low-fat product is still deficient in iron, dietary fiber, essential
fat (linoleic acid), and vitamin C and B3 (niacin). Much of the
cholesterol and chemical contamination found with the fat is removed
in the skimming process. But, the infection potential from bacteria
and viruses is still as great with the low-fat product. Consider
some ways low-fat dairy products can contribute to your health problems:
Of all commonly consumed foods, cow's milk protein, found
in dairy products (from acidophilus milk to whey) is the leading
cause of food allergy in adults and children. Common manifestations
of this allergy include runny nose, fluid collections in the
middle ear, post nasal drip, hoarseness, asthma, eczema, and bed
wetting (Bahna S. Allergies to Milk, New York: Grune and Stratton,
Milk is the leading cause of iron deficiency anemia in young children
(Oski F. Pediatrics 75(suppl):182, 1985). This is the primary reason
the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended cow's milk not
be given to children under a year of age (what miraculous change
suddenly makes it safe after a child's first birthday?). Milk is
deficient in iron. The phosphorous and calcium in milk form complexes
with iron found in other foods (beans, meat) and prevent its absorption.
Cow's milk causes bleeding in the intestine leading to iron loss.
Evidence leads me to believe dairy products cause most of the iron
deficiency seen in adults (including women of reproductive age).
By allergic (immune system) reactions dairy proteins cause
rheumatoid arthritis in many people (Welsh C. Int. Arch Allergy
Appl. Immunol 80:192, 1986; Ratner D. Israel J Med Sci 21:532, 1985;
Park A. Br Med J 282:2027, 1981; Panush Arthritis Rheum 29:220,
1986). Other forms of inflammatory arthritis as mild as the daily
aches, pains, and stiffness troubling millions of people, and as
serious as Lupus are caused and aggravated by dairy proteins.
High levels of antibodies to milk proteins are often found in
severe atherosclerosis (commonly known as hardening of the arteries
leading to strokes and heart attacks) (Annand J Atherosclerosis
59:347, 1986; Muscari A Ann Ital Med Int 7:7, 1992). Milk protein
entering the blood stream is perceived by the body as a foreign
substance. The immune system reacts by making antibodies. These
antibodies to milk protein may mistakenly attack the arteries themselves
initiating the early injury phase of atherosclerosis. They may also
attack and destroy enzyme systems that remove cholesterol from the
is not just the cholesterol and fat in dairy products that damage the arteries, dairy proteins are also involved. Therefore, people looking to prevent heart attacks should avoid the low-fat dairy products, too.
(Intestinal): Blood is found in the stool of one-quarter to
one-half of infants fed cow's milk. The more milk, the more bleeding.
Sometimes the blood loss can be microscopic; other times the blood
is easily seen and can be an immediate concern (Editorial Lancet
Dairy products are entirely free of dietary fiber and as a result
contribute to constipation and related diseases like varicose
veins, hemorrhoids, and hiatus hernia (from straining to pass the
stool). In my experience I have seen people with a history of constipation
follow my diet strictly except for the skim milk on their cereal
and the bowels remained irregular--there must be a sensitivity of
the bowel in some people to the milk protein.
Diabetes (Childhood, type I): Cow's milk proteins can trigger
diabetes in experimental animals. Worldwide, the incidence
of childhood diabetes is tied directly and strongly with the amount
of dairy products consumed by people in various countries (Dahl-Jorgensen
K. Diabetes Care 14:1081, 1991). Exclusive breast feeding, which
delays exposure to cow's milk infant formula, reduces the risk of
diabetes in children.
Exposure to cow's milk protein early in life, when the intestinal tract is
immature, allows the milk protein to enter the
blood stream where antibodies to this foreign substance, milk, form. Unfortunately, these same antibodies also attack the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. Glassful of milk after spoonful of ice cream over a period of about 5 to 7 years, the child destroys his or her pancreas--left with a lifelong, life threatening, handicap: diabetes. A study of 155 children with diabetes found high levels of antibodies to milk protein in all of the children with this disease. (Karjalainen J. N Engl J Med 327:302, 1992)
Dairy products are oftentimes infected with E. coli, salmonella,
staphylococci, or tuberculosis. Too often pasteurization fails to
rid the food of these microbes, and they cause serious disease in
Our dairy herds are infected with bovine immunodeficiency viruses (BIV)
and bovine leukemia viruses (BLV). In the United States
results show an average 40% of beef herds and 64% of dairy herds are infected with BIV. Herds infected with the BIV are usually infected with the leukemia virus also (AIDS 6:759, 1992). Both viruses cross species lines infecting other animals. Nationwide and worldwide leukemia is more common in the higher dairy consuming populations. The first case of BIV infection in humans was recently reported (Jacobs R. Can J Vet Res 56:353, 1992).
Intolerance: After the age of 4 most people stop synthesizing
the enzyme (lactase) that breaks down milk sugar (lactose) for digestion.
Undigested milk sugar in the large intestine results in diarrhea,
gas, and stomach cramps. This condition known as "lactose intolerance"
affects 60 to 90% of non-white people, and about 20% of whites.
Animal protein in the diet causes the body to lose calcium through
the kidneys and in this way the bones are weakened. In an experiment
paid for by the dairy industry, post menopausal women fed an extra
3 eight-ounce glasses of skim milk daily consumed nearly 1500 mg
of calcium daily; yet they were still in negative calcium balance
at the end of a year (They lost more calcium in their urine than
they absorbed from their gut). The women supplemented with extra
skim milk lost more bone at the end of a year than those who did
not drink the extra milk (Recker R. Am J Clin Nutr 41:254, 1985).
According to the authors," The protein content of the supplement
(the skim milk) may have a negative effect on calcium balance,
possibly through an increase in kidney losses of calcium or through
a direct effect on bone resorption." Those concerned about
osteoporosis are compounding their problems with the low-fat, high-animal-protein
varieties of dairy products.
Tonsil and other lymph node enlargement: The body attempts to defend
itself from invading bacteria and viruses which are largely made of foreign proteins. The proteins
in forkfuls of cheese and glasses of milk are also recognized as foreign and worthy of a strong defense. The tonsils and adenoids enlarge around the throat and try to fight off the invading milk proteins, and as a result enlarge and become inflammed. Stopping the dairy protein shrinks this swollen lymph node tissue (Boat T. J Pediatr 87:23, 1975). There is evidence that constant attack of the body by cow's proteins from foods may eventually wear the immune system down to a cancerous condition known as lymphoma (Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's) (Cunningham A Lancet 2:1184, 1976).
HEALTH HAZARD: Regardless of the fat content, dairy products
are a serious health hazard; probably causing more harm than meat
because most people believe they are "health foods" and
eat them without the slightest precaution.
Dr. McDougall's website: http://www.drmcdougall.com