Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pasteurized Homogenized Milk and Your Health

With all of the milk in the media these days, it's hard to sort out the facts from the myths. The real point is that milk receives a lot of "good" publicity, while the facts remain hidden from most milk lovers. The truth is, no matter how you look at it, milk is a "species specific" beverage, designed for young growing mammals who are not yet ready for solid foods. Even Dr. Seuss had it right when he wrote, "Moose juice is for mooses, and goose juice is for gooses." As silly as that analogy may be, a cow's milk is designed for calves, and a goat's milk is designed for kids - not yours, the goat's.

Americans today consume more milk per year than any other country. We are taught from birth that we must drink a certain amount of milk per day for strong bones and teeth, and we as a country are now the number one milk drinking people of the earth. If both of those are true statements, then why does research also prove that we have the highest number of cases of osteoporosis and bone fractures than any other country? Are we not drinking enough milk? Or, could it be possible that one of the above statements is actually not a fact - such as drinking milk will make for strong bones? Perhaps there is more to consider about why we are drinking it, and what is it doing for our bodies, or doing to our bodies.

Cow's milk contains a large amount of phosphorus, which combines with the calcium making it less likely to be absorbed by your body. In addition, the type of protein in the milk accelerates the excretion of calcium from the blood through the kidneys, causing you to loose much of the calcium through urine. (The same is true of eating meat, enabling vegetarians to need only about 50% of the calcium that meat eaters need, due to loss of calcium through the urine due to the animal proteins.) This could help explain why in other parts of the world less milk and dairy products are consumed, and yet the people still have healthy bones.

Americans also suffer one of the highest rates of heart disease in the world, which brings me to two more dangerous facts about milk, involving the processes of pasteurizing and homogenizing milk.

Pasteurization was introduced for the purpose of killing tuberculosis in milk, but has continued for just two reasons: It allows the farmers to lower their cleanliness standards since heating the milk kills bacteria caused by contamination, and it extends the shelf life of the milk from less than five days to about two weeks. So in other words, for convenience and not health. The process actually destroys enzymes in the milk, such as lactase (needed by the body for assimilation of lacose), galactase (needed to assimilate galactose), and phosphatase (needed for the assimilation of calcium.) Many more equally important enzymes are also destroyed in the process, making milk even harder for the human body to digest, putting more stress on other organs in the body. Pasteurizing milk destroys not only enzymes, but kills the beneficial bacteria lactobacillus acidophilus, Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex, and Vitamin C. Pasteurized milk fed to baby calves will cause them to die within just a few months, which has been researched many times.

Homogeniztion is a high-speed and high-powered "mixing and straining" process, originated to keep the butterfat from rising to the top of the milk. During homogenization, the fat globules in the milk are reduced in size and encapsulated into liposomes, which pass through the stomach undigested, (the liposomes are protected from the digestive acids.) Because of the tiny size of the fat globules after the milk has been homogenized, the liposomes are then able to pass into the bloodstream through the walls of the intestines, and this is where the damage occurs. The liposomes contain a partially destroyed enzyme called xanthine oxidase, better known as XO. XO is only found in the liver, unless a person drinks homogenized milk. Then it is found in the liposomes that enter the bloodstream, where it begins to attack plasmalogen. (Plasmalogen makes up 30% of the membrane system in human heart muscle cells.) XO can only either use the plasmalogen, or destroy it, and in most autopsies of people who have died from heart and circulatory disease - plasmalogen is missing, arterial inner linings are eaten away, and mineral deposits covered in fat and cholesterol create a deadly plaque in the arteries. The addition of The addition of Vitamin D in the milk actually enhances the activity of XO.

Another disease contributing factor in milk is rBST or BGH, bovine growth hormone, which is injected directly into the cow to increase the milk production by 10-25%. BGH is banned in Europe and Canada, and produces elevated levels of IGF-1 in the milk, (an insulin-like growth factor which is one of the most powerful growth factors ever identified.) IGF-1 stimulates the growth of cancer cells, and has been proven to greatly increase the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Cows that are given BGH more often suffer from mastitis, which is then treated with a plethora of antibiotics and sulfa drugs, traces of which are found in the milk produced from those cows, along with pus and bacteria from the infected utters.

Along with all of the scientifically proven dangers of cows milk for humans, the consumption of milk has been associated with allergies, asthma, diarrhea, iron-deficiency anemia, colic, gastrointestinal bleeding, sinusitis, acne, arthritis, diabetes, chronic ear infections, cramps, skin rashes, constipation, tooth decay, excess mucus, increased frequency of colds and the flu, and heart disease, osteoporosis, and auto-immune diseases, just to name a few.

For more on the dangers of milk, I highly suggest obtaining a copy of the book, Don't Drink Your Milk, one of the few books I advocate reading. It is an excellent book, written in a highly entertaining style, and extremely well researched.

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