Milk and other dairy products can play havoc with ones Hormonal Health due to excess of hormones, antibiotics, steroids and pesticides etc.
The article, by no means, is a take from the Vegan, ethical or any other point of view. Gross unnecessary commercialisation has robbed milk of its nectar like qualities. Produced and processes correctly, milk is life giving, is an integral part of the traditional Indian medical system and day to day living.
Milk is no more Natures Perfect Food…
Dairy products have changed over the years in the negative ways. Dairy cattle are treated routinely with antibiotics, fed GMO Corn or Soy and are injected with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), an FDA-approved, genetically modified growth hormone that boosts cattle’s milk production.
“The milk we drink today is quite unlike the milk our ancestors were drinking,” Researcher at Harvard School of Public Health and an expert on milk related illnesses, Ganmaa Davaasambuu said. “It may not be nature’s perfect food.”
In the early 2000s, Davaasambu found that the rate of prostate cancer had increased 25-fold over the past 50 years. Also the mortality from the prostate cancer correlated significantly with the consumption of milk.
In another study published in Medical Hypothesis 2005, Davaasambu found that milk consumption strongly correlated with the incidence of breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers in 40 countries. She believed that the reason behind this is the high content of sex hormones such as estrogen present in the milk.
Some epidemiological studies and animal studies have already proven association between high blood levels of estrogen and prostate cancer risk. In fact a 2004 study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that rats fed on a diet of commercial milk developed more and larger breast cancers than those fed on a diet of non dairy milk.
Milk and Dairy products can be bad for Health
Milk from pregnant cows has much more hormones than milk from non-pregnant ones — five times the estrogen levels during the first two months of pregnancy and about 33 times as much estrogen as the cow gets closer to term.
1/9. Milk can affect Sexual Maturation
Hormones in commercial milk can also affect development and sexual maturation. A study in the journal Pediatric International, 2010 showed that the adult male participants had significantly high levels of female sex hormones namely estrogen and progesterone and a sharp decline in serum male hormone testosterone.
According to the researchers, this disturbance in sex hormones can be problematic for children as it delays sexual maturation in young boys and increases it in young girls.
2/9. Milk can aggravate Thyroid
Perchlorate, a chemical oxidizer and a pollutant, found in many environmental sources including cow’s milk, can negatively impact thyroid function by enhancing excretion of iodine and thus inducing hypothyroidism in some cases.
Perchlorate can also affect first trimester development of the fetus in the uterus by depriving it from necessary thyroid hormones.
3/9. Milk can increase Acne
Acne is strongly influenced by swings in the blood sugar and hormonal imbalances caused by milk and milk products.
One of the primary reasons dairy can lead to acne is that it raises insulin in the body. As mentioned above all types of milk contains insulin-growth factor that raises our insulin level in the blood. This leads to swings in blood sugar and ultimately results in acne.
Also, Dairy leads to excess sebum production that may result in more clogged pores, acne and a breeding ground for acne causing bacteria.
The effect on milk on acne is well documented in the literature and a number of studies have found a strong association between milk consumption and acne. For example a study published in American academy of dermatology found that teenage boys who drank milk on daily basis have more break outs than those who don’t.
4/9. Milk can trigger inflammation
Milk intake has been shown to contribute to low-grade systemic (whole body) inflammation, which is an important etiological factor in cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, metabolic issues, and other chronic diseases. This is more than a little dairy sensitivity or allergy. For many, milk represents a gateway to a larger world of systemic and chronic ailments.
Milk can be a real gut irritant and can also lead to microbiome damage. It can trigger autoimmune disorders, which is mainly because of inflammatory reactions to proteins like casein from cow’s milk.
Try to completely avoid diary if you are a celiac or have non-celiac gluten sensitivity as casein from the diary often cross reacts with gluten to make the condition worse.
5/9. Milk can trigger Mood Swings
Mood swings inarguably occur due to hormonal imbalances caused by milk consumption, as milk is full of hormones that we don’t need.
Casein, one of the main proteins found in milk has not only linked to addiction, but can also trigger aggression, depression, anxiety and anger. According to Dr. Kelly Brogran, M.D. it is mainly due to activation of some receptors in the gut and production of antibodies in response to casein.
Researchers at UCLA have found that consumption of dairy can change the way the brain works. Researchers report that the gut sends messages to the brain during digestion that alters the functioning of certain neurochemicals in the brain. Even more serious disorders such as autism and bipolar disorder have also been linked to dairy consumption.
6/9. Milk can be exposed to Pesticides
Pesticide residues in milk are alarmingly prevalent and pervasive as concluded by a 2004 study done by USDA’s Pesticide Data Program (PDP). Almost 95% of the milk samples in this study had DDE1, a chemical that results from the breakdown of the banned pesticide DDT. 41% of the PDP’S samples contained Dieldrin, another banned pesticide.
99% of the samples contain diphenylamine (DPA), an industrial chemical used in the manufacture of certain drugs, plastic and rubber.
The PDP list goes on to include endosulfan sulfate that disrupts the endocrine system and 3-hydroxycarbofuran, which is a toxic byproduct of carbamate insecticide.
7/9. Milk can lead to Hormonal imbalance
All cows, that are part of the commercial dairy industry, are kept pregnant, the year around, to continuously produce milk. Considering that alone, it has become impossible to produce hormone free milk. Here are just a few of the hormones present in your glass of milk…
- Insulin like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGF-1 and IGF-2)
- 5α-pregnan-3β-ol-20-one, 20α- and 20β-dihydroprogesterone
This list of hormones and growth factors are far from complete, and undoubtedly there are many more yet to be discovered.
These hormones and growth factors can affect all body tissues and have far reaching effects and are known to affect our bodies negatively by blocking the receptors normally reserved for our body’s own hormones.
8/9. Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) can trigger cell mutations
rBGH (Bovine Growth Hormone) causes stimulation of another hormone, insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which then ends up in cow’s milk. IGF-1 is impervious to pasteurisation, homogenisation and even digestion, which means it, can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
To make matter worse, rBGH itself can be absorbed by humans and increases IGF-1 in our body just as it does in the cow’s body.
As the names suggests, rBGH and IGF-1 are intended to grow calves (four times over in a month). But in humans, they can stimulate the growth of hormone sensitive breast and prostate tumours. rBGH has also been linked to early puberty in girls, PCOS, PMS, acne and prostate issues.
9/9. Milk… Pus Cells, bone loss and possible antibiotic resistance
When cows are injected with rBGH, it makes them susceptible to the infection of udder (mastitis), which necessitates the use of antibiotics. Due to this infection somatic cells of cows and antibiotics can easily go into the milk.
Actually, Somatic cells are present in all mammalian milk. But in the milk of sick and infected cows, somatic cells are present in large amounts, which can take the form of neutrophils, or the cells that form pus.
Another issue with chronic infections and the administration of antibiotics is that antibiotics can actually accelerate bone loss. Also, many dairy farmers who administer rBGH routinely give prophylactic antibiotics even when no infection is present, laying the way for the development of “superbugs,” or antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which then enters the milk.
Try a Milk elimination Diet for 21 days. During that time keep a note on how you feel. After 21 days, check if you still face hormone related issues like acne, mood swings, PCOS, PMS, prostate, digestion problems etc.
What are the Dairy alternatives?
If you are concerned about not getting enough calcium by avoiding milk, fear not, there are plenty of other non-dairy sources of calcium that you can incorporate in your diet. Some of them are:
9. Sesame seeds
10. Collard Greens
11. Chinese cabbage
12. Enriched rice milk
13. Blackstrap molasses
14. Unsweetened almond, hemp and coconut milks
Writer’s Note: I have, consciously, not touched on the topics like… Impact of commercial dairy on the environment, whether it is ethical to keeps cows pregnant 24×7 or where do the newborn male calves go.