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Milk... Why you should not drink it!

Milk... Why you should not drink it!

This is a repeat of an article that I wrote six years ago for Xtend-Your-Life newsletter. As I mention below, I never drink milk as I think it is the cause of many health problems suffered by so many people. No other adult animals drink milk (unless it is given by humans), so why should we think that we humans can? I am sure that if we were meant to drink milk as adults, nature would have made it easy for us to get.

Nature did not breed the cows and the milking sheds...

Anyway, here it the article:

If you drink pasteurized or homogenized milk you should stop now, for your health's sake!!

Pretty bold statement I know and no doubt that a number of readers will criticize... but it is a true statement nonetheless. Before I explain why you should stop drinking these types of milk, let me tell you the good points of milk and then you will better understand the information that follows.

Please appreciate that the good points I am about to relate to you is for RAW unpasteurized, non homogenized milk... the type that maybe your mother gave you when you were an infant. (assuming that you are over 50 years of age now) and almost impossible to buy today.

This raw unadulterated, unprocessed milk was a 'living' food full of enzymes, beneficial bacteria, vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins and lactose (a sugar). Leave a glass of this sitting at normal room temperature and the bacteria within the milk will ferment the sugars into lactic acid, producing sour milk, which ironically is even more nutritious than the fresh milk because it is partly digested.

Very few people were allergic to raw milk...

Unlike today's processed milks, few people were allergic to the raw milk because of the active enzymes present. For example, there is exactly enough lactase to digest the lactose, protease for the protein and lipase to digest the fat. These enzymes also help the absorption of calcium and the assimilation of other minerals.

So, raw pasteurized milk did give health benefits to many people. Personally I have never drunk any kind of milk, because I don't think that it is a natural food once you are no longer an infant...  but, that's only a personal opinion and may indeed be the wrong one. However, I know that I am not wrong on the negative health impact that milk from your supermarket will give you.

First of all, let's look at what pasteurization is! In simple terms, it is a process in which the milk is heated to high temperatures to kill any bacteria present. Fair enough, but the heating kills all the enzymes as well and these are vital components of milk! In fact, the 'death' of the enzymes is how they determine that the process is successful. When all the enzymes are dead, the pasteurization process is considered to be complete!

This process not only kills the enzymes and any bad bacteria, but also kills friendly bacteria (such as Lactobacillus). This means that the digestion of the various nutrients (such as proteins, fats and sugars) then has to be carried out by the body without any assistance from the naturally occurring enzymes and bacteria in the milk, and because of their absence additional undue stress is placed on the pancreas.

Bad hygiene?

So, why is the milk pasteurized in the first place? The answer to that one as you probably know is to make milk safer by killing any contaminants present. This is correct but it is not the true reason. The reality is that pasteurized milk is just as susceptible to contamination as raw milk.

Pasteurization has only come into 'vogue' in the last few decades as the commercialization of the dairy industry evolved. It is a cheap substitute for effective sanitization. If cows, dairies and workers were scrupulously clean, pasteurization would not be necessary... but that's too expensive and so the simple way is to 'kill' everything in the milk. There are some parallels to the increasing practice of irradiating meat... it's a lot cheaper to 'zap' it rather than avoid the contamination in the first place.

Milk which is pasteurized is an 'empty' food like so many other processed foods and people are unwittingly drinking it thinking that it is good for you, when the opposite is true!

But it gets worse...

What about milk which is pasteurized AND homogenized? This is the type of milk that is most prevalent in supermarkets today and people are unwittingly ingesting a lot of undesirable fat.

Our younger readers won't realize this but the good 'ole' milk always had a layer of cream which settled on the top of the milk. Homogenization is a technique used to make milk uniform in texture. It breaks up the fat in the cream fraction into very small particles. The tiny globules of fat which result from this process allows a deadly enzyme called xanthine oxidase to get into the body.

This enzyme can damage artery walls by causing lesions to occur on the lining. All milk fat excluding that from humans have this enzyme... but, it is not normally a problem as the fat globules that contain the enzyme are too large to pass through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. So, in non homogenized milk the enzyme will pass through the body without doing any damage. Not so however, after the milk has been homogenized because the particles are then small enough to squeeze through the intestinal linings!

Enough said!

Oop's... what about the growth hormones and antibiotics that is given to cows and present in the milk? No... I think that I'll give this issue a miss... have said enough!

I sincerely hope that I have put you off drinking pasteurized, homogenized milk. I accept that this is a real problem for mothers who are relying on the bottle to feed their babies. If you are in this position try to find a source of organic raw goat's milk. It's the closest that you can get to the real thing.

Comments  (31)

  • Jim
    December 16, 2010

    No other adult animals cook their food (unless it is given by humans), so why should we think that we humans can?  I guess there are many things that humans do, to our detriment, that other animals don't or can't do.

    I do agree pasteurized, homogenized is bad. I only drink it raw.

  • jil
    December 16, 2010

    Does this apply also to cheese? I usually eat sheep's cheese but sometimes organic Brie!!!

  • David
    December 16, 2010

    i stopped drinking cows milk years ago and swapped it for soy milk... can you tell me if there is any health benefit in this? or are there similar problems with soy? thanks

  • mike
    December 16, 2010

    So if one cannot find any raw milk, what does one give to a 3 year old ??

  • Carl
    December 17, 2010

    I gave up milk years ago due to lactose intolerance. Initially, I switched to soy milk, however, the estrogen concerned me so now I drink almond milk and only as a base to my green drink powder.

  • Chris
    December 17, 2010

    To David's point concerning Soy, I have a similar concern.  And if soy in too great a volume were damaging, then can you say something about rice milk and almond milk?


  • Dave Clark
    December 17, 2010

    I didn't see anyone mention coconut milk which has benefits too numerous to mention.  This is a good substitution for commercial milk.  Almond milk would be also.  Soy is still controversial, since unfermented soy is known to have negative effects on the body, especially if it is consumed daily in large quatities.  I am lucky to have farms that I can buy organic raw cow and goat's milk local to me.  To say 'nature' didn't intend us to go over to animals and squeeze milk out of their teet and drink it, is absurd.  When did 'nature' tell us to go over to that animal and beat it to death, stick a sharp knife into it and consume it's flesh and internal organs!  I hate when people 'think' they know what nature intended.  And remember, all of what nature 'does' is not necesarily good, we as intelligent humans have to sift it out!!

  • LUIS SANCHEZ
    December 17, 2010

    IF NOT MILK THEN WHAT?

  • Ahmed
    December 17, 2010

    Dave,

    I think it's a weak argument about humans eating meat, at the end there always was carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores -something in between- which includes us, humans.

    If we have to take it that root, then we'd also have to question why do lions eat other animals, or why do cows particularly eat only grass.

  • Susan Bellefeuille
    December 17, 2010

    While I will agree that all the pasteurizing and homogenizing of to-days milk has some health concerns, the alternatives to milk is not any better for many people.  I am allergic to soy (as I might add are many people) so soy milk is out of the question, besides which as far as I'm concerned the taste leaves much to be desired. So strike that off of things to drink.


    Goats milk, well again goats milk while less fatty than cows milk  and not bad to the taste is only as good as the feed that they are ingesting.  Obtaining it raw is against the law in Canada, so unless you are living near farm land and are able to buy cow or goats milk privately, again out of luck. 

    Milk from almonds well allergies for myself and a lot of other people.

    So what are we left with? cows milk of which I drank a lot of when I was young and still drink it with all its horrifying health issues although not quite as much.  I'm still here and in relatively good health.  

    While we are concerned with cows milk we should add, meat of any kind unless the cattle is fed on grassland all year round (and hoping that the grassland isn't contaminated with anything) which isn't the case here in Canada, oh and then of coarse there is fruits and vegetables with pesticides and who knows what else.. sprayed on them.

    So I guess what I am saying is that the real issue here is not cows milk specifically, its food and the processing of food in general in todays world.

    If we weren't meant to drink cow's milk, than we weren't meant to consume eggs, poultry, meat of any kind, vegetables I could go on and on.



  • Kim
    December 17, 2010

    I appreciate your opinion but consider it only that.  Other adult animals eat alot of things that we don't eat and vice versa.  Many adult animals don't eat meat.  (I don't either).  Nature didn't make it easy for those who do, unless you consider running down a live animal, tearing through it's skin, and ripping off raw, bloody meat to be easy.  Not to mention the health hazards of raw meat.  (Cooked meat is not a 'natural state.')  You wrote that you think consuming milk is the cause of many health problems, but I and many others have been voracious milk drinkers for many years and have not had any adverse affects from it.  I believe breeding is an act of nature even if it is done for a specific outcome.  The sheds are built for shelter and protection.  Nature did not breed farm equipment either, but it has become an important part of growing food.  There are scientific studies that show the benefits of drinking milk..even today's processed milk.  I would be interested in reading unbiased scientific information if you have any.  This article makes me question the other products you endorse.   

  • Rick
    December 17, 2010

    Hi Warren.
    Looks like you stirred up some deep seated feelings, probably due to the fact that the Government Food Agencies and the effective corporate marketing in our western society, influences our culture.
    The fact is, everyone should check it out for themselves and get the facts on this and many health related issues. We are slowly killing ourselves with the way our food is processed and not just the milk products (with harmful hormones, chemicals, antibiotics, pasteurizing, homogenizing, GMO, etc.) Cancer and several other preventable diseases are on the rise. (Bad health is now a trillion dollar business)
    The latest beef, chicken and vegetable contamination recalls, here in the U.S. are proof of that! More and more people are realizing that local organic farmers markets and all natural products are the only safe way to go. By the way, there are raw organic products available in the smaller natural health food stores, here in the U.S.
    People, don't just believe everything you hear, do your homework.

  • Dave Clark
    December 17, 2010

    Ahmed,
             If you follow my logic, I was not condemning meat eating, in fact, I eat meat as well.  My point is, that it is a matter of opinion as to what nature intended, just like it is a matter of opinion who god is, like it or not.  Having said that, we cannot ignore good sound science, or what our bodies are saying to us as we consume the bounties of the earth.  One could also say that is perverted, and not intended by nature to eat the unborn embryo of a bird (ie chicken egg).  In fact, nature,by design, did not intend for a human's sexual organs to be put in other human's mouth, but  a billion people do this as part of their lovemaking.  
           I think the take home message is: if you have/want to drink milk, drink raw, organic milk from grass fed cows, etc.  This is the milk drunk for centuries before industrialization got it's hands on it and adulterated it into something that our bodies have a hard time metabolizing.  Food choices are very personalized and induvidualized, but foods that have stood the test of time are hard to debunct!

  • Murray
    December 17, 2010

    Hi Warren,
    I see that you and Dr Mercola are beating the same drum. There are two crucial points that your article overlooks the first, and lesser, is that people descended from Western European stock have a gene that maintains production of the lactase enzyme through adulthood - in  French, Saxon, Dutch, British and southern Scandinavian peoples the gene does not switch off. As you progress east fewer have this gene active, as adults. However, all mammals are born with it (obviously we have to digest our mother's milk) and if milk consumption as adults (i.e. the lactose portion), is continued then the ability to produce lactase does not wane. In the east they cease drinking milk early and consequently can develop lactose intolerance if they begin to drink a lot of milk as adults.

    The second crucial point, and by far the most important,  is that of controlling disease. Bovine tuberculosis in particular but a whole raft of diseases as well, especially in North America. In your family, in NZ, it is likely that before the War you had a relative with TB - and the SINGLE most effective weapon that public health had was pasteurisation - which alone and before antibiotics were readily available, reduced the incidence of this disease that infected perhaps 10% of the population - with a greater percentage in the crowded, fumy cities of North America and Europe. Some of the diseases that pasteurization can prevent are diphtheria, salmonellosis, strep' throat (leading to) scarlet fever, listeriosis, brucellosis and typhoid fever. That upward of 30% of children died before the age of five from these diseases (diphtheria in particular), before there was access to a treated public water supply, pasteurisation and vaccination. That is a lot of dead people!

    There, I've thrown down the gage with a vengeance!

    The critical point being that the public works engineer - not medicine - has raised the average life-span of people in the western world by the simple means of water treatment and pasteurisation. FACT - proven repeatedly (when the systems broke down), not urban rumour.

    You're half right. An enzyme WILL denature if the temperature is too high. The reason why an enzyme denatures in hot environments is because it increases the kinetic energy of the atoms that make up the amino acids of the enzyme and eventually, the bonds start breaking. The reactions are executed slowly because the molecules don't posses much kinetic energy, therefore they move slowly. This is why the rate of subtstrates to reactant decreases. Furthermore, the enzymes don't denature immediately after they go beyond the optimal level. They begin to denature gradually as the temperature increases.Very low/high pH will do the same - our gut acid is at 1 Molarity which begins to break down the structure of our food proteins into forms that we can absorb.

    I cannot speak for the pasteurisation processes in other countries but in NZ the "flash" pasteurisation  method is used where the milk is raised quickly to the temperature that kills TB and E. coli bacteria. In Flash pasteurisation the liquid moves in a controlled, continuous flow while subjected to temperatures of 71.5 °C (160 °F) to 74 °C (165 °F), for about 15 to 30 seconds. As you can see there is generally little time for the proteins (enzymes are proteins) to denature - and to a great extent the process doesn't destroy them. As noted above, if people are of western European ancestry they produce more than enough lactase internally to cope.

    Some minor points - in NZ all dairy-cattle are predominantly grass fed and are not fed growth hormones. As with beef cattle it is legal to do so but the paper work involved and the expense are too great when the effects are limited (because of the forage diet) and farmers simply don't bother. Antibiotics are another matter of course, though vets (as a profession) have been much more proactive in the control of these than their human counter-parts.

    I grew up on raw milk - drawn straight from the cows (yes, by hand, the machine only arrive about 1953) and it does taste better. But TB et al have to be rigorously tested for. We now live in cities and our food has to be grown at a distance and shipped to us. Times have changed with those conditions. Recent events in the US (with lettuces and with spinach), show just how vulnerable we are to this sort of contamination.

    Though it DOES taste better (my opinion), it is also a very successful substrate for a wide variety of deadly disease causing organisms. Once again, scientifically proven fact - not urban myth. If you don't live near a fully tested dairy farm (and the testing has to be done three monthly as an absolute minimum), then raw milk carries a significant risk.

    Your call.

  • Murray
    December 17, 2010

    If you haven't done so already you might check my contentions with Prof. Munem Daoud.

  • Linda
    December 17, 2010

    Thank you so much Murray for taking the time to inform us on these points. Often the information that we read is from overseas, usually the states and sometimes dosn't apply to NZ. I have been worrying about my milk consumption even though I only drink non homogenized milk. Now I feel happier about continuing to buy pasturised milk.

  • Rick D
    December 17, 2010

    Sorry Warren, I can't agree with you on this one. Animal foods were given by God for man to eat. Yes, its true that man has also de-natured some of these foods, but their essential goodness still remains. I don't buy all the scare tactics propogated by the vegetarian and vegan crowd.

  • Louis
    December 17, 2010

    Warren, I think you are out of line on this one.  Milk is an excellent source of protein.  The whey  is used by body builders and atheletes with excellent results.  I have been drinking milk for over 50 years, and I am in excellent health. I really think you are just throwing opinions out there just to make it seem like you know something.  

  • rachel okida
    December 17, 2010

    please stop being stupid, God promised the children of Israel  a land flowing with milk and honey you can do better with the knowledge God has given you.  Milk should be the least of your worries.  I strongly recommend that you read God's word and seek His guidance before you say or write some stupid articles.

  • Ahmed
    December 17, 2010

    Dave,

    I was not trying a appose your opinion by mentioning the meat argument, I just simply thought that it wasn't a good argument to pull if you are going to debate about how nature intended things in the first place.

    If we're going to take it this root, we might as well just keep going in circles.

  • DONNA
    December 18, 2010

    BOTTOM LINE IS THAT WE EVENTUALLY EVOLVE INTO CREATURES THAT CAN SURVIVE EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE AN ONSLOT OF CONTAMINATES WE HAVE CHOSEN TO INJECT INTO OUR LIVES

  • Vera Booth
    December 18, 2010

    Warren,

    I do not agree with you all the time but you are dead right on this subject, part of it anyway.  I disagree with the comment on humans not being fit to drink milk, but about pasteurization you could not have put it better.  The best milk to drink is either raw goat's milk or Jersey/Guensey raw milk.  These are the best but have to be raw.  Of course, for it to be raw it has to be produced especially for being sold as raw, not any milk produced without being controlled for contaminants.  Anyway, the milk has to come from pasture fed cows and these animals are naturally very healthy. I know this because I'm a farmer's daughter and we always drunk our milk raw from pasture fed cows.  Mum lived to be just over 100 years old, I'm planning to go the same way eating plenty of fermented foods and raw milk, butter, kefir from pasture fed cows or goats. And the supplenments of course.  We have to take care of the water too.

  • Image for Warren Matthews
    Warren Matthews - Chairman
    December 18, 2010

    One of the advantages of the blog format is that it enables readers to make comments and disagree with whatever is posted…and that is what this blog is about.  I welcome all comments…thank you.

    As Rick pointed out this article certainly stirred up some emotions, which is healthy.  We should always be questioning what we are doing when it comes to our health.  It doesn’t always follow that a habit that you may have had for a life time is the correct one.

    I expressed my views on the subject of milk in this article and as I said…”Personally I have never drunk any kind of milk, because I don't think that it is a natural food once you are no longer an infant...  but, that's only a personal opinion and may indeed be the wrong one.” 

    So, I am not professing that I know something that others may not although I don’t agree that it was a stupid article as Rachel suggests.  I do thank Murray for pointing out the differences with NZ milk.  I should have made that differentiation, but as 97% of our readership and business is outside of NZ I did not think to do so.

    Since writing the article I have found a website run by a non-partisan, non-profit organization which has a section on milk which nicely sets out the for and against arguments for milk from a wide range of experts.

    You can access it from http://milk.procon.org/

    For those readers with an open mind and would like to know more about the pro’s and con’s of milk it would probably be a good idea to spend some time reviewing the content on this site.

    I would however like to make a few more comments supporting my position on this subject.  Much of my position on this is based on common sense, from what I have observed in people generally over the years and also information which I have picked up from research papers and books.

    Just remember that these are my personal views and no doubt everyone will not agree.  I am not trying to change what people do or think, but rather have them reconsider their habit if they are a large consumer of milk…in the interests of their long term health.

    1. No two ‘milks’ are the same. Milk is different from specie to specie. The fat content and the size of the fat globules vary substantially. I suspect that there are molecular differences as well. It goes without saying that the milk from all animals is different from human breast milk.

    2. The milk produced by either an animal or a human is specific to the infant. We know that a human baby will not thrive as well on cow’s milk as that of its natural mother. I suspect that if a new born calf was feed on human breast milk that it wouldn’t do so well either. The point that I am making here is that there is differences which may have a health impact in the long term.

    3. If we were meant to drink milk as an adult then why were we weaned of milk in the first place when we were an infant? It seems illogical to wean of our mothers milk and then go and drink the milk of another animal.

    4. There is no nutrient in milk that you cannot get in other natural foods.

    5. Much of the protein in milk is casein and there is some evidence that casein can be a contributor to ‘kicking off’ cancer. This is a controversial issue but the evidence is quite strong with laboratory experiments with rats in which the cancer growth rates could be adjusted by the amount of casein fed to the rats. This is a case ‘where there is smoke, there may be fire’.

    6. I have over the years learnt first-hand of cases in which people had respiratory problems, congestion, problems with snoring and the list goes one which miraculously went away when the excessive consumption of milk was discontinued.

    7. The homogenized milk that is sold in supermarkets today is far removed from the milk that you would receive if you had a cow that grazed in a clean paddock free of herbicides and only ate grass. No matter which way you look at it, today’s supermarket milk is a processed food. It is far from natural. We all know the dangers of relying on processed food in our diet, so why should processed milk be any different?

    Of all the above points I am probably influenced by points #1, #2 and #3 the most. Nobody really knows how important that these points are. No one is going to spend money doing a study on it…certainly not the dairy industry.

    I appreciate that some people have drunk milk for much of their lives and their forebears before that and their health is fine. However, would they have been even healthier if they hadn’t drunk that milk? Once again no one knows.

    But, it has only been relatively recently that the consumption of homogenised milk has become the norm. Is it playing a role in the deteriorating health of the population? That can’t be proved, although I wonder when I go into a supermarket and see mothers with a number of big containers of homogenised milk to go with their white bread.

    Just because the proponents of milk say that homogenised milk is good for you does not make it so. Remember the disaster of HRT which for years the medical profession said was essential for so many women but was a factor in causing the death and discomfort of 100’s of thousands of women throughout the world until the truth finally got out?

    In the case of HRT the problem there was that the women were being given a pharmaceutical hormone which was derived from pregnant mare’s urine. The method of collection was unimportant, but what was important is that the molecular structure of the hormone is quite different to that of the same hormone in a human. It was ‘foreign’ to the human body and that is what triggered off the problems.

    It was always known that the molecular structure of these hormones were different, and if common sense was applied it would never have been administered to humans…but, as so often happens, patents and money influenced the day.

    Are there any parallels between the above example of hormones and the consumption of cow’s milk? I don’t know the answer to that but I wouldn’t want to be a heavy consumer of milk and one day find out that there is!

     

     


  • Image for Warren Matthews
    Warren Matthews - Chairman
    December 18, 2010

    Hi Murray...you mentioned that you had contacted me re Prof Daoud.  I can't find that communication at all.  Can you send it again please via 'Contact Warren' on this page?  Thanks.

  • Brent
    December 20, 2010

    Warren,

    Regarding "The tiny globules of fat which result from this process allows a deadly enzyme called xanthine oxidase to get into the body."
    Can this cause my uric acid level to increase and have a gout attack?


  • Carl
    December 24, 2010

    — Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and collaborators from other institutions have identified a natural substance in dairy fat that may substantially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The compound, trans-palmitoleic acid, is a fatty acid found in milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter. It is not produced by the body and so only comes from the diet.

    Reporting in the December 21, 2010, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, investigators led by Dariush Mozaffarian, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at HSPH and Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and Gökhan S. Hotamisligil, J.S. Simmons Professor of Genetics and Metabolism and chair of the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases at HSPH, explain that trans-palmitoleic acid may underlie epidemiological evidence in recent years that diets rich in dairy foods are linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes and related metabolic abnormalities. Health experts generally advise reducing full-fat dairy products, but trans-palmitoleic acid is found in dairy fat.


  • jax
    January 02, 2011

    i love milk and will continue to drink it. i believe moderation is key. Dont eat or drink too much. And exercise!!

  • A
    February 01, 2011

    All I do is look on the side of the mike box and see all of the nutrients in the drink. In my opinion the pros outweigh the cons. My diet isn't the greatest and milk is a great supplement - almost like a multivitamin but in a natural form. My health has only improved from drinking milk. Also, if there are any hormones, they haven't had much of an effect on me. I'm in my 30's but look like I'm in my 20's. So far I have not had any major health issues.

  • robert levinson
    February 26, 2011

    It seems this Blog has also overlooked the high glycemic level of milk - I doubt it

    is good with respect to diabetes.

  • Rease
    December 09, 2011

    Rachel -


    For what it's worth, the biblical references you mention about lands flowing with "milk and honey" or references about those that ate "milk and curds" -- they are all references of either camel's or goat's milk....not cow's milk.  And, modern research has produced evidence of goat's milk being significantly more healthy to consume than cow's milk.   Just some *food for thought*.  :-)

    Teresa

  • Tracy
    October 09, 2013

    Hi Warren,

    While I wholeheartly agree that raw milk is a better nutritional choice, I have been drinking a quart of milk+ daily my whole life and I am 53 and my health is fine. But more importantly, I love milk and what is life if not to enjoy. :)  Oh yes, and I have no fillings in my mouth so I guess my calcium intact has been good, thanks in part to my love of milk.

    I have recently started using a protein powder made from organic raw milk of pasture raised cows called Organic Warrior Whey. This stuff has an amazing taste and consistency.

    Tracy

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