Nora Gedgaudas

What about dairy?

What about dairy?

The answer to whether or not anyone should consume dairy products is a complicated one. As with many things, the answer comes down to: “It depends.”

The answer to whether or not anyone should consume dairy products is a complicated one. As with many things, the answer comes down to: “It depends.”

Certainly from a Paleolithic standpoint, in truth there is no real foundation for consuming it. Strictly from a common sense standpoint, all mammals consume the milk of their own species exclusively, and even then only as infants. Once weaned, young animals go on to consume whatever food is natural for an adult of that species…

Except for us. (?)

If we’re lucky nowadays we naturally breast-feed for as long as we can, then once we are weaned from our mother’s breast…we start to drink the milk of another species??? From a rational standpoint, it doesn’t make sense. Most human adults naturally lose the ability to produce the enzyme called lactase (an enzyme that helps us digest milk sugars) past childhood.   It is true that there have been some post-Neolithic genetic mutations in part of the human population that have allowed some adults to retain this enzyme— presumably so they were better able to digest milk past infancy.   But just because some people can digest it better does that mean that they should? That’s still a valid question.

Again, the answer seems to be complicated.

Raw milk actually contains helpful enzymes and encourages beneficial bacteria that better contribute to easier digestion. This can help to ensure that more of the vitamins and minerals in the milk are absorbed.   The closest we can possibly come to making milk a natural and truly beneficial food for us is in this raw state.   Certified raw, 100% organic and 100% pastured sources of milk from A2 allele cows or goats can have nutritional value for certain individuals—but only (ONLY) if 1) they habited digestive capacity to make use of it and 2) they have tested negative, using only the most accurate testing, to any form of immune reactivity to any of its proteins.   Of all the milk products available, colostrum perhaps holds the most promise as a concentrated healing source of nourishment for those with leaky gut or immune impairment.   That said, if you happen to have any immune reactivity to any of the dairy proteins then colostrum’s potentially healing benefits are irrelevant for you (and effectively more risky and damaging than anything else).

Some will try to tell you that as long as the milk is raw, or as long as it is goat milk, as long as it’s only cream, or butter, or ghee; or as long as you stick to milk from cows having an A2 allele, then it’s okay for you. I’m here to tell you that from the standpoint of the most current understandings in immunology that if you have any sensitivity/immune reactivity to dairy proteins whatsoever, then ALL sources of dairy are 100% OUT for you. Milk solids (proteins) still exist in milk fat products such as full fat cream, butter and even ghee, unfortunately. And for someone for whom milk is a source of immune reactivity (or cross-reactivity with gluten), then even a trace from an immune perspective is literally too much.

There are some that have put forward the theory (and not at all unfounded) that many of the problems with milk actually arose as a result of a tiny protein fragment that is formed when we digest A1 beta-casein, a milk protein produced by many cows in New Zealand, Australia and other western countries. Milk that contains A1 beta-casein is commonly known as A1 milk, whereas milk that does not is called A2.
Originally all milk was supposedly A2 until a mutation affecting some European cattle occurred some thousands of years ago. Herds in much of Asia, Africa and parts of southern Europe remain naturally high in A2 cows. A2 milk from selected cows is now marketed in much of Australia, and in parts of the USA and New Zealand. Keith Woodford, Professor of Farm Management and Agribusiness at Lincoln University in New Zealand has written a book on this very subject titled “Devil in the Milk”.   In it he “examines the population studies that look at the link between the consumption of A1 milk and the incidence of heart disease and Type 1 diabetes; he explains the science that underpins the A1/A2 hypothesis; and examines the research undertaken with animals and humans.” The evidence in his book and thesis is compelling. –If you are interested in incorporating dairy into your diet and you are clearly not immune-reactive, then you should probably be switching to A2 milk.

If, on the other hand, your immune system is already adversely sensitized to dairy protein in any way, then switching to A2 milk WILL NOT negate its negative effects upon your health. Once immune sensitized, always sensitized. Period.

The only type of milk that has never shown an immune reactivity in humans (other than human milk) is the milk of camels. Yes, you heard me. –And no, I am not on psychedelics. Having personally inquired about this at some length over conversations and correspondences with my friend, Dr. Aristo Vojdani , PhD (world class immunologist and researcher, with close to 150 peer-reviewed publications to date) the reason seems to be that camel milk is almost literally identical in its composition to human milk. I have no explanatory reason whatsoever why that similarity exists, but for some reason it does. In that respect, one could theoretically consume camel milk with joyful abandon and carefree impunity– and the fact is many people are doing just that nowadays. You might think I’m crazy now, but keep your eyes open for all the marketing of camel milk that is out there– and coming to an Internet ad near you. It is becoming big business in some circles. Camel milk products, however, are extremely expensive. Nonetheless, I will tell you this much: its flavor is quite literally indistinguishable from cow’s milk (at lease with respect to the sample I tasted, and based upon the opinions of others I have talked to that have tried it).

Exotic Bedouin beverages aside, although there are several states within the US that allow for the sale and purchasing of certified organic, and pastured raw milk, the commercial dairy industry is fighting an aggressive and outright bloody battle to limit– and preferably eliminate access to the one form of milk that might actually deserve to be called a health food (at least for those that can tolerate it). Even though I don’t drink milk or consume dairy products at all I do believe it should be every human being’s constitutional right to produce and obtain real food. That the sale of raw milk is illegal in most places or that the acquisition of raw milk is something most frequently done in in the shadows of dark alleyways with a wink and a nudge is about as symptomatic of a totalitarian state as anything can be. -Even perfectly legal family-owned buying clubs in numerous places around the country have been raided by fully armed SWAT teams wearing flak jackets. Innocent people—whole terrified families are arrested, handcuffed, imprisoned without just cause (and sometimes even without bail) and their property is simultaneously confiscated by authorities simply because of an honest effort to provide others with access to real food. These raids have even occurred in places where buying clubs and raw milk aren’t even illegal. I have personally known some rather wonderful people engaged in these practices who have lived in a state of constant fear and sleepless awareness that at any moment they could lose everything they own, simply because they are passionate about their right to making real food available more easily and affordably to those that want and need it. The growing hostility toward people such as this by those seeking to monopolize and control the commercial food supply have forced many such people to abandon their private enterprises. The authorities would have us rely upon commercially produced and more profit-driven sources of what are often foods of more questionable quality and integrity.

It seems George Orwell was right, after all.

If you are the intrepid, determined and/or activistic type and you really want to find a quality source of raw milk for you and your family, then the following guidelines should be carefully followed (taken from the web site www.realmilk.com:

According to the guidelines authors, the last one is not really necessary if all the others are followed.

  • Cows graze on unsprayed pasture except during the coldest time of the year and then are fed mostly hay and silage when in barns.
  • The herd is tested free of TB and brucellosis.
  • When a milking machine is used, the cow’s teats are washed with iodine before putting the milking caps on.
  • The milking shed and surrounds are clean and tidy.
  • Milk is kept chilled in a stainless steel tank or individual containers.
  • Milk is tested regularly to ensure the absence of human pathogens.

SO WHY DID WE EVER START PASSTEURIZING MILK IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Probably the best single historian on this topic is a naturopathic doctor by the name of Dr. Ron Schmid, author of ‘The Real Milk Story’—and a passionate advocate for access to clean, unadulterated 100% organic, pasture-fed raw milk.

He tells the story this way:

‘The War of 1812 with England resulted in the permanent cutting off of the whiskey supply America procured from the British West Indies. As a result, the domestic liquor industry was born, and by 1814, grain distilleries began to spring up in the cities as well as the country. Distillery owners then began housing cows next to the distilleries and feeding hot slop, the waste product of whiskey making, directly to the animals as it poured off the stills. Thus was born the slop or swill milk system.

Slop is of little value in fattening cattle; it is unnatural food for them, and makes them diseased and emaciated. But when slop was plentifully supplied, cows yielded an abundance of milk. Diseased cows were milked in an unsanitary manner. The individuals doing the milking were often dirty, sick or both. Milk pails and other equipment were usually dirty. Such milk sometimes led to disease. By the last decade of the nineteenth century, a growing number of influential people throughout the country believed that American cities had a milk problem.

Pasteurization, begun around 1900, was a solution of sorts. The other was the certified raw milk movement, which insisted on clean, fresh milk from healthy, grassfed animals. Henry Coit, a medical doctor, was the founder of the first Medical Milk Commission and the certified milk movement. Physicians in cities throughout the country considered raw milk essential in the treatment of their patients; they worked together to certify dairies for the production of clean raw milk. This resulted in the availability of safe raw milk from regulated dairies. Initially, from around 1890 to 1910, the movements for certified raw milk and pasteurization coexisted and in many ways even complemented one another. From about 1910 until the 1940s, an uneasy truce existed. Certified raw milk was available for those who wanted it, while the influence of the pasteurization lobby saw to it that most states and municipalities adopted regulations that required all milk other than certified milk be pasteurized. The end of this truce (detailed below) has led to the subsequent outlawing of all retail sales of raw milk in most states and even of on-farm sales in many.

Many people today find it surprising that support of raw milk among physicians was widespread in the first half of the twentieth century. The use of raw milk as a treatment of chronic disease has a rich and well-documented history. In 1929, J. E. Crewe, MD, one of the founders of the Mayo Foundation, the forerunner of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, published an article entitled “Raw Milk Cures Many Diseases.” ‘(http://www.drrons.com/raw-milk-history-health-benefits-distortions-3.htm)

On his website (www.drrons.com) he then proceeds to cite numerous peer-reviewed articles of the day verifying the clearly medicinal value of this formerly 100% pastured, unadulterated food.   He makes a very compelling case.   His book is decidedly recommended reading for anyone with a passion, historical interest or general inclination toward this subject matter.

What has happened since the commercialization and industrialization of the milk supply, however, is the stuff of horror novels.   What is being sold today as commercially legal and meeting a supposedly “healthfully acceptable” standard in retail grocery stores (except in the few places where certified pastured raw milk is actually legal) can scarcely be referred to by anyone with any modicum of understanding as actual food.

The fact is, that the milk that is sold in regular grocery markets today is a highly processed food you wouldn’t even be able to get a baby cow to drink.   It typically comes from cows that have led highly confined lives, and are being fed glyphosate-treated grains, GMO soy beans, or GMO corn and only limited/partial access to fresh green grass. Dairy cows commonly suffer infections in their udders (a condition referred to as mastitis), leading to the development of inflammation and pus in them that is very painful. I have witnessed this in dairy operations myself—even relatively small ones. It isn’t pretty. The cows clearly experience pain and discomfort with this condition—and the majority of cows either have or develop it. The development of pus that comes with mastitis—emerging from the udder like cottage cheese—literally mixes with the milk during milking (I know—it’s pretty gross)–plus who knows what else–and it gets siphoned into a large tank (pus and all) that is then boiled at extremely high temperatures in order to attempt to kill all the bacteria in a process known as pasteurization. As a result of the commonality, if not ubiquitous nature of this inflammatory condition, dairy cattle are routinely given antibiotics, which then transfer (at east in part) to the milk you and your children eventually drink. Boiling the milk generally sterilizes it (though may not necessarily kill all pathogens), but this also effectively destroys many of the nutrients and enzymes contained in that milk. Enzymes that get destroyed in the milk include lactase (that can help digest the lactose), phosphatase (that can help digest calcium) and galactase (that helps digest the other milk sugar, galactose). Pasteurization also denatures other proteins in milk so that the body is more likely to thinks they are foreign, and is more likely to mount an immune response.  Pasteurization and especially “ultra”-pasteurization makes milk very difficult to digest.

Relative to the mastitis issue, the following is quoted from an NIH Technology Assessment Conference Statement on ‘Bovine Somatotropin’:

“…the effect of rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropins—also known as bovine growth hormone) on mastitis is an important and controversial issue.

An increased incidence of clinical mastitis has been observed in treated cows in some rBST trials, possibly because higher producing dairy cows have a greater incidence of clinical mastitis. If there is an increase in mastitis in rBST-treated cows, there might be a concomitant increase in antibiotic therapy.” [1]

And also, relative to the IGF-1 issue, Cows are often treated with rbGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) as a means of accelerating growth and a means of increasing profits.

“Levels of IGF increase in milk after cows are treated with rbGH.”[1] The International Journal of Cancer states: “The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system is widely involved in human carcinogenesis. A significant association between high circulating IGF-I concentrations and an increased risk of lung, colon, prostate and pre- menopausal breast cancer has recently been reported.” [2] Hm. Not good.

As if all this weren’t bad enough, the processing hardly stops there…

Homogenization is the commercial process where the butterfat in milk is made to blend more evenly rather than separate out, as happens naturally with raw milk (where the cream otherwise rises to the surface). To accomplish this the liquid milk is passed through a micropore filter at extremely high pressures. The effect on the other side is that the fat globules are then made very tiny by this process –at least ten times smaller—and the fat becomes more evenly dispersed. It is a food processing method basically designed to improve shelf life.

According to Dr. Mary Enig, renowned lipid researcher and specialist, “During homogenization there is a tremendous increase in surface area on the fat globules. The original fat globule membrane is lost and a new one is formed that incorporates a much greater portion of casein and whey proteins. This may account for the increased allergenicity of modern processed milk.”[3]

1% fat, 2% fat and skim milk—purported to be a “heart healthy” food by mainstream dietitians—removes much of the milk fat, making it conversely an extremely high carbohydrate food (i.e., proportionally higher in milk sugars per serving). According to a peer reviewed study in Alternative Medical Reviews,  “For ischemic heart disease, milk carbohydrates were found to have the highest statistical association for males aged 35+ and females aged 65+. In the case of coronary heart disease, non-fat milk was found to have the highest association for males aged 45+ and females aged 75+, while for females 65-74, milk carbohydrates and sugar had the highest associations.” [4]

So much for commercially processed milk (and especially low-fat milk) as any sort of health food.

Also, during the removal of potentially beneficial fats in this process, beneficial fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamin A (retinol), beta carotene, and critical vitamin K2 (commonly deficient—and richest in pastured milk fat) are also basically removed. They then add in synthetic vitamin D to attempt to make the calcium in this product more bioavailable.   (We’ll get to calcium in a minute).

Natural bovine growth factors such as IGF-1, growth hormones and injectable rBGH (used by the industry to increase milk production in dairy cows) are frequently contained within the finished product, and are a well-known vector for the initiation and/or growth of cancers (since growth factors don’t differentiate between normal cells and cancerous cells). [5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11]

As stated in the following research paper, “IGF-I produces a 10-fold increase in RNA levels of cancer cells. IGF-I appears to be a critical component in cellular proliferation.” [12] And: “IGFs may be important in carcinogenesis, possibly by increasing the risk of cellular transformation by enhancing cell turnover. These emerging epidemiologic data indicate that high levels of IGF-I are associated with an increased risk of at least several types of carcinoma that are common in economically developed countries.”[13]

Homogenized/Pasteurized milk, with its high sugar content and added hormones, is essentially a rocket fuel for cancer. [14]

IS MILK REALLY DOING YOUR BODY GOOD?

Among the common symptoms associated with the consumption of conventionally produced milk include:

  • IBS symptoms (Cramps/bloating/diarrhea)
  • Constipation
  • Gas
  • Acne
  • Skin rashes

Health-related issues frequently associated with milk consumption include (as a partial list):

  • Atherosclerosis and CV disease[15]
  • Autoimmunity (citations elsewhere in this article)
  • Cancers (citations elsewhere in this article)
  • Crohn’s disease[16],[17]
  • Diabetes[18]
  • Obesity[19]

Pasteurized/homogenized milk is also potentially highly problematic when it comes to allergies[20],[21],[22],[23][24],[25],[26],[27],[28],[29] and autoimmunity potential.   The potential impact on infant and child health is fairly startlingly negative.   Commercially processed cow’s milk is not only the most widely reported food allergy, it has even been linked with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).[30],[31],[32],[33]

A research article in the peer reviewed medical journal, The Lancet stated bluntly:

“Hypersensitivity to milk is implicated as a cause of sudden death in infancy.”[34]

 

"At least 50% of all children in the United States are allergic to milk, many undiagnosed. Dairy products are the leading cause of food allergy, often revealed by constipation, diarrhea, and fatigue. Many cases of asthma and sinus infections are reported to be relieved and even eliminated by cutting out dairy." Frank Oski, M.D., Chief of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Medical School Natural Health, July, 1994  

Is important, to point out that an immune reactivity to dairy is not always immediately apparent to the sufferer (it certainly wasn’t to me):

“Allergy to cow’s milk proteins has been defined as any adverse reaction mediated by immunological mechanisms to one or several of these proteins. Reactions to cow’s milk have been classified according on their onset as immediate (< 45 min) or delayed-type (from 2 hours to days). In the challenge test, 10 hours after milk intake the patient presented serous rhinorrea, sneezing and nasal blockade.”[35]

By the way—immune reactivity to dairy proteins or otherwise having a milk allergy is NOT the same thing as having lactose intolerance! This is a common source of confusion and misunderstanding. “Lactose intolerance” is merely an inability to digest the lactose sugar in milk, which often leads to digestive upset. Having a “sensitivity” or “intolerance” to lactose is NOT an immune reaction. It is only due to missing a particular enzyme (lactase), which can be theoretically supplemented to help remediate the problem. An actual immune reaction to dairy protein is much more serious and lifelong.

Don’t just assume you don’t have any immune-reactive issues with dairy, simply because you don’t notice any immediate symptoms.   I didn’t think I had an immune reactivity to dairy products, either. The only way you can possibly know for sure is through accurate testing. The only laboratory in the world right now doing truly accurate, comprehensive and reliable immunologic testing is Cyrex Labs (www.CyrexLabs.com). They currently operate mainly within the United States, Ireland and the UK, and are slated to open their doors in Australia in the very near future. Cutting through bureaucratic red tape is the real impediment to making this lab’s first-rate services more widespread, though their CEO and team are working on it. Fingers crossed…

Other types of immune reactivity to any one of several milk proteins is also exceedingly common, with dairy protein being extremely well-established as the single most common cross-reactive compound with gluten.[36],[37],[38],[39],[40],[41],[42],[43]

Cross-reactivity is a phenomenon where a susceptible immune system may mistake a certain food or substance for another they are sensitive to and mount an identical immune reaction accordingly. It is typically due to what is called “molecular mimicry” and is more common a phenomenon than anyone realizes. It’s another issue that Cyrex tests for. The fact is that roughly half of all gluten immune reactivity sufferers have an additional immune reactivity/cross-reactivity with dairy protein. –In other words, dairy protein is something that particular person’s immune system cannot distinguish from gluten.   Given the far-reaching catastrophic effects of gluten immune reactivity, it makes testing for sensitivities and cross-reactivity all the more critical for anyone seeking optimal health (and the avoidance of serious illness).

There has been a significant link between immune reactivity to dairy products and numerous forms of autoimmune disease, including:

Huh?   What does cardiovascular disease have to do autoimmunity?

Well, according to the peer reviewed literature, potentially a lot.

 

"More patients who had suffered a myocardial infarction had elevated levels of antibodies against milk proteins than was found in a comparable group of patients without coronary heart disease." Davies, 'Antibodies and Myocardial Infarction', The Lancet, ii: 205-207, 1980

Obviously, anyone caring about their health in this day and age needs to think twice on many levels about the consumption of commercially sold, processed dairy products.   Those that have any immune reactivity to dairy products need to think twice about any form of dairy, period.   I, personally, avoid it altogether.

BUT WHAT ABOUT CALCIUM? WON’T MY BONES AND TEETH FALL APART IF I DON’T DRINK MILK?

Basically, the American public has been completely bamboozled by the American Dairy Association to believe that calcium is somehow the most important mineral ever and that we should all want to get as much of it in our diets or supplements as possible (“don’t forget to take your Tums!”).

There is no rational foundation for this.

Calcium is, in fact, the single most abundant mineral in our food supply. Even if you completely avoid dairy products (which isn’t the worst idea in the world, btw) there would still be plenty of existing calcium in other foods to meet anyone and everyone’s daily requirements. If, for some reason you truly are deficient in calcium, the problem isn’t likely to be a “deficiency” of dietary calcium. The problem is much more likely to relate to deficiencies in essential cofactors (i.e., magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D3, vitamin A, vitamin K2, boron…etc.) OR– very commonly— an issue with insufficient hydrochloric acid production; which is absolutely required for the proper ionization of calcium in the gut so that it may be properly absorbed. Hormonal imbalances and errant signaling can also contribute improper calcium metabolism. If these happen to be your issues, then calcium isn’t going to be the only thing you are likely missing and calcium supplementation is anything but advised.

Just because you’re sucking down milk or calcium supplements (and I don’t care from what source) it doesn’t mean that the calcium you’re taking is necessarily going where you want it to go. You are far more likely to wind up calcifying things that were never meant to be calcified, such as your cardiovascular tissue (arteries and heart), your brain tissue, your joints (ever hear of bone spurs?) and whatever else. There is literally NO reason to waste money on calcium supplements for “bone health”, much less commercially available dairy products for this purpose.   Cultures that do not drink milk as part of their diet exist throughout the world (and have always existed).   –They all have bones and teeth.   In fact, they may even have healthier bones and teeth than many of us.

“Excessive milk consumption may adversely affect the circulation on account of the high calcium content of milk and because lactose promotes the intestinal absorption of calcium. Excessive calcium intake may cause calcification and rigidification of the large elastic arteries, which could be an important factor in causing myocardial ischaemia.” [62] (Seeley, 2000)

Mind you, full fat, 100% pastured raw milk does contain appreciable amounts of vitamin K2 that conventional dairy lacks. Sufficient vitamin K2 (which conventional dairy lacks) would be critical for avoiding these adverse calcification issues.

There are quite a number of nutrients essential for the formation of healthy bone, of which calcium is merely one– and is the one that is least likely to be dietarily deficient. Calcium gives bones their hardness, however it is the collagen protein in bone that actually gives bone its strength and flexibility and is far much more likely to be diminished in osteoporosis due to factors that I have little space to elaborate on here (though I did write a chapter about some of this in my book, Primal Body, Primal Mind). Sufficient bone calcium without sufficient collagen protein makes for dense looking bone scans, but otherwise leads to very brittle and unhealthy bones.

Furthermore, a meta-analysis study in the British Medical Journal a couple of years ago showed that excess calcium can actually augment your risk of a heart attack by as much as 30%.[63] The authors of the study additionally pointed out that taking calcium supplements improves bone density only by a marginal amount at best. They said that the minor beneficial effects of supplemental calcium on bone density were greatly outweighed by the potential cardiovascular/heart-attack risks. Excess intracellular calcium can actually increase undesirable spasms and contractility of cardiovascular tissue (and is a hallmark of cellular sickness, impairment and aging), while it is MAGNESIUM (something many people are far more likely to be deficient in) that is essential for healthy cardiovascular and parasympathetic functioning– along with about 400 other things. Magnesium is also far less efficiently retained in the body.  High carbohydrate diets greatly deplete magnesium reserves, in fact, and supplementation for the average person (with preferably IV, ionic or transdermal sources for best assimilation/intracellular utilization) is more reasonably warranted.

“There is no significant association between teenage milk consumption and the risk of adult fractures. Data indicate that frequent milk consumption and higher dietary calcium intakes in middle aged women do not provide protection against hip or forearm fractures… women consuming greater amounts of calcium from dairy foods had significantly increased risks of hip fractures, while no increase in fracture risk was observed for the same levels of calcium from nondairy sources.”[64] (Feskanich, et al. 1997)

 

"Countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis, such as the United States, England, and Sweden, consume the most milk.” Nutrition Action Healthletter, June, 1993

Even in those with insufficient bone calcium, the same individuals with poor bone density scans typically have abnormal calcium deposits elsewhere in the body where they don’t belong. In fact, excess calcium can even lead to problems with building sufficient protein matrix in your bones! The issue isn’t whether you’re getting “enough” dietary calcium almost ever. Once again, it boils down to digestion/ionization, absorption and proper utilization balanced by sufficient necessary co-factors.

Save your money on over-hyped (and potentially deleterious) calcium supplements and commercial dairy products. Enjoy your homemade bone broth but also make sure you’re getting plenty of fat-soluble nutrients and other good stuff.

ENVIRONMENTAL NASTIES IN YOUR MILK

“A 1988 FDA survey of milk samples from grocery stores in 10 cities found that 73% of the samples contained pesticide residues.”[65]

And this was only 1988! One can only imagine what a similar survey today might find.

As if herbicides and pesticides weren’t bad enough, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that “Milk is a reliable indicator of the general population’s intake of certain radionuclides since it is consumed fresh by a large segment of the population and can contain several of the biologically significant radionuclides that result from environmental releases the nuclear activities.”[66]

Milk is thought to have the highest concentrations of radioactive fallout (cesium 134, cesium 137, iodine 131 and strontium 90, among potentially many others) of any other food.   –Remember Fukushima? Chernobyl? How about Three Mile Island? –Or the thousands of nuclear weapons that have been detonated upon testing grounds and into the atmosphere throughout the world over decades before international treaties forced global military establishments to take this insane practice underground. Among the most common radionuclides found in milk, Strontium 90 never (ever) occurs “naturally”.   It is man-made exclusively through a nuclear fission reaction.   And it is a “bone seeker.”

This following excerpt is taken from an excellent article on the subject following the Fukushima disaster written for EnviroReporter.com:

“But whereas calcium will make your bones strong, Strontium 90 gets deposited in the bones and bone marrow and causes bone cancer and cancer of the tissues nearby. It can also get into the blood and caused leukemia.

Strontium 90 deteriorates by practically pure beta radiation. Once beta particles are ingested, they penetrate cells at the molecular level and are so strong they can actually change the structure of the molecules they strike. If the molecule it strikes is a DNA molecule then it can cause a spontaneous mutation.

Babies and pregnant women are the most sensitive to the effects of radiation. If a pregnant woman is drinking milk that has radioactive Strontium 90 in it, the fetus will concentrate that radioactivity. If a woman who is breast-feeding is drinking radioactive milk, the Strontium 90 will concentrate in her breast milk and thus get transferred to her baby.

Young children are the next most affected. Young girls are more affected than young boys. Women are more susceptible to the effects of radiation than men.

Strontium 90 has a half-life of 28.79 years so it will be around for about 290 years before it completely decays away to a non-radioactive and risk-free form.   That is, any Strontium 90 you ingest and lodges in your bones will remain in your body, detailing the way, for your entire life.

There is no question about it–Strontium 90 is a man-made poison that we should never have to consume. “ (http://www.enviroreporter.com/2013/02/canadas-land-of-milk-and-strontium-90/all/1)

Oh, and BTW – Fukushima’s three damaged reactors are still in an active and continue to be in a perpetual state of meltdown since the 2011 disaster – far from being close to any containment or control – and will be for the foreseeable millennia. To quote Michio Kaku, “Meltdown is forever.” Regardless, the fallout from this disaster is already in our soils and food supply. The West coast of the US has been particularly affected by this fallout.

It is hard to say whether the benefits of quality, certified 100% organic, grass fed raw milk necessarily outweigh the potential risks, in light of radiation contamination (especially in the Northern Hemisphere) and also the silent explosion of autoimmunity on a global scale (of which dairy is a common contributing antigen).   Each person will have to weigh the risks versus benefits of dairy for themselves.

I personally prefer to err on the side of what my prehistoric evolutionary ancestors would have done.

They would have just eaten the cow.


[1] “Bovine Somatotropin” National Institutes of Health Technology Assessment Conference Statement

December 5-7, 1990

[2] Torrisi, R, Mezzetti, M, Johansson, H, et al. “Time course of fenretinide-induced modulation of circulating insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-i, IGF-II and IGFBP-3 in a bladder cancer chemoprevention trial.” International J Cancer, 2000 Aug, 87:4

[3] Mary G. Enig, PhD, Milk Homogenization and Heart Disease, Posted on December 13, 2003 – Last Modified on February 4, 2014 : http://www.realmilk.com/health/milk-homogenization-and-heart-disease/

[4] Grant WB, “Milk and other dietary influences on coronary heart disease.” Altern Med Rev. 1998 Aug;3(4):281-94.

[5] “IGF-I is critically involved in the aberrant growth of human breast cancer cells.” M. Lippman. J. Natl. Inst. Health Res., 1991, 3.

[6] Estrogen regulation of IGF-I in breast cancer cells would support the hypothesis that IGF-I has a regulatory function in breast cancer.” A.V. Lee, Mol-Cell- Endocrinol., March, 99(2).

[7] “IGF-I is a potent growth factor for cellular proliferation in the human breast carcinoma cell line.” J.C. Chen, J-Cell-Physiol., January, 1994, 158(1)

[8] “Insulin-like growth factors are key factors for breast cancer growth.” J.A. Figueroa, J-Cell-Physiol., Nov., 1993, 157(2)

[9] IGF-I plays a major role in human breast cancer cell growth.” E.A. Musgrove, Eur-J-Cancer, 29A (16), 1993

[10] “IGF-I has been identified as a key factor in breast cancer.” Hankinson. The Lancet, vol. 351. May 9, 1998

[11] “IGF-1 accelerates the growth of breast cancer cells.” M. Lippman Science, Vol. 259, January 29, 1993

[12] X.S. Li,Exp-Cell-Res., March, 1994, 211(1)

[13] Giovannucci E. “Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I and Binding Protein-3 and Risk of Cancer” Horm Res 1999;51(suppl 3):34–41 (DOI:10.1159/000053160)

[14] Serum IGF-I levels increased significantly in milk drinkers, an increase of about 10% above baseline but was unchanged in the control group.” Robert P. Heaney, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 99, no. 10. October 1999

[15] Laugesen M1, Elliott R. “Ischaemic heart disease, Type 1 diabetes, and cow milk A1 beta-casein.” N Z Med J. 2003 Jan 24;116(1168):U295.

[16] D. Mishina, Proceedings National Academy of Sciences USA:93: September, 1996

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By Nora Gedgaudas

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