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Is milk bad for you?





loyal
Just thought I'd share something that I personally found interesting to research.

http://www.naturalnews.com/035081_pasteurized_milk_cancer_dairy.html#ixzz1navgjBtj:
Quote:

[...]But the U.S. government would rather standardize all milk as being the same, and create a system where farmers continue to produce cancer-causing milk from sick cows for the millions of children to drink.


I was surprised to see a bogus exaggeration like that. I then found out that alot of people believe in these myths about milk. Two reasons why this movement of people do not trust milk is:
-that they say we lose the ability to digest milk when we grow up and hence this causes stomach ache, diarrhea, etc
-milk stimulates the production of mucus which counteracts our digestion or something like that

I looked up research papers to see what had been published about milk being bad for you:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2154152 a journal article on the relationship between milk intake and mucus production

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21717454 a journal article on the relationship between endometrial cancer and milk intake. This is the actual paper mentioned in the original article.

Both seem to indicate these two claims as nothing more than "old wives' tales".
deanhills
I don't think it is as simple as this. Depends on our own immune systems and the quality of milk and its source. Some people tend to have allergies and dairy foods can contribute to that. Also, not all dairy foods are equal. There is a good case to be made for dairy cows being kept in awful conditions. They may be fed hormones to produce enough milk flow, etc. etc. If one consumes dairy, then probably organic is the best and it would be good to know exactly where the milk comes from, what the cows are fed and what conditions they are living in.

Some people don't do well with dairy at all. Particularly when they are prone to allergies. Other people thrive on dairy, so throwing dairy out is probably not logical either. One probably just have to use one's common sense and do one's homework as to the source of the milk.
loyal
deanhills wrote:
I don't think it is as simple as this. Depends on our own immune systems and the quality of milk and its source. Some people tend to have allergies and dairy foods can contribute to that. Also, not all dairy foods are equal. There is a good case to be made for dairy cows being kept in awful conditions. They may be fed hormones to produce enough milk flow, etc. etc.


I don't know. How much hormone would a cow have to drink/eat for it to reach a significant level to harm the person? And then how much milk would one have to drink to be affected? If it was really that bad, surely we'd hear of alot more cases of people being adversely affected by milk.

Quote:

Some people don't do well with dairy at all. Particularly when they are prone to allergies. Other people thrive on dairy, so throwing dairy out is probably not logical either. One probably just have to use one's common sense and do one's homework as to the source of the milk.

Well, an actual allergy to dairy is rather different. Obviously in that situation, you'd avoid diary. But I'm speaking of non-allergic people who join this campaign against milk.
Bikerman
Well, beef from the US is banned in Europe and has been for some while precisely because of fears over the effects of the growth hormones used routinely in US farming practices.

The World Trade Organisation has, twice, ruled that the ban must be lifted (no surprise there, since the US is a major influence on WTO and the WTO only took evidence from the US FDA). Europe refuses to comply, so the US is authorised by WTO to apply tarrifs (equivalent to about $120 million) to EU imports in retaliation. The US rotates the goods which this applies to every year to cause the maximum damage.
deanhills
@Loyal. I've found an interesting article on hormones in cow's milk and why one would find more hormones in commercial cow's milk from the US than anywhere else.

http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2006/12.07/11-dairy.html
ocalhoun
loyal wrote:

pasteurized_milk_cancer_dairy.html


*Sigh*

The growth hormones in the milk may indeed be a major concern... Especially when consumed by children...

--but--

The pasteurization process is not.
That's simply flash-heating it to kill off potentially harmful bacteria and other microbes.
Pasteurized milk is still chemically identical to non-pasteurized milk; it just doesn't have any living organisms in it anymore.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Pasteurized milk is still chemically identical to non-pasteurized milk; it just doesn't have any living organisms in it anymore.
It may be chemically identical, but the beneficial bacteria and enzymes have been nuked. Which makes the milk much more difficult to digest, hence why so many people can't deal with milk. And why the valuable calcium that is in it, cannot always be well absorbed either.
Bikerman
Complete horlicks.
The enymes responsible for milk digestion are already present in the gut. That is why, for example, Asian people without the required enzyme - lactase - cannot drink cow's milk - pasteurised or not.

Any normal child has tons of Lactase in the gut - far more than the small amount in raw milk. Some adults, mainly in areas which have no history of cows milk consumption, have the enzyme switched-off in adulthood - they cannot normally digest milk.
Everyone has less lactase as they get older and some make almost non - they are lactose intolerant. There is no evidence that I can find that would suggest this is in any way related to pasteurisation. It is also counter-intuitive since if milk did contain significant amounts of lactase then it wouldn't stay milk for very long - it would digest itself.

The claim that raw milk contains beneficial bacteria is highly dubious. Bacteria beneficial to digestion (called Bifidobacteria) are found in the gut. The presence of any such bacteria in raw milk can only come via the digestive tract, ie through contamination with cow-dung, or through infected udders (mastitis and related infections) - I hope I don't have to explain why that is not desirable.

As for affecting calcium uptake - your source for that claim please?
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Complete horlicks.
The enymes responsible for milk digestion are already present in the gut. That is why, for example, Asian people without the required enzyme - lactase - cannot drink cow's milk - pasteurised or not.

Any normal child has tons of Lactase in the gut - far more than the small amount in raw milk. Some adults, mainly in areas which have no history of cows milk consumption, have the enzyme switched-off in adulthood - they cannot normally digest milk.
Everyone has less lactase as they get older and some make almost non - they are lactose intolerant. There is no evidence that I can find that would suggest this is in any way related to pasteurisation.

As for affecting calcium uptake - your source for that claim please?
Most of the "evidence" is anecdotal. There is a study under way at Stanford University however and it would be interesting to see what the outcome of it will be:
http://nutrition.stanford.edu/projects/RawMilkStudy.html

For me there is always common sense as well. If someone is treated with radiation, then both good and bad cells will be killed by the treatment. If milk is heated at high temperature then the good bacteria will be killed along with the bad bacteria. The good bacteria would make the milk more digestable. But that obviously has to be proven still with hard evidence.
Bikerman
What 'good bacteria' are you talking about? Bacteria beneficial to humans COME from humans, not cows.

And what about this 'calcium' claim you made? Evidence?
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
What 'good bacteria' are you talking about? Bacteria beneficial to humans COME from humans, not cows.

And what about this 'calcium' claim you made? Evidence?


Bad bacteria (I'm sure you're very familiar with this and this is not the question you asked but I thought I would supply this info anyway)
http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/mole00/mole00017.htm

Good bacteria
http://www.organicpastures.com/faq.html

And "no", I don't have any evidence for calcium. But neither have I found evidence that deals directly with the absorption of calcium either. We are told milk has so much protein and so much calcium, but that means nothing if the body has not been able to absorb all of it. And there seems to be a big question mark as to exactly how much calcium each of us absorb when we drink a glass of milk. There are many other factors at play here too. The diet the person is following as a whole, vitamin D as well as other minerals play an important role in absorption of calcium.
Bikerman
This is a SCIENCE forum.
Second-hand anecdotes are worse than useless - they are actively misleading.

So are 'sources' like the one you provide for 'good' bacteria. That is a company that sells whole milk and has previously been fined for making bogus claims. Nor does it give any details of these supposed 'good bacteria' - like what they are called for example.

As for the calcium claim - you didn't say that you had no evidence. You stated categorically that the calcium in pasteurised milk 'cannot always be well aborbed'.

So what we have is:
Deanhills wrote:
It may be chemically identical, but the beneficial bacteria and enzymes have been nuked.
No evidence for this assertion.
Deanhills wrote:
Which makes the milk much more difficult to digest
No evidence for this assertion.
Deanhills wrote:
hence why so many people can't deal with milk.
Completely untrue.
Deanhills wrote:
And why the valuable calcium that is in it, cannot always be well absorbed either.
No evidence for this assertion.
Peterssidan
Why is it that milk in Spain taste terrible, almost undrinkable. Have they done something to the Spanish milk to stand the heat better or something? Does it affect the health?
Bikerman
What type of milk do you mean? Pasteurised? Sterilised? Skimmed? Semi?
Sterilisation does, IMHO, affect the taste (it tastes 'sweeter' to me, which I don't actually like). Some people claim that pasteurised milk tastes different - personally I can't spot it, unless you are comparing with full-cream 'raw' milk which I have drunk, straight from the cow as it were.
Peterssidan
I don't remember exactly what kind of milk it was. I can only compare it with the milk I usually drink here in Sweden. Skimmed milk should just taste less creamy, not give the milk a bad taste. I don't really know about sterilised milk but from your description that should not be it. All Swedish milk is pasteurised but maybe the Spanish milk is more pasteurised to stand the warmer climate?
Bikerman
I honestly don't know, but it should conform to EEC regulations which, I believe, specify the minimum requirements but nothing more. Perhaps Spain does indeed heat=treat the milk for longer to increase shelf-life...dunno really - never drunk Spanish milk....
Bondings
Bikerman wrote:
What 'good bacteria' are you talking about? Bacteria beneficial to humans COME from humans, not cows.

Are all bacteria inside animals not beneficial to humans? I always assumed we shared a lot of the beneficial (and other) ones?
Ankhanu
Here's a video from a rather great YouTube asset, Conc0rdance, on the topic of raw milk and pasteurization.

Bikerman
Excellent vid...must look this chappie up.
Bikerman
Bondings wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
What 'good bacteria' are you talking about? Bacteria beneficial to humans COME from humans, not cows.

Are all bacteria inside animals not beneficial to humans? I always assumed we shared a lot of the beneficial (and other) ones?

No, this is a myth.
A comprehensive paper in 2000, by Teitelbaum and Walker, examined the issue in depth.
http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.nutr.22.110901.145412
The basic conclusion in a nutshell is that Probiotic microorganisms must be of human origin in order to have a (beneficial) impact on human health, or must be engineered specifically for human consumption.

PS - I'm ignoring the 'hygiene hypothesis' * here because there have been tests on milk in that context and they were negative.

* The hygiene hypothesis basically says that the more sterile the environment, the weaker the immune system and the greater the chance of infection, allergy and illness. I have some sympathy with this hypothesis and it would seem to go some way to explaining massive increases in some allergies (asthma for example). It can be ruled-out as a specific factor with raw-milk, however, since the hyothesis depends on the subject being exposed (or not exposed) to a wide range of pathogens, irritants and other bacterial and viral strains. Any contribution from milk (raw or not) would be very minor in the overall picture. Also there have been a couple of studies on this (I'll try to dig-out details later) which showed no statistically significant effect.
Navigator
Milk has caseine, a protein that causes inflammation.
abhizz
Ankhanu wrote:
Here's a video from a rather great YouTube asset, Conc0rdance, on the topic of raw milk and pasteurization.

Nice video, this is just a like my grandma doing Wink

[MOD - removed the video link from the quote to keep things short
Bikerman]
nguyenvulong
I used to get stomache when I was young after drinking milk.
But currently it's alright, my body can adapt milk .

Enough milk per day will keep you health, in my opinion, it's about 1/2 liter . Rolling Eyes
spinout
My grandpa said milk was for kids... And he was true in many ways - Milk is defenitely too much fat for older people.
kndge9584
no milk is a good for me milk is a very stronger for other persons
ocalhoun
kndge9584 wrote:
no milk is a good for me milk is a very stronger for other persons

this can't I understand post your should punctuation maybe and sentence structure use
dennisvdb94
its actually good for you
jajarvin
I think that one should drink only pure milk. Pasteurised milk is not healthy.
Ankhanu
spinout wrote:
My grandpa said milk was for kids... And he was true in many ways - Milk is defenitely too much fat for older people.

kndge9584 wrote:
no milk is a good for me milk is a very stronger for other persons
dennisvdb94 wrote:
its actually good for you
jajarvin wrote:
I think that one should drink only pure milk. Pasteurised milk is not healthy.

Can we keep in mind that this is a Science forum? Opinion is ok, but, please, back up your claims with fact... especially when they're contradictory! Is there any reason I should believe any of what's said here? Who has the better info? Whose presented opinion is based on facts, and whose are just hunches? There's no way for me to tell without doing full research on my own!
Bikerman
Thank-you for that intervention Ankhanu. You got there slightly before me.
I will now make this official - these are SCIENCE forums. Opinion is Ok but ONLY if it is supported by evidence or a logical train of argument. Unsupported opinion is worthless and will be treated as such.
Some people find it hard to accept the simple fact that the universe doesn't care one little bit whether they believe X or believe Y, but this is, in fact, the case.
dharmin
Thats all bullshit, milk is a great source of calcium for your bones and teeth! It makes your bones strong (less brittle) and teeth healthy!
mustatab
I m alwys perplexed by this question. If you se al other animals then you will find that they donnot drink milks when they leave their mother to goto world fom their paets. As humns are mammals too so do we need to drink milk. Is it necessary. gnetically as e evolved from animals so do e need milk after childhood. No one could give ths answer and i could still nt find anser in any book or internet. Intresting thought...
Ankhanu
mustatab wrote:
I m alwys perplexed by this question. If you se al other animals then you will find that they donnot drink milks when they leave their mother to goto world fom their paets. As humns are mammals too so do we need to drink milk. Is it necessary. gnetically as e evolved from animals so do e need milk after childhood. No one could give ths answer and i could still nt find anser in any book or internet. Intresting thought...

Whether or not we need milk isn't the question; clearly we do not, as there are many people who are intolerant of milk as adults and can't consume it.
The question that was posed is whether or not (adult) milk consumption is healthy, or if it causes significant health problems. It's a question of effect and utility, not necessity.
pravojednostavno
I think EU has a good standard and milk from EU is good for me
mshafiq
Milk is not good for those who are lactose intolerant because milk has lactose as its ingredient. If you able to digest milk then its good for you Smile
ujjawall
according to me it's lilttle bad because easily cause fracture in accident and make body fat. Rolling Eyes
sailor69
mustatab wrote:
I m alwys perplexed by this question. If you se al other animals then you will find that they donnot drink milks when they leave their mother to goto world fom their paets.


When I get too much calcium in my stomach I tend to vomit more easily, such as from too many antacid tablets. I am not lactose-intolerant.

**********************************************

More in line with the original question in this thread, the milk in my house (store-bought, pasteurized, kept in a good refrigerator, the works) goes bad much more quickly than it used to. We are having to buy milk in smaller portions so it does not go bad before we use it.

I presume it is the same in this region, if this is due to errors in processing at the factories. That is the most likely place for pathogens or the nutrients for them to be accidentally cultivated. Another possibility is some kind of computer glitch altering the printed sell-by dates.
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