Myth 1: Milk builds strong bones.
Myth 2: Drinking milk can help you lose weight.
Myth 3: Milk is “nature’s perfect food.”
Myth 4: Kids need milk to be healthy.
Myth 5: Milk is heart-healthy.
1. Even Organic Milk Usually Contains Hormones
2. Casein From Dairy = Increased Risk of Cancer Development
3. Higher Risk of Type 1 Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis
4. Even Pasteurized Milk Contains Microorganisms
5. Dairy Products Accumulate Pesticides in High ConcentrationsExposure to organochlorine pesticides (OCP) is another problem associated with dairy. While pesticide contamination affects water and agricultural lands generally, dairy products have a greater capacity to accumulate these pesticides in higher concentrations, due in part to their high fat content.
Even pesticides that have long been banned still show up when dairy products are tested. Some OCPs (like DDT, which was widely used in the past and now banned as a human carcinogen) still persist in the environment and can more easily accumulate in animal food products, including dairy.
In India, milk and other dairy products (like cheese and butter) have been reported as the major sources of dietary DDT and hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), and routine monitoring detected that milk from dairy farms in Italy’s Sacco River Valley had levels of ß-HCH twenty times higher than the legal limit.
6. Increased Exposure to Antibiotic Residue
7. Dairy Can Lead to Bone Problems TooThis may come as a surprise to many, but dairy does not appear to be good for bone health, either.
Not only has the body of scientific evidence been found inadequate to support the idea that dairy consumption promotes bone health, but numerous large-scale studies have found that consuming dairy may actually be detrimental to bone health. In fact, there is substantial data linking higher milk intake with significantly increased risk of bone fractures.
There are several mechanisms thought to be responsible for the pathophysiology. One is dairy’s high calcium content, which can cause vitamin D dysregulation and therefore disrupt bone homeostasis. Another is that the high animal protein content of dairy can induce acidosis from its high proportion of sulfur-containing amino acids, which in turn leads to the body compensating by leaching calcium from the bones to help neutralize the increased acidity. Over time, all of this can have a detrimental effect on bone health.
While several other factors, such as physical activity, can affect bone health, it’s significant to note that the U.S. has one of the highest rates of hip fractures in the world, despite our high milk intake. By contrast, in countries like Japan and Peru, where average daily calcium intake is as low as 300 milligrams per day (less than a third of the U.S. daily recommendation for adults), the incidence of bone fractures is actually quite low.
Fortunately, calcium is abundant in plant foods, including leafy green vegetables, legumes and seeds, often with higher absorption rates than the calcium in dairy—and of course without all of dairy’s associated health problems.
(RELATED: Getting Clarity About Calcium)
Each mammalian species produces milk for its own babies, and the content of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and minerals is specific to provide optimum nutrition for a baby of that particular species. The milk from an elephant, tiger, sea lion and cow are each different from one another, and they are all different from human milk.
When we think about it, the health problems associated with consuming the milk and dairy products of other species should not come as any surprise. No other species consumes milk regularly past the weaning period and certainly not from another species – and, as mentioned above, we humans have also not being doing so for the vast majority of our own evolutionary history.
Fortunately, with plant milks, such as soy, almond and rice now available, as well as delicious plant-based versions of other dairy products, it’s never been easier or more convenient to completely avoid dairy.