Posted on December 16 2019
Time to Read: 5 Minutes
The very first question I get asked when I tell anyone that I am vegan is the “But what about proteins from milk?”. Funnier is that I get asked this by people who are overly obese and get out of breath even while talking or unhealthy and clearly underweight malnourished looking adults.
To think of it, even your urine has some Vitamin C, but in the name of health, would you drink your urine for Vitamin C? My guess is that you would rather go for an orange. Dairy milk causes more harm than good for the body. I will discuss just a few points here backed with scientific research (which I will attach along) to help you understand why Milk is not as heroic of a drink as we are marketed to:
- Molecular mimicry
Every time you drink a glass of milk, it passes through our intestinal walls and into our blood stream. The body recognises this as a foreign substance, and the immune system is instantly triggered. You will instantly see some form of allergic reaction such as bloating, respiratory irritation, gas, upset stomach, nausea etc. considering about 80% of the country is lactose intolerant, this comes as no surprise.
The immune system then makes it's own antibodies to fight of this foreign animal protein. Oddly, the antibody which is produced by our own immunity mimics the amino acid profile closely to the beta cells of the pancreas which are responsible to produce insulin. In trying to kill the animal protein from dairy, the antibodies start attacking it's own tissues and the beta cells from the pancreas. This process is called immunological or molecular mimicry. Overtime, the pancreas will no longer produce any beta cells, leading to no production of insulin. This is the leading cause of type 1 diabetes in children. Click here to read the research article that does a fantastic job at explaining how this process of molecular mimicry occurs. Another article here, by Dr. Mudougall talks about how the same process of immunological mimicry is a leading cause of not only type 1 diabetes but also rheumatoid arthritis and pcos.
Multiple studies have suggested that higher dairy intake has been associated with lower antral follicle count. Antral follicle count is nothing but an ultrasound test predicting the number of eggs a women might carry. So in essence, the more the consumption of dairy in younger women, the more did their ovarian ageing process accelerated. so the ovaries of a 30 year old consuming 4 or more servings of dairy per day resembled that of a 50 year old.
Growth hormones and steroids such as oxytocin injected to dairy cows, which in turn make their way to the human body is likely the factor causing expedited ovarian ageing in younger women. Even without these external hormones injected to the cow's, excessive female sex hormone in the animal is itself a reason for trouble. Think about it, even cow's after a certain age do not drink milk, but humans continue doing so till old age. The growth hormones in the cows milk are to make a small baby calf into a 200 pound large cow, you do not need them.
Dairy oestrogen's are not harmed when the milk is pasteurised and still continue to be present even if you use toned milk.
Let me first tell you a little bit about the “calcium” derived from animal milk first before giving you multiple vegan calcium options that are absorbed much better by your system. If it were true that milk really helped build strong bones, then countries with the highest milk consumption should technically have the least cases of osteoporosis and hip fractures correct. However, time and again studies have shown that wester diets rich in dairy products have the highest rate of osteoporosis and hip fractures at a later age.
One explanation for understanding this is Galactosemia. Galactosemia is a disorder where babies are born without the enzyme that helps breakdown galactose (the type of sugar found in animal milk). Elevated levels of galactose in the blood has been linked to bone loss. However, when further research has been done with milk, it is discovered that even with the general population that do not suffer from Galactosemia, it is not advisable to drink milk on a daily basis as this still leads to excessive levels of galactose in the bloodstream that is not processed by the body. Excessive galactose has also been linked by brain degeneration, premature ageing, chronic inflammation etc.
But what about low fat milk products then? Well think about this, if the fat content from milk products are extracted, what is it left with? High protein right. If you know anything about or have read “The China Study”, you should be well aware that the relation between milk protein (casein particularly) and cancer is as high as the relationship between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. So really, low fat dairy products are even worse for the human body.
- Dairy alternatives
Now coming to some calcium sources I take in my diet. Since I am on a high carb diet, I consume A LOT of veggies and fruits (almost 6-8 servings of veggies per day and 2-3 servings of fruits). A lot of them add up to my daily calcium requirements (1000-1200 mg no more). Blackstrap molasses (very easily available on amazon india and not too expensive either), brocolli, almond butter, fortified non dairy milk, fortifies tofu or other soy products, amaranth, adzuki beans, oranges (yes!), dates, green leafy’s, some nuts etc. You will not need any supplements as long as you up your fibre (helps with calcium absorption).
I hope this read gave you some insights or provoked you to at least research on calcium and dairy consumption. It almost kills me to see parents force feeding their young once with milk and milk products in the name of health.
Some of the transformations of my clients after quitting dairy products.
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