The following is an extract form an article published by Courtney Kaminski at www.brockpress.com.
Issue date: 10/10/07
"The recommendation to drink three glasses of low-fat milk or eat three servings of other dairy products per day to prevent osteoporosis is another step in the wrong direction," said the Harvard School of Public Health, in a 2005 study on the consumption of dairy products.
Most current university students grew up in the heyday of the "Got Milk?" campaign that had countless celebrities, professional athletes and even cartoon characters sporting milk mustaches in support of drinking milk for strong bones.
Yet, amid this push to get everyone drinking three glasses of milk` a day, some evidence has come forward that suggests that milk may not in fact be the surefire way to stave off osteoporosis, and instead, may in fact be part of the cause.
Unlike the West, most of the globe does not consume cow's milk, and still most of these countries have much lower rates of osteoporosis, than what is experienced in the USA.
Milksucks.com, a Web site dedicated to exposing the alleged myths that have been perpetuated about the health benefits of milk, cites one study that points to milk as a potential cause of osteoporosis.
"In one study, funded by the National Dairy Council, a group of postmenopausal women were given three eight-ounce glasses of skim milk every day for two years, and their bones were compared to those of a control group of women not given the milk. The dairy group consumed 1,400 mg of calcium per day and lost bone at twice the rate of the control group. According to the researchers, 'this may have been due to the average 30 per cent increase in protein intake during milk supplementation ... The adverse effect of increases in protein intake on calcium balance has been reported from several laboratories, including our own'; they then cite 10 other studies."
Milksucks.com also indicates that dairy products contain both saturated fats and cholesterol, which have been linked to causing heart disease, cancer, Crohn's disease, and "a host of childhood illnesses from asthma to diabetes".
There was also a study by Yale University researchers, looking at 34 studies in 16 countries, which demonstrated the highest rates of Osteoporosis were found in countries where people had the highest meat, milk, and animal product intake.
More conclusively, in 2000, a review of all the related research collected since 1985 about the relationship between dairy products and bone health, published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, stated: "If dairy food intakes confer bone health, one might expect this to have been apparent from the 57 outcomes, which included randomized, controlled trials and longitudinal cohort studies involving 645,000 person-years … There have been few carefully designed studies of the effects of dairy foods on bone health; the body of scientific evidence appears inadequate to support a recommendation for daily intake of dairy foods to promote bone health in the general U.S. population."
Still not convinced that that glass of ice cold refreshing milk is bad for you? Consider that unlike the multi-billion dollar dairy industry, science does not have $300 million annually to debunk the wonders of milk that have been ingrained in Western society.
According to Milksucks.com, "Dr. Walter Willett, veteran nutrition researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health, said that calcium consumption via dairy-product intake 'has become like a religious crusade,' overshadowing true preventive measures such as physical exercise."
While it may be tempting to disregard this and similar Web sites as mere propaganda, it's hard to see a real difference between it and the famous "Got Milk?" advertising campaign. It is reminiscent of the tobacco industry claiming that there was no relation between smoking and cancer. It begs the question: How do you know milk is good for you?
If it is simply because the dairy industry (the same people that will lose the most financially if you stop consuming dairy) told you, then you may want to re-evaluate what you know to be true.
For a more detailed study of the scientific evidence showing how milk actually increases the risk of osteoporosis, go to www.milkimkperative.com.