Is Dairy Bad For You? This is an in-depth look at the history of the dairy industry, the changes in practices over the last 20 years, and how it may be affecting your digestion, protein absorption and overall tolerance for lactose. Find out how hormones, antibiotics and mass production on dairy farms may potentially be causing adverse health issues. For more information on how simple things like dairy can affect you, go to http://www.thomasdelauer.com
Dairy - A History
1. Between 1991 and 2004, the number of U.S. dairies decreased by half, and those with an excess of 100 cows increased by 94 percent. Big business tends to do anything to increase profits, which was led to changes that impact both our health and our sense of what is morally acceptable. (2)
2. Between 1950 and 2000, the number of dairy cows decreased by half, however the average milk yield more than tripled. (2)
What this means for dairy:
a. dairy cows live in some tough conditions and consume a diet that is high in protein and low in fiber, opposite of their natural diet of grass, which is high in fiber and low in nutritional density. They are fed this way to increase production, however it makes cows sick. (2)
b. To keep cows healthy enough to produce milk, they are fed antibiotics. These antibiotics are passed on to us when we consume dairy products. This could lead to antibiotic resistance, and it is not fully understood what health problems this could pose. (2)
a. milk contains natural hormones and growth factors - think about it - milk is produced in mammals to create the nutrition and resources for a small mammal to grow to be large. These hormones are meant to bring an 85 lb calf to a full grown 1,500 lbs (4). In addition to these naturally occurring hormones, synthetic growth hormones are frequently used to increase the production of milk. These hormones are readily available in the dairy we drink and may affect our normal hormonal function. (3)
i. One hormone added to cow’s milk, insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), has been implicated in increased breast and prostate cancer risk. In a study of nearly 22,000 participants for 28 years published by the Journal of Nutrition in 2013, it was found that those who consumed greater than 2.5 servings of dairy products daily had an increased risk of prostate cancer compared to those who consumed less than one half of a serving per day. (7)
Aren’t there other nutrients that you need from milk?
Every nutrient that you can obtain from milk, such as calcium, potassium, protein and fats can all be obtained from whole plant foods, such as vegetables, legumes, nuts and fruits.
It is important to reduce the causes of chronic inflammation in our diets, and the hormones in milk, whether organic, raw milk or regular milk with even more hormones added in, can lead to inflammation.
Cut dairy out of your diet for 30 days and see how you feel. It you find better digestion, increased energy and improved health, you are likely one of the majority who have an inflammatory response to dairy.
If you do decide to continue eating dairy, do so in small quantities and be sure to consume organic, raw dairy.
1. Dairy: 6 Reasons You Should Avoid it at All Costs
2. The Big Business of Dairy Farming: Big Trouble for Cows
3. Health Concerns About Dairy Products
4. How Much do Cows Weigh
5. Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study. American Journal of Public Health. June 1997
6. The Dangers of Dairy
7. Whole milk intake is associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality among U.S. male physicians. Journal of Nutrition. 2013.
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