Watch any episode of The Brady Bunch or Leave it to Beaver and you’ll see the kids drinking a glass of milk with their meals and snacks. And chances are your own parents stressed the importance of drinking milk to strengthen your bones and get the proper amount of calcium in your diet.

But were Mrs. Brady, Mrs. Cleaver and your mom right?

Not exactly (you may not want to rub that in though). Turns out that humans are not designed to drink cow’s milk – except of course during infancy when they preferably should drink human milk. 

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Here are some reasons why you should not be drinking cow’s milk:

1. There are more ingredients in milk than you think.  In the U.S., antibiotics are fed to livestock…and it’s a lot.  In 2009, the livestock industry used 29 million pounds of antibiotics.

2. Milk is not biochemically made to be consumed by adult humans – Ever wonder why we are the only mammal that drinks the milk of another mammal?  According to How Stuff Works, “The biochemical make-up of cow’s milk is perfectly suited to turn a 65-pound newborn calf into a 400-pound cow in one year.” This means we’re actually getting too much protein and mineral content, but not enough essential fatty acids, selenium or calcium.

3. Milk INCREASES bone fracture risk – Not only does cow’s milk not give us enough calciumin fact, in a 12-year Harvard study of 78,000 women, those who drank milk three times a day actually broke more bones than women who rarely drank milk.  Similarly, a 1994 study of elderly men and women in Sydney, Australia, showed that higher dairy product consumption was associated with increased fracture risk. Those with the highest dairy product consumption had approximately double the risk of hip fracture compared to those with the lowest consumption.  “The countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis are the ones where people drink the most milk and have the most calcium in their diets. The connection between calcium consumption and bone health is actually very weak, and the connection between dairy consumption and bone health is almost nonexistent.” This is according to Amy Lanou Ph.D., nutrition director for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C.

4. Cancer feeds off mucus from milk, according to a Johns Hopkins cancer study.

5. Hormones in cow’s milk are linked to cancer – Cows are given the hormone bGH – Bovine growth hormone – to help them mature faster and produce more milk.  bGH has been banned in Europe and Canada for health reasons, but has not been banned in the U.S.  Cows injected with bGH are more susceptible to sickness, which require more antibiotics to be given to them.

All cow’s milk, whether organic or non-organic, contains hormones and growth factors. It is, after all, baby food designed to help a newborn animal “grow,grow grow” and the reason why growth factors are implicated in certain cancers. An additional concern is that two thirds of milk is taken from pregnant cows, when the hormone content, such as

6. Cow’s milk is known to aggravate asthma.  Now this is an often debated topic, but many doctors believe that mucus-forming foods, like cow’s milk and cow’s cheese, can cause a person’s asthma to be exacerbated because more mucus gathers in the lungs.

In a nutshell, all cow’s milk contains:

  • Hormones and growth factors – linked to cancers, such as breast and prostate 
  • Saturated animal fat – linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke 
  • Casein – the milk protein linked to childhood allergies and type 1 diabetes in some children
  • Lactose – the sugar in milk, which is linked to ovarian cancer

So if you can’t drink cow’s milk, what should you put in your cereal in the morning?  Well, almond milk and coconut milk are excellent – even healthy – alternatives.   Rice milk is the most non-allergenic.

If you have any additional reasons for not drinking cow’s milk, I’d love to hear them.  What are your favorite milk substitutes?

Leann Forst, MBA, CHC — Family Health & Cancer Coach

Leann is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, holding a Master’s degree from Drake University and a Bachelor of Science from Upper Iowa University. Leann is accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. And she is an award winning author of 2 books “How to Get Your Kids to Beg for Veggies” and “100 Ways to Lose Weight.”

Born and raised as an Iowa farm girl, she moved to Texas in 1998 where she lives with her husband and 2 kids.

As a wife of a brain cancer survivor, Leann has a special interest in anti-cancer nutrition and detoxification. She works with individuals and groups, and speaks regularly at hospitals, schools and organizations to teach people how to attain optimal health by getting to the root cause of chronic and inflammatory conditions, while using healing modalities such as essential oils. Click here to get my free report, “37 Cancer Facts You Should Know…But Probably Don’t”.

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