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Milk: To Drink or Not to Drink

When you were growing up, you were most likely told by your mother to “Finish your milk” because it would make you strong and keep you healthy. However, with today’s advanced nutritional scientific research, it has been found that what milk really does for your body is quite different than what was originally thought.

Cows’ milk does contain high levels of calcium, around 300 mg per cup, yet we barely absorb this calcium (especially if it is pasteurized). In fact, cows’ milk actually increases calcium loss in our bones! How can this happen? Well milk, like all animal protein, acidifies the body’s pH which jump starts the body into correcting this imbalance. Calcium happens to be the best neutralizer of acid, and the bulk of it is stored in our bones. So when the acidifying effects of milk enter the body, the calcium already in our bones leaves to neutralize it, and it all leaves the body via urine. This results in a calcium deficit for the body.

Humans are the only mammalian species on the planet that continues to drink milk, another species milk for that matter, after being weaned. Cows’ milk contains about three times the protein as mothers’ milk. This is because when a cow is born it weighs about 100 pounds and gains about eight times that weight by the time it is weaned, a baby, on the other hand, is born at an average of seven pounds and gains two to three times that weight by the end of weaning.

It has been found that countries with increased milk consumption have higher rates of osteoporosis than those with lesser consumption. There is little to no correlation between bone health and amount of calcium consumed. When the body detects the acidity of milk in the body, it sacrifices its own strength to protect the liver and other purifying parts of the body by releasing calcium from the bones thus depleting the body’s natural calcium storage.

Milk today is different than what it was in the early 20th century. Pasteurization is now commonplace in the milk industry and heightens its acidifying effects. Cows are given antibiotics and the hormone rBGH to increase milk production, which is not natural in any sense. rBGH increases insulin-growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in those who drink milk treated with it, heightened levels of IGF-1 have been linked to several cancers as well.

Never picking up milk again? Don’t worry! There are many delicious substitutes for that taste very similar but lack the detrimental effects. Almond milk and rice milk are two delicious alternatives that also come in a variety of flavors, both sweetened and unsweetened. Organic soy milk is also a good alternative, but make sure it has not been genetically modified. These options can also be substituted for milk in most recipes!

So think about cutting milk out of your diet. Is the potential risk of its damaging effects worth the sip? Just remember to take care of your bones, and your bones will take care of you.

3 Comments to “Milk: To Drink or Not to Drink”

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Advanced Physical Medicine is a multi-disciplinary wellness clinic that offers pain management and rehabilitation to patients in Chicagoland and beyond. When it comes to healthcare, APM utilizes a variety of different specialists including medical doctors, podiatrists, physical therapists, chiropractors and neurosurgeons to make joint decisions regarding the best treatment for you. Each treatment plan is tailored specifically according to your needs. You see, at APM, we treat you as a person, and we are always happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today and experience the difference with APM. We look forward to talking to you.