Dairy is one of those things that causes division between people. As a society we have a strong emotional attachment to it and you find many of its devoted supporters defending dairy as if it was part of their very identity. As children most of us were told that we need to drink milk to grow strong bones and to be healthy, but lately there has been more and more evidence to the contrary. If you have been baffled by the conflicting arguments or know somebody who still keeps (aggressively) defending their cheese addiction, here are some indisputable facts that will clear your doubts about the harmful effects of dairy.
- Extremely acid forming
When dairy is ingested its metabolic waste is acidic. The problem with this is that the body’s pH is 7.4 and it has to remain that way or else we die. So your body will do anything to neutralize the acids and the most effective way happens to be with calcium. So what your body does is leach calcium from the bones in order to keep the organism at a safe pH level. Obviously, this is not a sustainable solution and in the long run will lead to osteoporosis. So they told us that we need to drink milk to have strong bones. Think again!
And that’s not the only problem. Acids mutate cells, which is to say, cause cancer (a cancer cell is a mutated cell). Acids also damage tissue causing inflammation and chronic degeneration. On top of all that, acids need to be eliminated though the kidneys or though the skin, which means that constant intake will burden these eliminative organs, impairing their normal functioning (my favorite mentor Dr Robert Morse ND talks a lot about this)
2. Mucus forming
Due to its acidic and otherwise toxic nature, dairy is extremely mucus forming. Mucus acts as a protective layer, so in order to protect the cells and tissue, your body responds to dairy with excessive mucus production. Mucus is sticky and causes your lymphatic system to stagnate, which results in waste building up in the body. Stagnant lymph on the other hand serves as a breeding ground for parasites, especially fungus.
This phenomenon is especially harmful when is takes place in the intestines. Your body will protect the intestines from the acids by creating a mucus lining on the intestinal walls, which blocks the nutrients from being absorbed into the blood stream, causing malabsorption. This created a cycle of overeating and weight gain, as the cells are actually starving for nutrition.
Whether you like it or not, cow’s milk is mother’s breast milk meant for its baby. This means that not only is it full of maternal hormones, it’s also full of growth promoting hormones. A baby cow is meant to grow from about 29 kg (64 lb) to almost 300 kg in less than a year, by only consuming its mother’s milk. A study found estrogens and insulin-like growth factor-1 in cow milk to be responsible for initiation and provoking of breast, prostate and endometrial tumors. This doesn’t sound like something you would want to put into your body does it?
98% of the dairy products that we consume in the western countries come from animals in factory farms. This means inhumanely filthy and crowded conditions, full of sick and wounded animals, with the perfect conditions for bacteria to thrive. As a quick fix, the farmers tend to pump the animals full of antibiotics to avoid losses and to keep the animals standing a bit longer. The same way that drug residues would collect in the human mother’s milk, they also collect in the cow milk, and get transferred to whomever drinks it. On larger scale, this of course creates antibiotic resistant bacterial strains causing deadly infections worldwide.
Because animals in the factory farms are over exploited, many of the dairy cows suffer from wounds and infections in their udders. As a result, a considerable amount of pus is being secreted together with the milk. In order to keep the process effective, the health authorities allow for predefined number of somatic cells in the products, and as a result, an average tea spoon of milk contains about 1,2 million somatic cells.
6. Saturated fat
Dairy products, just as any animal products, are full of saturated fats, which increase blood cholesterol and thus promote development of heart disease, dementia and impotence. Cholesterol blocks the arteries by sticking to their inner walls, causing diminished blood flow to important organs such as the brain and the penis (it’s interesting that many males only wake up to care at the mention of the latter).
There are proteins in cow’s milk that when broken down in the stomach form opioid compounds called casomorphin, which is designed to ensure that the calf keeps drinking the milk long enough to survive, making cow’s milk basically addictive. In cheese this compound is in the most condensed form, making it the most addictive of all the dairy products. For most people then, eating cheese is not a choice, it is a compulsive addiction dictating their lives. It makes sense, why else would so many people be so attached to something so detrimental to our health!
It’s easy to fall into the common misconception that while meat is bad, dairy is harmless. After all, the cows are happily grazing all day long over green pastures, while getting milked every morning at 5 am by a nice chubby lady, right?. WRONG.
Dairy cows stay all their lives crammed into small cubicles inside a factory farm, hooked into milking machines that often times cause painful abrasions and inflammation in their udders. They go over a cycle of getting forcefully impregnated over and over again, having their baby taken away from them after only a few days from birth, and being constantly milked, until they drop from exhaustion after only 4 years, which is only a fraction of their natural life span. After this they become useless for the dairy industry and are sent for slaughter, thus becoming part of the meat industry.
The mother cows often cry for their babies for weeks, but the industry can’t have the calf drink the milk that they want to sell for human consumption. The female calves face the same fate as their mothers, while the males are sent to the veal industry where they are kept isolated and unable to move for 18 to 20 weeks in order for their flesh to remain tender, after which they are sent to slaughter.
9. Lactose intolerance
About 65% of the world population have lactose intolerance, a large number feel uncomfortable bloating after eating dairy and some have dairy allergy. The fact that no other animal drinks milk after weaning, let alone the milk of another species, is a cue that perhaps we are not meant to be consuming breast milk after the first few years of age. The fact that so many of us develop intolerance and allergies where our bodies literally reject dairy, should be a serious red flag. It is proven that being able to tolerate dairy, is a mutation due to constant consumption over thousands of years. Not the other way around.
10. Dairy keeps you fat
When your body is unable to eliminate toxins as fast as they are coming in, it starts storing them in fat in order to keep them away from harming important organs. Dairy is one of the most toxic foods for the human body for all of the above mentioned reasons, so if you are struggling with some excess body fat, it’s time to ditch dairy!
11. Discover a world of new flavors!
Nowadays there are entire sections in supermarkets dedicated for plant based milks, cheeses, yogurts and desserts that you get to try out and enjoy! My favorite plant milk is oat milk, but there are also soy, rice, almond, millet, coconut and hemp milk and probably some that I am not even aware of! With the spread of the vegan movement there are plant based substitutes for all the dairy products, and companies are getting better and better at imitating cheese, the biggest addiction of the modern society. So if you are a culinary person, ditching dairy will only enrich your life!
- What’s the pH of Milk, and Does It Matter for Your Body? (Healthline.com)
- Hormones in Dairy Foods and Their Impact on Public Health – A Narrative Review Article (ncbi)
- Saturated Fat (American Heart Association)
- How much pus is there in Milk? (NutritionFacts.org)
- Cows Milk Casomorphin, Crib deaths and Autism. (NutritionFacts.org)
- Veal: A Byproduct of the Cruel Dairy Industry. (PETA)
- Antibiotics in the Dairy Industry: What you need to know. (GreenAmerica,org)