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It has been called the perfect food. It has been heralded as the ultimate source of calcium for our bones. It used to be said that it did a body good. We got it in our school lunches; we dipped our cookies in it; and we even added additional sugar and food dyes to it to create new flavors.

We have been enamored with it from advertising and TV; it has even become a symbol of being cool, because athletes and the famous wear it as mustaches. If they can drink it—I mean, wear it—so can we. It has become a staple in American culture, like baseball and apple pie. This iconic food source is called MILK. (An excerpt from my book)

The dairy industry and its massive and alluring marketing have led us to believe that milk has a world of health benefits, from providing us with calcium for strong bones to even drinking milk for weight loss.

Sounds like a miracle fluid. However, current research is pointing to many health problems created by drinking the breast milk of a species other than your own. Conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, allergies—including childhood allergies and asthma— precocious puberty (early puberty), and cancers of the prostate and breast have all been linked to the consumption of cows’ milk. 

How can this be? I thought milk was good for you! We’ve been drinking it for decades! Yes, and humans have been inhaling burning smoke for ritual, and to get high. We now know that inhaling the burning smoke of dried leaves loaded and coated with all kinds of cancer-causing chemicals (5,000 in fact), is linked to heart disease, cancer, emphysema, congestive heart failure, bladder conditions, mouth-related diseases, as well as vitamin-and-nutrient deficiencies. 

Look, the dairy industry wants us to drink milk and eat cheese because that’s their business. Likewise, fast-food companies want us to eat their processed, unnatural foods, and tobacco companies would like us to keep smoking—all because they want us to buy their products.

Oddly, if I handed you a glass of human breast milk to drink or to add to your coffee, I’m sure you’d be grossed out. However, to millions of people, drinking the estrogen-laced milk from the udder of a pregnant cow is normal.

All this brings up another fact about cow’s milk that seems to fly under the radar. We’ve been led to believe that an inability to digest the sugar in milk is a problem; thus, the ‘condition’ has a diagnosis—lactose intolerance. However, drinking the milk of another species is abnormal. We are the only mammals who drink milk as adults, and it’s not even our own milk.

The major carbohydrate energy source in milk is the sugar lactose, a disaccharide made up of two simple sugars, glucose and galactose. They provide the baby with the fuel it needs to eat, breathe, cry, and develop.

Lactose can’t be absorbed intact in the gut; it has to be broken down into the monosaccharides glucose and galactose. This breakdown of lactose requires the enzyme lactase, which is produced in the small intestine during the time a mammal is feeding off the mother before weaning.

Once weaning takes place and the mammal stops the consumption of milk, it makes sense that the production of lactase stops. Lactase expression slowly turns off anywhere from the ages of two to 10 years old. So, lactose intolerance is NORMAL. Once you stop drinking milk, your body stops the production of lactase needed to break down the milk sugar.

If you can digest milk without a reaction, i.e., gastrointestinal problems, you have what’s called ‘lactase persistence’ (LP), which, is a condition. LP is a genetic mutation which continues to produce the enzyme lactase. This is abnormal. The dairy industry in its efforts to convince you to drink milk, and eat milk products, has forced an evolutionary change—lactase persistence. 

The dairy industry doesn’t say ‘milk does a body good’ anymore, because it does not. Now, it’s just ‘got milk?’

So, lactose intolerance is the normal state of affairs. After all, do you know anyone with ‘water intolerance’??

References:

Itan Y, Powell A, Beaumont MA, Burger J, Thomas MG (2009) The Origins of Lactase Persistence in Europe. PLoS Comput Biol 5(8): e1000491.doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000491

Edward Hollox, European Journal of Human Genetics (2005) 13, 267–269. doi:10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201297