The Dairy Fallacy


North Americans have been marketed/brain washed into thinking that dairy is an essential part of their diet and that without dairy products they are doomed to osteoporosis.  North Americans have the highest consumption of dairy products and yet also have a very high incidence of osteoporosis.  How then can it be concluded that dairy products are at all protective against osteoporosis?  A 12 year study published in 1997 found that among 77,761 women, aged 34 through 59 years, higher intakes of total dietary calcium or calcium from dairy foods were not associated with decreased risk of hip or forearm fracture (Source: Am J Public Health. 1997 Jun;87(6):992-7).

Most people who have been to see me know that I actively discourage dairy intake for most of my patients for the following reasons:

  1. Almost everyone has signs or symptoms of a potential dairy allergy: sinus congestion, joint pain, skin rashes like eczema/psoriasis, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, bloating/gas/constipation/diarrhea etc.  In the face of all these symptoms caused by dairy, how can it be good for them?
  2. On blood testing for food allergies, 99.5% of the 1000 or so people I have tested are producing high levels of IgG antibodies to dairy products.  That is, a food allergy to dairy is present in 99.5% of the people tested. 
  3. Many of the patients I see are suffering from hormonal issues.  Dairy products are made from breast milk from a cow.  Even organic dairy products will contain hormones owing to the fact that cows are animals that produce their own hormones and by virtue of being breast milk, milk will be full of hormones, organic or not.
  4. Our mothers produce milk for us for as long as we need milk, once we are through breastfeeding the need for milk no longer exists. Calves do not continue to breastfeed cow’s milk their entire lives, they get their calcium from dark green leaves. 
  5. Shouldn’t the optimal calcium food source come complete with the vitamins that are needed to get the calcium from the food into the bones rather than have it depositing on the arteries?  Cow milk doesn’t (and calcium supplements often don’t)! The usual vitamin K content of milk is <1µg per 100g, where good food sources like green and/or leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, lettuce) contain >100µg per 100g. You need vitamin D and vitamin K to ensure that calcium doesn’t end up deposited on your arteries leading to heart disease.  Get outside to get vitamin D and eat your dark green leafy vegetables to get your vitamin K, every day!