Study Shows Higher Rate of Death with Higher Consumption of Milk
It is not uncommon that I am in a consultation with patient, reviewing their food sensitivity tests and share with them that they are reacting to dairy. Then I tell them that we are going to eliminate dairy from their diet. The next question that I most commonly hear is “How am I going to get my calcium?” or they express a concern about bone fractures and vitamin D. There has been an enormous amount of propaganda these past several decades that has led to this generally accepted belief, that pasteurized milk is good for you and especially for reducing the incidence of osteoporosis and bone fracture.
New Research Says This Could Not Be Farther From The Truth
A recent study published in The British Medical Journal http://goo.gl/1uqHIL
tracking over 100,000 people finds that the more pasteurized milk people drink the more likely they are to die earlier and to have bone fractures. This is exactly the opposite marketing message that is promoted by the dairy industry. We have all seen the ads, “Got Milk?”, “Milk Does a Body Good”. Yet more and more research is bringing to light an entirely different message. This was once true, when we were consuming raw milk from healthy grass-fed cows that were not pumped full of drugs!
This published paper in the BMJ examined the lifestyle habits of 61,433 women and 45,339 men over a 20 year period. It showed that a high milk intake in both men and women is associated with higher death rates and fractures. The chance of death during the study almost doubled for women that reported drinking three glasses or more of milk a day compared to those that drank only one. It also showed that a high milk intake is associated with higher levels of inflammatory and oxidative stress markers.
How Pasteurized Milk Causes Osteoporosis and Bone Fractures
The majority of milk found in stores has been pasteurized and homogenized. This process heats the milk to high temperatures and uses high pressure to obtain the finished product. The problem is this process alters the milk from the original state and destroys many of the natural and beneficial enzymes, minerals and vitamins found in raw diary.
There is calcium in milk. Once the process of pasteurization and homogenization is completed milk contains calcium carbonate. Research has shown that calcium carbonate is poorly absorbed by the body. Not only is the calcium in milk poorly absorbed but calcium requires adequate supplies of magnesium to be absorbed. Ideally calcium and magnesium is given to the body in a one to one ratio. Milk found in the store contains much higher amounts of calcium when compared to the magnesium content. Pasteurized dairy does not contain enough magnesium for the body to absorb the calcium that is available. Not only that, but due to the lack of vitamins needed to help calcium, once absorbed in to the bloodstream, get pulled into the bones, calcium instead builds up in the artery walls, which contributes to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and an increased chance of strokes or other cardiovascular events.
Pasteurization has also been shown to not only destroy the beneficial bacteria found in raw milk, but also promotes the growth of the harmful bacteria. Not only that but many of the cows are treated with genetically engineered bovine growth hormone and other chemicals which may increase your risk of cancer and other diseases.
Dr. Robert Thompson M.D. explains in his book “The Calcium Lie” that focusing on increasing calcium consumption will possibly worsen your bone density and may increase your risk of osteoporosis along with heart disease, gallstones, kidney stones, obesity, hypothyroidism and osteoarthritis.
Healthy Bones Without Milk
Dr. Thompson writes that bone is composed of many different minerals and the right balance of these minerals is essential for bone health. At Living Health Integrative Medicine we perform tests that can help us properly diagnose vitamin and mineral deficiencies which may lead to or cause osteoporosis. Once we can make the appropriate diagnosis then we can recommend the foods and supplements for optimal bone health.
We also have prescribed whole body vibration exercise to patients with osteopenia or osteoporosis. This therapy has been shown in the research and clinically to improve bone density. The typical therapy session is 15 minutes. The force generated by the machine stimulates bone growth at the cellular level.
Some of the foods that will help with bone density include green leafy vegetables, like kale and spinach, wild salmon, almonds and sardines. If you feel like you miss milk then try coconut milk, almond milk or hemp milk as an alternative. These nut milks have nutritional benefits but make sure to avoid the sweetened options. Avoiding processed foods will help your bone density. Processed foods contain substances that create reactions in the body that promote oxidation, inflammation and decreased bone density.
Pasteurized dairy is not food we recommend to promote optimal health. There are many other ways to increase bone density, get adequate amounts of calcium, vitamin D and other beneficial nutrients.
If you would like a consultation to discuss your bone health, call Living Health Integrative Medicine at 410-216-9180.
Living Health Integrative Medicine
1833 Forest Dr. Ste A
Annapolis, MD. 21401