Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

The Famous Milk Letter

Expand Messages
  • notmilk2002
    Dear Friends, Today s Sunday New York Times magazine (October 6, 2002) contains an enormous breast cancer section. Here is a letter written by a breast cancer
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 6, 2002
      Dear Friends,

      Today's Sunday New York Times magazine (October 6, 2002)
      contains an enormous breast cancer section. Here is a
      letter written by a breast cancer surgeon to his patients:

      Robert M. Kradjian, MD
      Breast Surgery Chief Division of General Surgery,
      Seton Medical Centre #302 - 1800 Sullivan Ave.
      Daly City, CA 94015 USA

      "MILK" Just the word itself sounds comforting!
      "How about a nice cup of hot milk?" The last time
      you heard that question it was from someone who
      cared for you--and you appreciated their effort.

      The entire matter of food and especially that of milk
      is surrounded with emotional and cultural importance.
      Milk was our very first food. If we were fortunate it
      was our mother's milk. A loving link, given and taken.
      It was the only path to survival. If not mother's milk
      it was cow's milk or soy milk "formula"--rarely it was
      goat, camel or water buffalo milk.

      Now, we are a nation of milk drinkers. Nearly all of us.
      Infants, the young, adolescents, adults and even the aged.
      We drink dozens or even several hundred gallons a year and
      add to that many pounds of "dairy products" such as cheese,
      butter, and yogurt.

      Can there be anything wrong with this? We see reassuring
      images of healthy, beautiful people on our television
      screens and hear messages that assure us that, "Milk
      is good for your body." Our dieticians insist that:
      "You've got to have milk, or where will you get your
      calcium?" School lunches always include milk and
      nearly every hospital meal will have milk added. And
      if that isn't enough, our nutritionists told us for
      years that dairy products make up an "essential food
      group." Industry spokesmen made sure that colourful
      charts proclaiming the necessity of milk and other
      essential nutrients were made available at no cost
      for schools. Cow's milk became "normal."

      You may be surprised to learn that most of the human
      beings that live on planet Earth today do not drink or
      use cow's milk. Further, most of them can't drink milk
      because it makes them ill.

      There are students of human nutrition who are not
      supportive of milk use for adults. Here is a quotation
      from the March/April 1991 Utne Reader:

      If you really want to play it safe, you may decide to
      join the growing number of Americans who are eliminating
      dairy products from their diets altogether. Although this
      sounds radical to those of us weaned on milk and the five
      basic food groups, it is eminently viable. Indeed, of all
      the mammals, only humans--and then only a minority,
      principally Caucasians--continue to drink milk beyond
      babyhood. Indeed, of all the mammals, only humans--and
      then only a minority, principally Caucasians--
      continue to drink milk beyond babyhood.

      Who is right? Why the confusion? Where best to get our
      answers? Can we trust milk industry spokesmen? Can you
      trust any industry spokesmen? Are nutritionists up to
      date or are they simply repeating what their professors
      learned years ago? What about the new voices urging caution?

      I believe that there are three reliable sources of
      information. The first, and probably the best, is a study
      of nature. The second is to study the history of our own
      species. Finally we need to look at the world's scientific
      literature on the subject of milk.

      Let's look at the scientific literature first. From 1988
      to 1993 there were over 2,700 articles dealing with milk
      recorded in the 'Medicine' archives. Fifteen hundred of
      theses had milk as the main focus of the article. There
      is no lack of scientific information on this subject. I
      reviewed over 500 of the 1,500 articles, discarding
      articles that dealt exclusively with animals, esoteric
      research and inconclusive studies.

      How would I summarize the articles? They were only slightly
      less than horrifying. First of all, none of the authors
      spoke of cow's milk as an excellent food, free of side
      effects and the 'perfect food' as we have been led to
      believe by the industry. The main focus of the published
      reports seems to be on intestinal colic, intestinal
      irritation, intestinal bleeding, anemia, allergic
      reactions in infants and children as well as infections
      such as salmonella. More ominous is the fear of viral
      infection with bovine leukemia virus or an AIDS-like
      virus as well as concern for childhood diabetes.
      Contamination of milk by blood and white (pus) cells
      as well as a variety of chemicals and insecticides was
      also discussed. Among children the problems were allergy,
      ear and tonsillar infections, bedwetting, asthma,
      intestinal bleeding, colic and childhood diabetes. In
      adults the problems seemed centered more around
      heart disease and arthritis, allergy, sinusitis, and
      the more serious questions of leukemia, lymphoma and cancer.

      I think that an answer can also be found in a consideration
      of what occurs in nature & what happens with free living
      mammals and what happens with human groups living in close
      to a natural state as 'hunter-gatherers'.

      Our paleolithic ancestors are another crucial and
      interesting group to study. Here we are limited to
      speculation and indirect evidences, but the bony
      remains available for our study are remarkable. There
      is no doubt whatever that these skeletal remains
      reflect great strength, muscularity (the size of the
      muscular insertions show this), and total absence of
      advanced osteoporosis. And if you feel that these
      people are not important for us to study, consider
      that today our genes are programming our bodies in
      almost exactly the same way as our ancestors
      of 50,000 to 100,000 years ago.


      Milk is a maternal lactating secretion, a short term
      nutrient for new-borns. Nothing more, nothing less.
      Invariably, the mother of any mammal will provide her
      milk for a short period of time immediately after
      birth. When the time comes for 'weaning', the young
      offspring is introduced to the proper food for that
      species of mammal. A familiar example is that of a
      puppy. The mother nurses the pup for just a few
      weeks and then rejects the young animal and teaches
      it to eat solid food. Nursing is provided by nature
      only for the very youngest of mammals. Of course, it
      is not possible for animals living in a natural state
      to continue with the drinking of milk after weaning.


      Then there is the matter of where we get our milk. We
      have settled on the cow because of its docile nature,
      its size, and its abundant milk supply. Somehow this
      choice seems 'normal' and blessed by nature, our culture,
      and our customs. But is it natural? Is it wise to drink the
      milk of another species of mammal?

      Consider for a moment, if it was possible, to drink the
      milk of a mammal other than a cow, let's say a rat. Or
      perhaps the milk of a dog would be more to your liking.
      Possibly some horse milk or cat milk. Do you get the
      idea? Well, I'm not serious about this, except to suggest
      that human milk is for human infants, dogs' milk is for
      pups, cows' milk is for calves, cats' milk is for kittens,
      and so forth. Clearly, this is the way nature intends it.
      Just use your own good judgement on this one.

      Milk is not just milk. The milk of every species of mammal
      is unique and specifically tailored to the requirements
      of that animal. For example, cows' milk is very much richer
      in protein than human milk. Three to four times as much. It
      has five to seven times the mineral content. However,
      it is markedly deficient in essential fatty acids when
      compared to human mothers' milk. Mothers' milk has six to
      ten times as much of the essential fatty acids, especially
      linoleic acid. (Incidentally, skimmed cow's milk has no
      linoleic acid). It simply is not designed for humans.

      Food is not just food, and milk is not just milk. It is
      not only the proper amount of food but the proper
      qualitative composition that is critical for the very
      best in health and growth. Biochemists and physiologists -
      and rarely medical doctors - are gradually learning that
      foods contain the crucial elements that allow a particular
      species to develop its unique specializations.

      Clearly, our specialization is for advanced neurological
      development and delicate neuromuscular control. We do not
      have much need of massive skeletal growth or huge muscle
      groups as does a calf. Think of the difference between
      the demands make on the human hand and the demands on
      a cow's hoof. Human new-borns specifically need critical
      material for their brains, spinal cord and nerves.

      Can mother's milk increase intelligence? It seems that
      it can. In a remarkable study published in Lancet during
      1992 (Vol. 339, p. 261-4), a group of British workers
      randomly placed premature infants into two groups. One
      group received a proper formula, the other group received
      human breast milk. Both fluids were given by stomach tube.
      These children were followed up for over 10 years. In
      intelligence testing, the human milk children averaged
      10 IQ points higher! Well, why not? Why wouldn't the
      correct building blocks for the rapidly maturing and
      growing brain have a positive effect?

      In the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1982) Ralph
      Holman described an infant who developed profound
      neurological disease while being nourished by intravenous
      fluids only. The fluids used contained only linoleic acid -
      just one of the essential fatty acids. When the other,
      alpha linoleic acid, was added to the intravenous fluids
      the neurological disorders cleared.

      In the same journal five years later Bjerve, Mostad and
      Thoresen, working in Norway found exactly the same problem
      in adult patients on long term gastric tube feeding.

      In 1930 Dr. G.O. Burr in Minnesota working with rats
      found that linoleic acid deficiencies created a deficiency
      syndrome. Why is this mentioned? In the early 1960s
      pediatricians found skin lesions in children fed formulas
      without the same linoleic acid. Remembering the research,
      the addition of the acid to the formula cured the problem.
      Essential fatty acids are just that and cows' milk is
      markedly deficient in these when compared to human milk.


      Or is it? Fifty years ago an average cow produced 2,000
      pounds of milk per year. Today the top producers give
      50,000 pounds! How was this accomplished? Drugs, antibiotics,
      hormones, forced feeding plans and specialized breeding;
      that's how.

      The latest high-tech onslaught on the poor cow is bovine
      growth hormone or BGH. This genetically engineered drug is
      supposed to stimulate milk production but, according to
      Monsanto, the hormone's manufacturer, does not affect the
      milk or meat. There are three other manufacturers:
      Upjohn, Eli Lilly, and American Cyanamid Company. Obviously,
      there have been no long-term studies on the hormone's
      effect on the humans drinking the milk. Other countries
      have banned BGH because of safety concerns. One of the
      problems with adding molecules to a milk cows' body is
      that the molecules usually come out in the milk. I don't
      know how you feel, but I don't want to experiment with the
      ingestion of a growth hormone. A related problem is that
      it causes a marked increase (50 to 70 per cent) in mastitis.
      This, then, requires antibiotic therapy, and the residues
      of the antibiotics appear in the milk. It seems that the
      public is uneasy about this product and in one survey 43
      per cent felt that growth hormone treated milk represented
      a health risk. A vice president for public policy at
      Monsanto was opposed to labelling for that reason, and
      because the labelling would create an 'artificial distinction'.
      The country is awash with milk as it is, we produce more
      milk than we can consume. Let's not create storage costs
      and further taxpayer burdens, because the law requires
      the USDA to buy any surplus of butter, cheese, or non-fat
      dry milk at a support price set by Congress! In fiscal 1991,
      the USDA spent $757 million on surplus butter, and one billion
      dollars a year on average for price supports during the 1980s
      (Consumer Reports, May 1992: 330-32).

      Any lactating mammal excretes toxins through her milk. This
      includes antibiotics, pesticides, chemicals and hormones.
      Also, all cows' milk contains blood! The inspectors are
      simply asked to keep it under certain limits. You may be
      horrified to learn that the USDA allows milk to contain
      from one to one and a half million white blood cells per
      millilitre. (That's only 1/30 of an ounce). If you don't
      already know this, I'm sorry to tell you that another way
      to describe white cells where they don't belong would be
      to call them pus cells. To get to the point, is milk pure
      or is it a chemical, biological, and bacterial cocktail?
      Finally, will the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protect
      you? The United States General Accounting Office (GAO)
      tells us that the FDA and the individual States are failing
      to protect the public from drug residues in milk. Authorities
      test for only 4 of the 82 drugs in dairy cows.

      As you can imagine, the Milk Industry Foundation's spokesman
      claims it's perfectly safe. Jerome Kozak says, "I still think
      that milk is the safest product we have."

      Other, perhaps less biased observers, have found the following:
      38% of milk samples in 10 cities were contaminated with sulfa
      drugs or other antibiotics. (This from the Centre for Science
      in the Public Interest and The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 29,
      1989).. A similar study in Washington, DC found a 20 percent
      contamination rate (Nutrition Action Healthletter, April 1990).

      What's going on here? When the FDA tested milk, they found few
      problems. However, they used very lax standards. When they used
      the same criteria, the FDA data showed 51 percent of the milk
      samples showed drug traces.

      Let's focus in on this because itÂ's critical to our
      understanding of the apparent discrepancies. The FDA uses
      a disk-assay method that can detect only 2 of the 30 or so
      drugs found in milk. Also, the test detects only at the
      relatively high level. A more powerful test called the 'Charm
      II test' can detect drugs down to 5 parts per billion.

      One nasty subject must be discussed. It seems that cows are
      forever getting infections around the udder that require
      ointments and antibiotics. An article from France tells us
      that when a cow receives penicillin, that penicillin appears
      in the milk for from 4 to 7 milkings. Another study from the
      University of Nevada, Reno tells of cells in 'mastic milk',
      milk from cows with infected udders. An elaborate analysis
      of the cell fragments, employing cell cultures, flow cytometric
      analysis , and a great deal of high tech stuff. Do you know
      what the conclusion was? If the cow has mastitis, there is
      pus in the milk. Sorry, itÂ's in the study, all concealed with
      language such as "macrophages containing many vacuoles and
      phagocytosed particles," etc.


      Well, at least human mothers' milk is pure! Sorry. A huge
      study showed that human breast milk in over 14,000 women
      had contamination by pesticides! Further, it seems that the
      sources of the pesticides are meat and--you guessed it--dairy
      products. Well, why not? These pesticides are concentrated
      in fat and that's what's in these products. (Of interest, a
      subgroup of lactating vegetarian mothers had only half
      the levels of contamination).

      A recent report showed an increased concentration of
      pesticides in the breast tissue of women with breast
      cancer when compared to the tissue of women with fibrocystic
      disease. Other articles in the standard medical literature
      describe problems. Just scan these titles:

      1.Cow's Milk as a Cause of Infantile Colic Breast-Fed
      Infants. Lancet 2 (1978): 437
      2.Dietary Protein-Induced Colitis in Breast- Fed Infants,
      J. Pediatr. I01 (1982): 906
      3.The Question of the Elimination of Foreign Protein in
      Women's Milk, J. Immunology 19 (1930): 15

      There are many others. There are dozens of studies describing
      the prompt appearance of cows' milk allergy in children being
      exclusively breast-fed! The cows' milk allergens simply appear
      in the mother's milk and are transmitted to the infant.

      A committee on nutrition of the American Academy of
      Pediatrics reported on the use of whole cows' milk in
      infancy (Pediatrics 1983: 72-253). They were unable to
      provide any cogent reason why bovine milk should be
      used before the first birthday yet continued to recommend
      its use! Doctor Frank Oski from the Upstate Medical Centre
      Department of Pediatrics, commenting on the recommendation,
      cited the problems of acute gastrointestinal blood loss in
      infants, the lack of iron, recurrent abdominal pain,
      milk-borne infections and contaminants, and said:

      Why give it at all - then or ever? In the face of uncertainty
      about many of the potential dangers of whole bovine milk,
      it would seem prudent to recommend that whole milk not be
      started until the answers are available. Isn't it time for
      these uncontrolled experiments on human nutrition to come
      to an end?

      In the same issue of Pediatrics he further commented:

      It is my thesis that whole milk should not be fed to the infant
      in the first year of life because of its association with iron
      deficiency anemia (milk is so deficient in iron that an infant
      would have to drink an impossible 31 quarts a day to get the
      RDA of 15 mg), acute gastrointiestinal bleeding, and various
      manifestations of food allergy.

      I suggest that unmodified whole bovine milk should not be
      consumed after infancy because of the problems of lactose
      intolerance, its contribution to the genesis of atherosclerosis,
      and its possible link to other diseases.

      In late 1992 Dr. Benjamin Spock, possibly the best known
      pediatrician in history, shocked the country when he articulated
      the same thoughts and specified avoidance for the first two
      years of life. Here is his quotation:

      I want to pass on the word to parents that cows' milk from the
      carton has definite faults for some babies. Human milk is the
      right one for babies. A study comparing the incidence of allergy
      and colic in the breast-fed infants of omnivorous and vegan
      mothers would be important. I haven't found such a study; it
      would be both important and inexpensive. And it will probably
      never be done. There is simply no academic or economic profit


      Let's just mention the problems of bacterial contamination.
      Salmonella, E. coli, and staphylococcal infections can be
      traced to milk. In the old days tuberculosis was a major
      problem and some folks want to go back to those times by
      insisting on raw milk on the basis that it's "natural."
      This is insanity! A study from UCLA showed that over a third
      of all cases of salmonella infection in California, 1980-1983
      were traced to raw milk. That'll be a way to revive good
      old brucellosis again and I would fear leukemia, too.
      (More about that later). In England, and Wales where raw
      milk is still consumed there have been outbreaks of milk-borne
      diseases. The Journal of the American Medical Association
      (251: 483, 1984) reported a multi-state series of infections
      caused by Yersinia enterocolitica in pasteurised whole milk.
      This is despite safety precautions.

      All parents dread juvenile diabetes for their children. A
      Canadian study reported in the American Journal of Clinical
      Nutrition, Mar. 1990, describes a "...significant positive
      correlation between consumption of unfermented milk protein
      and incidence of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus in data
      from various countries. Conversely a possible negative
      relationship is observed between breast-feeding at age 3
      months and diabetes risk.".

      Another study from Finland found that diabetic children had
      higher levels of serum antibodies to cowsÂ' milk (Diabetes
      Research 7(3): 137-140 March 1988). Here is a quotation from
      this study:

      We infer that either the pattern of cows' milk consumption
      is altered in children who will have insulin dependent
      diabetes mellitus or, their immunological reactivity to
      proteins in cows' milk is enhanced, or the permeability of
      their intestines to cows' milk protein is higher than

      The April 18, 1992 British Medical Journal has a fascinating
      study contrasting the difference in incidence of juvenile
      insulin dependent diabetes in Pakistani children who have
      migrated to England. The incidence is roughly 10 times
      greater in the English group compared to children remaining
      in Pakistan! What caused this highly significant increase?
      The authors said that "the diet was unchanged in Great
      Britain." Do you believe that? Do you think that the
      availability of milk, sugar and fat is the same in Pakistan
      as it is in England? That a grocery store in England has the
      same products as food sources in Pakistan? I don't believe
      that for a minute. Remember, we're not talking here about
      adult onset, type II diabetes which all workers agree is
      strongly linked to diet as well as to a genetic
      predisposition. This study is a major blow to the "it's all
      in your genes" crowd. Type I diabetes was always considered
      to be genetic or possibly viral, but now this? So resistant
      are we to consider diet as causation that the authors
      of the last article concluded that the cooler climate in
      England altered viruses and caused the very real increase in
      diabetes! The first two authors had the same reluctance top
      admit the obvious. The milk just may have had something to
      do with the disease.

      The latest in this remarkable list of reports, a New England
      Journal of Medicine article (July 30, 1992), also reported in
      the Los Angeles Times. This study comes from the Hospital for
      Sick Children in Toronto and from Finnish researchers. In
      Finland there is "...the world's highest rate of dairy product
      consumption and the world's highest rate of insulin dependent
      diabetes. The disease strikes about 40 children out of every
      1,000 there contrasted with six to eight per 1,000 in the
      United States.... Antibodies produced against the milk protein
      during the first year of life, the researchers speculate, also
      attack and destroy the pancreas in a so-called auto-immune
      reaction, producing diabetes in people whose genetic makeup
      leaves them vulnerable." "...142 Finnish children with newly
      diagnosed diabetes. They found that every one had at least
      eight times as many antibodies against the milk protein
      as did healthy children, clear evidence that the children
      had a raging auto immune disorder." The team has now expanded
      the study to 400 children and is starting a trial where 3,000
      children will receive no dairy products during the first nine
      months of life. "The study may take 10 years, but we'll get a
      definitive answer one way or the other," according to one of
      the researchers. I would caution them to be certain that the
      breast feeding mothers use on cows' milk in their diets or
      the results will be confounded by the transmission of the cows'
      milk protein in the mother's breast milk.... Now what was the
      reaction from the diabetes association? This is very interesting!
      Dr. F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, the president of the association says:
      "It does not mean that children should stop drinking milk or
      that parents of diabetics should withdraw dairy products. These
      are rich sources of good protein." (Emphasis added) My God,
      it's the "good protein" that causes the problem! Do you
      suspect that the dairy industry may have helped the American
      Diabetes Association in the past?


      I hate to tell you this, but the bovine leukemia virus is
      found in more than three of five dairy cows in the United
      States! This involves about 80% of dairy herds. Unfortunately,
      when the milk is pooled, a very large percentage of all milk
      produced is contaminated (90 to 95 per cent). Of course the
      virus is killed in pasteurisation--if the pasteurisation was
      done correctly. What if the milk is raw? In a study of randomly
      collected raw milk samples the bovine leukemia virus was
      recovered from two-thirds. I sincerely hope that the raw
      milk dairy herds are carefully monitored when compared to
      the regular herds. (Science 1981; 213:1014).

      This is a world-wide problem. One lengthy study from Germany
      deplored the problem and admitted the impossibility of keeping
      the virus from infected cows' milk from the rest of the milk.
      Several European countries, including Germany and Switzerland,
      have attempted to "cull" the infected cows from their herds.
      Certainly the United States must be the leader in the fight
      against leukemic dairy cows, right? Wrong! We are the worst
      in the world with the former exception of Venezuela according
      to Virgil Hulse MD, a milk specialist who also has a B.S. in
      Dairy Manufacturing as well as a Master's degree in Public

      As mentioned, the leukemia virus is rendered inactive by
      pasteurisation. Of course. However, there can be Chernobyl
      like accidents. One of these occurred in the Chicago area
      in April, 1985. At a modern, large, milk processing plant
      an accidental "cross connection" between raw and pasteurized
      milk occurred. A violent salmonella outbreak followed, killing
      4 and making an estimated 150,000 ill. Now the question I would
      pose to the dairy industry people is this: "How can you assure
      the people who drank this milk that they were not exposed to
      the ingestion of raw, unkilled, bully active bovine leukemia
      viruses?" Further, it would be fascinating to know if a
      "cluster" of leukemia cases blossoms in that area in 1 to
      3 decades. There are reports of "leukemia clusters"
      elsewhere, one of them mentioned in the June 10, 1990 San
      Francisco Chronicle involving Northern California.

      What happens to other species of mammals when they are exposed
      to the bovine leukemia virus? It's a fair question and the
      answer is not reassuring. Virtually all animals exposed to the
      virus develop leukemia. This includes sheep, goats, and even
      primates such as rhesus monkeys and chimpanzees. The route of
      transmission includes ingestion (both intravenous and
      intramuscular) and cells present in milk. There are
      obviously no instances of transfer attempts to human beings,
      but we know that the virus can infect human cells in vitro.
      There is evidence of human antibody formation to the bovine
      leukemia virus; this is disturbing. How did the bovine
      leukemia virus particles gain access to humans and become
      antigens? Was it as small, denatured particles?

      If the bovine leukemia viruses causes human leukemia, we could
      expect the dairy states with known leukemic herds to have a
      higher incidence of human leukemia. Is this so? Unfortunately,
      it seems to be the case! Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota
      and Wisconsin have statistically higher incidence of leukemia
      than the national average. In Russia and in Sweden, areas
      with uncontrolled bovine leukemia virus have been linked
      with increases in human leukemia. I am also told that
      veterinarians have higher rates of leukemia than the general
      public. Dairy farmers have significantly elevated leukemia
      rates. Recent research shows lymphocytes from milk fed to
      neonatal mammals gains access to bodily tissues by
      passing directly through the intestinal wall.

      An optimistic note from the University of Illinois, Ubana from
      the Department of Animal Sciences shows the importance of one's
      perspective. Since they are concerned with the economics of
      milk and not primarily the health aspects, they noted that
      the production of milk was greater in the cows with the
      bovine leukemia virus. However when the leukemia produced a
      persistent and significant lymphocytosis (increased white
      blood cell count), the production fell off. They suggested
      "a need to re-evaluate the economic impact of bovine leukemia
      virus infection on the dairy industry". Does this mean that
      leukemia is good for profits only if we can keep it under
      control? You can get the details on this business concern
      from Proc. Nat. Acad. Sciences, U.S. Feb. 1989. I added
      emphasis and am insulted that a university department feels
      that this is an economic and not a human health issue. Do
      not expect help from the Department of Agriculture or the
      universities. The money stakes and the political pressures
      are too great. You're on you own.

      What does this all mean? We know that virus is capable of
      producing leukemia in other animals. Is it proven that it
      can contribute to human leukemia (or lymphoma, a related
      cancer)? Several articles tackle this one:

      1.Epidemiologic Relationships of the Bovine Population and
      Human Leukemia in Iowa. Am Journal of Epidemiology 112 (1980):80
      2.Milk of Dairy Cows Frequently Contains a Leukemogenic Virus.
      Science 213 (1981): 1014
      3.Beware of the Cow. (Editorial) Lancet 2 (1974):30
      4.Is Bovine Milk A Health Hazard?. Pediatrics; Suppl. Feeding
      the Normal Infant. 75:182-186; 1985

      In Norway, 1422 individuals were followed for 11 and a half
      years. Those drinking 2 or more glasses of milk per day had
      3.5 times the incidence of cancer of the lymphatic organs.
      British Med. Journal 61:456-9, March 1990.

      One of the more thoughtful articles on this subject is from
      Allan S. Cunningham of Cooperstown, New York. Writing in the
      Lancet, November 27, 1976 (page 1184), his article is
      entitled, "Lymphomas and Animal-Protein Consumption". Many
      people think of milk as Â"liquid meatÂ" and Dr. Cunningham
      agrees with this. He tracked the beef and dairy consumption
      in terms of grams per day for a one year period, 1955-1956.,
      in 15 countries . New Zealand, United States and Canada
      were highest in that order. The lowest was Japan followed
      by Yugoslavia and France. The difference between the highest
      and lowest was quite pronounced: 43.8 grams/day for New
      Zealanders versus 1.5 for Japan. Nearly a 30-fold
      difference! (Parenthetically, the last 36 years have seen a
      startling increase in the amount of beef and milk used in
      Japan and their disease patterns are reflecting this,
      confirming the lack of 'genetic protection' seen in migration
      studies. Formerly the increase in frequency of lymphomas in
      Japanese people was only in those who moved to the USA)!

      An interesting bit of trivia is to note the memorial built
      at the Gyokusenji Temple in Shimoda, Japan. This marked the
      spot where the first cow was killed in Japan for human
      consumption! The chains around this memorial were a gift
      from the US Navy. Where do you suppose the Japanese got
      the idea to eat beef? The year? 1930.

      Cunningham found a highly significant positive correlation
      between deaths from lymphomas and beef and dairy ingestion
      in the 15 countries analysed. A few quotations from his
      article follow:

      The average intake of protein in many countries is far in
      excess of the recommended requirements. Excessive consumption
      of animal protein may be one co-factor in the causation of
      lymphomas by acting in the following manner. Ingestion of
      certain proteins results in the adsorption of antigenic
      fragments through the gastrointestinal mucous membrane.

      This results in chronic stimulation of lymphoid tissue to
      which these fragments gain access "Chronic immunological
      stimulation causes lymphomas in laboratory animals and is
      believed to cause lymphoid cancers in men." The
      gastrointestinal mucous membrane is only a partial barrier
      to the absorption of food antigens, and circulating antibodies
      to food protein is commonplace especially potent lymphoid
      stimulants. Ingestion of cows' milk can produce generalized
      lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, and profound adenoid
      hypertrophy. It has been conservatively estimated that more
      than 100 distinct antigens are released by the normal
      digestion of cows' milk which evoke production of all
      antibody classes [This may explain why pasteurized, killed
      viruses are still antigenic and can still cause disease.

      Here's more. A large prospective study from Norway was
      reported in the British Journal of Cancer 61 (3):456-9,
      March 1990. (Almost 16,000 individuals were followed for
      11 and a half years). For most cancers there was no
      association between the tumour and milk ingestion. However,
      in lymphoma, there was a strong positive association. If one
      drank two glasses or more daily (or the equivalent in dairy
      products), the odds were 3.4 times greater than in persons
      drinking less than one glass of developing a lymphoma.

      There are two other cow-related diseases that you should be
      aware of. At this time they are not known to be spread by the
      use of dairy products and are not known to involve man. The
      first is bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and the
      second is the bovine immunodeficiency virus (BIV). The first
      of these diseases, we hope, is confined to England and
      causes cavities in the animal's brain. Sheep have long been
      known to suffer from a disease called scrapie. It seems to
      have been started by the feeding of contaminated sheep parts,
      especially brains, to the British cows. Now, use your good
      sense. Do cows seem like carnivores? Should they eat meat?
      This profit-motivated practice backfired and bovine
      spongiform encephalopathy, or Mad Cow Disease, swept Britain.
      The disease literally causes dementia in the unfortunate
      animal and is 100 per cent incurable. To date, over 100,000
      cows have been incinerated in England in keeping with British
      law. Four hundred to 500 cows are reported as infected each
      month. The British public is concerned and has dropped its
      beef consumption by 25 per cent, while some 2,000 schools
      have stopped serving beef to children. Several farmers have
      developed a fatal disease syndrome that resembles both BSE
      and CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob-Disease). But the British
      Veterinary Association says that transmission of BSE to
      humans is "remote."

      The USDA agrees that the British epidemic was due to the
      feeding of cattle with bonemeal or animal protein produced
      at rendering plants from the carcasses of scrapie-infected
      sheep. The have prohibited the importation of live cattle
      and zoo ruminants from Great Britain and claim that the
      disease does not exist in the United States. However,
      there may be a problem. "Downer cows" are animals who
      arrive at auction yards or slaughter houses dead, trampled,
      lacerated, dehydrated, or too ill from viral or bacterial
      diseases to walk. Thus they are "down." If they cannot
      respond to electrical shocks by walking, they are dragged by
      chains to dumpsters and transported to rendering plants where,
      if they are not already dead, they are killed. Even a "humane"
      death is usually denied them. They are then turned into
      protein food for animals as well as other preparations. Minks
      that have been fed this protein have developed a fatal
      encephalopathy that has some resemblance to BSE. Entire
      colonies of minks have been lost in this manner, particularly
      in Wisconsin. It is feared that the infective agent is a
      prion or slow virus possible obtained from the ill "downer

      The British Medical Journal in an editorial whimsically
      entitled "How Now Mad Cow?" (BMJ vol. 304, 11 Apr.
      1992:929-30) describes cases of BSE in species not previously
      known to be affected, such as cats. They admit that produce
      contaminated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy entered
      the human food chain in England between 1986 and 1989. They
      say. "The result of this experiment is awaited." As the
      incubation period can be up to three decades, wait we must.

      The immunodeficency virus is seen in cattle in the United
      States and is more worrisome. Its structure is closely related
      to that of the human AIDS virus. At this time we do not know
      if exposure to the raw BIV proteins can cause the sera of
      humans to become positive for HIV. The extent of the virus
      among American herds is said to be "widespread". (The USDA
      refuses to inspect the meat and milk to see if antibodies to
      this retrovirus is present). It also has no plans to
      quarantine the infected animals. As in the case of humans
      with AIDS, there is no cure for BIV in cows. Each day we
      consume beef and diary products from cows infected with
      these viruses and no scientific assurance exists that the
      products are safe. Eating raw beef (as in steak Tartare)
      strikes me as being very risky, especially after the Seattle
      E. coli deaths of 1993.

      A report in the Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research,
      October 1992, Vol. 56 pp.353-359 and another from the
      Russian literature, tell of a horrifying development.
      They report the first detection in human serum of the
      antibody to a bovine immunodeficiency virus protein. In
      addition to this disturbing report, is another from Russia
      telling us of the presence of virus proteins related to the
      bovine leukemia virus in 5 of 89 women with breast disease
      (Acta Virologica Feb. 1990 34(1): 19-26). The implications
      of these developments are unknown at present. However,
      it is safe to assume that these animal viruses are unlikely
      to "stay" in the animal kingdom.


      Unfortunately it does. Ovarian cancer--a particularly nasty
      tumour--was associated with milk consumption by workers at
      Roswell Park Memorial Institute in Buffalo, New York. Drinking
      more than one glass of whole milk or equivalent daily gave a
      woman a 3.1 times risk over non-milk users. They felt that
      the reduced fat milk products helped reduce the risk. This
      association has been made repeatedly by numerous investigators.

      Another important study, this from the Harvard Medical School,
      analyzed data from 27 countries mainly from the 1970s. Again a
      significant positive correlation is revealed between ovarian
      cancer and per capita milk consumption. These investigators
      feel that the lactose component of milk is the responsible
      fraction, and the digestion of this is facilitated by the
      persistence of the ability to digest the lactose (lactose
      persistence) - a little different emphasis, but the same
      conclusion. This study was reported in the American Journal
      of Epidemiology 130 (5): 904-10 Nov. 1989. These articles
      come from two of the country's leading institutions, not the
      Rodale Press or Prevention Magazine.

      Even lung cancer has been associated with milk ingestion? The
      beverage habits of 569 lung cancer patients and 569 controls
      again at Roswell Park were studied in the International Journal
      of Cancer, April 15, 1989. Persons drinking whole milk 3 or more
      times daily had a 2-fold increase in lung cancer risk when
      compared to those never drinking whole milk.

      For many years we have been watching the lung cancer rates for
      Japanese men who smoke far more than American or European men
      but who develop fewer lung cancers. Workers in this research
      area feel that the total fat intake is the difference.

      There are not many reports studying an association between
      milk ingestion and prostate cancer. One such report though
      was of great interest. This is from the Roswell Park Memorial
      Institute and is found in Cancer 64 (3): 605-12, 1989. They
      analyzed the diets of 371 prostate cancer patients and
      comparable control subjects:

      Men who reported drinking three or more glasses of whole
      milk daily had a relative risk of 2.49 compared with men
      who reported never drinking whole milk the weight of the
      evidence appears to favour the hypothesis that animal fat
      is related to increased risk of prostate cancer. Prostate
      cancer is now the most common cancer diagnosed in US men
      and is the second leading cause of cancer mortality.


      Is there any health reason at all for an adult human to
      drink cows' milk?

      It's hard for me to come up with even one good reason other
      than simple preference. But if you try hard, in my opinion,
      these would be the best two: milk is a source of calcium and
      it's a source of amino acids (proteins).

      Let's look at the calcium first. Why are we concerned at all
      about calcium? Obviously, we intend it to build strong bones
      and protect us against osteoporosis. And no doubt about it,
      milk is loaded with calcium. But is it a good calcium source
      for humans? I think not. These are the reasons. Excessive
      amounts of dairy products actually interfere with calcium
      absorption. Secondly, the excess of protein that the milk
      provides is a major cause of the osteoporosis problem. Dr. H
      egsted in England has been writing for years about the
      geographical distribution of osteoporosis. It seems that
      the countries with the highest intake of dairy products
      are invariably the countries with the most osteoporosis.
      He feels that milk is a cause of osteoporosis. Reasons to
      be given below.

      Numerous studies have shown that the level of calcium
      ingestion and especially calcium supplementation has no
      effect whatever on the development of osteoporosis. The
      most important such article appeared recently in the
      British Journal of Medicine where the long arm of our
      dairy industry can't reach. Another study in the United
      States actually showed a worsening in calcium balance in
      post-menopausal women given three 8-ounce glasses of cows'
      milk per day. (Am. Journal of Clin. Nutrition, 1985). The
      effects of hormone, gender, weight bearing on the axial
      bones, and in particular protein intake, are critically
      important. Another observation that may be helpful to our
      analysis is to note the absence of any recorded dietary
      deficiencies of calcium among people living on a natural
      diet without milk.

      For the key to the osteoporosis riddle, donÂ't look at calcium,
      look at protein. Consider these two contrasting groups. Eskimos
      have an exceptionally high protein intake estimated at 25
      percent of total calories. They also have a high calcium
      intake at 2,500 mg/day. Their osteoporosis is among the worst
      in the world. The other instructive group are the Bantus of
      South Africa. They have a 12 percent protein diet, mostly p
      lant protein, and only 200 to 350 mg/day of calcium,
      about half our women's intake. The women have virtually
      no osteoporosis despite bearing six or more children and
      nursing them for prolonged periods! When African women
      immigrate to the United States, do they develop osteoporosis?
      The answer is yes, but not quite are much as Caucasian or Asian
      women. Thus, there is a genetic difference that is modified
      by diet.

      To answer the obvious question, "Well, where do you get your
      calcium?" The answer is: "From exactly the same place the cow
      gets the calcium, from green things that grow in the ground,"
      mainly from leafy vegetables. After all, elephants and rhinos
      develop their huge bones (after being weaned) by eating green
      leafy plants, so do horses. Carnivorous animals also do quite
      nicely without leafy plants. It seems that all of earth's
      mammals do well if they live in harmony with their genetic
      programming and natural food. Only humans living an affluent
      life style have rampant osteoporosis.

      If animal references do not convince you, think of the several
      billion humans on this earth who have never seen cows' milk.
      Wouldn't you think osteoporosis would be prevalent in this huge
      group? The dairy people would suggest this but the truth is
      exactly the opposite. They have far less than that seen in the
      countries where dairy products are commonly consumed. It is the
      subject of another paper, but the truly significant
      determinants of osteoporosis are grossly excessive protein
      intakes and lack of weight bearing on long bones, both taking
      place over decades. Hormones play a secondary, but not trivial
      role in women. Milk is a deterrent to good bone health.


      Remember when you were a kid and the adults all told you to
      "make sure you get plenty of good protein". Protein was the
      nutritional "good guyÂ"" when I was young. And of course milk
      is fitted right in.

      As regards protein, milk is indeed a rich source of protein--
      "liquid meat," remember? However that isn't necessarily what
      we need. In actual fact it is a source of difficulty. Nearly
      all Americans eat too much protein.

      For this information we rely on the most authoritative source
      that I am aware of. This is the latest edition (1oth, 1989: 4th
      printing, Jan. 1992) of the Recommended Dietary Allowances
      produced by the National Research Council. Of interest, the
      current editor of this important work is Dr. Richard Havel
      of the University of California in San Francisco.

      First to be noted is that the recommended protein has been
      steadily revised downward in successive editions. The current
      recommendation is 0.75 g/kilo/day for adults 19 through 51
      years. This, of course, is only 45 grams per day for the
      mythical 60 kilogram adult. You should also know that the
      WHO estimated the need for protein in adults to by .6g/kilo
      per day. (All RDA's are calculated with large safety
      allowances in case you're the type that wants to add some
      more to "be sure.") You can "get by" on 28 to 30 grams a day
      if necessary!

      Now 45 grams a day is a tiny amount of protein. That's an
      ounce and a half! Consider too, that the protein does not
      have to be animal protein. Vegetable protein is identical
      for all practical purposes and has no cholesterol and vastly
      less saturated fat. (Do not be misled by the antiquated
      belief that plant proteins must be carefully balanced to
      avoid deficiencies. This is not a realistic concern.)
      Therefore virtually all Americans, Canadians, British and
      European people are in a protein overloaded state. This has
      serious consequences when maintained over decades. The
      problems are the already mentioned osteoporosis,
      atherosclerosis and kidney damage. There is good evidence
      that certain malignancies, chiefly colon and rectal, are
      related to excessive meat intake. Barry Brenner, an eminent
      renal physiologist was the first to fully point out the dangers
      of excess protein for the kidney tubule. The dangers of the
      fat and cholesterol are known to all. Finally, you should
      know that the protein content of human milk is amount the
      lowest (0.9%) in mammals.


      Sorry, there's more. Remember lactose? This is the principal
      carbohydrate of milk. It seems that nature provides new-borns
      with the enzymatic equipment to metabolize lactose, but this
      ability often extinguishes by age 4 or 5 years.

      What is the problem with lactose or milk sugar? It seems that
      it is a disaccharide which is too large to be absorbed into
      the blood stream without first being broken down into
      monosaccharides, namely galactose and glucose. This requires
      the presence of an enzyme, lactase plus additional enzymes
      to break down the galactose into glucose.

      Let's think about his for a moment. Nature gives us the
      ability to metabolize lactose for a few years and then shuts
      off the mechanism. Is Mother Nature trying to tell us
      something? Clearly all infants must drink milk. The fact
      that so many adults cannot seems to be related to the
      tendency for nature to abandon mechanisms that are not needed.
      At least half of the adult humans on this earth are lactose
      intolerant. It was not until the relatively recent introduction
      of dairy herding and the ability to "borrow" milk from another
      group of mammals that the survival advantage of preserving
      lactase (the enzyme that allows us to digest lactose) became
      evident. But why would it be advantageous to drink cows' milk?
      After all, most of the human beings in the history of the
      world did. And further, why was it just the white or light
      skinned humans who retained this knack while the pigmented
      people tended to lose it?

      Some students of evolution feel that white skin is a fairly
      recent innovation, perhaps not more than 20,000 or 30,000
      years old. It clearly has to do with the Northward migration
      of early man to cold and relatively sunless areas when skins
      and clothing became available. Fair skin allows the production
      of Vitamin D from sunlight more readily than does dark skin.
      However, when only the face was exposed to sunlight that
      area of fair skin was insufficient to provide the vitamin D
      from sunlight. If dietary and sunlight sources were poorly
      available, the ability to use the abundant calcium in cows'
      milk would give a survival advantage to humans who could
      digest that milk. This seems to be the only logical explanation
      for fair skinned humans having a high degree of lactose
      tolerance when compared to dark skinned people.

      How does this break down? Certain racial groups, namely blacks
      are up to 90% lactose intolerant as adults. Caucasians are
      20 to 40% lactose intolerant. Orientals are midway between
      the above two groups. Diarrhea, gas and abdominal cramps are
      the results of substantial milk intake in such persons. Most
      American Indians cannot tolerate milk. The milk industry
      admits that lactose intolerance plays intestinal havoc with
      as many as 50 million Americans. A lactose-intolerance industry
      has sprung up and had sales of $117 million in 1992
      (Time May 17, 1993.)

      What if you are lactose-intolerant and lust after dairy
      products? Is all lost? Not at all. It seems that lactose
      is largely digested by bacteria and you will be able to
      enjoy your cheese despite lactose intolerance. Yogurt is
      similar in this respect. Finally, and I could never have
      dreamed this up, geneticists want to splice genes to alter
      the composition of milk (Am J Clin Nutr 1993 Suppl 302s).

      One could quibble and say that milk is totally devoid of
      fiber content and that its habitual use will predispose to
      constipation and bowel disorders.

      The association with anemia and occult intestinal bleeding
      in infants is known to all physicians. This is chiefly from
      its lack of iron and its irritating qualities for the
      intestinal mucosa. The pediatric literature abounds with
      articles describing irritated intestinal lining, bleeding,
      increased permeability as well as colic, diarrhea and vomiting
      in cows'milk-sensitive babies. The anemia gets a double push
      by loss of blood and iron as well as deficiency of iron in
      the cows' milk. Milk is also the leading cause of childhood

      LOW FAT

      One additional topic: the matter of "low fat" milk. A
      common and sincere question is: "Well, low fat milk is
      OK, isn't it?"

      The answer to this question is that low fat milk isn't
      low fat. The term "low fat" is a marketing term used to
      gull the public. Low fat milk contains from 24 to 33%
      fat as calories! The 2% figure is also misleading. This
      refers to weight. They don't tell you that, by weight,
      the milk is 87% water!

      "Well, then, kill-joy surely you must approve of non-fat
      milk!" I hear this quite a bit. (Another constant concern
      is: "What do you put on your cereal?") True, there is little
      or no fat, but now you have a relative overburden of protein
      and lactose. It there is something that we do not need more
      of it is another simple sugar-lactose, composed of galactose
      and glucose. Millions of Americans are lactose intolerant to
      boot, as noted. As for protein, as stated earlier, we live
      in a society that routinely ingests far more protein than we
      need. It is a burden for our bodies, especially the kidneys,
      and a prominent cause of osteoporosis. Concerning the dry
      cereal issue, I would suggest soy milk, rice milk or almond
      milk as a healthy substitute. If you're still concerned about
      calcium, "Westsoy" is formulated to have the same calcium
      concentration as milk.


      To my thinking, there is only one valid reason to drink milk
      or use milk products. That is just because we simply want to.
      Because we like it and because it has become a part of our
      culture. Because we have become accustomed to its taste and
      texture. Because we like the way it slides down our throat.
      Because our parents did the very best they could for us
      and provided milk in our earliest training and conditioning.
      They taught us to like it. And then probably the very best
      reason is ice cream! I've heard it described "to die for".

      I had one patient who did exactly that. He had no obvious
      vices. He didn't smoke or drink, he didnÂ't eat meat, his
      diet and lifestyle was nearly a perfectly health promoting
      one; but he had a passion. You guessed it, he loved rich
      ice cream. A pint of the richest would be a lean day's
      ration for him. On many occasions he would eat an entire
      quart - and yes there were some cookies and other pastries.
      Good ice cream deserves this after all. He seemed to be in
      good health despite some expected "middle age spread" when
      he had a devastating stroke which left him paralyzed,
      miserable and helpless, and he had additional strokes and d
      ied several years later never having left a hospital or
      rehabilitation unit. Was he old? I don't think so. He was
      in his 50s.

      So don't drink milk for health. I am convinced on the weight
      of the scientific evidence that it does not "do a body good."
      Inclusion of milk will only reduce your diet's nutritional
      value and safety.

      Most of the people on this planet live very healthfully
      without cows' milk. You can too.

      It will be difficult to change; we've been conditioned since
      childhood to think of milk as "nature's most perfect food."
      I'll guarantee you that it will be safe, improve your health
      and it won't cost anything. What can you lose?

      Robert Cohen
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.