Is Milk Good for Kids? (or anyone else?)
We were told to feed our kids milk and we did. Those kids were you and I. Want to know the results? We, as a generation drinking milk developed more diabetes and more cancer than any generation in history. I don’t know about you but I want my kids to have a better life than me or my generation. So to every parent out there who loves their kids, yes, Octo-Mom even you, listen up and get it right. The Dairy Council spends millions on advertising and is in bed with your federal government. The federal government spends billions, with a “B,” every year to subsidize the dairy industry. Don’t believe me? Then Google “dairy industry and governmental subsidies” and see what comes up. The government knows a cash cow (pardon the pun) when it sees one. Health is NOT our government’s concern; financial stability is the primary concern.
Let’s keep it in perspective. I live in the greatest nation on earth, I pay my taxes with a smile and don’t worry that foreign invaders will interrupt my evening dinner but that is not the same as trusting the government with my health. When it comes to health do not take advice from the government unless you are a recipient of that famous government cheese program.
For some ironies of milk being marketed as a health food, go read my article Why Pinocchio must never work for the Dairy Association, go ahead, I’ll wait . . .
So let’s pick up and continue our quiet discussion. Keep your voice down; I don’t want to alarm the government.
A Swig of Antibiotics & a Slurp of Hormones
Dairy cattle get antibiotics regularly to treat mastitis (infected udder) so the antibiotics get deposited in their tissue. The antibiotics get expressed in the milk and then you drink it. Hormones are also given to meat and dairy cattle which ends up in your grocery store purchase. So with every bite of non-organic red meat or milk you are getting a nice dose of antibiotics and hormones.
These hormones and antibiotics, as well as other factors involved in milk and dairy consumption have been linked with an increased risk for cancer in some studies. In the journal, Nutrition and Cancer, a study appeared that looked at 3,334 cancer patients and 1,300 comparable control subjects. The cancer patient group included persons diagnosed with cancers of the oral cavity, stomach, colon, rectum, lung, breast, uterus, cervix, prostate, or bladder. As a group, control patients were more likely to report never drinking whole milk; cancer patients more often reported frequent consumption of whole milk. Other studies looking at “insulin growth factor 1” (IGF-1) have shown that IGF-1 is directly linked to increased cancer rates. Milk consumption increases IGF-1.
Do you really want to give your child hormones at age 2 or age 5 or when they are a teenager? Why do young girls have menstrual cycles at age 11 now when you didn’t have yours until age 14 or 15? You think maybe the hormones had an effect? Many scientists do.
There is a study that looked at giving day care kid’s probiotics. These are active bacteria that are healthy for the bowel and support your immune system. When kids got them they were less likely to get sick and missed less school. Unfortunately the antibiotics in milk kill probiotics (or good bacteria) and increase the risk of illness. Milk also contributes to increased amounts or mucous production and results in thicker secretions that lead to ear, nose and throat infections, snoring, and respiratory congestion. So if milk consumption has the potential of increasing my kids risk for infections I think I’ll vote no on milk.
Casein Protein & Cancer
Casein protein which comprises 87% of the protein in milk products has a link to cancer. A study done on rats showed that when two different groups of rats were fed different concentration of milk, that 100% of the rats fed a high milk diet developed cancer. They also demonstrated that when the high milk diet was removed, the cancer went into remission. The conclusion was that the casein protein in the milk was a cancer promoter. That is not to say that milk is a carcinogen, it does not cause cancer per se, yet it appears to be a favored food by cancer cells and promotes their growth. These same studies were repeated with other protein sources including soy and did not produce cancer as milk casein protein did.
But What About Organic Milk?
Sure, we can agree that “organic” milk is better. It is free of hormones and antibiotics, but it still contains the casein protein discussed above. It also still contains more than a million pus cells per teaspoon. Delicious. On the upside: it is sterile pus.
What about little Johnny’s daily need for calcium? I want to make sure he gets that, right? Well yes but Johnny’s ability to develop strong bones has a lot more to do with his exercise than his calcium intake. Being outside running around will promote his vitamin D level which will allow him to absorb the calcium in his vegetables. Vegetables? Yes, most calcium in our diets comes from vegetables not milk. Milk will actually pull calcium OUT of your body because only 30% of the calcium in milk is even bioavailable (able to be absorbed) and all of that is lost as your body pulls calcium from your bones to neutralize the acidity of milk. Milk is an acidic animal food and will always pull more calcium than it delivers. Numerous scientific studies looking at kids and bone health have shown that milk consumption does not promote strong bones. So go unplug Johnny’s video game and send him outside to run with his friends.
Why Doesn’t My Doctor Tell Me This?
Because it is not taught in medical school. Nutrition is not taught to doctors and the AMA as well as many other important governing bodies do not feel that diet and nutrition play a significant role in your health. Here’s an irony for you: Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said “let food be thy medicine” and we as physicians take the Hippocratic oath. I bet Hippocrates is pissed. The AMA is married to the pharmaceutical industry and the drug companies aren’t selling broccoli so food is not an issue that comes up at medical conferences.
Milk & Bone Health
Now there are a few of us wackos out there that believe that diet does influence your health. What a crazy notion. One such group is Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. They did a search of the medical literature and reviewed 58 studies that examined milk and dairy intake, calcium, and bone health in kids. Their conclusion:
- In clinical, longitudinal, retrospective, and cross-sectional studies, neither increased consumption of dairy products, specifically, nor total dietary calcium consumption has shown even a modestly consistent benefit for child or young adult bone health.
In fact there are many other studies that support this finding and have shown that exercise is the #1 factor, along with vitamin D levels, that determine your bone health. Cows don’t offer vitamin D. Milk has vitamin D because it has been artificially added to the milk. So bypass the milk and just give your kid some vitamin D and get their vitamin D level measured (simple blood test).
Diabetes & Milk
What about other health issues related to dairy consumption, such as diabetes? There is an indisputable link between type 1 diabetes and milk. Multiple studies have shown it. We can get into the studies and the science but before we do let’s just go crazy and apply some common sense. Every mother in America has been told by her pediatrician that she should NOT feed cow’s milk to her baby until after they are one year old. Why? And what magic happens at age one that suddenly makes this milk rule disappear? They tell you not to do this because your child’s underdeveloped immune system and poor developed bowels can’t adequately break milk down and it leads to allergies and diabetes. By the age of one these systems are more developed but by no means fully matured and milk is still a difficult food to digest and assimilate.
Whatever is in that milk that makes it dangerous to my newborn isn’t any different when he turns 1 year old. In 1992 a study appeared in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine that looked at 221 kids that were between 4 and 12 years of age. Two thirds of them were type 1 diabetics and they compared the blood of the diabetics to the blood of the non-diabetic kids and in EVERY single diabetic child they found antibodies to milk at high levels that were not present in ANY of the non-diabetic kids. It was a 100% finding with no crossover. This is just one of many studies that have confirmed this link between milk and type 1 diabetes. No, of course not every kid that drinks milk will get diabetes but how much risk are you willing to take?
The Dairy Council
“But the Dairy Council promised me that milk was good for my health.” If I were the Dairy Council then that’s what I would say too. Look at the science. If you search the literature as I did you will find studies that support both sides of the argument. But when you take out the studies that were sponsored or funded by the Dairy Council then many of these issues become crystal clear. The more I study, the more milk just makes me nervous. I can’t find any “healthy” reasons to drink or eat it. Read any article not funded by the Dairy Council (if you can find one) and see what is reported. Milk is not good food. It may be delicious but it is neither healthy nor necessary for kids or anyone else.
My kids do not consume any dairy. Well that is an overstatement. We love ice cream on occasion and usually that’s coconut milk derived ice cream. Overall, you will not find milk products in my home and my kids are strong and fast and at the head of their class.
It is an age old myth that kids need dairy. Be smarter than the lab rats the Dairy Council believes you to be. READ something and prove to yourself that dairy milk for kids is great for the economy but lousy for their health.
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