A couple of weeks back, I gave you a friendly reminder to say no to soy…and, yes, that includes soy milk. But that doesn’t mean you should gulp regular old cow’s milk to your heart’s content. Quite the opposite, in fact.
I’ve always asserted that cow’s milk isn’t really fit for human consumption. Not only is it one of the most common allergens, but it’s also filled with sugar (lactose).
Yet, despite these shortcomings, mainstream medicine and various big government agencies (namely the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA) haven’t seemed to get past the notion that drinking milk is the best way to keep your bones strong. But a new study not only disproves milk’s oft-touted bone-strengthening superpowers as nothing but good PR—it also highlights an alarming risk associated with regularly donning a milk mustache.
The study, published in the Oct. 28 issue of The British Medical Journal, suggests that consuming just a few glasses of milk per day may increase risk of death.
In this study, researchers in Sweden found that a specific sugar naturally present in cow’s milk, called D-galactose, increases oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Previous animal experiments have shown that chronic exposure to galactose can expedite aging and decrease lifespan. You know how I feel about animal studies, but it’s worth noting in this case—especially now that this human study confirms it.
The authors monitored over 61,000 women for 20 years and over 45,000 men for 11 years, and found that drinking more than three glasses of milk a day resulted in a higher risk of mortality. The risk was especially significant among women.
The research team also found higher milk consumption provided absolutely NO reduction in fracture risk—for men or women.
Meanwhile, three cups of milk per day is the USDA’s go-to recommendation for maintaining healthy blood pressure, reducing cardiovascular disease risk, protecting against colorectal cancer, and boosting muscle mass. And considering that the U.S. government subsidizes the milk industry, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for them to change their tune any time in the near future—regardless of the new research.
Don’t forget: The USDA exists solely to promote agriculture—not our health.
By the way, the study focused only on the association between fractures and overall mortality and milk consumption, not on links to cardiovascular disease. There is still no definitive evidence that indicates whether milk is good or bad for heart health. But if milk increases oxidative stress, a little common sense should tell the so-called “experts” that it can’t possibly be good for your heart.
And, while I’m on the subject, shame on the “experts” touting chocolate milk for athletes. Chocolate milk is a double “don’t,” with its double dose of sugar from the chocolate and the milk itself. The only ad campaign that’s worse is the one specific brand of chocolate milk geared towards brainwashing parents into thinking their chocolate milk is healthy for kids. Outrageous.
Bottom line: Cow’s milk doesn’t do “a body good.” Unsweetened rice, coconut, or almond milk are great substitutes that aren’t loaded with sugar—and won’t put you at risk.
“Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies,” BMJ 2014; 349:g6015
“High milk intake linked with higher fractures and mortality, research suggests.” ScienceDaily, 10/28/14 (www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141028214051.htm)