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Milk is for calves, not humans

Milk is for calves, not humans

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Published by Vegan Future
A Veggie Health Magazine article outlining the health risks associated with the human consumption of milk and dairy products. Vegan alternatives to dairy milk, cheese, yoghurt and ice-cream are highlighted to readers.

More information at www.vegetarian.org.uk
A Veggie Health Magazine article outlining the health risks associated with the human consumption of milk and dairy products. Vegan alternatives to dairy milk, cheese, yoghurt and ice-cream are highlighted to readers.

More information at www.vegetarian.org.uk

More info:

Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: Vegan Future on Apr 28, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/01/2013

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F
orget the Ford Mondeo, £70 trainers and quilted lavatorypaper - human beings are animals. Try as we might to forgetit, we are governed by our diet, environment and specificdiseases in much the same way as rats or rhinos. So why are wethe only mammals to drink milk after weaning - and milk froman entirely different species, at that?It’s a practice that started 6,000 years ago (1), is revered almostas a cross between penicillin and manna from heaven but is itdesirable or even morally justified? The more you find out aboutthe white stuff the bigger the question marks that hang over bothquestions! Can it be right to feed babies - or anyone else for thatmatter - a product that was designed by nature to turn a totteringlittle calf into a hulking great beast in a matter of months?Most of human evolution was fuelled by plant foods, with milk playing the same role as it does in other mammals - produced bymothers for nurturing infants until weaning. The sugar in milk -lactose - is broken down by a special enzyme called lactase,which then gradually disappears after weaning, having doneits job. Continuing to drink milk past this point is why somany people are unable to digestlactose, which can remain in the gutand ferment, producing bloating,watery diarrhea, flatulence andstomach cramps (2).Those who can cope with cow’s milk in the short term face longer-termconsequences. It is loaded withsaturated fat, cholesterol, animalproteins and sugars, is devoid of fibre,vitamin C and iron and containsonly small amounts of vitamins K,E, B1, B2, and B6, magnesium,selenium and zinc. On the plusside, it does contain vitamins Aand D, vitamin B12 and calciumbut it may also contain salmonella,listeria and E.Coli bacteria,hormones such as oestrogen andantibiotic residues (19,11,12).Cow’s milk infant formulashave been linked to allergies, type I (insulin dependent) diabetesand even cot death. Soya-based infant formulas are an excellentalternative and have been used safely for over 60 years anddespite the scare stories, there is no strong evidence of damageto a baby’s mental or physical development.The fact that dairy contains no iron is part of a double-whammyeffect. Drinking too much milk excludes other foods which maycontain essential iron but dairy can actually inhibit itsabsorption. Even worse, cow’s milk formulas and cow’s milk itself can produce an allergic reaction in children which causeshidden intestinal bleeding resulting in iron deficiency anaemia.As many as one in five under twos are affected (7, 60, 61).Saturated fat is a killer, whether it comes from meat or dairy, andcauses heart disease, diabetes, strokes, cancers, allergies, foodpoisoning, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, kidney diseases andosteoporosis - with milk taking particular credit for Crohn’sdisease, an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The seedsfor almost all these diseases are sown in childhood, the agegroup at which milk is most energetically promoted.Allergies happen when the immune system reacts to something it seesas an invader and are characterised by asthma, eczema, a constantrunny or congested nose, hay-fever and skin rashes. They can also leadto ear infections, colic and maybe even cot death (14, 16, 17,18). Boththe British Allergy Foundation and the National Asthma Campaignbelieve dairy products contribute strongly to asthma (15, 19).A milk sugar called lactose is one of the causes and affects as many asseven per cent of UK children under one year old,many of whom continue to suffer intoadulthood (15). Milk proteins are alsoguilty, causing the body to produceexcess mucous which can triggerasthmatic attacks and ear infections(20, 21). Vegan diets often producedramatic improvements in asthmaticsand children with ear infections (22,23). Nursing mothers may unwittinglyplay a part because of the saturated(animal) fat they eat and pass on totheir infants in breast milk (24).Allergies to dairy protein can alsotrigger rheumatic inflammationof the joints. Again, vegan dietshave been very effective at reducingthe frequency and severity of attacks (44, 55, 62).Saturated fat in dairy plays a bigpart in heart and blood vesseldiseases (25), contributing to fattydeposits in arteries which can cause them to narrow orbecome blocked, resulting in heart failure.Drinking skimmed milk doesn’t avert the problems as lactose andcalcium, especially in non-fat milk, may contribute to hardeningof the arteries (26, 27). If you reduce the amount of fat in milk,its protein content increases and milk proteins, particularly casein,have been strongly linked with fatal heart disease (28).Another killer increasingly being linked to milk is cancer - of thebreast, prostate and colon. Saturated fat produces bile acidswhich raise the risk of colon cancer (30). It also increasesoestrogens (female sex hormones), linked to many types of breast cancer (31, 32). Saturated fat also promotes obesity, which
…or why milk isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
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