By the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
The dairy industry isn't just terrible for cows (read: Dreary Dairy, part II) --its products are bad for your body. Here are 10 reasons to eliminate dairy products from your diet.
1. Fat and cholesterol. Dairy products, especially cheese and ice cream, are loaded with fat and cholesterol. Studies comparing ovo-lacto-vegetarians and vegans have proven that while both are healthier than meat-eaters, vegans have healthier hearts than vegetarians who consume dairy products.
2. Iron Deficiency. Dairy products are low in iron. Clinical studies have shown that infants consuming cows' milk lose small amounts of blood from their digestive tracts.
3. Diabetes. Epidemiolo-gical studies show a strong correlation between the use of dairy products and the incidence of insulin-dependent childhood diabetes. This is only an association, but researchers have long suspected that an autoimmune reaction sparked by dairy protein is a cause of this disease.
4. Ovarian Cancer. When dairy product consumption exceeds the body's capacity to break down galactose (a sugar formed when the body processes the milk sugar lactose), a buildup in the blood may affect the ovaries --causing the risk of ovarian cancer to triple in some women. The problem is the milk sugar, not the milk fat, so nonfat dairy products cannot solve it. In fact, yogurt and cottage cheese are of most concern because the bacteria used in their manufacture increase the production of galactose.
5. Cataracts. The galactose that is a breakdown product of lactose appears to damage the lens of the eye, leading to cataracts.
6. Lactose Intolerance. Many people, particularly Asians and Africans, are unable to digest the milk sugar, lactose. Diarrhea and gas can result.
7. Allergies. Respiratory problems, canker sores and skin conditions can all be triggered by dairy products. Many people oftentimes never even know that they have a dairy sensitivity.
8. Toxins. About a third of all milk products are contaminated with antibiotic traces. A study by the Environmental Defense Fund found pesticide contamination of human breast milk to be twice as high among the meat-and-dairy-eating women as among vegans.
9. Osteoporosis. Dairy products, despite common myths, do not stop osteoporosis. Numerous studies have shown that the countries with the highest intake of dairy products also have the highest incidence of osteoporosis, and that consuming large amounts of diary products simply will not maintain bone density.
10. Colic. One of every five babies suffers from colic. Pediatricians learned long ago that cows' milk was often the reason. We now know that breast- feeding mothers can have colicky babies if the mothers are consuming cow's milk. The cows' antibodies can pass through the mother's blood stream into her breast milk and to the baby.
Write The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
P.O. Box 6322
Washington DC 20015.
To reach their toll-free nutrition hot line, call (800) 875-4837.