Few foods naturally contain vitamin D, and no dairy products naturally contain this vitamin. If you are a raw foodist, you don’t want to consume salmon or a flatfish which both are rich in vitamin D. Mushrooms can have a significant amount of vitamin D, but the amount varies widely by type. Shiitake mushrooms have 45 iu — about one-thirteenth of a daily recommended serving. White mushrooms, on the other hand, have just 5 iu.
2. Fat Content and Cardiovascular Disease
Dairy products—including cheese, ice cream, milk, butter, and yogurt—contribute significant amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat to the diet.15 Diets high in fat and especially in saturated fat can increase the risk of heart disease and can cause other serious health problems.
A low-fat, plant-based diet that eliminates dairy products, in combination with exercise, smoking cessation, and stress management, can not only prevent heart disease, but may also reverse it.16,17
Consumption of dairy products has also been linked to higher risk for various cancers, especially to cancers of the reproductive system. Most significantly, dairy product consumption has been linked to increased risk for prostate18-20 and breast cancers.21
The danger of dairy product consumption as it relates to prostate and breast cancers is most likely related to increases in insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which is found in cow’s milk.22 Consumption of milk and dairy products on a regular basis has been shown to increase circulating levels of IGF-1.23,24 Perhaps the most convincing association between IGF-1 levels and cancer risk is seen in studies of prostate cancer. Case-control studies in diverse populations have shown a strong and consistent association between serum IGF-1 concentrations and prostate cancer risk.25 One study showed that men with the highest levels of IGF-1 had more than four times the risk of prostate cancer, compared with those who had the lowest levels.26 In the Physicians Health Study, tracking 21,660 participants for 28 years, researchers found an increased risk of prostate cancer for those who consumed ≥2.5 servings of dairy products per day as compared with those who consumed ≤0.5 servings a day.19 This study, which is supported by other findings,27,28 also shows that prostate cancer risk was elevated with increased consumption of low-fat milk, suggesting that too much dairy calcium, and not just the fat associated with dairyproducts, could be a potential threat to prostate health.
In addition to increased levels of IGF-1, estrogen metabolites are considered risk factors for cancers of the reproductive system, including cancers of the breasts, ovaries, and prostate. These metabolites can affect cellular proliferation such that cells grow rapidly and aberrantly,29which can lead to cancer growth. Consumption of milk and dairy products contributes to the majority (60-70 percent) of estrogen intake in the human diet.
In a large study including 1,893 women from the Life After Cancer Epidemiology Study who had been diagnosed with early-stage invasive breast cancer, higher amounts of high-fat dairy product consumption were associated with higher mortality rates. As little as 0.5 servings a day increased risk significantly. This is probably due to the fact that estrogenic hormones reside primarily in fat, making the concern most pronounced for consumption of high-fat dairy products.
The consumption of dairy products may also contribute to development of ovarian cancer. The relation between dairy products and ovarian cancer may be caused by the breakdown of the milk sugar lactose into galactose, a sugar which may be toxic to ovarian cells.30 In a study conducted in Sweden, consumption of lactose and dairy products was positively linked to ovarian cancer.31 A similar study, the Iowa Women’s Health Study, found that women who consumed more than one glass of milk per day had a 73 percent greater chance of developing ovarian cancer than women who drank less than one glass per day.32
Click here to read Part 2