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We have all been taught since childhood that we need milk for healthy bones.
Doctors recommended 3 glasses per day (and still do), it was promoted heavily on TV, it was in the food pyramid we were taught as children and it was even given out in schools to promote health.
But is it really ‘necessary’ for good health?
What is the truth? Is milk good or bad for you?
Dairy is a bit like what came first the chicken or the egg.
What I mean is that if humans ‘needed’ cow’s milk for strong bones then how did we survive before we could milk cows?
You see there are many reasons that show cows milk was not intended for humans, only for calves.
Now I know I may be challenging some strong held beliefs after all milk was a big part of many peoples childhood but please allow me to shed some light on some facts regarding the human consumption of milk and it’s effects on the human body, the well being of cows and the environment.
How Much Calcium In Milk Can We Actually Use.
We are told by the medical industry, our education system, the media and the FDA that we Need milk, but is it even the best source of calcium?
And how much calcium in milk can our bodies actually use?
Milk contains between 122 mg per 100 grams for skim milk to 118 mg per 100 grams for whole milk.
So how does this stack up next to other plant based foods?
Well Chia seeds contain 5 times the amount of calcium (around 600mg’s) than milk per 100 grams.
Raw sesame seeds have a huge 1000 mg’s per 100 gram, beans have between 120 and 175 mg’s per 100 and spinach contains 99 grams per hundred.
So as you can see there are many options when it comes to calcium and many plant based sources have much higher contents.
There is also a lot of research that shows the human body only uptakes a small percentage of the calcium in milk and A 2005 review published in Pediatrics showed that milk consumption does not improve bone integrity in children. 
In later studies researchers tracked the diets and physical activity of adolescent girls for seven years they also tracked stress fracture incidences , and concluded that dairy products and calcium do not prevent stress fractures in adolescent girls.
The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, which followed more than 72,000 women for a period of 18 years, showed increased milk consumption had no protective effect on fracture risk.
So we have Harvard medical studies that prove there are no benefits from milk in regards to bone density and strength.
But wasn’t that exactly why we were told to drink milk?
Another interesting fact is that the countries with the highest dairy consumption also have the highest rates of osteoporosis.
The studies on the effects of milk on bone density have also revealed some rather shocking findings.
For instance it has been shown that calcium from milk actually weakens bones.
Yes you heard that right.
What happens is that milk acidifies the body and calcium is a natural PH neutralizer and so is released to restore an alkaline environment, problem is that most of our calcium is stored in our…yep you guessed it, in our bones.
So the consumption of milk (and dairy) does actually weaken our bones and aids in osteoporosis.
So how much calcium in milk can we use? The answer is none…it uses us.
So, Is Milk Bad For You?
In short yes, milk (and dairy products in general) have been shown to leach calcium from bones and so leads to osteoporosis and higher fracture rates.
Milk products also acidify the body making it more susceptible to diseases.
Milk is also high in saturated fats which have been linked to heart disease and the galactose in milk has been linked to ovarian cancer.
There are also issues with a high calcium diet.
The U.S. FDA recommends 3 glasses of milk a day but a Harvard study has shown that men who drink 2 glasses of milk a day have twice the risk of developing prostate cancer than non milk drinkers.
In this study calcium intake was seen as the problem not just milk”.
It’s also worthy to note that today’s milk is homogenized, pasteurized and highly processed, which further alters it’s chemical makeup and increases it’s acidifying effects on the body.
Dairy cows are also injected with antibiotics and most with a genetically engineered form of bovine growth hormone called rBGH (a man-made or synthetic hormone used to artificially increase milk production in dairy cows).
rBGH also increases the insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in blood levels of those who drink it
“The growth factor, known as insulin-like growth factor-1, or IGF- 1, is necessary for proper growth in children, but studies of men and women more than 40 years old raise the possibility that it contributes to the growth of tumors. These studies were conducted at Channing Laboratory in Boston, a joint facility of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and at the Harvard School of Public Health”.
Why is milk bad for you?
Basically because it was designed for baby cows not humans, long term consumption of milk has also been linked with premature aging and this may be because it is designed for an animal with a much shorter lifespan than ours.
Milk Was Intended For Calves…
Obviously cows milk was intended for baby cows not baby humans.
Calves are much different than humans in what they need when they are growing.
For instance a calf weighs around 100 pounds at birth at will weigh around 800 pounds by the time it has weaned.
Calves never drink milk again after they have weaned off their mother.
Humans are obviously much smaller and grow at a much slower rate.
There is also no other species on earth that drinks milk after it has been weaned.
Humans are the only ones, we are also the only species to drink another species milk.
You see all mammals make their own unique milk that is tailor made for their young and cows milk is no different.
For example cows milk has 3 times the protein of human milk and this creates metabolic disturbances that can lead to bone health issues.
Human milk on the other hand is perfectly designed for humans babies….but again it is only designed for babies until they are weaned off it.
6 Reasons you should avoid Dairy at All Costs – Mark Hyman, MD
Should We Listen To The Dairy Industry?
The dairy industry is huge, it is quite literally one of the biggest industries on earth.
In 2015 Nestle’ turned over $27.8 Billion dollars, In fact the top 10 dairy companies turned over a combined $130 billion plus.
And in 2013 the dairy industry spent over $8 million on lobbying the U.S. government…so they are big players.
The reason we in the west have been sold the myth that we need cows milk to be healthy comes down to one thing…money.
The dairy industry makes billions every year and much of their success is owed to the fact that their product has been marketed in schools, the media and government agencies as a necessity for health.
Which it clearly is not.
So although it may be hard to get your head around we are all victims of an elaborate advertising campaign….and it is now costing people their health.
So the dairy industry employs people to lobby the government to get things like FDA approval and even recommendations, their products promoted in the school system and the suppression of studies that say anything different to the dairy industries mantra.
Milk And The Environment
The dairy industry is also one of the most polluting on the planet with global water usage at 2442 Billion cubic meters, this accounts for about a quarter of all water used.
The dairy industry is also responsible for 4% of all green house gas emissions, This is mainly made up of methane and nitrous oxide which are both GHG’s.
These figures are also only for the production of dairy products and doesn’t include transport, housing, cooling and waste emissions etc.
One cow produces around 120 lbs of manure a day of which much runs off into water ways and has a detrimental effect as the nutrients promote algal growth that ‘strangles’ the natural environment.
The dairy industry is also responsible for deforestation mainly in developing countries.
The dairy industry is also a very cruel and barbaric industry.
In short cows are kept perpetually pregnant so they can keep giving milk.
When a calf is born it is taken from it’s mother within a few days ( a totally unnatural process) and then killed for veal, some females may survive.
The mother cow is then artificially inseminated to start the process again.
Being kept perpetually pregnant takes a great toll on the dairy cows and they have many health issues mainly due to the fact that they get abnormally over sized and their bodies can’t cope, they end up living miserable.
Painful lives are mothers that never see any of their children and they die young most having never been in a natural environment.
So as you can see the dairy industry has nothing good to offer humans, the environment or the earth.
So How Do We Build Strong Healthy Bones?
There are certain things that we do need for strong healthy bones like
- Vitamin D – Is essential to bone health as it acts as a regulator of calcium in the body, It is converted into it’s active form and released when calcium levels are low to help uptake calcium from the gut.
- Also Vitamin D is most easily obtained from getting sunshine on your skin, there are also many vegan supplements available if you are not getting enough natural sunlight.
- Vitamin K – Found mainly in green leafy vegetables has been shown to aid in calcium regulation and bone formation.
- Protein – Found in all plant based foods protein is essential for building strong healthy bones..but don’t over do it as high levels of protein may actually help to weaken bones.
- Vitamin A – Aids in the depositing and borrowing of calcium in the bones. A healthy plant based diet will give you enough vitamin A.
Is Milk Bad For You – Conclusion
I believe I have shown that milk is neither necessary or good for human health.
Many medical studies are now showing the adverse health affects of drinking milk on bones and the body in general.
The dairy industries is also one of the most polluting on earth, has a product that is not needed and is detrimental to human health and it is an extremely cruel industry.
These are some of the many reasons that people become vegans.
I hope I have given you something to think about.
So if your ready you can Take The 30 Day Vegan Challenge Here…
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Have an Awesome day.