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Dairy Intolerance?

A Health and Wellbeing News publication

Copyright Health and Wellbeing News 2009 - 2012

An ever increasing number of people are finding that they are intolerant to foods which form a substantial part of their diet. Symptoms such as bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhoea, cramps, nausea and tiredness indicate that something is wrong. Why are so many people intolerant to dairy products? Let’s have a look at cow’s milk. It’s rich in protein, calcium, carbohydrate, vitamins A, D, B2, sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. An ideal all round superfood?


YES it is – for a baby COW. Calves have a high rate of growth when compared to humans and they need the high levels of protein etc. in their mother’s milk. Milk is the perfect food for the growing young of the species it was intended for, the fat is essential for high energy demands, quality protein is vital to the growing mammal. Dairy products contain the protein casein at 300 times higher levels than in human milk. Humans simply don’t have the required digestive enzymes to process and absorb casein. Cows do. Researchers have found that breast fed babies absorb more calcium from their mother’s milk than from cow’s milk, despite the fact that cow’s milk contains four times the amount of calcium! This is because the calcium is bound up with the protein casein, which we are unable to efficiently digest. It is actually important for expectant and breast feeding mothers to remove dairy produce from the diet, to avoid the problems that can occur with the infants indirect consumption.



These facts highlight several points. Firstly, species to species the milk is perfectly matched. However, at around 6 months of age, milk can no longer meet the nutritional needs of the growing infant. They are weaned onto “normal” food the body no longer produces the required enzymes to digest and absorb the nutrients in milk.

The growth and development of the new-born is a delicate process, requiring quality ingredients. The immature digestive system is just about able to cope with breast milk, if the mother is very cautious with her own diet. Imagine now at this sensitive time we give our infant processed milk, which nature intended for a different species!

So, to summarise: Cows milk is superfood for calves. Breast milk is superfood for baby humans.

As an adult, you wouldn’t dream of suckling from a cow or your mother – so why do we persist in drinking cow’s milk?


Much of the blame lies in the fact that we have been brainwashed into believing that milk is an essential part of the diet to provide protein and calcium. But this simply isn’t true. There are better sources of calcium and proteins in other foods. A lot of effort has gone into ensuring that milk is perceived to be the perfect balanced food, we are constantly given messages about its goodness. Even high sugar foods can be elevated to “healthy foods" by the claim “a glass and a half of milk in every half pound"! The dairy industry caters for any taste to ensure its presence in the diet: we may choose between pasteurised, full cream, semi-skimmed, skimmed, homogenised, sterilised, UHT, evaporated, condensed, yogurt, yogurt drinks, cream etc. We are led to believe that we should opt for low fat versions of dairy foods because they are better for us. But this argument completely ignores the fact that on the whole nature knows best. In order to digest the calcium in milk, you need Vitamin D. That is why Mother Nature put Vitamin D into cow’s milk. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, so when you remove the fat from milk, you remove the Vitamin D, thus taking out the very nutrient needed to properly digest and absorb calcium.

Add to this the fact that milk is acid in our system. (Our body needs to be slightly alkaline.) Think back to your chemistry lessons at school. In order to neutralise acid your body draws calcium, which is alkaline, out of your bones. That calcium is then eliminated from the body in your urine. So far from helping to build strong bones, cow’s milk leaches calcium from them. It’s no wonder that elderly people, who have most likely been lifelong milk-drinkers are prone to fractures! Milk is very mucous forming. It creates a sticky “lining” in your gut. This means that drinking it actually causes a barrier to absorption, and will eventually lead to poor intestinal absorption of nutrients. It causes stomach acid to be neutralised and so the body is not fully able to digest the protein in milk. The sugar in milk may also encourage unfriendly bacteria and Candida in the bowel, again affecting absorption.

In order to meet targets for milk production cows may be milked over many months both after delivery of their calf and during a subsequent pregnancy. The various hormones produced in pregnancy, antibiotics and other shots the cow is given all leak into the milk. A generation ago an individual cow would produce approximately 2 gallons of milk per day. Now it may yield 12 gallons per day! You literally have no idea what is really in the milk you drink. Oestrogens and other hormones in milk have been linked to problems with fertility in humans and menopause problems. As with many foodstuffs, milk has to be processed for commercial reasons. So although we shouldn't be drinking it in the first place, we further compromise our health by this process - namely pasteurisation. In order to be bottled, transported, warehoused, distributed and displayed, the milk has to have an incredibly unnatural shelf life. This isn't possible with a “vital” substance, so it must be pasteurised to kill off any “life”.


Pasteurisation also: Kills beneficial bacteria Destroys useful digesting enzymes Alters the protein molecule making it less digestible Destroys 50% of the vitamin C, and 25% of the B complex Destroys antibodies that are important in keeping out harmful bacteria.


Perhaps many of our “diseases of affluence” are connected to misuse of dairy products. • Asthma • Eczema • IBS • Colitis • Crohns • Diarrhoea • Constipation • Poor absorption of food • Leaky gut • Candida

Trials by Great Ormond Street Hospital in 1983, set out to discover whether migraine in children was linked to a food allergy. When the children were put on a restricted diet, they had a 93% success rate in curing the migraines. Cows' milk and cheese were found to be the no.1 culprits. Interestingly the children had relief from many other ailments while eliminating dairy produce.

Some people find that they are lactose intolerant, they are unable to digest the sugar in milk because they no longer produce the digestive enzyme lactase.

The Solution
To avoid the health problems associated with the consumption of milk - cut out dairy produce altogether. Skimmed milk is still milk, vegetarian cheese is still cheese. The only exception might be live yoghurt. In limited cases goat's or sheep's milk yoghurt may be acceptable in a dairy free diet. Following a dairy free diet requires an initial level of commitment. Dairy products will pop up in the most unexpected places as whey powder, casein etc. and you need to get clued up about what to look for and what to avoid.

MILK & DAIRY PRODUCT FREE DIET When there is a sensitivity to milk and dairy products exclude the following:-


Whole milk Skimmed milk 2% milk Buttermilk Creams Coffeemate Some non dairy creamers Dry milk powder Evaporated milk Condensed milk Condensed milk Chocolate milk Chocolate drinks Malted milk Ovaltine Cocoa milk Butter Most margerines Cheese

Cottage cheese curds Ice cream Yoghurt Milk shakes Check product labels for whey powder and casein. In particular, check the following products for these ingredients:Dry cereals and muesli Biscuits, cakes, muffins Cake mixes Crackers Sweets Creamed desserts, chocolate, puddings Sauces and gravy Non kosher luncheon meat Bologna Salami Sausage Meat loaf and patties Soup either dried or fresh


To be honest, your best option is to cook from scratch at home. There are lots of recipe books for wheat and dairy free cooking. Don’t worry about your calcium levels. Calcium is readily available to us in other foodstuffs, which our body can digest and assimilate. Good sources of calcium are sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, figs, almonds, sea vegetables, leafy green vegetables, salmon, sardines haddock, broccoli and carrots. It is worth noting that studies have shown that very often women who suffer from osteoporosis are not deficient in calcium, but are in fact deficient in other minerals such as magnesium and zinc. Remember that exercise is vital to build strong, healthy bones. Just eat a varied diet with lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds and fish and exercise regularly. You don’t have to join a gym or pump iron. Brisk walking is a great form of exercise and you don’t even need a dog! Just to reassure you on the calcium issue. When I was in my fifties I had my bone density checked and it was significantly higher than expected for my age. Actually, it was above the norm for someone in their thirties.



The person doing the scan said “you must eat lots of dairy” to which I said “no, never touch the stuff, I’ve always hated milk”. “Well you must be on HRT then?” “No, wouldn’t touch the stuff.”

My secret? Lots of exercise and a healthy balanced diet.

If you’re not sure if you have a dairy or any other food intolerance, you can do a simple DIY blood test at home. The kit is called Food Detective and is available from priced around £55 at the time of writing. I hope you’ve found this booklet useful. Please feel free to share it with others. For more information and advice on healthy living - sign up today for my free weekly newsletter at:
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