Biologically, cow’s milk is meant to feed a rapidly growing calf. Humans aren’t calves — and adults usually don’t need to grow.
Before the agricultural revolution, humans only drank mother’s milk as infants. They didn’t consume dairy as adults. The main carbohydrate in dairy is lactose, a milk sugar composed of two simple sugars glucose and galactose.
As an infant, your body produced a digestive enzyme called lactase, which broke down lactose from your mother’s milk. However, many people lose the ability to break down lactose in adulthood. n fact, about 75% of the world’s adult population is unable to break down lactose — a phenomenon called lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance is very common in Africa, Asia, and South America, but is less prevalent in North America, Europe, and Australia.
People who are lactose intolerant have digestive symptoms when they consume dairy products. This includes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and related symptoms.
However, keep in mind that lactose-intolerant people can sometimes consume fermented dairy (like yogurt) or high-fat dairy products like butter.
You can also be allergic to other components in milk, such as proteins. While this is fairly common in children, it’s rare in adults.
Milk and other dairy products are the top sources of artery-clogging saturated fat in the American diet. Milk products also contain cholesterol.
Diets high in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease, which remains America’s top killer. Cheese is especially dangerous.
Typical cheeses are 70 percent fat. Research shows that dairy products have little or no benefit for bone health.
According to an analysis published in the British Medical Journal, most studies fail to show any link between dairy intake and broken bones, or fractures. In one study, researchers tracked the diets, exercise, and stress fracture rates of adolescent girls and concluded that dairy products and calcium do not prevent stress fractures.
Another study of more than 96,000 people found that the more milk men consumed as teenagers, the more bone fractures they experienced as adults. Research has linked the high-fat content and hormones in milk, cheese, and other dairy products to breast cancer.
Despite the hype, cow’s milk actually robs our bones of calcium. Animal proteins produce acid when they’re broken down, and calcium is an excellent acid neutralizer, so … you can see where this is going. In order to neutralize and flush out the acids, our bodies have to use the calcium that the milk contains—as well as some from our own stores.
So every glass of milk we drink leaches calcium from our bones. Cows are often pumped full of antibiotics to keep them alive and producing milk in filthy factory farm conditions. We can thank this rampant overuse of them for the surge in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. When humans are infected by these superbugs, antibiotics at best have decreased effectiveness and at worst are powerless.
Most of all –
Besides humans (and companion animals who are fed by humans), no species drinks milk beyond their natural age of weaning or drinks the milk of another species. Cow’s milk is suited to the nutritional needs of calves, who have four stomachs and gain hundreds of pounds in a matter of months—sometimes weighing more than 1,000 pounds before they’re 2 years old. Cow’s milk does not suit the nutritional needs of humans, so it’s no wonder that consuming it and its derivatives causes us so many problems.
Say No to Dairy.