Does dairy really do a body good? - Our Paleo Life
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Does dairy really do a body good?

When did we start to think drinking milk was a good idea? During the Paleolithic era there was no way any man was getting to the nipple of a giant, vicious, animal. It probably wasn’t even a thought that crossed Paleolithic man’s mind. They did, however, know that we could drink our own milk; that baby could only survive when drinking from its mother’s breast. We’re born with plenty of lactase enzymes that breakdown our mother’s milk. As we get older, those enzymes decrease since we are no longer drinking beast milk. We are the only mammal that drinks other mammal’s milk. Sounds kind of crazy when you think about it, right? But are humans supposed to drink other mammal’s milk? Does milk really do a body good? Let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly on MILK.

The GOOD

The only good reason that I could find in my research on milk were the benefits of raw milk. I would say that the only people who believe that milk is a health drink are the people who are selling it. Milk is highly marketed and has now tricked millions of people that store bought pasteurized milk is good for us. Oops, I was trying to talk about the good things on milk. OK, back to the drawing board. Let’s talk more about raw milk:

Benefits according to Dr. Joseph Mercola1:

  • Loaded with healthy gut bacteria
  • Loaded with more than 60 digestive enzymes
  • Rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) ; cancer fighter and metabolism booster
  • Rich in good fats, amino acids, and proteins
  • Rich in unoxidized cholesterol
  • Loaded with vitamins (A,B,C,D,E and K) and minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron)
  • Enzymes that aid absorption of calcium in your bones.

Paleo followers omit all dairy. Why? Because conventional dairy is an inflammatory disaster and it raises insulin. But that’s not the whole story though. Here are more questions that need to be answered before we chop dairy out of our lives forever:

  1. Why are the health benefits of raw milk so much greater than conventional milk?
  2. When did we get the brainiac idea that it was good for us to drink another mammal’s milk?

Pasteurized milk vs. raw milk

What’s the difference between the two? A process called pasteurization; there are two types: the traditional pasteurization and ultra pasteurization. Traditional pasteurization is when the milk is heated to the required temperature of 161 degrees for 15 seconds. This process kills 99% of the good bacteria that helps humans digest milk. The other method, ultra pasteurization process is heated to 280 degrees for only 2 seconds which then the milk becomes sterile and all bacteria/pathogens are destroyed. The first intention of pasteurization was back in the late 1700’s, when they found heating wine and beer prolonged the quality of the drink. The intention to pasteurize or not to pasteurize now of days is much different; it’s not about prolonging the quality anymore, it’s about scare tactics. The CDC scares us with verbiage such as, “Before the invention and acceptance of pasteurization, raw milk was a common source of the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, diphtheria, severe streptococcal infections, typhoid fever, and other foodborne illnesses. These illnesses killed many people each year, especially young children. In the 1900’s many mothers recognized the risk and would boil milk (bringing it to a temperature of 212 degrees) before giving it to their infants and young children.2” Scary right? Nobody wants hear that their babies might die because of milk! So the CDC put the fear of God in us (once again) and we say, “OK” to whatever the experts say is good for us.

Raw milk comes straight out of the mammal and has not been pasteurized or homologized (milk fat globules are reduced in size and dispersed uniformly through the rest of the milk). As stated before, it retains all of the nutrients that are intended for proper digestion. But is it proper digestion for a calf and humans or just a calf? It’s best to make the right choice for yourself and your family. You decide what is best for your body, not the government.

Does dairy really do a body good?

The BAD

Most of us (unless you have a diary allergy) wouldn’t even consider ridding dairy from your diet. The joys of dairy are too great. Much like bread, milk products mixed with white sugar are highly addictive to the gut brain. Yes that’s correct, the gut and the brain are connected. What happens to you when you think of milk and cookies? A nice, comforting memory probably pops into your head. How about ice cream? Let’s not forget about the cheese either. Most people say they would go vegan or Paleo but they just don’t have the desire to kick the cheese or their beloved bread out of their lives. It’s just that addicting.

Even though this isn’t a far cry from what the CDC is doing, there are many facts about why we should all nix or greatly reduce conventional dairy in our diets. It has been researched by many top scientists that dairy is known to cause iron deficiency, heart disease, osteoporosis, and auto-immune disease. The slogan, “milk does a body good” and the ideology that milk is good for our bones is 100% false. The amount of calcium in milk is way too high for human consumption. Magnesium deficiency in the US is extremely common now of days, which this vital mineral is needed for calcium absorption. Without magnesium, our health greatly declines. Since magnesium is needed to absorb calcium, the ratio between calcium and magnesium in milk is 5:13. Which puts you at risk for heart disease and other inflammatory diseases.

Too much calcium can back fire and cause brittle bones rather than healthy strong bones like advertised. Aside from calcium, we also see Vitamin D being advertised on the milk cartons as well. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that promotes calcium absorption and typically comes from sunlight.

Does Vitamin D naturally occur in milk?

The answer is no, absolutely not. Here’s why:

There is little to no Vitamin D traces in milk do to the lack of sunlight that the cows are exposed to. Typically, conventional milk comes from cows that never see the light of day which means, there’s no Vitamin D production that naturally occurs and all milk that advertises it is fortified. Hopefully the vitamins they’re adding to the milk aren’t synthetic!

Does dairy really do a body good?

The UGLY

Have you heard about A1 vs. A2 genetics in cows? There is little research done on this topic but this could be the next big thing we should be looking into. According to Keith Woodford’s book Devil in the Milk, claims the reason why we are getting sick from dairy is because of A1 genetics. What the heck does this mean? According to Wikipedia, “A1 and A2 beta-casein are genetic variants of the beta-casein milk protein that differ by one amino acid. The A1 beta-casein type is the most common type found in cow’s milk in Europe (excluding France), the USA, Australia, and New Zealand. A genetic test, developed by the A2 Milk Company, determines whether a cow produces the A2 or A1 type protein in its milk. The test allows the A2 Milk Company to give licenses to milk producers once these producers prove their cows produce only A2 beta-casein protein in their milk, to the exclusion of the A1 beta-casein protein type.”

Why should we be concerned?

The A1 beta-casein proteins are causing havoc in our body. Much like Celiac disease and gluten (protein in wheat, barley and rye etc.), these proteins are breaking through the barrier of the walls of our guts and getting into our blood stream. This is a problem because our body fights off foreign invaders. When it continuously has to fight off the foreign proteins, our good gut bacteria and cells become weakened; hence turning on genes and causing autoimmune disease. There is still more research that is being done. I’m sure this subject is trying to be kept on the down low do to the large amounts of people who are probably going to protest after hearing this. I can hear it now, “We want A2 cows!!”

In the end, the choice is yours. Ask yourself, how do I feel after consuming dairy? Be mindful of what has dairy in it. Remember to read labels, as they can tell a lot about what you’re about to consume. Be the ruler of your body; try raw milk to find out if you feel a difference. You may even want to investigate more on A1 / A2 genetics. Take a stand for your body and do what you feel is necessary to feel vibrantly good. If you’re an avid Paleo/vegan follower, chances are you’ve already nixed dairy long ago. Stay informed and listen to your body, that’s the key optimal health.

1 http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/22/raw-vs-pasteurized-milk.aspx
2 http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/raw-milk-index.html
3 http://thepaleodiet.com/dairy-milking-worth/

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2 Comments on “Does dairy really do a body good?

  1. Amanda

    Let me start by saying I love your blog, and am getting some great information for my first Whole30. Thank you!

    However, in this article you seem to base most of your allegations against dairy on conventional milk, and do not make a strict enough distinction between conventional and raw dairy. Many of your arguments hold no water if we’re talking about raw milk. Vitamin D DOES occur naturally in grass-fed raw milk from cows who are on pasture most of the year. Raw milk also contains high levels of conjugated linoleic acid, essential fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins A and E, vitamin C, and the elusive vitamin K2. And if we’re talking about whether or not humans are ‘meant’ to consume another mammal’s milk, I think we would also need to discuss when humans had the great idea to consume other mammals dead, bloody flesh. Because honestly, the milk seems way less weird than chomping on a fellow mammal’s thigh. (Spoken as a long-time meat-eater, I’m just sayin’.) This is a great article from Dr. Axe about the benefits of raw milk, with an extensive list of sources at the bottom- http://draxe.com/raw-milk-benefits/ . It’s at least worth a quick read!

    Reply
    1. Amanda

      After re-reading my comment, I just want to add that I do see that you stated the benefits of raw milk at the beginning. But then you say “Paleo followers omit all dairy. Why? Because conventional dairy is an inflammatory disaster and it raises insulin.” Avoiding all dairy because SOME dairy is bad doesn’t make much sense to me. Some bacon is full of nitrates, high fructose corn syrup, and antibiotics, but that doesn’t mean I won’t eat the delicious home-cured pastured bacon from a local farm. Hence why I felt the need to comment.

      Reply

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