General Health

6 Ways Dairy is Ruining Your Health

Throughout the ages, as far back as 8000 BC, dairy has been a stable part of humankind’s diet.

However, most of that dairy came from sheep and goats. It was not until the 14th century that cow’s milk reached its popularity.

Dairy 101

As children, we have grown up being lectured on the supreme goodness of milk. To finish our glass of the good old white stuff, so that we have strong bones and healthy teeth.

Milk was even regarded of such high nutritional value that Government funded programs, such as the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, were put into place to supply school children with their daily dosage.

So historically dairy has been heralded by Governments and Education systems for its amazing health benefits including:

  • Strong Bones                                                            
  • Strong Teeth
  • Source of Calcium 
  • Source of Vitamin D
  • Source of Vitamin E

However, despite dairy historically being promoted as wholesome and healthy, in reality, it can have a devastating effect on your health.

Should I avoid dairy?

In the western world, dairy products have been promoted as healthy and nutritious, based on the premise that children need it for strong bones and adults, to prevent osteoporosis.

Keeping that in mind, some of you may find it astonishing that rates of osteoporosis in Eastern countries such as China and Thailand, who have a deficient dairy intake, are significantly lower than that of the USA and England, where dairy is consumed daily.

While we have been conditioned to associate cows milk with health… (bringing forth images of happy and healthy cows grazing on beautiful green fields)… the reality is somewhat different.

Cows are unnaturally fed on grain, which makes it necessary to inject them with antibiotics to prevent them from becoming sick and dying.

What happens to those antibiotics?

Well, traces of it are transferred to the dairy products that we blissful consume, unaware of the real effect it will have on our bodies.

Think about this…

A typical cow used to produce 6 liters of milk a day; now they produce 22 liters. That’s quite a jump.

As the demand for milk has increased, so has production.

This has resulted in increasingly poor conditions whereby cow udders and teats trail the ground, leading to infection.

To maximize milk production, cows are kept permanently pregnant, and as a result, have 200 times the normal level of female hormones in their milk.

Human beings are mammals, and we share the same hormones as cows. Therefore, the effect of these growth hormones on the human body is not a good one.

Consuming food with high levels of estrogen can upset your hormonal balance and increase the production of DHT (an active form of testosterone). As a result, this can lead to several health issues, including an enlarged prostate.

Here are 6 ways that dairy ruins your health.

1) Cholesterol

When it comes to cholesterol, there are two types, High-density-lipoprotein (HDL) and Low-density-lipoprotein (LDL).

LDL is regarded by the medical establishment as a bad type of cholesterol and is directly affected by diet. The fat in dairy products, such as milk can contribute to increased LDL cholesterol levels.

This ultimately leads to a build-up in the arteries, which can cause blockages and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

It should, however, be said that there is no real evidence in studies that show that LDL cholesterol causes a build-up of blockages in the arteries.

In fact, real evidence shown by independent studies shows that increased levels of LDL cholesterol in older men actually reduces the risks of heart attacks. It should be noted that some people have naturally higher cholesterol levels.

It only becomes a significant indicator in people who have already experienced coronary events, and even then, it takes a substantially higher cholesterol level to be significant.

Consuming trans-fats can cause significant health problems.

Trans-fats are contained in all the synthetically manufactured vegetable oils and margarine as they are highly processed. Cooking with vegetable oils, especially where the oil is reused several times causes a further spike in trans-fats.

Since most ultra-processed foods are manufactured with vegetable oils, it’s not surprising that they have incredibly negative effects on health.

I recommend the Ketogenic diet which allows saturated fat such as coconut oil, avocado oil, duck oil, and goose oil as well as the fat found in red meats and organs, provided they come from grass-fed animals.

The overwhelming evidence shows that cholesterol and triglyceride levels reduce significantly when keeping to the ketogenic diet. How about eggs you might ask?

The good news is that eggs do not increase cholesterol. One study concluded that higher egg consumption was not linked to coronary heart disease or stroke.

There is no real evidence that any food intake can influence cholesterol levels. 75% of cholesterol is manufactured by the body and virtually every cell in the body can manufacture cholesterol. Stress causes a spike in cholesterol levels, but it is cholesterol levels produced by the body.

2) Prostate Cancer

As men age, their level of testosterone diminishes while their level of estrogen increases. This causes a change in their hormonal balance, which can lead to middle age spread and a loss of assertiveness.

As we have discussed, cow’s milk is brimming with female hormones, and so consuming dairy can further increase estrogen levels. This leads to increased production of DHT (Di-Hydro-Testosterone).

DHT is an active form of testosterone and the increased production of it can irritate the prostate and an increased risk of prostate problems. Expanding on this, dairy products such as milk contain a natural growth factor IGF-1, which signals cells to grow, stimulating the growth of calves.

Cancer cells in human beings will accept the IGF-1 as a signal to grow faster, showing that IGF-1 found in milk stimulates cancer growth. A recent study found evidence to support the role of the IGF pathway, in particular, IGF-I in explaining the association between milk and prostate cancer.

If you are worried about your prostate health, I recommend my Total Health supplement, which protects against prostate cancer and is guaranteed to lower your PSA level.


For more information on prostate cancer click here.


3) Breast Cancer

Dairy consumption can also affect women’s health. Similarly to prostate cancer, the IGF-I found in dairy products can also increase the growth of breast cancer cells.

study, including more than 1.6 million participants, indicated that dairy consumption is inversely and significantly associated with the development of breast cancer.

A dose-response analysis also confirmed this, demonstrating a significant relationship between the amount of dairy consumed and breast cancer risk.

4) Heart Disease

According to the American Heart Association, about 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, that’s an average of 1 death every 38 seconds.

These are worrying statistics which bring into question the harmful effect diet can have on heart disease. A recent study has suggested that there is no link between dairy and heart attack or risk stroke, leading to a media hype that ‘cheese is good for our health.’

The fact is that cheese is not bad for our health. However, goats cheese is far better because the same pollutants coming from dairy cows also goes into the cheese. However, the level of those pollutants in cheese is less than you would get from drinking milk.

In my ketogenic diet, which is further adapted to ensure good prostate health, I recommend goats milk in the main. The myth that saturated fat is bad for your heart health has never been satisfactorily proven.

It is, in fact, a myth that is promoted both by the food industry lobby and the medical establishment simply because it is very profitable for them to do so. But it is false.

It is important to have a range of fats to include not only saturated fats but also nuts, seeds, avocados, and oily fish or Omega 3 oils such as my Antarctician Krill oil.

It is also imperative to note that the first known case of a heart attack occurred in 1928. Before that, nobody died of heart attacks. This compares to 2,300 deaths per day from heart attacks today.

Pre-1928 everybody ate substantial quantities of saturated fats every day. They did, however not eat vegetable oils or trans fats since those are modern inventions. It is fairly certain that these are the culprits for the modern epidemic of heart attacks.

5) Digestion

If you are suffering from digestion problems, dairy may well be the cause of it.

Dairy can be difficult for the human body to digest, and many people are unaware that they are lactose intolerant.

Around 75 percent of the world’s population and about 25 percent of the people in the U.S. lose their ability to produce digestive lactase enzymes sometime after breastfeeding and therefore struggle to digest lactose.

Lactose intolerance is a common digestive problem, where the body is unable to digest the sugar in milk and dairy products. This can result in symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, stomach pains, and wind.

6) Acne

There’s nothing worse than waking up to an unsightly spot that wasn’t there the night before. Although we hope to whiz by it during puberty, acne can still make a recurrence in later life.

There has been much controversy as to whether diet does have a significant effect on acne, and while the answers differ, there have been studies that have shown a link between dairy and acne.

A recent meta-analysis of observational studies found a positive relationship between dairy, total milk, whole milk, low-fat and skim milk consumption and acne occurrence. In the contrary, no significant association between yogurt/cheese and acne development was observed.

The hormone IGF-1 found in milk, which accelerates hormone growth causes inflammation in humans, leading to acne.

This is then made worse, with dairy causing the skin to produce excess sebum, leading to clogged pores. As a result, the perfect environment is created for bacteria and oil to promote acne.

Are there any dairy alternatives?

If you are a dairy lover, don’t start panickin,g yet! There are plenty of healthy and delicious alternatives out there including: 

  • Goats milk- goats milk has more protein. It is not as industrially produced, so does not have the negative effects of cow’s milk.
  • Almond milk-almond milk is highly nutritious and is a great source of Vitamin E and Vitamin D.
  • Coconut milk- Coconut milk is high in Vitamin E, B, and C. It contains lauric acid, which can reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Greek yogurt and kefir are good alternatives to yogurt. They are cultured milk products rich in protein, calcium, B vitamins, and potassium.
  • Plant-based foods, such as green leafy vegetables are also calcium-rich foods.

Conclusion

Dairy is NOT Your Friend

Having reviewed the evidence, I think it is clear to say that dairy consumption is not in any way good for your health.

Many of us will find it hard to say no to the temptations of cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. But cutting dairy products out of your life will, without a doubt, significantly improve your overall health.

What’s your take on dairy? Can you handle a dairy-free diet? Feel free to comment below!

Sources

  1. Aghasi M, Golzarand M, Shab-Bidar S, Aminianfar A, Omidian M, Taheri F. (2018). Dairy intake and acne development: A meta-analysis of observational studies.. Clinical Nutrition. 0 (0), 0.
  2. Guo, J, Astrup, A, Lovegrove, J, Gijsbers, L, et al. (2017). Milk and dairy consumption and risk of cardiovascular diseases and all-cause mortality: dose–response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. European Journal of Epidemiology. 32 (4), p 269–287.
  3. Harrison S, Lennon R, Holly J, et al. Does milk intake promote prostate cancer initiation or progression via effects on insulin-like growth factors (IGFs)? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Cancer Causes Control. 2017;28(6):497–528. doi:10.1007/s10552-017-0883-1
  4. Kucharska A, Szmurło A, Sińska B. Significance of diet in treated and untreated acne vulgaris. Postepy Dermatol Alergol.2016;33(2):81–86. doi:10.5114/ada.2016.59146
  5. Rong, Y, Chen, L, Zhu, T, Song, Y, et al. (2013). Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMJ. 346 (0), pe8539.
  6. Zang J, Shen M, Du S, Chen T, Zou S. The Association between Dairy Intake and Breast Cancer in Western and Asian Populations: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Breast Cancer. 2015;18(4):313–322. doi:10.4048/jbc.2015.18.4.313

About Our Author Ben's Natural Health Team

Alternative Text
Our team is made up of doctors, nutritionists and certified experts with deep knowledge of metabolic health conditions, as well as writers and editors with extensive experience in medical writing.