Milk with every meal? Probably not ideal

Nutrition

By pH health care professionals

The milk industry, with its star-studded advertisements, tells you to drink milk every day for strong bones. But then you hear things to the contrary – that your body doesn’t digest milk well and you’re probably allergic, it’s inflammatory, it contains hormones – the list goes on. Each side is armed with research showing that milk is either good for you or that it isn’t, leaving everyone else confused. Let’s make sure you have all the facts.

The benefits of milk include being high in calcium and protein. It’s also a good source of phosphorous, magnesium, vitamins A and D, and riboflavin (a B vitamin).

But there are downsides, like being high in saturated fat (which may increase cholesterol), being a common allergen, and causing digestive issues for people with lactose intolerance. There have also been concerns that the antibiotics cows receive when lactating may lead to more antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and that cows’ bovine growth hormone injections may transmit to humans through the milk and cause cancer. However, there has not been enough research to substantiate claims that any negative health effects of antibiotics and growth hormones are actually transmitted from the cows to humans.

But have milk’s health benefits been overhyped?

According to a study published in the British Medical Journalmilk may not be as good for you as it has been presumed to be. Swedish researchers suggest that drinking more than three glasses of milk a day may increase the risk of early death. "Our results may question the validity of recommendations to consume high amounts of milk to prevent fragility fractures,” said lead researcher Karl Michaelsson.

The study emphasized that high consumption of milk may increase oxidative stress, as a result of the high content of lactose in milk, specifically D-galactose, a breakdown product of lactose. The highest milk drinkers had increased risks for death and fractures.

So now what?

Even though high milk intake was associated with possible health risks, a high intake of fermented milk products, like yogurt for example, was actually associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases. So you may want to drink less milk and opt for other dairy products like yogurt or cheese instead. But if you do drink milk … go for organic, hormone-free milk.

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.

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