Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Demise of Dairy, Explained

We are the only mammals that continue drinking milk into adulthood;  and we suffer because of it.  Over sixty percent of adults do not posses lactase--the necessary enzyme to digest lactose-- the sugar found in milk.  In turn, the undigested lactase builds up and ferments in the colon causing cramping, gas, bloating and diarrhea.  Being lactose intolerant is not a disease; it's the norm.  We are not meant to consume dairy. But instead of listening to our bodies, we suffer through the consequences or grab our Lactaid pills and call it good as we grate 2 cups of cheese into tonight's dinner.

The sugar enzyme is not the only digestive aid we are lacking. Pasteurization destroys the enzyme necessary to digest the heavy protein content of milk.  Cow's milk has 4 times the protein content of human milk.  Without the ability to break down the excess protein, it ends up petrifying in our digestive tract clogging our intestines with a sticky sludge.  Our bodies often deal with this by forcing some of the sludge out through our skin as acne and lungs as mucus.  The rest of the sludge forms mucus in other areas causing harm. Many cases of chronic ear infections, allergies, asthma and acne have been cured by eliminating dairy.

Now that most dairy farms are run like production factories with little regard to the animals or the health of the consumers, the cows are injected with synthetic Bovine Growth Hormone in order to produce up to 25% more milk.  This translates to 25% more profit for the farmers and huge health risks for consumers including ovarian, breast, and colon cancer.   It is also the reason for young females reaching puberty at record low ages.

These cows forced to produce unnaturally high quantities of milk become malnourished as they lose more nutrients in their milk than they are able to ingest and are therefore susceptible to disease. In addition to the health risks they have from being fed grains instead of grass, and harsh living conditions including exposure to feces, the hormones themselves cause hoof diseases, open sores, internal bleeding and bacterial infections.  In order to counter act the loss of profitable cows to the diseases, the animals are given antibiotics, which unsurprisingly also leaves traces in the milk we pour over our cereal.  Milk consumers are therefore become more and more immune to antibiotics as they build up a tolerance with every sip of milk they take.

Given the facts, why would people continue to consume dairy?  I would venture to say that aside from being accustomed to it, the reason is due to a very successful ad campaign promoting dairy as an optimal calcium provider.  However, digest this: Phosphorus combines with calcium in the digestive tract and blocks calcium assimilation, so although the calcium content of milk is high, so is the calcium-blocking phosphorus.  Cow's milk has a wopping 97mg of phosphorus to every 100g of milk as opposed to human's milk 18mg to every 100g of milk.  The ratio of phosphorus to calcium is just too high for cow's milk to be considered a good source of the mineral.  The following is a list of much better sources of absorbable calcium:

Seeds     1,160mg/ 100g
Kelp     1,093mg/ 100g
Sardines    400mg/ 100g
Almonds   254mg/ 100g
Kale     187mg/ 100g
Broccoli     130mg/ 100g

Cow's milk only has 118mg/ 100g!  And it has 50mg of sodium/100g milk as an added health risk bonus.

Although the detrimental farmer's actions are being brought to light and there are more readily organic milk products on the market every day, the enzyme problem persists.  Since I can no longer ignore the "sludge buildup" in my own body, I have chosen to eliminate it to the best of my ability (about 80% since my life would end without macaroni & cheese) and opt for good creamy, satisfying alternatives (see last blog entry).  I also continue to eat organic fresh live culture yogurt, since it is already predigested by lactobacteria and gives me a healthy way to fulfill my dairy fix.

(Much of my information on this matter came from The Complete Book of Chinese Health and Healing by Daniel Reid)