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Thread: Milk does not do a body good

  1. #91
    At the risk of fanning this discussion into flames again... this article from December 19 is interesting:

    High dairy in childhood linked with cancer risk

    Wed Dec 19, 3:43 PM ET

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Children who consume high levels of diary products may have a greater risk of developing colorectal cancer in adulthood, study findings suggest.

    Among nearly 5,000 individuals followed for an average of 65 years, those who grew up in families reporting the highest levels of dairy consumption -- nearly 2 cups per day -- had close to three-times the risk of colorectal cancer compared with those from families reporting the lowest intake, Dr. Jolieke C. van der Pols and colleagues report.

    The level of milk consumption in the high-diary group was similar to the estimated average daily intake of children in the United States, van der Pols, of the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues noted.

    Links between colorectal cancer risk and childhood exposure to dairy products have not been previously evaluated, the researchers said.

    Using data from a study of weekly food consumption in families living in England or Scotland from 1937 to 1939, the researchers estimated the daily dairy intake ranged from less than half a cup at the lowest to nearly 2 cups at the highest. Nearly all, 94 percent, of the diary produces came from drinking milk, they report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    Among the 4,374 individuals still available for follow-up between 1948 and 2005, the investigators identified 35 registrations and 41 deaths from colorectal cancer.

    An increased risk of colorectal cancer among those who consumed the highest amounts of dairy during childhood was still seen after the investigators adjusted the data for potentially influential factors such as meat, fruit, and vegetable consumption; and socioeconomic status.

    However, van der Pols' group cautions that more complete life-course assessments comparing dairy intake with related dietary and lifestyle factors must be completed before definitive conclusions can be made for dairy intake in childhood.

    SOURCE: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 2007.

  2. #92
    I'm always nervous about articles like this. I feel like everything we do/eat can cause cancer. I understand the responsibilty to warn but I feel if many things can cause cancer, then people won't take the warning seriously. thanks for posting tho
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  3. #93
    This whole issue is not as simple as "Milk is bad for you" or "Milk is good for you." It is not even as simple as "Animal products are bad for you" or "Animal products are good for you."

    Many of the older studies linking heart disease with saturated fat consumption did not differentiate between types of saturated fat, and lumped in the consumption of partially hydrogenated oils, which we now know to be particularly harmful, with the fats from milk and meat, which are much more easily digested and metabolized. The Atkins-type diet, rich in meat,cream, and butter, actually improves blood lipid profiles.

    Some studies link high-meat and high-milk diets with cancer. There are a number of confounding factors that make these studies of questionable value for prescribing the avoidance of milk or meat. One is the substitution effect: when you hold caloric consumption constant, adding more of one food necessarily causes a reduction in the consumption of other foods. We know that a diet high in fruits and vegetables, regardless of milk or meat consumption, is associated with a lower incidence of many types of cancer. In retrospective studies, an increase in cancer risk associated with high milk consumption may therefore actually reflect an increased cancer risk associated with a low fruit and vegetable consumption. Another factor, and in my opinion an equally important one, is the fact that animals (including humans) concentrate fat-soluble pollutants in body tissues and milk. Many of these commom pesticides and pollutants are very potent estrogen mimics. Animals who are fed on pesticide-laden grain and who have pesticides topically applied during their lifetimes pass those toxins on in highly concentrated amounts to those who consume them. There is no question that exposure to high levels of pesticides and pollutants increases cancer risk. There are no studies that I am aware of which attempt to separate out the effects of meat or milk consumption from the effects of high levels of pesticide and pollutant exposures. Organically-produced animal products have much lower levels of pesticide residues, and would therefore be much less likely to contribute to cancers than the consumption of non-organically-raised animal products would be.

    Cross-cultural studies of bone density or cancer that look at disease rates and average milk consumption in different societies and then attempt to attribute causation on the basis of dietary differences are generally of very poor quality: they fail to control for obvious confounding factors, most prominently, genetic differences between the populations of different countries, latitudinal differences (which influence vitamin D levels), differences in activity levels and types, and differing pollutant exposures.

    There are certainly people who should not eat dairy products. Most MD's would agree that many people with asthma and eczema are allergic to dairy products and eggs, and they should avoid eating the triggering foods.

    In traditional Chinese medicine, milk is described as a Yin tonic - it can help increase mass and growth, calm the nervous system, improve the function of the endocrine system, and alleviate dry conditions. However, it is contraindicated in conditions of endogenous Phlegm or Damp (asthma, eczema, and lactose intolerance being three of these that spring readily to mind.) If no Asians traditionally drank milk, I hardly think it would have a place in traditional Chinese dietary therapy.

    The short answer to the question "Should people drink milk?" is "It depends." It depends on the genetics and environment of the individual and the diet and environment of the cow. Organically produced milk is most likely an excellent food for most Caucasians and for many younger individuals of other genetic backgrounds. People who are allergic to milk proteins or intolerant of milk sugars obviously should avoid these things, at least in quantities likely to cause harm or distress.

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