Let’s talk about milk and dairy products such as yogurt (curds). For centuries, we have known milk and other dairy products to be something that is good for humans. Decades ago, we’d not even question this “fact”. However, is this really true? Let’s think about it for a minute.
What is milk? It is a nutritious liquid produced by pregnant and lactating mammals to nourish their offspring. We humans usually drink cow, buffalo and goat milk. As far as we know, we are the only species on earth that not only drinks this from another animal, but continue to do so way past our growing years. What is wrong with this, you’d ask. Let’s take a look at some issues —
Top Three reasons why Milk and Yogurt is not what you need:
#1. Cows milk is meant for a calf. A calf grows at about 40 times faster than a human being! So cow’s milk contains natural hormones and other chemicals that help the calf go from 50kg at birth to 600kg. We go from 3kg to 80kg. See the problem? We drink cow’s natural hormones and other chemicals (read “Science Says” section below for details on the various types) that pushes our own cells to grow just as fast as a calf! Since we are not calves, our cells can’t process these chemicals fast enough and we land up messing up many of our own systems. This leads to diseases such as increased acne, increased resistance to insulin (leading to diabetes), increased cell growth which when uncontrolled, leads to cancers (such as prostrate cancer), bone loss, etc.
#2. Cow’s milk is often fortified by the farmer with a chemical known as a “growth factor”. This is done by the dairy industry to promote milk production. The problem with this is that the growth factor is very close to a compound we already know- called insulin. In fact, the growth factor is commonly known “Insulin-like Growth Factor 1” or IGF1 for short. From this, you can probably tell what comes next, right? If it is so similar to insulin, then what happens to our bodies regarding susceptibility to diabetes? You guessed right- this can lead to diabetes. The fact that is is making our cells grow faster as mentioned above can lead to cancers. In fact, the connection between cancer and milk product was discovered way back in 1968 (see the first reference below if you are interested).
#3. Understandably, the dairy industry wants to keep their cows healthy. In order to keep them disease free, they give them antibiotics. Many of these antibiotics freely pass into the cow’s milk and we drink it up. The problem with this is that now these very antibiotics, in very low doses, are exposed to the bacteria that live in us. These bacteria then “learn” to become resistant to the antibiotics. When we need the very same antibiotics to cure us off an infection, the bacteria that are resistant will not succumb to it and we have, what is known as a “super bug” – a bacteria that cannot be killed by higher doses of antibiotics. Already there are many many such super bugs all over the world.
In all the above problems, I have not even mentioned the added energy to produce milk in dairy farms. For this topic of environmental responsibility will have to wait for another article.
Epidemiological evidence points to increased dairy consumption a staple of the Western diet, as major risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D), prostrate cancer, acne and osteoarthritis. Primary factors that point to this correlation is the function of mTORC1 and IGF1 that are abundantly found in dairy products.