Got milk? If so, you may also experience acne, digestion issues, unwanted belly fat, and a higher risk of developing cancer. All of these conditions have been linked to dairy consumption. The slogan, “Milk does a body good,” is simply a marketing ploy. Sure, sometimes we eat things we know aren’t the best for our bodies, but with so many dairy alternatives available, we can still enjoy our morning latte and after dinner ice cream without resorting to dairy products.
13 Ways Consuming Dairy Products is Detrimental to Human Health
1. Lactose Intolerance Affects 3 out of 4 People
As much as sixty-five percent of the world population is lactose intolerant. This means their bodies cannot digest lactose properly, which can induce side effects such as belly bloat, cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and excessive gas. Those with severe allergies can have more intense, even fatal reactions to dairy.
2. Chances of Developing Cancer are Higher for Dairy-Drinkers
The consumption of dairy products has been shown to increase Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1), which has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. A Swedish study showed women who consume 4 or more servings of dairy daily are twice as likely to develop ovarian cancer than those who consumed fewer than two, or none at all. Additionally, studies have found a vegan diet may be the key to winning ‘the war on cancer’ and vegans have been found to combat cancer more effectively than those who eat animal products.
3. Dairy Products are Linked to High Cholesterol
The American Heart Association specifically lists butter, cream, cheese, and “other dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat (2 percent) milk” as examples of foods with saturated fat. The organization advises the public to reduce their intake of these foods in order to lower blood cholesterol levels. Those with high cholesterol can experience cardiovascular complications, including chest pains, heart attack, and stroke.
4. Dairy-Drinkers May Have Higher Blood Pressure
In a study available through the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), an inverse relationship between dairy consumption and high blood pressure was found, meaning that the more dairy a participant consumed, the higher the blood pressure levels tended to be. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can be one of the most telling risk factors for stroke and coronary heart disease.
5. Drinking Milk Daily Increases the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease
According to NutritionFacts.org, a plant-based information hub founded by Dr. Michael Greger, consuming dairy increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by a staggering amount. The article cited a study which found for every cup of milk consumed per day, the chance of developing Parkinson’s rose by 17%.
6. Dairy Products are Packed with Sodium
Dairy products, particularly those that claim “low-fat,” tend to contain high levels of sodium. For example, reduced-fat cheese and processed yogurt both contain a high sodium content, as food manufacturers replace the taste of fat by adding salt. Consuming high amounts of sodium increases the risk of developing cardiovascular problems. While some amounts of sodium are needed to maintain essential body functions, it should be consumed sparingly. The US FDA recommends less than 2,300 milligrams per day for most adults and less than 1,500 milligrams for those with hypertension.
7. Dairy is Linked to High Rates of Multiple Sclerosis
Populations that drink more dairy have higher rates of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study that analyzed 29 different populations among 27 countries. MS is a debilitating disease that affects the body’s central nervous system, essentially distorting the connection between the body’s nerves and the brain, causing symptoms that range from extreme fatigue, numbness, slurred speech, loss of coordination, and in some cases, paralysis.
8. Dairy Products are Linked to Developing Type-2 Diabetes
As noted above, dairy products tend to contain high levels of saturated fat, especially when consumed in the conventional foods of the Standard American Diet (cheese pizzas, ice cream, cheeseburgers, etcetera). Excess saturated fat can lead to weight gain and lower insulin resistance, two key risk factors associated with type-2 diabetes. Conversely, a plant-based diet has been shown to both prevent and reverse this disease.
9. Dairy Milk Can Lead to Type 1 Diabetes
While many pinpoint type 1 diabetes (IDDM) as an unfortunate genetic mutation – pregnant mothers and young babies who consume dairy products are more at risk for this condition, because of a process dubbed “molecular mimicry.” The same process can increase the risk for auto-immune disease. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a warning back in 1994 that states “[e]arly exposure of infants to cow’s milk protein may be an important factor in the initiation of the beta cell destructive process in some individuals… The avoidance of cow’s milk protein for the first several months of life may reduce the later development of IDDM or delay its onset in susceptible people.”
10. Dairy-Drinkers May Suffer More From Asthma
Countless asthma sufferers who have ditched dairy have sworn that they cured themselves of this disease by eliminating dairy from their diets. Further, several plant-based doctors, such as Dr. Michael Klapper, have found that dairy can trigger asthma attacks. Inversely, these doctors have suggested a plant-based diet to reverse this disease.
11. The Calcium in Dairy has Been Shown to Weaken Bones
Unlike the popular misconception, drinking dairy milk doesn’t give you strong bones. In fact, a study found that women who drank two glasses of milk a day increased their risk of hip fracture by 45%. Those participants who drank three glasses increased this risk by 60%.
12. Consuming Dairy Can Aggravate Acne
Acne can be a hard condition to deal with, both for teens and adults. While genetics do play a role, consuming dairy can increase the severity of this embarrassing skin condition. Studies have connected drinking cows milk to the prevalence and harshness of acne for both males and females. On the other hand, many people claim their skin is left glowing after adopting a vegan diet.
13. Hormones in Dairy Products May Increase Estrogen Levels
Soy tends to get a bad reputation for increasing estrogen levels and cancer risk, but the reality is that dairy milk is the culprit. Dairy products supply 60-80% of the estrogen in dairy-drinker’s diets, according to a study published by the NCBI. Heightened levels of estrogen can lead to various cancers, including breast and prostate cancer for women and men.