Milk is a great food, but some people digest it better than others. Knowing the body’s reactions can help prevent health problems.
Dairy consumption in the West is sometimes beyond reason. If we consider milk, cheese, yogurts and butter, we could say that they are present in the three daily meals.
Even if there is no pathology that contraindicates it (intolerance, allergies, autoimmune or oncological problems), for naturopathic doctors’ milk should not be ingested in any of its forms more than once a day, and preferably fermented (yogurt, kefir …).
WHY DAIRY CAN SIT BADLY
Among mammalian animals, humans are the only ones who have regularly incorporated the use of milk from another animal species into the adult’s diet, even encouraging it as an alternative to breast milk, although adapted.
In cow’s milk there are more than 20 fractions of allergenic proteins and nutrients suitable for a calf to gain 100 kg of weight in a year.
By ingesting this food every day, the fragile immune system of some babies, and specifically the lymphatic system (tonsils, vegetation …) It increases its defensive activity, congesting lymph nodes and mobilizing antibodies, which facilitates the way to repeated tonsillitis and allergic processes that can become chronic.
This situation can be aggravated by the chemical contamination of most commercial milks (the remains of antibiotics, pesticides and hormones are more the norm than the exception).
ABUSING MILK, WHAT RISKS DOES IT ENTAIL?
Incorporating daily a food rich in proteins and animal fat and that displaces the consumption of fruits and vegetables to an already hyperproteic diet with excess saturated fats translates into adult pathologies in children (cholesterol Mia, hypertension …) and in the increase of chronic diseases in adults (inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, arteriosclerosis…).
Containing abundant allergenic peptides and saturated fat, it can increase the risk of coronary heart disease and arteriosclerosis; digestive disorders such as chronic intestinal inflammatory processes (irritable bowel, ulcerative colitis …); respiratory or skin allergies and autoimmune diseases such as arthritis.
Nor should we forget that the growth factor present in cow’s milk can be counterproductive when it is not interesting to stimulate cell growth, as occurs in cancer. There are studies that relate daily dairy consumption with lymphomas, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer.
WHY CAN MILK CAUSE ALLERGIES?
Because there are more than twenty fractions of milk protein that favor a hyper response or increase in allergic sensitivity, especially if its consumption is abundant.
Milk can promote respiratory allergic processes (rhinitis, asthmatic bronchitis or asthma …) and cutaneous (eczema, seborrheic dermatitis…).
WHY DOES MILK INTOLERANCE DEVELOP?
Due to the decrease or absence of lactase, an enzyme responsible for transforming lactose into glucose and galactose.
As lactase is produced by the cells of the wall of the small intestine, when drinking milk, it reaches the large intestine undigested, irritating its mucosa and producing diarrhea, gas and the retention of these (cramps).
IS MILK INTOLERANCE GENETIC?
Yes. In Asia or Africa, the inability to digest lactose or milk sugar can affect 85% or 90% of some populations (98% in Thailand). In the Arab villages it is 80%. Among the Eskimos and the Mexicans, it is estimated at 83%.
In Europe it ranges from 1% (Sweden) to 15% (Spain). In England it is 6%.
WHAT EXACTLY IS MILK CASEIN?
Casein is a very allergenic and very dense protein; it is the part that coagulates (curdles) milk.
It is difficult to digest, so it does not break down completely, forming large macromolecules.
Breast milk contains 20% protein in the form of casein. In cow’s milk this amount is around 82%.
CAN CASEIN CAUSE PROBLEMS?
Yes, especially to infants, whose intestinal mucosa is more permeable.
Casein macromolecules can reach the blood generating antibodies and favoring allergies or food intolerance. These alterations can induce chronic intestinal inflammatory processes associated with various diseases.
ARE GOAT AND SHEEP MILKS DIFFERENT?
Yes. Goat and sheep milk are easier to digest than cow’s milk due to the smaller diameter of its fat droplets, and are tolerated by some people who do not like cow’s milk.
The biggest difference lies in their protein content: 5.3% in sheep, 3.7% in goat, 3.6% in cow and 1.2% in humans.
ARE LOW-LACTOSE MILKS USEFUL?
If the problem is lactose intolerance, low-lactose digestive milks are suitable.
If what is needed is to suppress dairy products due to the effects of their proteins (in allergies, in autoimmune diseases …) or their saturated fat (coronary heart disease …), obviously they should not be taken.
CAN MILK BE REMOVED FROM THE DIET IMMEDIATELY?
Yes. And without any health problems, since it is not an essential food, we must ensure that the rest of the diet is balanced and contains fruits, vegetables, and a variety of cereals.
Legumes, nuts, eggs, fish and meat can provide all the necessary proteins.
Those who opt for a moderate-dairy diet can rest easy. Calcium, protein, and vitamin B12 can be obtained from other foods.
WHAT FOODS CAN MILK BE REPLACED FOR?
Culinarily with soy milks, oats, almonds … There is cheese (tofu) or soy yogurts.
- Vitamin B12 is abundant in meat and eggs.
- Calcium in cabbage, spinach, chard, seaweed and nuts.
- Vitamin B2 in whole meal bread, peas, and mushrooms.
- For proteins there are both plant and animal options.
ARE THERE PLANT SOURCES OF VITAMIN B12?
No, and in fermented plant foods (cabbage, tempeh), pollen and algae have been found only precursors.
In strict vegetarians, the amount of pernicious anemia that was expected has not been detected. For safety, most of them consume foods fortified with vitamin B12 or supplements.
BUT MILK PREVENTS OSTEOPOROSIS…
Usually, osteoporosis is not a problem of calcium supply but of the fixation in the bones of the ingested calcium.
For this, physical activity is necessary to improve blood flow in the bone capillaries and vitamin D (10 minutes of daily sun on the arms), as well as not to abuse proteins and refined sugars.