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Milk : Is it good or bad? What do you think about it?

Updated on June 26, 2011

Milk - Is it good or bad?

While there are some arguments that milk is the best source of calcium and human need to drink milk in order to prevent calcium deficiency, I have noticed that not everybody drink milk everyday. How about vegans? How do they survive without milk? Researches has shown that vegetarian have a lower risk of osteoporosis than non-vegetarian who has a dairy product on a daily basis.

On the other hand, milk has been introduced into our food chain for centuries. Osteoperosis have been another popular disease for this modern time. It is not a conclusion to say that milk is not good for your health because obviously, people have been drinking milk for many generations. Here comes the solution : Maybe 'milk' is not the problem but how it is treated that matters.

I am not a vegan, and I eat dairy products once in a while. I don't oppose milk that it is totally bad food, and I don't really support that milk is the best food either. Let's see here what the studies have shown about milk.

What is milk?

Milk is the white liquid that is especially produced by the female species of warm-blooded animals . Mammals have mammary glands that are specialized in separating different substances from the blood and combined them into the substance we know as milk. Because the blood has to pass through this gland in order to produce milk, thus milk contains several chemical components, which are passed from the blood. Cow's milk that you see in white color contains a half-million white blood cells per milliliter.

Milk production of this century.

You may have heard someone says about a growth hormone that is injected into cows. This hormone is called bovine growth hormone or BGH. It is supposed to stimulate milk production and cause no harm to milk or meat. However, here is the problem, BGH causes a dramatic increase in mastitis (inflammation of the udder) and this condition requires antibiotic therapy, and the residues of the antibiotics also appear in milk.

It is contaminated.

Simply said that drugs, antibiotics and hormones used in cows are not good for human's health. Because milk production has been increasing rapidly in the last 50 years in order to respond to the demand of milk, the only possible way is to use technology of chemicals, drugs, forced feeding plans and specialized breeding. Cows eating pesticide, or herbicide-sprayed feed tend to accumulate residues in their meat, fat, and milk.

Below are some studies related to milk and health.

Milk is not good for baby feeding.

It is now known that early feeding of human babies on cow's milk tend to increase the developing of cow's milk allergy. This happens to one in ten babies. Common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, colic, asthma and sleeplessness. Cow's milk should not be given to infants under four months. It is best to avoid feeding babies with cow's milk until they're one year old.

Osteoporosis and arthritis

Major part of milk is protein. Too much protein consumption will make the blood to become acidic. The body needs to neutralize the acidity by taking calcium from the bones. Besides calcium in milk is harder for the body to absorb than calcium in plants. This may also link to the lost of calcium in bones.

Cardiovascular disease

Milk consumption is linked with increasing risk of cardiovascular diseases. A candidate for it is poor calcium to magnesium ratio. It has been shown that milk is not a very good source of many minerals. Magnesium is the mineral that works alongside with calcium. Our body needs calcium and magnesium at the ratio of 2:1. Milk's ratio is 10: 1, while cheese is 28:1. If you rely on dairy products for calcium alone, it is likely to lead to magnesium deficiency and imbalance.
Magnesium is essential to the body to help protect against heart disease. A deficiency in magnesium may also increase the risk. Another candidate is that our body produces an antibody against milk, which also links to heart diseases.

Breast and prostate cancer

Cancer is any malignant growth or tumor caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division. A research has shown that the hormone used in cows is the substance that promotes milk productivity, thus stimulate the estrogen hormone in order to produce milk. An estrogen hormone and growth factor hormone (BGH) passed into consumer and increase the risk of breast and prostate cancer. (Stimulate growth of cancer cells)

Allergies and lactose intorerance.

Milk allergy is very common for both children and adult. Some people lose the enzymes to digest dairy products at some point in their lives. The enzyme is called lactase, which is used for digesting sugar in milk called lactose. When the body cannot digest lactose, it shows allergic symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain and diarrhea. This is called lactose intolerance. (Means that the body can't tolerate lactose) Other types of allergies may results from many substances and chemicals in milk that the body resists, thus creates allergic reactions such as excessive mucus production,asthma, and gastrointestinal problems. Some people who are allergic to milk can tolerate yogurt. Most people can't.

Does everyone need to drink milk? Where else can you get calcium from?

Many people worry about a calcium deficiency in the absence of milk in their diets. Some experts say that the procession has degraded the calcium content in milk. Even if that is not the case, calcium in cow's milk is much coarser than in human milk, as well as being tied up with casein (a milk protein), which prevents it from being absorbable by the body.

Another natural source of calcium in food includes seeds, nuts, and crunchy vegetables like kale, cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower. These foods can give us enough calcium and other minerals that the body needs.

If you want milk, what is a guideline for dairy products?

Although there are researches and studies to claim that milk is good or bad for your health. Use your consideration accordingly to information that you have received. For myself, I cannot totally boycott milk from my diet. I love dairy products, but I do not have them regularly. Listen to your own body and see if you have any symptoms that might have been related to dairy products. To see if it is the case, try to decrease or avoid dairy products for at least 14 days and notice how you feel. (30 days is the best) This method may be applied to other kinds of food as well, if you think that you might be allergic to a particular food.

The best way to have dairy products is to choose organic ones. Choose organic milk where the cow has been fed naturally without traces of chemicals or pesticides. You may find some of these products in the supermarkets. Look for organic milk certification stamp. Check the resources here for more information about organic dairy produce.


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    • productreviewme profile image

      productreviewme 5 years ago from New York, NY

      I feel kinda bad after drinking things with milk...

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 6 years ago

      Many people are lactose intolerant (some more than other). Some even say that lactose intolerance is a normal state in adults.

      For those who don't drink milk, they can get calcium from sardines and some other seafoods. Or calcium supplements taken with vitamin D (because vitamin D is needed for calcium absorbption)

    • Julie-Ann Amos profile image

      Julie-Ann Amos 8 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK

      Great hub - love the idea about this so thank you

    • EverythingMouse profile image

      EverythingMouse 8 years ago

      It is so refreshing to see this view point presented. I avoid milk and try and encourage my family to do so as well.