Why Do We Drink Milk? - AnabolicMinds.com
    • Why Do We Drink Milk?



      By Mark Hyman, MD HuffPost

      There is no biological requirement for cow's milk. It is nature's perfect food, but only if you are a calf. The evidence of its benefits is overstated, and the evidence of its harm to human populations is increasing.

      The white-mustached celebrities paid by the Dairy Council promote the wonders of milk in their "Got Milk" ads. Scientists are increasingly asking, "Got Proof?" Our government still hasn't caught on, in part because of the huge dairy lobby driving nutrition guidelines. When I once lamented to Senator Harkin that all we wanted to do was to make science into policy, he cocked his head and with a wry smile and said, "that would make too much sense."

      And the media is also influenced heavily by advertising dollars. Once, when I was on Martha Stewart's television show, the dairy lobby sponsored the episode, and her trainer was forced to mouth the talking points of the Dairy Council touting milk as a fabulous sports drink. Studies may show some benefit, but studies funded by the food industry show positive benefits eight times more than independently-funded studies.

      In a new editorial by two of the nation's leading nutrition scientists from Harvard, Dr. David Ludwig and Dr. Walter Willett, in JAMA Pediatrics, our old assumptions about milk are being called into question. Perhaps it doesn't help you grow strong bones, and it may increase the risk of cancer and promote weight gain.

      It is bad enough that the dairy industry recently petitioned the FDA to sneak artificial sweeteners into chocolate milk. They want their "shake and eat it, too" by pushing milkshake-like flavored milk drinks into schools as a "healthier" option, even though they have 30 grams of sugar per cup. By cutting the sugar and adding artificial sweeteners to low-fat or non-fat milk drinks, the idea is that they would be healthier. Except for the fact that recent studies have found that one diet drink a week increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes by 33 percent and a large diet drink increases the risk by 66 percent.

      What about low-fat milk or non-fat milk? These are the healthier options, right? Wrong.

      Ludwig and Willett note that there is scant evidence that fat makes you fat, despite this commonly-held mistaken belief. Reducing fat in milk reduces its ability to satisfy the appetite (which fat does) and can promote overeating and hunger. Often, the fat in the diet is replaced with sugar and refined carbohydrates, which clearly has been shown to promote obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

      Studies show that reducing fat in the diet, which parallels an increase in starch and refined carbohydrates in the diet, not only increases hunger but also may actually slow metabolism. In one study, Dr. Ludwig found that those who ate a low fat, higher glycemic diet burned 300 calories less a day that those who ate an identical calorie diet that was higher in fat and lower in glycemic load. For those who ate the higher fat, lower glycemic diet, that's like exercising an extra hour a day without doing anything!

      More concerning still is that, in studies of kids and adults, those who consumed low-fat milk products gained more weight than those who ate the full-fat, whole milk products. They seemed to increase their overall intake of food because it just wasn't as satisfying as the real thing. In fact, those who drank the most milk overall gained the most weight. It makes logical sense. Milk is designed to quickly turn a little calf into a big cow and contains over 60 different hormones, most designed to boost growth.

      But shouldn't we stick to low-fat milk to reduce our intake of saturated fat? The fact is that, while your LDL or bad cholesterol goes down by reducing saturated fat in the diet, the protective cholesterol, HDL, actually goes up by eating saturated fat improving the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol, which is the most important marker of your risk of heart disease. Switching out saturated fat for carbohydrates actually increased the risk of heart attack in a 12-year study of 53,544 adults. In fact, the whole story of the evil of saturated fats is in great debate. The evidence for linkage to heart disease turns out to be pretty weak indeed.

      If you ate only whole foods, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains (not whole grain flour), you might be better off overall (although a recent scientific review of saturated fat dismissed the very notion that is it bad for you). But sadly, that is not what most Americans do when they switch to low fat.

      The sad thing is that many schools and "healthy" beverage guidelines encourage the idea that flavored milk is better than soda and that getting kids to drink more milk by any means is a good idea. This is dangerously misguided.

      There are 27 grams of sugar in 8 ounces of Coca Cola and a whopping 30 grams of sugar in 8 ounces of Nestlé Chocolate Milk. Sugar is sugar, and drives obesity and diabetes. It is not a good way to get kids to drink milk.

      But that begs the bigger question. Do kids need milk? Is milk necessary for healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis? The data are clear, but our government polices don't reflect the science.

      Dairy and milk products do not promote healthy bones. In a large meta-analysis, milk did not reduce risk of fractures. Other studies have shown it can increase fracture rates. And the countries with the lowest milk consumption have the lowest risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Calcium is not all it's cracked up to be. Studies show that higher calcium intakes are actually associated with higher risk of fracture.

      Milk may not grow strong bones, but it does seem to grow cancer cells. Milk increases the hormone called IGF-1 or insulin-like growth factor, one that is like Miracle-Gro for cancer cells. Dairy products have been linked to prostate cancer. And cows are milked while pregnant (yes, even organic cows), filling milk with loads of reproductive and potentially cancer-causing hormones.

      There are other problems with milk, too. It increases the risk of Type 1 diabetes. Dairy is a well-known cause of acne. And of course, dairy causes millions around the world (75 percent of the population) to suffer digestive distress because of lactose intolerance. It causes intestinal bleeding in 40 percent of infants, leading to iron deficiency. Allergy, asthma, and eczema all may be triggered by dairy consumption.

      The US Department of Agriculture's new My Plate initiative recommends three cups a day of milk for everyone! If you are 2 to 9 years old, you get away with only 2 to 2.5 cups. And the "key consumer message" is to switch to 1 percent or non-fat versions.

      There is absolutely no biological requirement for milk, and the evidence for low-fat milk is lacking, along with the bone benefits. The dairy lobby has its tentacles deep in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. One scientist friend who advises the government on food policy confided to me that when he protested that there was no evidence for the government's recommendations that we all drink three glasses of milk a day and that, in fact, it may be harmful, he was patronized with a "yes, we know, but the dairy lobby makes it difficult to make science into policy."

      Let's just forget the science and spend taxpayer's dollars to promote foods that we know are harmful, because money runs politics. To heck with the health of our citizens.

      Bottom line: Milk is not nature's perfect food unless you are a calf and should not be consumed in large quantities by most people, because it can promote weight gain, cancer, and even cause osteoporosis. Write to your congressmen to encourage them to support changes to our food and farm bill policies that shape our nutritional guidelines and make them evidence based. The answer to the question, "Got Proof?" Heck no!

      Now I'd like to hear from you...

      Do you think we need to drink milk to be healthy?

      Do you agree that getting kids to drink more milk is a good idea?

      Have you recently cut dairy from your diet, and if so, do you feel better?

      What are some good dairy alternatives that you've discovered?

      Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mar...b_3551079.html
      Comments 31 Comments
      1. girthypiece's Avatar
        girthypiece -
        Written by an MD not a nutritionist. "Promotes weight gain, cancer...." could be said about literally millions of things all worse than milk. Several uncited generalizations. A propaganda article at its finest...
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        The weight gain effect is likely true in certain cases, so long as overall calorie consumption is high enough to begin with. Milk has a double negative effect - both fats and lactose, which is a sugar that breaks down equally as fast as any other simple sugar. Neither are necessarily good for you unless you are starving. As far as IGF-1 levels being increased? Really? That's a marginal increase. You'd probably receive more IGF increases due to working out than you would with milk, lol. So in that case, we could assume that working out and stimulating growth is a terrible idea for cancer patients....NOT. Plus, human IGF is localized, which means it is only produced to serve broken muscle tissues, not necessarily the cancerous sites, unless the cancer is located in the muscle tissue being worked. IGF-LR3 however is a different story. That modified IGF is bad for cancer patients because it lingers in the bloodstream, attaching itself to receptors all over the body. In any case, the above notion is false.

        With that said, the low fat, high carb comments are misinforming. The type of carbs you eat will causes different effects on the body, as well as how much protein you eat with those carbs/fats.

        A low-fat, high complex carb & high meat protein diet will NOT result in a slower metabolism and certainly will not encourage Type II diabetes. The low fat diet only works if you have excellent dietary discipline to eat little to no simple sugars & quality protein at every meal. I know this from experience that it truly works if done in this way.

        Fat makes you feel full. For ectomorphs like myself, eating more than my metabolism can burn is a tough chore so I generally lean more towards carbs rather than fats. Plus, I perform much better in the gym with higher amounts of carbs, as anyone would.
      1. xilinx's Avatar
        xilinx -
        that is good news. igf can be Taken orally!
        no?
        the anti-milk propagandists change the story as fast as the previous ones are refuted.
      1. 6andaHalf's Avatar
        6andaHalf -
        Is MILK really what we should be complaining about these days... ? Good grief.

        So, unless you're a calf you should switch to human breast milk for your post shakes or Wheaties?

        -
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Legitimate IGF-1 cannot be taken orally. For it to actually take effect, you need to inject it w/ bacteriostatic water or acetic acid & water.

        There are oral supplements that may increase IGF-1 such as deer antler velvet. It is more like a booster though and isn't IGF-LR3.
      1. madds87's Avatar
        madds87 -
        I want some breast milk!!! The dang stuff is expensive though....
      1. hardwork25's Avatar
        hardwork25 -
        Originally Posted by madds87 View Post
        I want some breast milk!!! The dang stuff is expensive though....

        Agreed
      1. Mr.Sinister's Avatar
        Mr.Sinister -
        Causes type 1 diabetes? I don't think so. It is genetic.
      1. propho's Avatar
        propho -
        So we can start pinning milk for the IGF-1 to get shredded! HELLZ YEAH!
      1. girthypiece's Avatar
        girthypiece -
        Originally Posted by propho View Post
        So we can start pinning milk for the IGF-1 to get shredded! HELLZ YEAH!
        Yeah mix that with deer antler and we will look like ronnie coleman overnight. And yes it will turn you black too
      1. Bigcountry08's Avatar
        Bigcountry08 -
        I used to be like a lot of you every time I saw a anti milk article I went crazy. Saying its all just BS and milk is one of the greatest bodybuilding foods ever. I would drink a half gallon of milk a day to hit my protein macros. But every day after breakfast (drinking my first two cups of milk) I would go to the gym and feel lethargic, bloated, sick, and gassy. About 6 months ago I decided to start cutting out dairy and gluten and it has been awesome I'm not tired anymore, I never feel sick before the gym now, and I don't rip a** while leg pressing now. I'm not saying milk should be ripped off the shelves, but I do feel personally that in the long run it does more harm then good. I would also bet that if most of you cut it out of your diet within two months you wouldn't miss it and you would probably notice some changes for the better.

        Ice cream is still the s*** though, and I'll never be able to give it up.
      1. anathemax's Avatar
        anathemax -
        I'm totally going to sound like a hippy here, but the industrialized "Modern" dairy industry is to blame here. Humans have been harvesting animal milk for thousands of years without the metabolic problems that we are facing now, as long as you have the appropriate enzymes to digest it.

        Raw milk, from grass fed cows, who aren't fed a steady diet of antibiotics just in case they get sick, IS FANTASTIC.

        I'm not saying it will cure all your ills, or turn you into the Incredible Hulk overnight, but it is a completely different situation than the crap you get at most grocery stores. You don't even want to know what they have to do to reduced fat milk to make it drinkable.
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Originally Posted by Bigcountry08 View Post
        I used to be like a lot of you every time I saw a anti milk article I went crazy. Saying its all just BS and milk is one of the greatest bodybuilding foods ever. I would drink a half gallon of milk a day to hit my protein macros. But every day after breakfast (drinking my first two cups of milk) I would go to the gym and feel lethargic, bloated, sick, and gassy. About 6 months ago I decided to start cutting out dairy and gluten and it has been awesome I'm not tired anymore, I never feel sick before the gym now, and I don't rip a** while leg pressing now. I'm not saying milk should be ripped off the shelves, but I do feel personally that in the long run it does more harm then good. I would also bet that if most of you cut it out of your diet within two months you wouldn't miss it and you would probably notice some changes for the better.

        Ice cream is still the s*** though, and I'll never be able to give it up.
        A bodybuilder can easily do well without milk, so I agree. In fact, I'd say if you wanted to get really shredded and be in top contest prep condition, you'd have to give up milk one way or another since it also has a buttload of sugars in the form of lactose in it. Generally speaking, I tell people that if you drop the milk, table sugar & fruits and fruit juices from your diet for a month you'll take off an inch or better in the waiste and likely be one step further away from becoming diabetic.
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        yeah it sounds hippyish, lol. Organic bodybuilder, lol.

        j/k. Too bad that straight milk from the cowtit is not available to about 95% of us. Heck, I live near the country and it's still a chore to get access to such. It's a minimum wage job to get that milk 3-4 times per day, lol.
      1. Ryan2736's Avatar
        Ryan2736 -
        Thank you for the counter fueledpassion. I currently have dairy cut out since I'm prepping. But during off season dairy is my go to!
      1. suheaven's Avatar
        suheaven -
        This guy is crazy!! Clearly, he isn't a bodybuilder or powerlifter. In my opinion, it is the perfect food, you get whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, casein protein, etc from it... I'm assuming he wants everyone to switch to soy protein. On another note, whole milk is great to use when you need to bulk! A gallon a day, keeps the doctor away,lol :)
      1. THOR 70's Avatar
        THOR 70 -
        Originally Posted by anathemax View Post
        I'm totally going to sound like a hippy here, but the industrialized "Modern" dairy industry is to blame here. Humans have been harvesting animal milk for thousands of years without the metabolic problems that we are facing now, as long as you have the appropriate enzymes to digest it.

        Raw milk, from grass fed cows, who aren't fed a steady diet of antibiotics just in case they get sick, IS FANTASTIC.

        I'm not saying it will cure all your ills, or turn you into the Incredible Hulk overnight, but it is a completely different situation than the crap you get at most grocery stores. You don't even want to know what they have to do to reduced fat milk to make it drinkable.
        Spot on. Everyone should look into the negative effects pasteurization/homogenization does to the fat/protein in milk. (In fact, this is one of the major flaws in the china study, they fed the rodents denatured casein)

        Unfortunately, I think it's only WA & CA that its legal to sell raw milk. If you have never tried raw milk from grass fed cows I highly suggest. Tastes like heaven.

        Now there are different types of dairy cows that are known to produce milk that is more bioavailable to for humans to consume. But that is another long winded comment.

        Just like anything else there is more that meets the eye. I suggest everyone research this further if you consume a lot of milk.
      1. compudog's Avatar
        compudog -
        We drink milk because thousands of years ago someone thought it would be a good idea to domesticate cows in order to get milk from them on a regular basis, and because since then, generation after generation of people have agreed that it was a good idea and continued the practice. I'm sure there have always been people who disagreed with the practice, because people are just like that. Personally I don't mind, just means more for me!
      1. XeriCSnipE's Avatar
        XeriCSnipE -
        Worst article ever
      1. Bigcountry08's Avatar
        Bigcountry08 -
        Originally Posted by XeriCSnipE View Post
        Worst article ever
        Want to elaborate?

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