Many of you who have been with me for years know I occasionally amuse myself with the slogan “I told ‘em!” That’s a reference to something which I have been saying for decades, ahead of the pack. Then, eventually, they catch up with me! It’s not just happened once, twice, a dozen times… much more than that. Things I was once scoffed at for, sooner or later become part of the standard canon of medical science.
So imagine, I’ve been telling people for years that MILK IS POISON (yes, even raw milk). It causes brittle bones and fractures (despite all the calcium hooey and propaganda). But I wasn’t expecting an “I told ‘em!” on that for another 50 years!
T. Colin Campbell’s phony book, The China Study, pretending to study “animal protein” as a cause of cancer did not: he studied MILK. And many holistic doctors (those who can see past the propaganda nonsense) have been suspicious for years that milk CAUSES cancer. It’s a sticky, dirty food and should not be on any recommendation list of healthy foods for humans.
He proved MILK could cause cancer, he did not prove “animal protein” causes cancer. The rest is vegan propaganda. As a result of phony science like this, the current U.S. dietary guidelines recommend that just about everyone eat three servings of dairy a day. I did not expect that to change any time soon.
So imagine my surprise when… WHAM! …on my desk lands a piece from Medscape, denouncing milk! It used words like “thin science” or “fundamentally flawed”, studies “too short” and “too small”. It was like hearing a heavenly choir starting to sing up aloft!
What had triggered this amazing re-appraisal was a new review, by Walter Willett, MD, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in which he and his colleagues said… wait for it! …“too much dairy may cause harm to both our bodies and the planet.”
“If we’re going to recommend something, it obviously should be based on strong evidence,” says Willett. He reviewed the risks and benefits of drinking milk for The New England Journal of Medicine.
“The basis of calcium recommendations is, I think, fundamentally flawed in the United States,” he says. Too right, I say.
Moreover, Elizabeth Jacobs, PhD, a professor of epidemiology, biostatistics, and nutritional sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and colleagues recently reviewed the science behind the dairy recommendations and concluded that the U.S. should follow Canada’s lead and ditch dairy as a separate food group. Instead, they recommended placing dairy foods in the protein category, making them one choice among many that would help people meet their protein requirements. Their paper is published in Nutrition Reviews.
“We’re not saying milk is dangerous or harmful,” Jacobs says. Well I am!
The current dietary guidelines for dairy are based on the idea that we need milk to help meet daily calcium requirements. If you read Thomas Levy’s brilliant book Death By Calcium, you’ll see the actual evidence points to the fact that calcium is bad for us; we get far too much and calcium, as I always point out, is the basis of aging: coronary artery calcification is one of the most dangerous changes in our bodies as we age, but calcium anywhere—organs, joints, brain—is very bad news.
[more magnesium is the answer; I haven’t time to go into that here]
The evidence of the benefits of milk as a source of calcium is poor, says Walter Willett. The recommendations come from studies that were relatively small — including just 155 men and women. That’s not just pathetic – it’s dishonest!
And those studies were short — following people for 2 to 3 weeks. I mean you could hardly make up this crummy science. Researchers measured how much calcium they ate and drank, and compared it to how much they were excreting in stool and urine. The idea was to find out how much calcium the body needs to keep it in balance.
But they never investigated the actual health effects of milk and/or calcium. They just did what I call nutrient accountancy: measuring it from one pot into another.
Much better are large population studies (epidemiology). And I’ve been teaching for over 40 years that the USA, which has the highest intake of dairy of any country on earth, has the highest incidence of brittle bone fracture (osteoporosis). In fact more women die of fracture of the femur than die of breast cancer!
China, on the other hand, traditionally had no dairy products in the diet, yet osteoporosis was unknown as a condition (I expect that will change rapidly now, as they start consuming Western junk food).
And guess what? Willet said this: “large population-based studies that offer snapshots of how people eat and what happens to their health, have consistently shown that in countries where people eat the most dairy, they also have higher rates of fractures.
I say it’s because too much calcium screws up calcium and magnesium metabolism.
Willett has a different idea: Those studies can’t prove that eating more dairy causes hip fractures, but Willett believes it is totally plausible eating dairy products in childhood is known to accelerate growth and lengthen bones. The risk appears to be highest for men who drank a lot of milk in childhood.
“That’s probably because of basic mechanics. If you have long bones, they’re easier to break than short bones,” he says.
More of the B*S* Sort
Predictably, the dairy famers reacted negatively. They don’t want people to be healthier and live longer. They just want to sell milk, even if it is hurting people.
In a written statement, the National Dairy Council, which represents dairy farmers, said the study didn’t include the “total body of evidence” on dairy foods. No, it concentrated on the bit you’ve been hiding and lying about for decades!
“Dairy remains an important part of a balanced diet and provides lasting and meaningful nourishment for people, the planet and communities,” Gregory Miller, PhD, chief global science officer at the National Dairy Council, said in a written statement. He’s a hired shill, in other words.
In additional to bone health, milk has been touted as being helpful for weight loss. The review found no evidence to support that.
Research shows that dairy products can help control blood pressure, but only when they’re part of an overall healthy diet. That makes it tough to tease out whether milk or dairy products were responsible for the benefit.
And that question of does milk cause cancer?:
Its effects on other health outcomes are mixed. Willett says observational studies have found strong links between eating dairy and some kinds of cancer, such as prostate cancers. Again, these studies can’t show that milk causes cancer.
There were no links found between milk and getting diabetes. And there was no link between lifespan and eating dairy.
Taken together, the science shows that “milk is not essential for health,” says Marion Nestle, PhD, a retired professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University who was not involved in the study.
Amen to that.
To Your Good Health,
Prof. Keith Scott-Mumby
The Official Alternative Doctor
Rethinking Milk: Science Takes on the Dairy Dilemma – Medscape – Feb 19, 2020.