Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Milk - It Does A Body Bad, Really Bad!

Recently the 2013 Super Bowl featured a Got Milk? commercial with celebrity Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson promoting milk for it's protein content. This 30 second commercial was sponsored by MilkPEP (Milk Processor Education Program). MilkPEP is conglomerate of several dairy industry processors with one goal in mind - to promote the sales of more milk and dairy.  At an average cost of $3.7-$3.8 million for a 30 second Super Bowl commercial these dairy companies spent a fortune branding their product as something that's good for you. Unfortunately, millions of consumers will believe this marketing ploy.

However, a quick look at the medical and scientific literature on milk products (and dairy in general) uncovers some dark secrets about these over glamorized and falsely advertised products. Here's 5 big reasons you may want to put the milk carton down for good.

Five Reasons To Avoid Milk And Other Dairy Products

1)  Got Prostate Cancer?

-  After following 21,660 men for a total of 28 years the Physician's Health Study found a 12% increase risk of prostate cancer in men consuming 2.5 servings or more of dairy per day compared to men consuming less than 0.5 serving per day[1]. One serving is an 8 ounce glass of milk or 2 ounces of cheese.
-  Intake of low fat/skim milk was associated with the highest risk of early stage prostate cancer.
-  Intake of whole milk actually doubled the risk of fatal cases of prostate cancer in men.

2)  Got Osteoporosis?

-  The most common indicator of osteoporosis prevalence in a population can be determined by examining bone fracture rates. Turns out that milk does a body bad in these regards.
-  The Nurses Health Study followed 77,761 women for a total of 12 years and found no reduction in risk of hip and forearm fractures in those with higher rates of milk and calcium intake, even after adjusting for body mass index, menopausal status, use of postmenopausal estrogen, cigarette smoking, alcohol and caffeine consumption, total caloric intake, and the use of thyroid or diuretic pills[2].
-  Furthermore, there was a slight increase in hip and forearm fractures for women drinking two or more glasses of milk per day compared with women drinking less than one glass per week.

3)  Got Heart Disease?

-  Protein from milk was portrayed as desirable and even necessary to start one's day off right in this year's Super Bowl commercial, but it comes at a hefty price as pointed out in the Iowa Women's Health Study.
-  A total of 29,017 women were followed over a 15 year period assessing the incidence of mortality from coronary heart disease in this study[3]. Women consuming the highest amounts of protein from milk, in place of protein derived from carbohydrate-dense foods (i.e. plant-based proteins), had a 41% increased incidence of mortality from coronary heart disease than their plant-eating counterparts. Animal-based proteins have been linked in other studies to higher rates of heart disease as well.

4)  Got Diabetes?

-  Children exposed to cow's milk at an early age (before the age of 4 months) are 1.5 times more likely to develop type I diabetes than children who have not been exposed to cow's milk early in infancy[4]. Children who are genetically predisposed to diabetes can have an autoimmune reaction to the protein found in cow's milk. Cow's milk protein is viewed as a foreign invader to the body. These proteins closely mimic the beta cells of the pancreas which are responsible for producing insulin in the body. Consequently, the child's own immune system starts attacking its pancreatic tissue causing permanent damage resulting in type 1 diabetes.

5)  Got Acne?

-  Acne affects nearly 85% of teenagers. Dairy and milk consumption plays a key role in the development of acne, thereby increasing the incidence of this condition in children consuming the highest amounts of these food products[5].
-  Dairy products raise insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a growth hormone, which in turn promotes higher rates of acne in both children and adults[5,6]. Persistent acne in adulthood, with high IGF-1 levels, may also be considered as an indicator for an increased risk of cancer.


As you can see milk products and dairy in general have a very negative effect on one's health. Whether you're a teenager wanting acne-free skin or an adult wishing to live a disease free life it's important to be aware of the damaging effects of milk on the human body. Do yourself and your body a favor and make a pledge to give up dairy or at least transition away from it over time.

There are many alternatives to dairy which are much healthier for you, and these products still taste delicious. Try out a variety of them and use what works for you. Make it a habit to put those items in your grocery cart each and every time you shop. Here are a few alternatives below to help make your transition process easier:

Instead of cow's milk try... Almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, hemp milk, or oat milk.

Instead of butter try... Variety of nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, etc.)

Instead of cheese try... Nutritional yeast or one of these homemade cheese substitute recipes.

Instead of ice cream try... Sorbet, homemade banana ice cream, or cashew banana ice cream.

If you're purchasing commercially produced dairy alternatives try and choose the products with little to no added sugar, salt, and oil to them. The less ingredients the better.

For a more in depth look at the health effects of milk check out this documentary - Got The Facts On Milk?

A great lecture below from Dr. John McDougall on The Perils of Dairy.

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by Dustin Rudolph, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist

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1 Song Y, Chavarro JE, Cao Y, et al. Whole milk intake is associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality among U.S. male physicians. J Nutr. 2013;143(2):189-196.

2 Feskanich D, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA. Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study. Am J Publ Health. 1997;87:992-7.

3 Kelemen LE, Kushi LH, Jacobs DR, Jr, Cerhan JR. Associations of dietary protein with disease and mortality in a prospective study of postmenopausal women. Am J Epidemiol 2005;161:239–49.

4 Gerstein HC. Cow's milk exposure and type I diabetes mellitus. A critical overview of the clinical literature. Diabetes Care. 1994 Jan;17(1):13-9. Review.

5 Melnik B. Dietary intervention in acne Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Jan 1;4(1):20-32.

6 Melnik BC, Schmitz G. Role of insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1, hyperglycaemic food and milk consumption in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris. Exp Dermatol. 2009 Oct;18(10):833-41.


  1. Thanks for this article. The milk-story turns from bad to worse now, or should i say to horrible? Found some days ago this and really can't believe it:

  2. So, my question is: How does one make yogurt from nut milks? Is it possible? I'm ok switching from drinking dairy to a nut milk but I can't go without yogurt and I make my own. Suggestions?

    1. I think it's great Riannon that you are transitioning to nut based milks. You and your family's health will benefit immensely from it.

      Great question about the yogurt. The best info I've found on this topic was from Susan Voisin on It actually involved making yogurt out of soy, not nuts but she gives you a great explanation here that you could probably devise your own recipe that works for you -


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