Dairy! Should we be consuming it?

What is Dairy?

Dairy is anything that comes from cows milk, milk produced by a female cow to feed her young. Essentially breastmilk from a cow, which at some point in history we started to consume as a milk drink. The benefits advertised to us was for bone health and health of teeth due to the calcium and protein content.

Recent research was published that found a higher risk of fractures with higher intake of milk and they believe it could be due to galactose (milk sugar). Some babies with a rare birth defect called galactosemia, have an enzyme missing, which causes bone loss when drinking milk. Because of this finding researchers took a hundred thousand men and women and followed up with them 20 years later, they found milk-drinking women had a higher rate of death, more cancer and heart disease from each glass of milk. The more milk they had the more bone fractures. They found men had a higher rate of death but the bone fracture was not affected as badly as women. They found the opposite with yogurt but this could be due to the probiotic and fermentation, which falls in line with the galactose theory.

Calcium from milk products is also not well absorbed and hence why it is suggested to have so many serves per day to get the RDI of calcium.

Get your calcium from another source such as almonds 1/4 cup contains 10% of RDI for adults, green veggies, tahini, lentils, beans, nuts, seaweed, oranges, blackcurrants, blackstrap molasses and for the kids top up with Little Munchkins super shake :).

What is important for bone health is vitamin D, alkaline diet, exercise and avoiding soft drink like cola.

We are also the only mammal in the world who drink milk from another species.

Dairy allergies and intolerance how common is it?

There are two forms of intolerance when it comes to dairy, the intolerance to lactose (milk sugar) and the intolerance or allergy to casein/whey (milk protein).

65% of humanity have a reduced ability to digest lactose into adulthood.

90% of East Asian descent have lactose intolerance and this also is very common in West African, greek and Italian descent.

This is due to a lack of lactase, the symptoms can include diarrhoea, pain, gas and vomiting.

Milk intolerance is on the rise with a 6.5% increase in 2015. It is believed to come down to genetic and the more the genes mix and get passed on the more common dairy allergies and intolerance will occur.

75% of people worldwide are unable to digest dairy and most are unaware.

"Persistent ailments like headache, cough or asthma, frequent colds or 'flu, skin issues like eczema, stomach bloating, irritable bowel, depression and low iron - can suggest dairy intolerance." From the food intolerance institute.

Research also shows having cows milk product increase mucus production creating a postnasal drip, cough and sinus congestion. It takes 3 months for milk to leave the body completely.

1 in 50 babies have a cow's milk allergy - this reaction may be sudden anaphylactic or delayed a few hours later with diarrhoea, vomiting and flare-up of skin symptom or the development of skin rash such as eczema. These delayed reactions are associated with non-IgE reactions and as such would not come up in a prick test but rather an IgG intolerance test instead.

Experts use to believe that babies would grow out of a milk allergy or intolerance by the age of 3 but this is no longer the case, with new research suggesting only 20% grow out of it by age 4.

In babies, colic is a common occurrence with allergies or intolerance to milk products including goats milk. It is more commonly a non- IgE reaction as in not an allergy but an intolerance to dairy.

It does make you question should we be consuming dairy at all.

What are your thoughts about dairy?

Research links





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