Milk a Food or toxin?

How Do We Decide

milkBy Tim Triche, Jr

I came across an article recently which solidified a lot of what I have been reading lately (in between studying and working out a lot to kill the stress) about calcium, phosphorus, excretion studies, and Haversian system degeneration from calcium loss. I'm disturbed by what I've seen in the journals and scientific literature, and before anyone dares to blast "those know-nothing Western scientists", I'd like to remind you that so-called common sense is often heavily influenced by advertising. Dairy advertising, in this case.

I like milk a lot. I have a glass of cold skim milk with any meal where I eat peanut butter or cookies or the like, and that's a lot of meals, for me (most breakfasts, for example, I have a raisin bagel with PB, strawberries, water, and a glass of milk). As I edge closer and closer to being a vegetarian full-time, milk has begun to replace meat as my primary source of concentrated protein. So I'm not going off on milk for spite or malice.

But the association of bone degeneration with calcium loss (Walker, 1965) has led to a recent media blitz from the dairy industry encouraging consumers to drink lots of milk to prevent osteoporosis in old age, especially for women. (Fitzsimons, 1995)

This is simply not the way to prevent progressive skeletal weakening. Milk and other proteinaceous foods can actually cause calcium to be lost in the kidneys as excessive urea is filtered, though it is unlikely that the overall balance of Ca+2 is negative. (G & G, 1989) Furthermore, excess protein can cause binary calculi (kidney stones) to form even in the absence of excessive Ca+2. So there are good reasons not to add more milk to a typical American diet, which already gets 40% of its calories from fat (primary source: ground beef), 20% from protein - already quite adequate; 12% is enough for most elite athletes, let alone sedentary adults (Heany, 1993) - and the remaining 40% from carbohydrates, of which approximately half are mono- and disaccharides, i.e. "simple sugars". (NRC, 1989) Despite the dairy industry's vested interest in promoting milk as a cure for osteoporosis, the sad fact is that they are lying to you.

The recommendation to drink three cups of milk a day is perhaps the worst advice given to the American public about diet in the last half century. As a result, Americans are consuming billions of gallons of milk a year under the false assumption that their bones would crumble without them. ~ David Ludwig.

The lowdown on milk by Joseph Keon

Phosphorus supplementation will not do the trick, either. Although it does reduce the urinary excretion of calcium in healthy patients, it causes faecal excretion of Ca+2 to rise. (Recker & Heany, 1983) So we are back to where we started in terms of waste <--> Ca+2 <--> bone influx and efflux. Phosphorus is not the answer to broken hips and hunched backs.

What, you might ask, is the answer to fighting osteoporosis and skeletal degeneration in later life? I am not so brazen as to submit "the" answer, but I will forward one answer to the question. Consulting the appropriate studies will confirm the belief that it is a solid answer, but we cannot rule out many other possible treatments.

Exercise and good dietary habits are the keys to health, in many respects. It may come as no small surprise to the meat and dairy industry-indoctrinated public that certain populations consuming less than half the RDA for calcium (1200 mg as of 1989) have a much lower incidence of bone matrix degeneration and osteoporosis than their "adequately" nourished, Ca+2 and P(i) stocked
American counterparts.

The Bantus of northern Africa consume a diet almost devoid of dairy products, and low in protein, averaging only 350 mg daily. In spite of this, tooth loss and broken bones are rare among the Bantus, and life expectancy is over 65 years, vastly greater than that for most populations of similar circumstance and income. Osteoporosis among the Bantu is almost unknown - except for those who move to America. (Fitzsimons, 1995).

What about drinking extra milk for extra protein?

"7 Percent of American Adults Believe Chocolate Milk Comes From Brown Cows"
~ Washington Post

Only if you would like to urinate and see blood in your toilet bowl one morning. Kidney dysfunction is painful and irreversible in many cases. And that, in short, is where excess protein goes - it is deaminated in the liver, with the nitrogenous end being bound into urea and excreted actively by ports in the Loop of Henle, and the deaminated CHO skeleton is used for energy or stored as fat. This is what ketogenesis is all about - when there is inadequate carbohydrate to fuel activity, proteins and fats are deaminated and acetylated for use in the Krebs cycle. It's a painful process and feels like hell, both for you and for your organs. We, as Americans, Europeans, and Australians with the finances to read USENET news, are unlikely to ever even meet someone with kwashiorkor (protein deficiency), let alone experience it ourself. It's simply unknown outside of parts of Asia and Africa, where the only food eaten is a vegetable (cassava root in Africa) with almost no protein...and even then, only when it is not fermented, as in the ngiri and dawa dawa processes of alkaline bacterial preparation.


My answer, then, is to exercise vigorously and regularly, try not to over eat, especially steaks, ice cream, and other high-fat and high-protein foods, and to emphasize vegetable sources of calcium in the diet. How about broccoli? (Margen et al., 1992) It contains more calcium, per calorie, than corned beef (Fitzsimons, 1995), and at the same time it provides numerous phytochemicals that may aid in delaying carcinogenesis and promotion - i.e., "cancer-fighters". Even milk cannot offer this advantage. And meat may be carcinogenic when consumed to excess (Campbell et al., 1994). So perhaps it's time to look towards other sources of Ca+2 in the diet besides milk.

I cannot emphasize enough that vigorous activity, done over a lifetime, may be the most protective action you can take to reduce your risk of skeletal degeneration. Excretion and bone-loss studies (Shepard et al., 1992) show that athletes retain more dietary and ossified calcium than their sedentary counterparts by a wide margin, and studies with middle-aged runners have confirmed this. (Costill et al., ??) Furthermore, weight-bearing and resistance exercise in women raises the serum concentrations of testosterone, not enough to cause masculinization, but certainly enough to add to retention of Ca+2 and tensile strength increases in muscle. (Shepard et al., 1992) Muscular girths are not significantly affected except in very rare cases and in examples of women athletes using androgens (steroids). So get up, go outside, run around, do whatever, and enjoy yourself regularly, it will improve your quality of life today and tomorrow.

Another fact that makes milk potentially more harmful is that most of it is sold in plastic bottles. Even in the short time that milk is in that plastic container, a small quantity of plastic will leach into the milk and it is known to cause a great many health problems.

American milk (USA)us_milk

The health of the United States dairy herds are undermined by farming practises that would not be tolerated in Europe and New Zealand. They are fed on genetically modified crops and treated with what is listed on the image right.

Antibiotics are passed on to consumers which contribute to the weakening immune systems and the growth hormones contribute to foetal deformities and growth defects like gynecomastia.

New Zealand Milk

In New Zealand almost all milk is pasteurised and homogenised, but some organic and unprocessed milk is available.

Pasteurisation is a heat treatment process intended to eliminate any viruses or bacteria in the milk. Many people feel concerned that this reduces the bio-availability of the nutrients in the milk.

Homogenisation is a process where the milk is pressurised and the milk (fat) structure broken down into its component parts so that they mix evenly through the solution. But more significantly, it allows undigested milk to bypass the digestive process and in fact poison us. According to Dr Oster, with Dr Donald Ross of Fairfield University and Dr John Zikakis of the University of Delaware, homogenising allows the enzyme xanthine oxidase (XO) to pass intact into the blood stream. There it attacks the plasmologen tissue of the artery walls and parts of the heart muscle. This causes lesions that the body tries to heal by laying down a protective layer of cholesterol. The end result is scar tissue and calcified plaques with a build-up of cholesterol and other fatty deposits. We call these arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis. According to some experts, dietary cholesterol is not the main cause of heart attacks; it is homogenised milk in addition to an unhealthy diet and lifestyle.

Organic Milk - As of 2016, this is still new to the market and in limited supply. Farmers are now allowed to have gate sales of natural unpasteurised milk. This means that you must drive to the farm and buy directly from the farmer. Another innovation is the farmers are now able to pasteurise their own milk and this is available in some markets and specialist shops. Besides the fact that natural is best, a lot of the organic milk is available in reusable glass bottles which reduces the contamination and health problems associated with plastic milk bottles.

Whole milk - Blue top bottles, this is supposed to be only pasteurised milk that has not had any other treatment.

Skimmed Milk- green top milk (green/yellow cartons) has most of the milk fat removed and we consider this form of milk to be the safest to consume in small quantities.

Standard Milk - Blue top (blue cartons) - we consider this to be dangerous to health as in the processing the milk is treated so that the molecules of milk fat are shattered. This means that we are ingesting parts of molecules which the body reads as digested. This leads to the body absorbing undigested fat/ protein and it is thought that this could be a major cause of cancer.

A1 & A2 Milk a dispute at present, however A2 milk may be healthier.

The Australians have come up with an alternative to pasteurisation and homogenisation. This involves pressurising fresh milk and the pressure destroys any bacteria that may be present in the milk. This avoids the need for pasteurisation or homogenisation which reduce the nutritive value of milk and preserve its original nature.  This will be a very good option for organic producers whose cows are uncontaminated with antibiotics and agricultural chemicals because these will not be affected by this processing method.

Of course the bottom line here is that cows milk is for calves. Human milk is for human babies. As human adults cows milk is an unsuitable food and today most milk is sold in cartons with a multitude of flavours, sweetened and fortified milk formulas available.

2013 Botulism scare

Milk products made by the New Zealand company Fonterra were recalled Aug 4th 2013 including two Nutricia products - Karicare Gold+ Follow On Formula Stage 2 (6-12 months) with batch No D3183, and Karicare Infant Formula Stage 1 (0-6 months) with batch Nos 3169 and 3170. This follows on from a related incident known as the 2008 Chinese milk scandal where poisoned milk claimed the lives of many children.

A new scare in August 2013 involving the Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the most toxic substance known to man and the causative agent of botulism. It is not clear what strain of the botulism in the Fonterra milk. Clostridium botulinum is a large anaerobic Gram-positive bacillus that forms subterminal endospores and due to its high toxicity and the availability of the producing organism Clostridium botulinum, BoNT is regarded as a potential biological warfare agent. The symptoms in adults are paralysis and possibly death, in children the fatality rate is less than 1% for infants hospitalized with botulism. ~ Admin.

Homogenisation in detail


2 comments to Milk a Food or toxin?

  • Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar you’ll find in milk, while lactase is the enzyme that helps us digest it. The thing is, for most of our existence, the human species has only been able to produce lactase in the early years of life, rendering the consumption of milk during adulthood an untenable affair. Over on Nature, Andrew Curry describes how milk was essentially a toxin for early humans, and it was only through a fortuitous genetic mutation that some of us developed the ability to digest milk in the years after adolescence.

  • Harry

    For kids growing up milk seems to be a vital element that supports physical growth as kids who drink a lot of milk tend to be taller and stronger yet it seems to impair the health of adults who drink too much and it’s better concerned as yoghurt or cheese

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