Vitamin D and your Dairy Products.. not what you may think
Previous posting on the MAC blog was so timely… I am preparing for my workshop this week on Proteins (see below )
Nutrition Workshop April 4th 6- 7:15 PM
Lions and Lambs
How much protein do you need? What kinds are best? Feed yourself and Loved ones better! Get the facts and leave with practical tools for your daily choices.
Discover Lifesaving Info !
$20 members and non-members. register by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As I was printing out some materials for attendees. Read on for some bone density saving advice.. come to my workshop on Wednesday to learn more about this and How to make smarter Protein choices,
One of these is entitled
Health Concerns about Dairy Products
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Many Americans, including some vegetarians, still
consume substantial amounts of dairy products—
and government policies still promote them—
despite scientific evidence that questions their health benefits
and indicates their potential health risks.
Milk’s main selling point is calcium, and milk-drinking
is touted for building strong bones in children and
preventing osteoporosis in older persons. However, clinical
research shows that dairy products have little or no benefit for
bones. A 2005 review published in Pediatrics showed that milk
consumption does not improve bone integrity in children.1
Similarly, the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study,2 which followed
more than 72,000 women for 18 years, showed no protective
effect of increased milk consumption on fracture risk.
calcium is important for bone health, studies show that
increasing consumption beyond approximately 600 mg per
day—amounts that are easily achieved without dairy products
or calcium supplements—does not improve bone integrity.2
In studies of children and adults, exercise has been found to
have a major effect on bone density.3-5
You can decrease your risk of osteoporosis by reducing
sodium and animal protein intake in the diet,6-9 increasing
intake of fruits and vegetables,9,10 exercising,4,11 and ensuring
adequate calcium intake from plant foods such as kale, broccoli,
and other leafy green vegetables and beans. You can also
use calcium-fortified products such as breakfast cereals and
juices, although these products provide more concentrated
calcium than is necessary.
Fat Content and Cardiovascular Disease
Dairy products—including cheese, ice cream, milk, butter,
and yogurt—contribute significant amounts of
cholesterol and saturated fat to the diet.12 Diets high in fat
and saturated fat can increase the risk of heart disease, among
other serious health problems. A low-fat vegetarian diet that
eliminates dairy products, in combination with exercise,
smoking cessation, and stress management, can not only prevent
heart disease, but may also reverse it.13,14 Non-fat dairy
products are available; however, they pose other health risks
as noted below.
Prostate and breast cancers have been linked to consumption
of dairy products, presumably related to increases in a
compound called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I).15 IGF-I is
found in cow’s milk and has been shown to occur in increased
levels in the blood of individuals consuming dairy products on
a regular basis.16 Other nutrients that increase IGF-I are also
found in cow’s milk.
Case-control studies in diverse populations have shown a
strong and consistent association between serum IGF-I concentrations
and prostate cancer risk.17 One study showed that
men who had the highest levels of IGF-I had more than four
times the risk of prostate cancer compared with those who had
the lowest levels.18 Other findings show that prostate cancer
risk was elevated with increased consumption of low-fat milk,
suggesting that too much dairy calcium could be a potential
threat to prostate health.19,20
Ovarian cancer may also be related to the consumption of
dairy products. The milk sugar lactose is broken down in the
body into another sugar, galactose. Research suggests that the
dairy sugar galactose might be toxic to ovarian cells.21 In a
study conducted in Sweden, consumption of lactose and dairy
products was positively linked to ovarian cancer.22 A similar
study, the Iowa Women’s Health Study, found that women
who consumed more than one glass of milk per day had a 73
percent greater chance of ovarian cancer than women who
drank less than one glass per day.23
Lactose intolerance is common among many populations,
affecting approximately 95 percent of Asian Americans, 74
percent of Native Americans, 70 percent of African Americans,
53 percent of Mexican Americans, and 15 percent of Caucasians.
24 Symptoms, which include gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea,
and flatulence, occur because these individuals do not
have the enzyme lactase that digests the milk sugar lactose. For
those who can digest lactose, its breakdown products are two
simple sugars: glucose and galactose. Nursing children have
active enzymes that break down galactose. As we age, many
of us lose much of this capacity.25 Additionally, along with
unwanted symptoms, milk-drinkers also put themselves at risk
about Dairy Products
for development of other chronic diseases and ailments.
Individuals often drink milk in order to obtain vitamin
D in their diet, unaware that they can receive vitamin D
through other sources. The natural source of vitamin D is
sunlight. Five to fifteen minutes of sun exposure to the arms
and legs or the hands, face, and arms can be enough to meet
the body’s requirements for vitamin D, depending on the
individual’s skin tone.26 Darker skin requires longer exposure
to the sun in order to obtain adequate levels of vitamin D. In
colder climates during the winter months the sun may not be
able to provide adequate vitamin D. During this time the diet
must be able to provide vitamin D. Fortified cereals, grains,
bread, orange juice, and soy- or rice milk are healthful foods
that provide vitamin D. All common multiple vitamins also
provide vitamin D.
Milk contains contaminants that range from pesticides to
drugs. Milk naturally contains hormones and growth
factors produced within a cow’s body. In addition, synthetic
hormones such as recombinant bovine growth hormone
(rBGH) are commonly used in dairy cows to increase the
production of milk.27 Because treated cows are producing
quantities of milk nature never intended, the end result can be
mastitis, or inflammation of the mammary glands. Treatment
of this condition requires the use of antibiotics, and antibiotic
traces have occasionally been found in samples of milk and
other dairy products. Pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls
(PCBs), and dioxins are other examples of contaminants found
in milk. These toxins do not readily leave the body and can
eventually build to harmful levels that may affect the immune
and reproductive systems. The central nervous system can
also be affected. Moreover, PCBs and dioxins have also been
linked to cancer.28
Milk Proteins and Diabetes
Insulin-dependent (type 1 or childhood-onset) diabetes is
linked to consumption of dairy products.29 A 2001 Finnish
study of 3,000 infants with genetically increased risk for
developing diabetes showed that early introduction of cow’s
milk increased susceptibility to type 1 diabetes.30
Health Concerns of Infants and Children
Milk proteins, milk sugar, fat, and saturated fat in dairy
products pose health risks for children and encourage
the development of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that
infants below one year of age not be given whole cow’s milk,31
as iron deficiency is more likely on a dairy-rich diet. Cow’s
milk products are very low in iron.32 If dairy products become
a major part of one’s diet, iron deficiency is more likely. Colic
is an additional concern with milk consumption. Up to 28
percent of infants suffer from colic during the first month of
life.33 Pediatricians learned long ago that cow’s milk was often
the reason. We now know that breastfeeding mothers can have
colicky babies if the mothers consume cow’s milk. The cow’s
antibodies can pass through the mother’s bloodstream, into
her breast milk, and to the baby.34,35 Additionally, food allergies
appear to be common results of cow’s milk consumption,
particularly in children.36,37 Cow’s milk consumption has also
been linked to chronic constipation in childrenResearchers
suggested that milk consumption resulted in perianal sores
and severe pain on defecation, leading to constipation.38 (note)
Milk and dairy products are not necessary in the diet and
can, in fact, be harmful to health. It is best to consume a
healthful diet of grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fortified
foods including cereals and juices. These nutrient-dense
foods can help you meet your calcium, potassium, riboflavin,
and vitamin D requirements with ease—and without health
1. Lanou AJ, Berkow SE, Barnard ND. Calcium, dairy products, and bone health
in children and young adults: a reevaluation of the evidence. Pediatrics.
2. Feskanich D, Willett WC, Colditz GA. Calcium, vitamin D, milk consumption,
and hip fractures: a prospective study among postmenopausal women. Am J Clin
3. Lunt M, Masaryk P, Scheidt-Nave C, et al. The Effects of Lifestyle, Dietary Dairy
Intake and Diabetes on Bone Density and Vertebral Deformity Prevalence: The
EVOS Study. Osteoporos Int. 2001;12:688–698.
4. Prince R, Devine A, Dick I, et al. The effects of calcium supplementation (milk
powder or tablets) and exercise on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.
J Bone Miner Res. 1995;10:1068–75.
5. Lloyd T, Beck TJ, Lin HM, et al. Modifiable determinants of bone status in young
women. Bone. 2002;30(2):416–21.
6. Finn SC. The skeleton crew: is calcium enough? J Women’s Health. 1998;7(1):31–6.
7. Nordin CBE. Calcium and osteoporosis. Nutrition. 1997;3(7/8):664–86.
8. Reid DM, New SA. Nutritional influences on bone mass. Proceed Nutr Soc.
9. Lin P, Ginty F, Appel L, et al. The DASH diet and sodium reduction improve markers
of bone turnover and calcium metabolism in adults. J Nutr. 2001;133:3130–3136.
10. Tucker KL, Hannan MR, Chen H, Cupples LA, Wilson PWF, Kiel DP. Potassium,
magnesium, and fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with greater bone mineral
density in elderly men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;69:727–36.
11. Going S, Lohman T, Houtkooper L, et al. Effects of exercise on bone mineral
density in calcium-replete postmenopausal women with and without hormone
replacement therapy, Osteoporos Int. 2003;14(8):637–43.
12. Warensjo E, Jansson JH, Berglund L, et al. Estimated intake of milk fat is negatively
associated with cardiovascular risk factors and does not increase the risk of a first
acute myocardial infarction. Br J Nutr. 2004;91:635–42.
13. Szeto YT, Kwok TC, Benzie IF. Effects of a long-term vegetarian diet on biomarkers
of antioxidants status and cardiovascular disease risk. Nutrition. 2004;20:863–6.
14. Ornish D, Brown SE, Scherwitz LW, et al. Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary
heart disease? Lancet. 1990;336:129–33.
15. Voskuil DW, Vrieling A, van’t Veer LJ, Kampman E, Rookus MA. The insulin-like
growth factor system in cancer prevention: potential of dietary intervention strategies.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005;14:195–203.
16. Cadogan J, Eastell R, Jones N, Barker ME. Milk intake and bone mineral acquisition
in adolescent girls: randomised, controlled intervention trial. BMJ.
17. Cohen P. Serum insulin-like growth factor-I levels and prostate cancer risk—interpreting
the evidence. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1998;90:876–9.
18. Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci E, et al. Plasma insulin-like growth factor-1
and prostate cancer risk: a prospective study. Science. 1998;279:563–5.
19. Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Ma J, Gann PH, Gaziano JM, Giovannucci E. Dairy
products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physicians’