Milk does a body good… really?
“Milk… it does a body good…” These words echo in the minds of many who witnessed the barrage of milk advertising done in the 80’s and 90’s.
We were all made to believe that cow’s milk was a healthy source of vitamins and minerals, especially calcium, and that if we drank it daily as adolescents, we would all grow up to have super strong bones, do well in sports, and date the hottest person at school.
Of course milk is loaded with vitamins and minerals … the milk was designed to be the soul nourishment for an infant cow. What we weren’t told was that there are naturally occurring hormones and proteins in the milk specifically designed to help accelerate the growth of infant cows, and that those hormones and proteins might not be well designed for human consumption. A synthetic blend of one of the naturally occurring hormones (bovine growth hormone – discussed later on) is now added to ~30% of all U.S. dairy cows to help them increase yield during their lactation cycle. Supposedly, there are studies that can prove that this hormone does not cause any stimulated growth response in humans… there are others who claim that bovine growth hormone testing in rats caused enlargement of various organs and tissues and could lead to hearth disease and/or cancer in humans. There have also been studies whose results show how a protein in milk called IGF-1 causes anabolic responses in adults and may lead to some undesirable conditions I will discuss later. Lastly, we were also were kept in the dark about how the dairy industry has evolved over the last 5o years, how milk is processed, how the cows are treated, and what kind of impact these factors have on us humans.
First, I think it is wise to look at our design and determine if it even makes sense to drink milk at all from another species of animal … especially after infancy. Turns out, we are the only species of animal in the world that consumes milk after infancy… and from another species. Apparently, no other mammal on planet Earth needs calcium after they mature… that’s a joke by the way. On a more serious note, there might be a reason no other mammal consumes milk after infancy.
From years of observing other mammals in the wild, we know that the infants who grow up are eventually weaned off milk (mom also naturally stops producing milk) and begin to fend for themselves or stay close to mom until they acquire the skills to bring home their own dinner. There is an enzyme that is naturally produced in all infant mammals called lactase which is responsible for breaking down the sugar in milk called lactose. This allows the infant mammals to effortlessly digest and assimilate all the nutrients from their mother’s milk. After infancy there is a gene expression that naturally occurs which shuts down the production of lactase and makes it very difficult to digest lactose… hence “lactose intolerance”. Actually, lactose intolerance is the norm. Somewhere close to 70% of the world’s population becomes lactose intolerant after childhood. A DNA mutation can actually be traced back to the first dairy farmers which originated in northern Europe (Scandinavian region). This mutation allowed their bodies to continue producing lactase well into their adult years in order to help digest dairy. Regardless, a majority of the world’s population is lactose intolerant making it very difficult to process dairy.
In addition to the fact that milk contains a sugar which is very difficult for the majority of us to process after adolescence, there are various proteins and hormones in the milk designed to accelerate the growth of infant cows. Are our bodies designed to process these proteins and hormones? If so, what effects do they have if any? Here’s where I stand: I love the taste of dairy… cheese, milk shakes, ice cream, baked goods, even goat cheese… etc. However, after much research, introspective thought, and diarrhea, it makes no sense that we humans consume milk from another species of animal… ever. Here is how I came to that conclusion:
- Milk contains a protein called IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) which is associated with increased risk in developing multiple forms of cancer (colon, breast, prostate) and heart disease. This is the main reason I avoid dairy… aside from the fact that I am lactose intolerant.
- Many dairy farmers in the U.S. inject into their cows a synthetic hormone called Posilac (bovine growth hormone, a.k.a rbGH or recombinant bovine growth hormone) to increase the production of milk during lactation. This synthetic hormone is known to cause mastitis (infection of the udder) and increase the pus in milk production (yum!) These same cows are also artificially inseminated, fed a diet of corn/grains which affects the nutritional quality of the milk, and given antibiotics to help prevent infection. The presence of rbGH also has been linked to an increase in IGF-1 in cow’s milk (see first bullet point above).
- Milk products in the U.S. are pasteurized (except for raw milk). The pasteurization process eliminates various enzymes which help us digest the milk and assimilate all the nutrients they rave about on t.v.
- All of the vitamins and minerals in milk including calcium can be found in other food sources that are easily digested.
Big picture – you are consuming milk from another species of animal. That milk was intended by its designer to be the soul nourishment of that animal’s offspring. The milk, which is rich in vitamins and minerals, also contains hormones and proteins intended to accelerate the growth and development of that particular animal’s offspring and are not designed to be digested and assimilated by other animal species.
Remember what I wrote about in entry 1: there is this amazing thing called life right where you are… its basic form is energy which we all know has certain properties and obeys certain laws (by design)… your body is this amazing field of energy potential which is also subject to various laws and design principles. If you have taken the time to read this, I hope by now there is something innate to the very core of your being that desires above all else to maximize your potential and have a damn good time doing it as you watch your life unfold. See you next time – MD
This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 at 2:15 pm and is filed under Design, Nutrition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.