Milk... Why you should not drink it!

December 2010, Warren Matthews

Summary

No other adult animals drink milk (unless it is given by humans), so why should we think that we humans can? I am sure that if we were meant to drink milk as adults, nature would have made it easy for us to get.

This is a repeat of an article that I wrote six years ago for Xtend-Your-Life newsletter. As I mention below, I never drink milk as I think it is the cause of many health problems suffered by so many people. No other adult animals drink milk (unless it is given by humans), so why should we think that we humans can? I am sure that if we were meant to drink milk as adults, nature would have made it easy for us to get.

Nature did not breed the cows and the milking sheds...

Anyway, here it the article:

If you drink pasteurized or homogenized milk you should stop now, for your health's sake!!

Pretty bold statement I know and no doubt that a number of readers will criticize... but it is a true statement nonetheless. Before I explain why you should stop drinking these types of milk, let me tell you the good points of milk and then you will better understand the information that follows.

Please appreciate that the good points I am about to relate to you is for RAW unpasteurized, non homogenized milk... the type that maybe your mother gave you when you were an infant. (assuming that you are over 50 years of age now) and almost impossible to buy today.

This raw unadulterated, unprocessed milk was a 'living' food full of enzymes, beneficial bacteria, vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins and lactose (a sugar). Leave a glass of this sitting at normal room temperature and the bacteria within the milk will ferment the sugars into lactic acid, producing sour milk, which ironically is even more nutritious than the fresh milk because it is partly digested.

Very few people were allergic to raw milk...

Unlike today's processed milks, few people were allergic to the raw milk because of the active enzymes present. For example, there is exactly enough lactase to digest the lactose, protease for the protein and lipase to digest the fat. These enzymes also help the absorption of calcium and the assimilation of other minerals.

So, raw pasteurized milk did give health benefits to many people. Personally I have never drunk any kind of milk, because I don't think that it is a natural food once you are no longer an infant...  but, that's only a personal opinion and may indeed be the wrong one. However, I know that I am not wrong on the negative health impact that milk from your supermarket will give you.

First of all, let's look at what pasteurization is! In simple terms, it is a process in which the milk is heated to high temperatures to kill any bacteria present. Fair enough, but the heating kills all the enzymes as well and these are vital components of milk! In fact, the 'death' of the enzymes is how they determine that the process is successful. When all the enzymes are dead, the pasteurization process is considered to be complete!

This process not only kills the enzymes and any bad bacteria, but also kills friendly bacteria (such as Lactobacillus). This means that the digestion of the various nutrients (such as proteins, fats and sugars) then has to be carried out by the body without any assistance from the naturally occurring enzymes and bacteria in the milk, and because of their absence additional undue stress is placed on the pancreas.

Bad hygiene?

So, why is the milk pasteurized in the first place? The answer to that one as you probably know is to make milk safer by killing any contaminants present. This is correct but it is not the true reason. The reality is that pasteurized milk is just as susceptible to contamination as raw milk.

Pasteurization has only come into 'vogue' in the last few decades as the commercialization of the dairy industry evolved. It is a cheap substitute for effective sanitization. If cows, dairies and workers were scrupulously clean, pasteurization would not be necessary... but that's too expensive and so the simple way is to 'kill' everything in the milk. There are some parallels to the increasing practice of irradiating meat... it's a lot cheaper to 'zap' it rather than avoid the contamination in the first place.

Milk which is pasteurized is an 'empty' food like so many other processed foods and people are unwittingly drinking it thinking that it is good for you, when the opposite is true!

But it gets worse...

What about milk which is pasteurized AND homogenized? This is the type of milk that is most prevalent in supermarkets today and people are unwittingly ingesting a lot of undesirable fat.

Our younger readers won't realize this but the good 'ole' milk always had a layer of cream which settled on the top of the milk. Homogenization is a technique used to make milk uniform in texture. It breaks up the fat in the cream fraction into very small particles. The tiny globules of fat which result from this process allows a deadly enzyme called xanthine oxidase to get into the body.

This enzyme can damage artery walls by causing lesions to occur on the lining. All milk fat excluding that from humans have this enzyme... but, it is not normally a problem as the fat globules that contain the enzyme are too large to pass through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. So, in non homogenized milk the enzyme will pass through the body without doing any damage. Not so however, after the milk has been homogenized because the particles are then small enough to squeeze through the intestinal linings!

Enough said!

Oop's... what about the growth hormones and antibiotics that is given to cows and present in the milk? No... I think that I'll give this issue a miss... have said enough!

I sincerely hope that I have put you off drinking pasteurized, homogenized milk. I accept that this is a real problem for mothers who are relying on the bottle to feed their babies. If you are in this position try to find a source of organic raw goat's milk. It's the closest that you can get to the real thing.

30 Comments

  • “I gave up milk years ago due to lactose intolerance. Initially, I switched to soy milk, however, the estrogen concerned me so now I drink almond milk and only as a base to my green drink powder.”

    Carl - December 17 2010

  • “Dave, I was not trying a appose your opinion by mentioning the meat argument, I just simply thought that it wasn’t a good argument to pull if you are going to debate about how nature intended things in the first place. If we’re going to take it this root, we might as well just keep going in circles.”

    Ahmed - December 17 2010

  • “Warren, I do not agree with you all the time but you are dead right on this subject, part of it anyway. I disagree with the comment on humans not being fit to drink milk, but about pasteurization you could not have put it better. The best milk to drink is either raw goat’s milk or Jersey/Guensey raw milk. These are the best but have to be raw. Of course, for it to be raw it has to be produced especially for being sold as raw, not any milk produced without being controlled for contaminants. Anyway, the milk has to come from pasture fed cows and these animals are naturally very healthy. I know this because I’m a farmer’s daughter and we always drunk our milk raw from pasture fed cows. Mum lived to be just over 100 years old, I’m planning to go the same way eating plenty of fermented foods and raw milk, butter, kefir from pasture fed cows or goats. And the supplenments of course. We have to take care of the water too.”

    Vera Booth - December 18 2010

  • “i love milk and will continue to drink it. i believe moderation is key. Dont eat or drink too much. And exercise!!”

    jax - January 02 2011

  • “Rachel - For what it’s worth, the biblical references you mention about lands flowing with "milk and honey" or references about those that ate "milk and curds" - they are all references of either camel’s or goat’s milk….not cow’s milk. And, modern research has produced evidence of goat’s milk being significantly more healthy to consume than cow’s milk. Just some food for thought. :) Teresa”

    Rease - December 09 2011

  • “please stop being stupid, God promised the children of Israel a land flowing with milk and honey you can do better with the knowledge God has given you. Milk should be the least of your worries. I strongly recommend that you read God’s word and seek His guidance before you say or write some stupid articles.”

    rachel okida - December 17 2010

  • “IF NOT MILK THEN WHAT?”

    LUIS SANCHEZ - December 17 2010

  • “i stopped drinking cows milk years ago and swapped it for soy milk… can you tell me if there is any health benefit in this? or are there similar problems with soy? thanks”

    David - December 16 2010

  • “To David’s point concerning Soy, I have a similar concern.  And if soy in too great a volume were damaging, then can you say something about rice milk and almond milk? ”

    Chris - December 17 2010

  • “Does this apply also to cheese? I usually eat sheep’s cheese but sometimes organic Brie!!!”

    jil - December 16 2010

  • “I appreciate your opinion but consider it only that. Other adult animals eat alot of things that we don’t eat and vice versa. Many adult animals don’t eat meat. (I don’t either). Nature didn’t make it easy for those who do, unless you consider running down a live animal, tearing through it’s skin, and ripping off raw, bloody meat to be easy. Not to mention the health hazards of raw meat. (Cooked meat is not a ‘natural state.’) You wrote that you think consuming milk is the cause of many health problems, but I and many others have been voracious milk drinkers for many years and have not had any adverse affects from it. I believe breeding is an act of nature even if it is done for a specific outcome. The sheds are built for shelter and protection. Nature did not breed farm equipment either, but it has become an important part of growing food. There are scientific studies that show the benefits of drinking milk..even today’s processed milk. I would be interested in reading unbiased scientific information if you have any. This article makes me question the other products you endorse.”

    Kim - December 17 2010

  • “Dave, I think it’s a weak argument about humans eating meat, at the end there always was carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores something in between which includes us, humans. If we have to take it that root, then we’d also have to question why do lions eat other animals, or why do cows particularly eat only grass.”

    Ahmed - December 17 2010

  • “So if one cannot find any raw milk, what does one give to a 3 year old ??”

    mike - December 16 2010

  • “No other adult animals cook their food (unless it is given by humans), so why should we think that we humans can?  I guess there are many things that humans do, to our detriment, that other animals don’t or can’t do. I do agree pasteurized, homogenized is bad. I only drink it raw.”

    Jim - December 16 2010

  • “I didn’t see anyone mention coconut milk which has benefits too numerous to mention. This is a good substitution for commercial milk. Almond milk would be also. Soy is still controversial, since unfermented soy is known to have negative effects on the body, especially if it is consumed daily in large quatities. I am lucky to have farms that I can buy organic raw cow and goat’s milk local to me. To say ‘nature’ didn’t intend us to go over to animals and squeeze milk out of their teet and drink it, is absurd. When did ‘nature’ tell us to go over to that animal and beat it to death, stick a sharp knife into it and consume it’s flesh and internal organs! I hate when people ‘think’ they know what nature intended. And remember, all of what nature ‘does’ is not necesarily good, we as intelligent humans have to sift it out!!”

    Dave Clark - December 17 2010

  • “If you haven’t done so already you might check my contentions with Prof. Munem Daoud.”

    Murray - December 17 2010

  • “While I will agree that all the pasteurizing and homogenizing of to-days milk has some health concerns, the alternatives to milk is not any better for many people. I am allergic to soy (as I might add are many people) so soy milk is out of the question, besides which as far as I’m concerned the taste leaves much to be desired. So strike that off of things to drink. Goats milk, well again goats milk while less fatty than cows milk and not bad to the taste is only as good as the feed that they are ingesting. Obtaining it raw is against the law in Canada, so unless you are living near farm land and are able to buy cow or goats milk privately, again out of luck. Milk from almonds well allergies for myself and a lot of other people. So what are we left with? cows milk of which I drank a lot of when I was young and still drink it with all its horrifying health issues although not quite as much. I’m still here and in relatively good health. While we are concerned with cows milk we should add, meat of any kind unless the cattle is fed on grassland all year round (and hoping that the grassland isn’t contaminated with anything) which isn’t the case here in Canada, oh and then of coarse there is fruits and vegetables with pesticides and who knows what else.. sprayed on them. So I guess what I am saying is that the real issue here is not cows milk specifically, its food and the processing of food in general in todays world. If we weren’t meant to drink cow’s milk, than we weren’t meant to consume eggs, poultry, meat of any kind, vegetables I could go on and on. ”

    Susan Bellefeuille - December 17 2010

  • “Sorry Warren, I can’t agree with you on this one. Animal foods were given by God for man to eat. Yes, its true that man has also de-natured some of these foods, but their essential goodness still remains. I don’t buy all the scare tactics propogated by the vegetarian and vegan crowd.”

    Rick D - December 17 2010

  • “Warren, I think you are out of line on this one. Milk is an excellent source of protein. The whey is used by body builders and atheletes with excellent results. I have been drinking milk for over 50 years, and I am in excellent health. I really think you are just throwing opinions out there just to make it seem like you know something.”

    Louis - December 17 2010

  • “Ahmed, If you follow my logic, I was not condemning meat eating, in fact, I eat meat as well. My point is, that it is a matter of opinion as to what nature intended, just like it is a matter of opinion who god is, like it or not. Having said that, we cannot ignore good sound science, or what our bodies are saying to us as we consume the bounties of the earth. One could also say that is perverted, and not intended by nature to eat the unborn embryo of a bird (ie chicken egg). In fact, nature,by design, did not intend for a human’s sexual organs to be put in other human’s mouth, but a billion people do this as part of their lovemaking. I think the take home message is: if you have/want to drink milk, drink raw, organic milk from grass fed cows, etc. This is the milk drunk for centuries before industrialization got it’s hands on it and adulterated it into something that our bodies have a hard time metabolizing. Food choices are very personalized and induvidualized, but foods that have stood the test of time are hard to debunct!”

    Dave Clark - December 17 2010

  • “All I do is look on the side of the mike box and see all of the nutrients in the drink. In my opinion the pros outweigh the cons. My diet isn’t the greatest and milk is a great supplement – almost like a multivitamin but in a natural form. My health has only improved from drinking milk. Also, if there are any hormones, they haven’t had much of an effect on me. I’m in my 30’s but look like I’m in my 20’s. So far I have not had any major health issues.”

    A - February 01 2011

  • “BOTTOM LINE IS THAT WE EVENTUALLY EVOLVE INTO CREATURES THAT CAN SURVIVE EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE AN ONSLOT OF CONTAMINATES WE HAVE CHOSEN TO INJECT INTO OUR LIVES”

    DONNA - December 18 2010

  • “Thank you so much Murray for taking the time to inform us on these points. Often the information that we read is from overseas, usually the states and sometimes dosn’t apply to NZ. I have been worrying about my milk consumption even though I only drink non homogenized milk. Now I feel happier about continuing to buy pasturised milk.”

    Linda - December 17 2010

  • “Warren, Regarding "The tiny globules of fat which result from this process allows a deadly enzyme called xanthine oxidase to get into the body." Can this cause my uric acid level to increase and have a gout attack? ”

    Brent - December 20 2010

  • “Hi Murray…you mentioned that you had contacted me re Prof Daoud. I can’t find that communication at all. Can you send it again please via ‘Contact Warren’ on this page? Thanks.”

    Warren Matthews - December 18 2010

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