Some Truths about Dairy
As a female, I have always been told that it is extremely important for me to eat 2-3 serves of dairy a day in order to prevent getting Osteoporosis in the future. Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of either hormonal changes or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D.
However, when I had a bone density scan done a few years ago and it showed signs of thinning in the bones of my lower back, I was completely taken aback since dairy had always been an integral part of my diet, along with resistance-based exercises (another good preventative measure to take).
I immediately started asking myself why this was happening if I was doing all the ‘right’ things to prevent Osteoporosis, so I started to do research into the effects of dairy and I was shocked by some of the findings. I want to share these findings with you.
Dairy is comprised of 87% Casein. There are many studies that have strongly and consistently linked Casein with the development of cancer. Casein requires the enzyme lactase to break it down properly, and with more people becoming lactose intolerant, this results in the Casein coagulating in the stomach making it difficult for your body to digest. It ends up fermenting and can potentially lead to toxicity. Casein is actually such a strong binder that it has been used as an ingredient in some wood glues!!
Further to this, dairy is one of the most mucus-forming foods there is. Excessive mucus can begin to harden and build up along the walls of your intestines, adding to a build up of sludge, which slows down the food passing through the intestinal tract and therefore potentially leading to increased inflammation and toxicity in your blood.
There is some Casein present in human milk (20%-45%), which we are obviously encouraged to breastfeed our children at birth, but the level of Casein found in cow’s milk is 300% higher, to help the calves develop much larger bones. This is why there is the theory that we shouldn’t drink the milk of other species.
Looking at the relationship of dairy and calcium, cow’s milk does in fact have a lot of calcium in it, but much of the calcium in cow’s milk is not easily absorbed by the body. There is a lot of phosphorus in dairy products, which binds to the calcium in your digestive tract and makes most of the calcium impossible to absorb. The body actually absorbs the calcium found in dark, leafy green vegetables, sea vegetables, nuts and seeds far more easily.
There is also a strong relationship between dairy and increased acidity in the body. Consuming large amounts of dairy increases the acidic load in the body, and in order for the body to overcome this and attempt to neutralise the acidity, calcium is extracted from your bones, as it is an alkalising mineral.
So after doing all this research, I came to the conclusion that it was probably better for my health to completely eliminate dairy from my diet and get my RDI of calcium from the other sources as described above.
Fast-forward a couple of years, and a follow up bone density scan has shown that my previous bone thinning has been rectified. I thank this to the ongoing resistance-based exercises I do, removing dairy from diet and also including Vitamin D supplements in my daily routine.