- Introduction to Vegan Cooking
- How to stock your pantry
- Removing the Mystery Behind Disease - Recipes
- Healthy from Inside Out - Recipes
- 305C - Recipes
- Beans and Legumes
- Dips, Dressings, and Sauces
- Drinks, Shakes, and Juices
- Meat Substitutes and Tofu
- Soups and Stews
- Vegetable Dishes
- Natural Remedies
- 13.08.10 - Scientists Discover That Plants Communicate via Symbiotic Root Fungi
- 15.05.22 - France to Force Supermarkets to Give Unsold Food to Charities
- 15.07.14 - Planned Parenthood Uses Partial-Birth Abortions to Sell Baby Parts
- 15.06.15 - Using Hand Sanitizer Can Increase Skin's Absorption of Dangerous Chemicals
- 15.06.26 - GMOs Not Tolerated in Russia
- 15.05.15 - World Population-Food Supply Balance Becoming Increasingly Unstable
- 15.05.11 - In September, the UN Launches a Major Sustainable Development Agenda for the Entire Planet
- 08.04.03 - Identical Twins' Genes Are Not Identical
- 13.06.24 - Identical Twin Studies Prove Homosexuality is Not Genetic
- 14.12.09 - Are Weather Warfare Assaults Devastating Noncompliant Countries Around the Globe?
- 14.01.28 - USA Today Columnist: Jail "anti-vac" Parents
- 14.03.10 - The Many Concerns of Using Antibiotics in Meat
- 16.01.29 - North America Bathed in Radiation from Fukushima, Levels now 1000x Above Normal for Alpha Particles
- Health Seminar Coming to Langley, BC
- 16.11.15 - Share this Breaking Story about Monsanto
- 14.02.20 - Global Food Supply Deliberately Engineered to End Life, Not Nourish It
- Contact Us
Publish date: May 26, 2009
Summary: Intolerance to products containing lactose is widespread. Could this be an indicator that dairy products are not meant for human consumption?
|Share with others:||
Milk and dairy products are advertised as wonder foods that will supply all the nutrients required for healthy growth. The calcium levels in milk, in particular, are stressed as an essential component of the human diet, and the impression is created that a loss of this dietary source of calcium will lead to abnormal bone development.
It is certainly true that dairy products are packed with nutrients, but this does not mean that the combination of nutrients is suited to human nutrition.
Mother's milk is essential for infants, but then infants are specially designed to cope with this growth-promoting food. Prior to weaning, the necessary enzyme systems needed for the digestion and assimilation of milk components are active, but they are progressively deactivated with age. The milk of other mammals also differs in composition from human milk, and this, together with the potential danger from ingested antigens, makes cow's milk unsuitable for human consumption.
There is considerable resistance from industry, and even from the established scientific world, to the idea that dairy consumption is detrimental to health, but the evidence from recent scientific findings seems fairly conclusive with regard to this issue. Dairy consumption is being coupled with a host of other diseases, and as consumption rises worldwide, so the evidence is becoming more and more conclusive.
In the past, the detrimental effect of the consumption of dairy products may have been masked by the positive effects of other lifestyle choices, such as higher consumption of grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables with their high fibre content. Western diets have, however, increased in the consumption of animal products, including dairy products, with a corresponding decline in the consumption of grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and this may explain the increase in the incidence of degenerative diseases in industrialized countries.
Lactose, the sugar in milk, is broken down in the intestines by the enzyme lactase. Most people are able to digest lactose properly during infancy and early childhood, but as they grow older this ability declines. Approximately 75% of adults worldwide are lactose intolerant.
Native Americans and Asians have the highest intolerance, and only slightly lower than these are the Blacks, Jews, Hispanics, and southern Europeans. Lactose intolerance is lowest among northern Europeans and their descendants. In the US some 25% of Caucasians, 51% of Hispanics, and 75% of all African Americans have insufficient levels of lactase to digest dairy products, whereas 90% of Asian Americans are lactose intolerant.i,ii
It has been found that 90% of African people are lactase deficient, and in the case of the rural Zulu of South Africa it was found that they showed no change in blood glucose concentrations after ingesting 50 g of lactose.iii When milk and dairy products are digested, lactose is broken down by the enzyme lactase into glucose and galactose.
The presence of lactose is a feature of mammalian milk, but the concentration of this sugar is normally geared to the needs of the species, as are the concentrations of all the other components of milk. Human milk does not only contain the essential nutrients that are required for growth and development, but also contains the bacterium bacillus bifidus that assists in the digestion of lactose.
In cow's milk, however, the bacterial composition differs from that of human milk. If cow's milk is fed to infants, this can interfere with the digestion of lactose. The lower protein and higher carbohydrate content of human milk is also more suited to the needs of infants, because their growth rates are considerably lower than those of calves.
After the conversion of lactose to glucose and galactose, the available galactose is not used as such, but is converted to glucose in the liver by a series of steps requiring the initial presence of the enzyme galactokinase. The production of both lactase and galactokinase declines with age, and the capacity to digest and utilize the products of lactose in adult life is thus curtailed. A deficiency in the enzyme lactase will result in fermentation of lactose by intestinal bacteria, which can result in abdominal distress such as gas, cramping, bloating, stomach rumbling, altered bowel habits, and diarrhea.iii The severity of the symptoms depends on the quantity of lactose consumed and the level of intolerance.
Milk Protein Intolerance
A further problem with milk is encountered in the digestion of the milk protein casein. In comparison to human milk, cow's milk contains 300% more casein and more than double the amount of total protein. Casein and beta-lactoglobulin are the two main proteins in milk and they are unique in that they contain a perfect blend of amino acids, which is precisely what is needed during early infant growth. Human infants, however, double their mass on average 180 days after birth, whereas cows achieve the same feat in only 47 days. Cow's milk is therefore geared to meet the rapid growth requirements of cows, but is not suitable for humans.
Casein also naturally stimulates thyroid function in infants, and as the thyroid is involved in many developmental processes, including the development of the nervous system, casein from other mammals could have adverse effects on metabolic processes of infants particularly since a portion of the dietary casein can be absorbed undigested and serve as antigen.
As with lactase, the concentration of the enzyme rennin, that breaks down the casein, also declines with age in all mammals. By the time milk teeth develop it is virtually non-existent in the human digestive tract. Without renin, the digestion of casein has to be carried out by the normal proteolytic enzymes which are not as efficient in breaking down casein.
The presence of casein in the diet of mammals has also been linked to elevated cholesterol levels and various degenerative diseases such as arteriosclerosis. Rabbits fed casein developed arteriosclerosis, but the effect could be reduced if a plant protein source, such as soybean flour was introduced into the diet. This shows that the amino acid pool produced by casein probably no longer meets the requirements of weaned or adult mammals.
Casein also produced higher cholesterol levels than soy protein in a number of animal species, including rates, hamsters, guinea pigs, pigs, and monkeys. In humans, a reduction in cholesterol levels was also found if meat and dairy proteins were replaced by soy proteins.iv,v Casein also seems to have an adverse effect on insulin secretion, hormone levels, and calcium metabolism.
Does milk really provide the calcium we need for strong bones? Find out the truth.
Updated January 2009.
i. Editorial, "Lactose intolerance" Lancet 338 (1987): 663-664.
ii. B. Levine, "Most frequently asked questions about lactose intolerance," Nutrition Today 31 (1996).
iii. S. O'Keefe et al., "Milk induced malabsorptions in malnourished African patients," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 54 (1991):130-135.
iv. K. Carroll, "Review of clinical studies on cholesterol-lowering response to soy protein," Journal of the American Dietary Assocation 91 (1991):820-827.
v. R. Van der Meer, A. Beynen, "Species-dependent responsiveness of serum cholesterol to dietary protein" Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society 64 (1987):1172-1177.
Healthy Living Resources
Spirituality and Health
What's the right kind of Water for my Health?
Learn the eight laws of health that lead to an abundant life.
Dr. Rainda gives good advice on balanced living.
Why is building your blood important? What does it mean to cleanse your blood? The answers to these questions could prove instrumental in guiding you to better health.
Read about four important parenting tips from Ellen White to help develop a healthy family unit.
Moderate, monitored fasting can be part of a healthy detox regime.
Starting the day right involves a hearty, healthy breakfast.
How to Achieve a Perfect Combination
Learn what young coconut kefir is, in addition to all the wonderful benefits you will reap when consuming this ever so fabulous health tonic.
Everyone experiences stress. We cannot heal from stress without understanding it first, and learning to deal with it head on.
What is Candida? Candida is the short name used to describe yeast overgrowth in the body. The technical term is Candidiasis. Like their &...
Every private home should have charcoal on hand as a ready antidote for poisoning, and as a cleansing agent in infectious and various metabolic disturbances.
A healthy heart is crucial for a healthy life. So why don't we take better care of our hearts?
We keep our muscles strong and effective in the same way that we exercise our spiritual gifts and "prayer muscles" to keep them free from atrophy.
From burns to weak bones, raw honey can help.
Written in 1936 and still used as an essential reference today. Book Review.
Melons are more than just a sweet, juicy treat.
Learn the importance of iron in the diet and how to get enough iron the vegetarian way.
Learn why you should make chia seeds a part of your diet.
Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, has long been used as a home remedy for a variety of ailments. Added to bath water, it has been used to relieve colds, back pain, ease muscle tension and treat certain skin conditions.
A simple green algae food, chlorella, can help with dozens of health conditions.
Learn how to take care of your biggest organ: your skin.
Several charts show best time to plant vegetables in accordance with blooming time of perennials.
A helpful chart for those wanting to grow their own garden vegetables.
Chart showing how to space your vegetables in the garden and how to care for your plants.
Is soy a smart food to include in a healthy diet?
Every 7 minutes, someone in Canada dies of a heart attack or stroke. Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death and magnesium deficiency is a major contributing factor.
Can plants really communicate? Ask Dr. Mercola.
Carrageenan, a food additive made from seaweed, could be harmful.
Mammogram screening is becoming increasingly popular in North America. But is it the safest way to screen for breast cancer?
Jean Handwerk explains the connection between modern wheat and many averse health effects.
Is chocolate really that bad? If so, what are the alternatives?
Find practical ideas for dealing with depression in these articles about symptoms and treatments.
It has been shown that a vegan diet can provide all the body’s needs and can be followed without fear.
Does Eat Right For Your Type by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo align with Scripture and science?
Even if you don’t feel sick, your digestion may be poor enough to slowly poison your system. No, this isn’t simply a theory, but the conclusion from years of laboratory testing and clinical experience. Autointoxication is real.
The fever is perhaps the most overtreated health symptom of all.
Tony de Morais explains the wide spectrum of uses for clay.
In 1971 President Nixon and Congress declared war on cancer. So what's happened in the 40 years since? After weeding out the hype and filling in the actual statistics, it turns out, not much.
Can anything be done to prevent common illnesses?
Don't let dentists put this poison in your mouth!
A look at the health benefits of potatoes.
Dr. Roy Swank found that the diets of those with Multiple Sclerosis can make a difference in their prognosis.
Take a closer look at the safety of midwife-assisted home births versus hospital births.
When you open the fridge to grab a snack, consider simple, healthy alternatives to sugar-filled munchies and beverages.
A quick reference list of healthful, dairy-free ways to get your calcium.
Find information on the products that Jeanie Davis recommends in Healthy from Inside Out
Learn the best, natural mixture to use when cleaning fresh veggies and fruit.
When shopping for groceries, check the labels for carrageenan, a thickening agent scientists are blaming for various gastrointestinal illnesses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released an air quality model to show that more than 9 in 10 people live in areas that have unsafe levels of air pollution.
Food borne illness is on the increase worldwide. In most cases, animal products are implicated as the main source of infection.
Health is about more than just diet or exercise.
Inject some fun into your food routine with these healthy meal ideas.
Pain pills aren't always the best way to deal with aches and soreness. Various therapies—including vibrational therapy—can have you on the road to recovery.
Some fruits and vegetables should not be eaten together, as they can react and cause digestive issues.
Have you considered carob as an alternative to chocolate? See for yourself the impact chocolate can have on your health.
Learn about the acidity or alkalinity of your favorite foods.
If God made the world, and our bodies, then the Creation story can give us clues about how we should live for optimum health. But how did what God called "good" transform into a dog-eat-dog world of carnivores, thorns, parasites, and other ugly aspects of Creation?
If God made everything so good, why are there so many problems? Are thorns and weeds evolved adaptations or changes in Creation?
This article uses pieces of nature, such as the genome, the cell, and even the eye, as evidence that God is the Creator of all things.
It seems clear that organisms change over time. But why? Is it evolution?
Some call it cacophony and are driven to madness; others find it the most beautiful event in all of creation—the dawn chorus of the birds.
There are many types of water available today. Some are better for your health than others.
Learn why drinking at least 2.5L of water per day is vital to your body's health at any age.
Fluoride in drinking water has been linked to decline in IQ and may cause health issues.
Excitotoxins cause physical and spiritual destruction.
Is consuming alcohol ever a good idea?
Smoking leads to massive amounts of sickness and death every year.
Maybe vegetarianism is the best option after all...
Get the truth about lactose, calcium, and the need for caution around dairy products.
The agriculture industry is fast becoming reliant on genetically modified foods. Learn the facts about GMOs and the effects this trend is having on health worldwide.
Diabetes is spreading across North America. Is there anything we can do to stop this killer disease?
Refined sugar is addictive, destructive, and devoid of any nutritional value. Why does it continue to be a staple food across the world?
There are now over 3,000 additives in our foods. Incredibly, only 7% have any nutritional value.
Do the stimulating benefits of coffee really outweigh the costs?
Most of the bread products consumed today are made of refined grains. Are our breakfast cereals and "fortified" loaves as healthy as we like to think?
Vaccination began 200 years ago as an experimental life-saving medical tool. While it originally had some merit, today it has become perhaps the leading cause of death and disability among our children.
Music enters the brain through its emotional regions, which include the temporal lobe and the limbic system.
Plant medicine safety pale in comparison to the promotional and safety practices of the mainstream drug industry.