The Physicians Committee

More Milk, More Problems

  October 30, 2014    


Science Contradicts Milk Marketing

This week, another study has illustrated that milk actually has a negative effect on bone health. Researchers in Sweden published findings in the British Medical Journal showing that women who drink milk have a higher incidence of bone fractures—and an increased risk of mortality from heart disease and cancer.

According to the study, women who consume three or more glasses of milk per day have a 60 percent increased risk of developing a hip fracture and a 93 percent increased risk of death. And each glass of milk increases mortality risk by 15 percent.

However, this news should not come as a shock to anyone outside of the dairy industry’s advertising department. A 2005 review in Pediatrics showed that milk has no effect on preventing stress fractures in girls. In fact, the research linked higher milk consumption with higher fracture risk.

For strong, healthy bones, it’s important to have enough calcium and vitamin D. However, animal products tend to leech calcium from bones, yet plant foods do not have this effect. One cup of collards has 268 mg of calcium. Spinach has 245 mg in a single cup, while a cup of soybeans has 261 mg. When you take fortified orange juice and fortified tofu into account, it’s easy to obtain more than the daily calcium recommendation of 1,000 mg.

Regardless of what milk marketers would have you believe, vitamin D is not naturally occurring in dairy milk. Last week, we examined a recent Canadian study suggesting that children who consumed dairy milk had higher levels of vitamin D. After reviewing the research, we learned that the dairy milk was fortified—while the plant milks were not. Any fortified non-dairy beverage can provide the necessary nutrients, without the cholesterol and saturated fat found in milk.

The science is there: milk does a body bad. Let’s wipe off the milk mustaches and remove milk from the school lunch line. To learn how you can help get milk out of schools, visit


Frustrated Vegan
Every time I share with friends and family an article like this that speaks of milk and dairy, they all hear and understand the word “milk”, but are completely unaware, oblivious or ignorant that the term “dairy” includes cheese’s, yogurts and other hidden sources. Today, after sharing this article with a friend, this is the response I received “Interesting – after all those years of being told milk was good for bones! I never liked it though (unless it had chocolate in it!), so maybe I’m safe”. My friend consumes all kinds of cheeses and yogurt and she thinks she’s SAFE! Do I confront her with her misunderstanding of the term “Dairy” or do I avoid the conflict and sadly keep quite as not to cause any stress with our friendship?
My request of Dr Barnard, Research Institutions and others is to clearly expand on the meaning of “Dairy” in all references to milk and dairy.

If you open the link to the research itself, you will see that cheese & yogurts are safe to use (and even have benefits)!

Any time pasteurization is involved, it kills all the beneficial bacteria
which we need for balanced gut ecology.

Raw vs. Pasteurized

Nowhere in this study was it specified that raw or pasteurized soured or cultured dairy products were consumed so you cannot draw this conclusion from this study. Gut bacteria is a hot subject in research at the moment. To my knowledge, we don't understand enough to make these kinds of generalizations for the population as a whole.

I opened a link, perhaps to the wrong link, and could not find any indication that cheese and yogurt are safe. Please help me find the proper link. How can something that is concentrated (it takes 10 pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese) be safe when that means 10 times more IGF-1, or casein to gunk us up inside?

Study Link

Yes, it sounds like you clicked on the wrong link. Here you go: Please bear in mind that this is one study. It's a great data point but dietary recommendations shouldn't be based off of it until another study replicates its results.

Very good point. As the wife of a vegan currently in the process of attempting veganism myself, I understand your dilemma. I find my husband is so passionate, almost obsessive, about this great mission to educate and change people's lives that he has strained relationships in the process. The key is to provide information in a positive way without bombarding people with horrific images and impeding doom (no matter how true). For example, telling your friend about the amazing and healthy alternatives to milk, cheese and eggs or giving them healthy recipes that you find tasty while providing them with the occasional study you come across (do not send them 10 emails and posts a day!) can be a good way to enlighten them without them feeling belittled or reprimanded. This can help you change their habits without straining the relationship. For example, instead of saying "you eat cheese and eggs and they are just as bad for you as milk". You may state the following: " I have a great recipe for lasagna or bruschetta and I'd like your opinion on it." When they can't tell the difference let them know that the cheese is vegan and that by switching they will benefit more health wise than milk and cheese (both of which are bi-products of cows). It's important to keep in mind that people are at different stages of change and depending on where they are different psychological techniques can be employed to help them make positive changes, in a supporting and healthy way. Avoid arguing or fighting and respect that over time change can happen and relationships can stay in tact. I hope this helps.

You are so right..they don't realize that dairy is many other products. It's also in an amazing number of processed foods

Mike, I believe that as a true friend it is in their best interest for you to inform them of the risk they take in consuming Dairy which of course includes cheese and yogurt. Even when we do tell them, they don't always get it. I have a friend who was just recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She has already had a double mastectomy and just finished her Chemo; she is STILL eating yogurt, in the belief that she "needs" it. I've given her books, videos etc. told her about Caesin and she still doesn't get it. At least I can live with the fact that I've informed her and she has informed herself with the materials. We can't do any more than that. It is then up to each individual as to what they are willing to give up, even to save their own lives. Frustrating isn't it.

Right on Target Melanie! Clearly the others need to do more research, The China Study, The Starch Solution, Forks over Knifes, Dr. Michael Greger and many others.

The author of the China Study, Dr. Colin Campbell, was influenced by his own prejudices and expectations about animal protein and disease, leading him to seek out specific correlations in the China Study data (and elsewhere) to confirm his predictions. He and his family have been vegetarian for many years.

This is a cautionary tale. It shows how complex issues can be over-simplified into meaninglessness, how epidemiologic data can be misinterpreted and mislead us, and how a researcher can approach a problem with preconceptions that allow him to see only what he wants to see. The China Study was embraced by vegetarians because it seemed to support their beliefs with strong evidence. The evidence presented
is largely illusory. The issues raised are important and deserve further study by unbiased scientists. At any rate, one thing is clear: the China Study is not sufficient reason to recommend drastic reductions in protein intake, let alone total avoidance of meat and dairy foods.
Raw dairy is one of the healthiest foods God has given us.
The vitamin/mineral/amino acid assay is quite impressive.
Totally pastured raw milk from cows who are not confined and eat mineral rich grass is one of the healthiest elixirs from nature.

You might take a look at the other side of this picture by reviewing
some enlightening literature:
The Untold Story of Milk by Ron Schmid, ND,
and The Milk Book: The Milk of Human Kindness Is Not Pasteurized by Dr. William Campbell Douglas, MD.

Guys, no offend, but think about this, milk from our mothers is exactly and 100% for us human babies need, and so is cow's milk is for the calves.So I don't think cow's milk is for human to consume and I don't think it will bring us benifit because we and calves are not any the same physically. It's not nature to drink milk or intake any dairy products. Cow's milk the the gift that God gives to calves, not us. Our mother's milk is the best that God gives us from our mothers.

Please explain how you calculate 93% increase in mortality risk! from the figures in the study. This article interprets the same study as giving an increased risk of death among women of 5.4%:

A very serious figure still. But not one that would obviously have been picked up not simply by research, but anecdotally as milk would be more dangerous than many poisons.

Is there a tasty replacement for whole milk? Don't like Almond milk.

Coconut or macademia milk might satisfy your soul, Daniel. Did you soak the almonds overnight in order to get rid of the tannic acid and rinse them well? This leaves a sweet almond that makes delicious milk, especially when one adds a little cinnamon or dulse.

"People don't respond to finger wagging" so why do it BettieLou? The other posts are about the problems with milk, not attacking people. Your response finger wags at people and has three fingers pointing back. There is no research or healthy solutions offered. I hope you take this kindly and do the research, best of luck.

If anyone thinks men are safe, they are deadly wrong. I dont get it why only women are mentioned in this, yet brilliant article. I understand if the study was only for women, but something should've been said about men too, sice I had seen people react to it wrongly, thinking this only applies to women. Are men truly from Mars then? lol, I dont think so. ;)

Thanks for posts like this. I only recently stopped dairy and it has made a noticable difference in the first two weeks. My seasonal hayfever, which required strong anti histamines, is gone... so are the anti histamines!

Dave, the reason you feel better is because you have stopped
ingesting PASTEURIZED DAIRY. Pasteurized dairy creates mucus
in the body. You might benefit from some research about
You might want to investigate pasteurization a little more:

Thanks! Very helpful information.

Statements such as ". . . increases mortality risk by 93%" do nothing to help anyone believe in the value of whatever it regards. We all have a 100% risk of dying.

I have studied medicine all my life although I am not a medical doctor. My uncle was Dr. Roger Williams, the man that developed the first and still largely correct list of the minimum daily requirements for all the essential vitamins in our diet. He developed the synthesis of vitamin B12 (and others) without animal products. He personally had a large influence in my life. I have followed him in my studies.

Milk is not just a food for babies. It goes far beyond the simple provision of nutrition that all creatures require. In human milk and to an even greater degree in bovine milk it is loaded with a range of compounds known as peptides that affect everything in the body. This includes the heart, the circulatory system and the brain, in very significant ways. It contains at least three peptides that directly affect the clotting of your blood, four or five that act as ACE Inhibitors (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme) which are (non-milk) used medically to control blood pressure in people, at least three that act similar to morphine and another three that counteract the morphine effect. It has yet another three that directly stimulate or otherwise affect the immune system. There are others as well, all essential to some degree in the development of a new born life form into a healthy, functional being.

This makes it appear that if it is good for babies then how can it possibly be bad for anyone?

I will give you a personal example. I am not well, to say the least (age 65). In the last three years I have had three haemorrhagic strokes, none very large but enough to badly affect my brain. To go along with this and in part likely responsible I have low platelets and so called "thin blood". My blood has been becoming worse lately with platelets slowly falling close to a dangerous level. The clotting is (was) poor. I have taken myself off all drugs recently (especially one with a well known effect on platelets) and that has helped, but not enough.

I had to do something NOW to prevent the very likely onset of another stroke or even worse, severe dementia. Serious research was indicated.

I hit the answers I needed when I decided to find out more about the details of how milk functions when ingested. It helps that I know most of the big words and what they mean in medical studies and research. I also have a greater level of access within the medical system than the average patient. There is far more yet to discover in this area but enough has already been determined to easily convince me to take milk products out of my diet completely as of two weeks ago (Oct 19 -14). I should say that I was a very heavy milk product user because of severe limitations on my diet for unrelated reasons. I simply need a large source of calories.

I have a CBC (Complete Blood Cell) count done every week lately and my platelets level has jumped by 20% in the first week after quitting milk use. More important, within 48 hours of stopping the milk all bleeding in my nose while sleeping with supplemental oxygen has stopped, totally. I don't yet have the test results from Saturday but I can tell that they will be as good or better due to the changes in my signs and symptoms.

Milk is not just a "food". It is much more like a natural medicinal compound formulated in the body for the initial after birth growth stages during development of a living being. Like virtually all medicinal compounds it has a right and a wrong way to use it and is very likely to have some associated side effects, some of which can sometimes be very dangerous.

Please note: THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. If you think it may somehow apply to you then see your doctor.

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Cultured and fermented dairy products have many health benefits. Do a search on ((( GHEE ))) also called clarified butter. This Amazing stuff is made from Butter. This is just one of the many, many benefits of GHEE.
Brain tonic: Ghee is good for your brain and having it regularly can help it function better. According to nutritionist Neha Chandna, ‘Ghee is good for the nerves and brain. It has a good ratio of omega 6: omega 3 fatty acids which is ideal for overall health.’
Google GHEE and see for yourself.
Plenty of Youtube video's on how to make it yourself.

Oh Ghee...... Please...... It still belongs to another species. Butter in any form from Cows milk is NOT for Human consumption. The Dairy Industry has people brainwashed into believing "it does a body good". Sure a Calves body.
Do you know how much Pus and Blood and Antibotics you are consuming with each mouthful of dairy you eat? Don't take my word for it. Educate yourselves. Check out
I wish you all better health and a Merry Christmas.

Many thanks for a great article. I will be examining/revising my dairy intake as a result of this.
A nit though: your article mentions fortified orange juice for calcium, however, relying on "fortified" juices for calcium is a really bad idea due to their sugar content. You might as well drink a "fortified" soda.

Please comment on spinach being a member of the oxalic acid group, which might increase one being subject to gall stones, and that one might become anemic because it binds iron in it to itself and neutralizes iron in other food that is eaten with it. Is not well cooked (30 minutes at least to get rid of the goitrogen, which interferes with our thyroid's normal metabolism and interferes with our being able to lose weight) kale or collards, or other cruciferous green veggies better for us? Please answer to my email as well because I am not always able to get to a computer or laptop, I am so busy .

thank for your article

you made me up for dairy, thank. but sorry I am not agree with you to eat fortified foods, all industral foods has problem due to using sugar and nitrate and colours, I suggest to avoid them. you can use natural sources, about vitamins and omega 6 in dairy, I have to say , yes there are, but there are even bad components to damage your body , people who suggest animal foods they say there are a lot of good components in animal products similar human cellular, if you think like this better to eat human meat because there's 100% similarity, so you can have all your body needs!
There are a lot of body requirements in animal foods but they are even dangerous components in animal foods,you want to catch one positive thing and two negative things! think about it deeply, do you think it's worthwhile?
human is like other animal should eat natural foods, our body system is like monkey's body so our nutrition should be same. have you ever heard one animal eat milk when is adult?
better to be honest by yourself. don't listen to industrial food advertisement, they are just clever people who want their benefits. you don't have to pay their benefits.
hassan Azizi Ababin

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