I’ve said it before but I feel it warrants a repeat:
Dairy does not healthy strong bones make!!
If you’re going to drink pasteurized cow’s milk because it’s your favourite thing in the whole world, well… I don’t really take issue with that if you know the health consequences of dairy. However, when my elderly grandma tells me she trying to force down a glass of milk just so that she can “try and prevent osteoporosis”… that makes me a little cranky (not at her by the way, at the dairy industry!!).
“The myth that osteoporosis is caused by calcium deficiency was created to sell dairy products and calcium supplements. There’s no truth to it. American women are among the biggest consumers of calcium in the world, and they still have one of the highest levels of osteoporosis in the world. And eating more dairy products and calcium supplements is not going to change that fact.” ~ Dr. John McDougall
“Milk, it now seems clear, is not the solution to poor bone density. To the contrary, it’s part of the problem.” ~ Dr. Charles Atwood
In my last post on dairy I pointed out the indigestibility of pasteurized cow’s milk products (for humans that is, any baby cows reading – you’re totally fine, drink up!). Of course, when we can’t digest something in it’s entirety, we cannot fully utilize what it has to offer nutritionally, and we also cannot completely eliminate it. This makes dairy one of the worst offenders for leaving a sticky, mucus-like, acidic residue in the body (which of course, has serious implications for our overall health – see here for more info).
The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, in Baby and Child Care (the United States’ best selling book, other than the Bible, over the past 50 years), after recommending that no one consume cow’s milk and cataloging a host of ills associated with milk consumption (heart disease, cancer, obesity, antibiotic residue, iron deficiency, asthma, ear infections, skin conditions, stomach aches, bloating, and diarrhea), concluded:
“In nature, animals do not drink milk after infancy, and that is the normal pattern for humans, too. …Children stay in better calcium balance when their protein comes from plant sources.” ~ Dr. Benjamin Spock, Baby and Child Care
Calcium is an essential mineral, this much is true. But cow’s milk products offer little in the way of insurance against calcium deficiency and osteoporosis – in fact, they only increase the risk.
“Milk, in particular, does not protect against bone breaks … the healthiest calcium sources are green leafy vegetables and legumes.” ~ Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Harvard University’s landmark Nurses Health Study, which followed 78,000 women over a 12-year period, found that the women who consumed the most calcium from dairy foods broke more bones than those who rarely drank milk:
“This increased risk of hip fracture was associated with dairy calcium … If this were any agent other than milk, which has been so aggressively marketed by dairy interests, it undoubtedly would be considered a major risk factor.” ~ The Lunar Osteoporosis Update (Nov 1997)
“The dairy folks, ever since the 1920s, have been enormously successful in cultivating an environment within virtually all segments of our society – from research and education to public relations and politic – to have us believing that cow’s milk and its products are manna from heaven. Make no mistake about it; the dairy industry has been virtually in total control on any and all public health information that ever rises to the level of public scrutiny.” ~ Dr. T. Colin Campbell
“The dairy industry has a powerful hold on the nutrition industry in this country [America]; it pays huge numbers of dietitians, doctors, and researchers to push dairy, spending more than $300 million annually, just at the national level, to retain a market for its products. The dairy industry has infiltrated schools, bought off sports stars, celebrities, and politicians, pushing all the while an agenda based on profit, rather than public health.” ~ Bruce Friedrich
Is it any wonder all the negative dairy press and results never come under public scrutiny?
“The primary cause of osteoporosis is the high-protein diet most Americans consume today. As one leading researcher in this area said, ‘Eating a high-protein diet is like pouring acid rain on your bones.'” ~ Dr. John McDougall
The excess animal protein in the Western diet causes acidic mucoid plaque build-up in lining of colon, the toxins from which seep into the bloodstream and eventually deposit themselves in cells throughout the body. Calicum, being one of the most alkalizing minerals in the body, is leached from the bones as a way of the body trying to neutralize the acidosis in the blood and cells.
After reviewing studies on the link between protein intake and urinary calcium loss, nutritional researcher Robert P. Heaney found that as consumption of protein increases, so does the amount of calcium lost in the urine:
“This effect has been documented in several different study designs for more than 70 years. The net effect is such that if protein intake is doubled without changing intake of other nutrients, urinary calcium content increases by about 50 percent.” ~ Robert P. Heaney for the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (1993)
The problem with Western allopathic nutritional thinking, is that we see things like protein and calcium available in animal meat and cow’s milk, and assume that, by consuming these products, it will be bioavailable in the body. We see the chemical components of the muscles and bones, and then observe them replicated in animal products, presupposing that these will react the same way in the human body. We need to look at the body as a whole organism, greater than the sum of its various parts.
“After looking at 34 published studies in 16 countries, researchers at Yale University found that countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis–including the United States, Sweden, and Finland–are those in which people consume the most meat, milk, and other animal foods. This study also showed that African Americans, who consume, on average, more than 1,000 mg of calcium per day, are nine times more likely to experience hip fractures than are South African blacks, whose daily calcium intake is only 196 mg. Says McDougall, “On a nation-by-nation basis, people who consume the most calcium have the weakest bones and the highest rates of osteoporosis. … Only in those places where calcium and protein are eaten in relatively high quantities does a deficiency of bone calcium exist, due to an excess of animal protein.” ~ Dr. John McDougall
In the case of dairy, we cannot digest cow’s milk and utilize the calcium in it. Plus, the acidic nature of cow’s milk products in the human body means that calcium from the body’s own supply (found in the bones), is needed to render the cow’s milk less toxic to the system. As for proteins, if we look beyond the ‘complete protein’ theory, amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, are needed for the body to generate it’s own complete proteins. These amino acids are supplied perfectly by vegetables, particularly leafy greens, while ‘complete animal proteins’ actually provide little in the way of useable protein to the body. But that’s a whole different subject that I’ll have to re-visit another day!
The only way to promote bone density loss and regenerate healthy, strong bones is to flood the body with alkalinity in the form of fruits, vegetables, green vegetable juices etc, limit the consumption of animal proteins and encourage proper digestion of these foods with food combining, support the elimination of acidic substances from the body, soak up plenty of vitamin D via sensible amounts of sun exposure, and to keep the body fluid and strong with exercise and stretching.
In the absence of cow’s milk dairy I’ve been concocting batches of goat’s milk kefir, using raw goat’s milk and live kefir grains (note, I still include goat and sheep milk products in my diet – I enjoy my cheese and yoghurt, the protein makeup in these products is easier on our digestive systems than that of cow’s milk and they are eliminated more cleanly from the body). Almond and coconut milk are also great alternatives to traditional cow’s milk (I don’t advocate soy milk products).
Just sit the kefir grains in their little basket and float in the milk at room temperature for around 18 hours. I’m sure there are different ways you could do it, but this seems simple to me and it’s only the way I know! Any tips from seasoned kefir-makers would be appreciated though!