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Thread: Milk: Bad for our health?

  1. #1 Milk: Bad for our health? 
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    Note: I made this on-the-fly while researching this. I post it here so that any corrections or information can be given by fellow forum members. I don't prescribe to the crazies that shout "milk is evil". Not yet anyway. And I made this with Microsoft Voice Recognition (saves my hands), if you spot any errors it's likely due to that. Please point them out to me.

    I began my study into the health benefits of milk just recently. But I discovered were a lot of "evangelical" anti-milk/dairy web sites that were horribly written or didn't have many sources whatsoever. Because of this us forced to rely on my own devices and research.

    My initial discoveries involved checking the composition of milk. One of the things that immediately caught my attention was the protein "Casein". for those who don't know, or don't wish to do the research, Casein "is the most predominant phosphoprotein found in milk and cheese. when coagulated with rennet casein is sometimes called paracasein" [1].

    Further reading on this Protein proved suspect. "Another reason that infants should not be fed cow or goat milk is because of the protein. Breast milk is higher in whey and much lower in casein compared to cow and goat milks. Casein is more difficult to digest than whey and may lead to internal gastrointestinal bleeding, which again, could lead to iron deficiency." [2]

    Returning to the wikipedia articles, I quickly did some reading regarding the digestive enzyme "Rennet" [3]. Rennet is primarily found in calves, and much less so in humans. Because of this, the increased amount of Casein is not properly dealt with. This particular protein is also very difficult to digest, which means normal methods of digestion don't work as well as they normally do.

    My next question, following this inquiry, is: what are the bad effects of this phenomenon? Further reading on a same wikipedia page produced some interesting results. in the health issue section, "the China study" is cited saying that the same protein is responsible for increased risks of cancer and similar problems. It is also implicated as a carcinogenic.

    Overall, studies done on this protein have suggested that excess amounts can cause severe health problems, and increased risks of cancer. Other studies also indicate that it worsens artistic symptoms. Therefore, I have concluded that since cow milk provides more of this protein than we are evolved to handle appropriately, cow milk is in fact dangerous to our health. If only slightly.

    Other stories I have heard involve Milk actually requiring more calcium in digestion because of this lack, but that is beyond my researched understanding at the moment.

    Another point I found was that eating dairy produces marginally increases the amount of Casein in the food. One website claimed ten times as much for Cheese. Alas, in my firefox-tabbed frenzy I can't relocate that specific phrase...hopefully someone can chime in and tell me the real amount.

    Lastly, my own reasoning on this subject. Since humans did not evolve drinking milk from other species, it should be obvious that we are not capable of handling both bacteria and some proteins/protein amounts found almost entirely in that type of milk. Since cows require vastly different amounts of these mixtures than we do, we shouldn't be ingesting it.


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    On another thread it is mentioned that Asian peoples can not digest milk, I assume in particular Lactose. The "the China study" that you mention, was all this research done on Chinese people or on western people. My thinking is, that people that have a long history of milk product consumption, i.e. Sub Saharan Africans and Europeans that are able to digest Lactose, would have an increased ability to digest casein (if the study was undertaken on Asians). If in fact this goes for all people, I’d have to consider switching to soya.

    On a side note, I remember reading something about some chemical that is produced when food is cooked above a certain temperature that can also have carcinogenic effects.


    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    'Milk' is a broad category. Every mammal produces it. I assume you are writing of cow's milk throughout your posting. We don't buy cow's milk to drink, put it on cereal, etc. We consume a small amout of milk every so often in tea and as an ingredient in other foods.

    In the West our milk consumption is largely driven by culture and reinforced in the last half century by a powerful dairy lobby. At one time sources of some protein, fats, minerals, etc. were hard to come by and cow's milk consumption made sense, especially by growing children and by expecting and nursing mothers. For the last few decades, however, there's been easy access to healthier and safer sources.

    Folks can argue about the theoretical value of milk as a positive food. Today the 'reality' is it is cows are fed so many hormones, antibiotics, steroids, etc. that even if milk was 'good for you', the crap put into cows is a big black box of potential health negatives. I heard one pediatrician state quite bluntly that he'd rather his own grade schooler drink a 6 ounce glass of beer than a six ounce glass of grocery store milk.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    On another thread it is mentioned that Asian peoples can not digest milk, I assume in particular Lactose. The "the China study" that you mention, was all this research done on Chinese people or on western people. My thinking is, that people that have a long history of milk product consumption, i.e. Sub Saharan Africans and Europeans that are able to digest Lactose, would have an increased ability to digest casein (if the study was undertaken on Asians). If in fact this goes for all people, I’d have to consider switching to soya.
    Yes, that's a fact. At least a third of the worlds population is Lactose Intolerant. But this is because they stop drinking milk when they're supposed to. Normally our ability to produce the enzyme "lactase" is slowly discontinued once we're old enough to stop drinking breast milk.

    But that, as far as I know, is not the dangerous part. Although I'm uncertain what it takes from our body to keep producing "lactase" longer than we should.

    As for your train of thought, humans take a lot longer to evolve than that. We would need at least three times as long as we currently have had to properly evolve to digest cows milk (maybe longer).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Study

    The china study was conducted in 2,400 countries, with 90% of their total population. The title is, admittedly, misleading.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    'Milk' is a broad category. Every mammal produces it. I assume you are writing of cow's milk throughout your posting. We don't buy cow's milk to drink, put it on cereal, etc. We consume a small amout of milk every so often in tea and as an ingredient in other foods.
    You might want to read this http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6241139.stm I never drink milk in my tea (who the hell does?).

    I advise instead of Milk you use Honey. http://coffeetea.about.com/od/creamsugar/a/honey.htm
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    "I never drink milk in my tea (who the hell does?)."

    Multiple more times the number than use honey. I hate any sweetener in tea or coffee. YUCK!
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    I wonder if the "animal products" they talk about only include livestock. Someone on another thread
    (Can’t remember who) suggested a diet closer to that of our pre-civilization ancestors. Hopefully that would mean that it is ok to eat game meat, as I will forever love a good steak! The study you cited was quite extensive and thorough, so its conclusions are probably accurate. Bad news.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  8. #7  
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    That would be me. Hahaha. It's called the "paleolithic diet".

    I can't say either way whether "game meat" would be properly edible. It avoids a lot of problems processed meat has, but it also contains a metric fuckton more parasites and similar problems. With proper cleansing, however, you can have all the good and none of the bad. Or so I think.

    Also, I don't use Honey for the sweetener purposes. I use it because it's healthy.
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    Of all the crap people are shoving down their throats, you think milk is a major problem?
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  10. #9  
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    Did I say milk was a major problem?
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