Author Topic: Is milk bad for you?  (Read 10113 times)

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Offline ymoran00

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Is milk bad for you?
« on: January 03, 2012, 11:22:04 AM »
I just got a video (it's in Hebrew, so no point showing it here) that shows many doctors stating that milk is bad to you. More than bad - that it's a poison and that stopping drinking milk can reduce occurrences of breast cancer and other diseases.
This raised some red flags for me. First of all, referring to something as "the root of all evil" always looks suspicious. Also, medical issues that are discussed with such absolute terms without any doubt also look odd to me.
Does anyone have any thought about this milk issue? Is it really that bad for us?

Offline Belgarath

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Re: Is milk bad for you?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2012, 11:25:05 AM »
My thoughts are that milk is not bad for me until I see evidence to the contrary.
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Offline ting-bu-dong

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Re: Is milk bad for you?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2012, 11:25:24 AM »
What is the source of the video? Are any scientists and/or institutions named or are the sources given as scientists or doctors in general?

Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Is milk bad for you?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2012, 11:53:44 AM »
First of all, referring to something as "the root of all evil" always looks suspicious.

 :laugh: Gee, you think? :laugh:

Seriously though, the worst I've ever heard is something about our bodies not being meant to process milk after our infancy and that it can cause problems.  I cannot see how it could be even remotely considered a poison though.  Sounds more like how people in the US use "toxins" as a throwaway term to scare people.

At any rate, welcome to the boards!

Offline ♫♪ FX ♪♫

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Re: Is milk bad for you?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2012, 12:03:32 PM »
     There is a LOT of scientific literature about the hazards of cow milk consumption, especially modern dairy milk, which is directly associated with all kinds of health problems. 
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Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Is milk bad for you?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2012, 12:32:23 PM »
     There is a LOT of scientific literature about the hazards of cow milk consumption, especially modern dairy milk, which is directly associated with all kinds of health problems.

Isn't that mostly related to improperly storing or producing it though?  Saying that there are above average hazards involved in the consumption of milk does mean it's inherently bad for you.

Offline Trinoc

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Re: Is milk bad for you?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2012, 01:07:52 PM »
Apparently most mammals become intolerant of milk after weaning, and that trait was inherited by humans. However, some groups, notably Caucasians and some North Africans who came to rely on dairy products as a major food source, have evolved the ability to digest lactose through the whole of life.

Maybe Semitic people (such as Jews and Arabs) have not evolved tolerance to the same extent, so it could be that the Hebrew paper is relevant for its target population but maybe not to most of the rest of us, possibly including Semitic people who have family interbreeding with Caucasians (such as my own ancestry .. I have no problem with dairy products).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk#Lactose_intolerance
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Offline MikeHz

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Re: Is milk bad for you?
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2012, 02:54:17 PM »
If it were a poison then I'd expect to see a much higher death rate in countries that drink lots of milk compared to those that don't drink any. Instead, some of the greatest longevity is in places where milk products are a heavy part of the diet.
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Offline ymoran00

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Re: Is milk bad for you?
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2012, 03:19:53 PM »
If it were a poison then I'd expect to see a much higher death rate in countries that drink lots of milk compared to those that don't drink any. Instead, some of the greatest longevity is in places where milk products are a heavy part of the diet.
The article raises claims that milks may cause diabetes and cancer. A known doctor is quoted saying that milk is responsible to all cancer types, and a country with no milk (what is a country with no milk) doesn't have some types of cancer. For example - China, that doesn't use milk - has 1/1000 of the number of cases of Ovary cancer than in Israel. Later the article compares between countries to show there are higher risks for bone fracture according to milk consumption (I'll explain later).

Other claims raised in the article:
---------------------------------------
- You won't find milk drinking with the Chinese or the Japanese.
- The human being is the only mammal that drinks milk as an adult.
- Milk causes more incidents of Osteoporosis - because the calcium doesn't absorb in the body. Moreover, milk acid absorbs Calcium from the bones. They showed a graph of number of heap bone breaks per 100k people, compared to milk consumption, divided by countries. The graph shows that as more milk is consumed, the more bone breaks occur.
- IGF-1 hormone in milk may cause growing breast in teenagers (including males)
- Main protein in milk is Casein - and it's the same glue used for beer labels (?).
- A known doctor claims that milk is responsible to many children illnesses - Bronchitis, Allergies, Sore throats etc. He claims also that there is NO disease that removing milk cannot improve its symptoms...
Any 2 cents on something from that horror list?

BTW, The article mentions an American writer - Robert Cohen, that wrote a book "Milk is Poison". Do you know anything on it?

Offline ting-bu-dong

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Re: Is milk bad for you?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2012, 03:36:33 PM »
For example - China, that doesn't use milk - has 1/1000 of the number of cases of Ovary cancer than in Israel.

Never trust a statistic that comes out of China unless it has solid independent verification. Besides, China doesn't have much of a health system for most of its people so I would be surprised if their diagnosis rate was anything like that in countries with a health system, Western or otherwise.

Quote
- You won't find milk drinking with the Chinese or the Japanese.

It doesn't follow from that that milk drinking is a bad idea. I don't remember who said it, but the Chinese don't do a lot of things that are worth doing, such as milk drinking or elections. I don't have a source at my fingertips, but after WWII, milk drinking was introduced to Japan and it plugged a nutritional hole in the Japanese diet. There is also a push in China to get children to drink more milk for the same reasons.

Quote
- The human being is the only mammal that drinks milk as an adult.

How many species even have the means to get milk as adults? I vaguely remember a species of ants that herd caterpillars, but that's it. Again, it doesn't follow that milk drinking is therefore a bad thing.

Quote
- A known doctor claims that milk is responsible to many children illnesses - Bronchitis, Allergies, Sore throats etc. He claims also that there is NO disease that removing milk cannot improve its symptoms...

Having one cause for a large number of diverse and seemingly unrelated diseases is a red flag and a staple of medical pseudoscience.

Offline Skeptress

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Re: Is milk bad for you?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2012, 03:47:08 PM »
This is one of those arguments used by two types of people: vegans, and naturalists. 

Here is a decent (not great) article that refutes the hormone problem mentioned by FX. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22349307/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/does-milk-really-do-body-good/#.TwNnETXOx3M

Importance of milk for children in developing countries.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22073797

Lactose persistence genetics.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21836184

Drinking milk is very good for you.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22129373

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Offline Belgarath

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Re: Is milk bad for you?
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2012, 07:03:44 PM »
If Humans are the only mammal that drink milk as adults, then WTF is this cat doing?



Or are cats' NOT mammals?
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Offline ting-bu-dong

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Re: Is milk bad for you?
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2012, 07:06:43 PM »
If Humans are the only mammal that drink milk as adults, then WTF is this cat doing?

Do cats drink milk in the wild?

Offline Caffiene

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Re: Is milk bad for you?
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2012, 07:15:52 PM »
Quote
You won't find milk drinking with the Chinese or the Japanese.

This is mostly true. And the reason is that its bad for them.

... but not because milk is bad.

There is a significantly lower rate of milk consumption in many parts of Asia because many parts of Asia have significantly higher rates of lactose intolerance (somewhere in the region of 80% to 100%, compared to 0% to 20% for the US, and western Europe). There are some genetic factors that allow the processing of lactose (see Funda's link on lactose lactase persistence) which are prevalent in the west but not so much in asia and africa.
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Offline pandamonium

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Re: Is milk bad for you?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2012, 07:21:23 PM »
If Humans are the only mammal that drink milk as adults, then WTF is this cat doing?

Do cats drink milk in the wild?
That question doesn't actually matter regarding the point Belg is making. Do humans drink milk in the wild? Do we eat toast, or bacon, or scrambled eggs in the wild? Cats are a domesticated species, just like dogs and cows, and as such have domesticated diets.

Also, not all cats drink milk, just like not all humans drink milk.

I absolutely hate "But that's unnatural" arguments. Wearing pants is unnatural, wearing glasses is unnatural, driving a car is unnatural, growing plants specifically for consumption by humans is unnatural, pretty much anything a person does in their daily life is unnatural. Brushing your teeth, combing your hair, putting on shoes - all of these can be called 'unnatural' because in 'the wild' humans presumably wouldn't use tools in order to better their health and well-being.

And milk is delicious, end of argument.
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