According to an article in Time magazine (December 9, 2015), new studies have found connections between the consumption of dairy products and a higher risk of developing Parkinson disease. Reporting in the journal Neurology, Robert Abbott, from Shiga University of Medical Science in Japan, and his team studied 449 brains and recorded the density of neurons in specific areas of the brain known to be affected by Parkinson’s.
They found that men who reported drinking more than two glasses of milk a day (16 oz) showed the thinner nerve networks in areas of the brain affected by Parkinson's compared to men who drank little or no milk. The milk drinkers also had residues of organochlorines called heptachlor epoxide.
Although Abbott says that he and his team did not have samples of the milk the men drank, it was a reasonable explanation of the source of the pesticides they found in the mens’ brains. Heptachlor epoxide is no longer used as an insecticide in the U.S. but it still found in soil and water. Abbott also found heptachlor epoxide in goat and cow milk in Ethiopia. Other organochlorines have been detected in the milk supply in Italy.
- Most milk is full of growth hormones. Growth hormones (rBGH) are given to cows to make them produce more milk. A frightening side effect of rBGH is an increase in IGF-1 (insulin growth factor), which has been linked to many cancers. Growth hormones may also be the cause of earlier puberty in girls.
- Dairy cows produce 120 pounds of waste per day, contributing significantly to pollution and climate change.
- Milk cause inflammatory changes in the body. Drinking milk increases respiratory problems, allergies, and congestion. After I stopped consuming dairy I noticed the veins in my hands and legs reduced significantly in size. Bulging veins are a sign of inflammation.
- Milk causes bone loss. Contrary to popular belief, milk takes calcium from the bones. Milk is acidic but our body is pH balanced. Calcium neutralizes acid. Most calcium comes from the bones to neutralize the acid from the milk. When the job is complete, the calcium is eliminated through urination. By the way, the same goes for consuming meat, which is also acidic.
- Humans are not baby calves. Baby calves weight about 100 pounds at birth. The composition of cows milk is much different than human milk. It has much higher protein levels can cause many digestive and metabolic disturbances in humans including colic and allergies.
- Most cows are raised in CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) or as I like to call them animal concentration camps. They live horrible short horrible lives. Cows can live to almost 20 years but only live 4 or 5 years in CAFOs. If you care about animals, then this is a good reason not to consume dairy products. Secondly, when dairy cows become ill or no longer produce, they are sent to slaughter to become hamburgers or dog food. If you believe, like I do, that you are what you eat, then eating a sick, frightened animal is not a good idea. Male calves born to dairy cows are taken from their mother and castrated, usually without pain killers. Then they are put in an area that allows then little movement to keep their meat tender. This is how we get veal. How anyone who knows this eats veal is beyond my comprehension.
- Milk contains genetically modified ingredients. Cows are fed grains (and sometimes meat waste of other animals). These grains are usually corn and soy. About 90 percent of corn and soy sold is genetically modified. In addition, since cows are not naturally grain eaters, they frequently get ill. There milk can contain pus from a condition called mastitis, a painful inflammation of the mammary gland that is painful and produces pus. Sound appetizing?
- Men and women who consume dairy have higher risk of breast and prostate cancer, respectively.
What can you substitute for dairy? There are many vegan products on the market. I don't care much for the cheese substitutes. I sprinkle nutritional yeast on foods. I do like products from a company called Tofutti. I used the whipped cream substitute on pumpkin custard. It has half the calories of whipped cream and is even better tasting IMO. At first I missed the dairy but I no longer do. I eat more fruits, vegetables, and bean products.
The best way to get calcium is through leafy greens and legumes. It is important to take magnesium and vitamin D to help. If you take calcium supplements because you have a deficiency, be sure to take vitamin K2. Otherwise the calcium will increase risk of heart disease by clogging your arteries instead of going to your bones.