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Start the Year Milk Free

As I have been studying diet and nutrition over these last months I have encountered multiple controversies … How much protein should you eat? … How many carbs are good for you? How many and what types of supplements should you take? What constitutes the right amount of protein versus carbs or fats for your diet? The one thing that unfortunately has become clear … the one thing that the disparate experts can agree on is that we are taking in too much dairy. I say unfortunately because dairy is big business in central New York and I really don’t want to spearhead this message. I am not by nature a controversy guy. I am not by nature a guy that needs attention except from my wife. But the message about dairy is so clear and compelling I must bring this to your attention. To not bring this to your attention would be wrong.Remember now that I am a regular primary care doctor … I am not a chiropractor. I am not a naturopath. I am not a complimentary doctor. I don’t operate at the fringes of medicine. But I do have time to do basic nutritional research and as your doctor will admit we received precious little exposure to nutrition in medical school. Unfortunately this is still true today. I know I am not going to make any friends with this information but you have to know what I know.

Milk can be a lifesaving source of nutrition if you are malnourished. Milk is packed with minerals and proteins and good fats. That doesn’t change the fact that cows milk is for baby cows. Let me quote Dr. Frank Oski former Director of Pediatrics of Johns Hopkins University. ”There is no reason to drink cows milk at anytime in your life. It is designed for calves not humans and we should all stop drinking it today.” Dr. T. Colin Campbell from Cornell University … Dr. Gundry, Dr. John Mcdougall, Dr. Breseden, Dr. Klepper, Dr. Gregor … these are all big names in the nutrition field … they disagree on many nutritional points … but all of them believe we should stop dairy.

First … cow’s milk is not human breast milk … it contains lots of proteins … too many proteins designed to make a baby cow grow … these same proteins cause inflammatory responses in the body that contribute to type one diabetes, arthritis, a host of bowel problems etc. That’s right … giving babies cow milk can cause an inflammatory response that causes type one diabetes. Why believe me? What do the “real” experts say? “Early exposure of infants to cow’s milk protein may be an important factor in the initiation of the beta cell destructive process in some individuals.” -And, “The avoidance of cow’s milk protein for the first several months of life may reduce the later development of IDDM or delay its onset in susceptible people.” (The American Academy of Pediatrics Work Group on Cow’s Milk Protein and Diabetes Mellitus – 1994).

Second is that there is a lot in cow’s milk besides water, minerals, protein and fat. Milk contains a lot of pus (that’s white cells) … hundreds of thousands of pus cells per milliliter of milk. Also in milk are bacterial cells, traces of pesticides, contaminants like blood and feces, antibiotics, and hormones … lots of hormones. These are not removed by pasteurization.

Third it’s the presence of these hormones that accelerate growth … they are designed to accelerate growth in calves … they are not designed for humans … and may accelerate the growth of cancer. There has been a strong link between milk consumption and prostate cancer and this could be related to either all the estrogen in the milk (which may account for the feminization of America) or the presence of Insulin Like Growth Factor. Some people feel ILGF is a major promoter of cancer growth. You know I believe insulin is an anti longevity agent. The more insulin in your blood the less healthy you are. The more insulin in your body the fatter you are. The more insulin in your body the more likely that cancer is promoted. So why would you drink milk if it contains some insulin like protein?

Fourth is that milk absolutely does not make strong bones. When the dairy industry started advertising that “milk makes strong bones” the Federal Trade Commission asked the USDA to review the facts and they found that milk does NOT make strong bones; such as Insulin LIke Growth Factor … furthermore the independent panel found that milk might contribute to heart disease, no improvement in sports performance, possible prostate cancer link, multiple gastric issues etc. The countries in the world with the highest milk production have the highest fracture rates.

Fifth is the issue of Bovine Leukemia Virus and Bovine Immunodeficiency Virus … that’s right cow AIDS … Remember mad cow disease? The USDA found in 2007 that 80% of herds had the BLV infection and antibodies to the infection were routinely found in the milk. Some cows had both infections at the same time. How can drinking milk from a sick cow be good for you.

So there are a host of reasons to avoid milk and there are plenty of alternatives. Almond milk, and coconut milk to name two … avoid soy milk … it’s too processed and contains too much estrogen. My advice is to avoid all milks altogether. “What do I put on my cereal?“ I am often asked … my answer is simple … avoid cereal as well … It’s all processed sugar … all of it. You have heard me say many times if you really want to get healthy skip breakfast altogether. It is absolutely NOT the most important meal of the day.

Taking soda machines out of the schools was a good idea … the next step is removing milk as well. It’s not good for kids either. Water, precious clean water that you take for granted should be your fluid of choice.

Well, I want to discourage Americans from drinking milk but I don’t want to hurt the dairy industry. Of course I have an answer to this problem … export the milk to other countries. Milk might be completely unnecessary in America where we have a cornucopia of nutritional choices but would be a lifesaver in developing countries where diarrhea and malnourishment are very serious health concerns. Exporting the milk would help the Dairy Industry, would help the trade deficit, and would benefit the health of the malnourished worldwide. Maybe we start with North Korea … wouldn’t that be great if we could break the North Korean crisis with humanitarian aid in the form of milk? Someone tweet President Trump! That’s how I roll … win … win … win. Until next month … get well … stay well.

Dr. Barry
Dr. Joseph T. Barry, MD is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. He has relationships with Community General Hospital and has worked at Van Duyn Home and Hospital since 1989. He also has a longstanding relationship with the Iroquois Nursing Home.

Dr. Barry believes you must treat the whole person and not just the presenting problem. He believes there is a real and important connection between your brain, your body and your spiritual self.