The Dairy Debate – is it healthy?

The Dairy Debate - is it healthy? Thrive Health & Nutrition Magazine

Do we need to consume dairy or is it a food group that carries much more health dangers than health benefits.

Milk, a symbol of living in abundance and a blessing mentioned in the bible and in historical texts. But, have we really come a long way as a human race, when we are so dependent on cow’s milk? There is now one cow per person in the world and the industry is booming. As a child I remember having milk at break times in school and being told it will make me big and strong, but how beneficial is cows milk to us humans?

We can’t doubt the essential powerful properties of cow’s milk if given to a cow! But isn’t it strange that humans are the only speices that drink another mammals milk.

The history of dairy production is hard to pin down, some sources say it started in South East Asia but it is believed to originate in Northern Europe, where the lands are prone to less hours of sunlight, therefore people were starved of vitamin D and hence dairy agriculture was born. Today dairy products creep into most of our daily meals, not to mention the 5 billion litres of milk consumed each year by UK residents. All in all, we buy enough dairy products every year to fill nearly 4,500 Olympic-size swimming pools.

The benefits of dairy are far outweighed by the possible damage to our health. How many of us would drink milk straight out of a beautiful Fresian Heifers Udder? But, by the time the white stuff gets to the end user in the UK, it has undergone many processes and all we are left with is a concoction of carbohydrate, fat and protein which we can easily obtain from other foods. The benefits of avoiding dairy products can far outweigh the benefits we receive from consuming them.


The Facts The countries in the world that consume the most dairy products have the highest rate of bone fractures and the worst bone health. Therefore if you are a dairy product consumer you could be far more at risk to developing osteoporosis than someone who doesn’t eat dairy.

Researchers at Yale Universtiy carried out a study in 1992 to show the association between animal protein intake and bone fracture rates in women, they explained that animal protein unlike plant protein increases the acid load in the body, the body does not like an acidic environment and it’s primary concern is protecting the kidneys and urinary tracts, so it fights it by neutralising the acid.

It does this by drawing calcium from the bones which can weaken them and put them at greater risk of fracture. But that’s not all; most of the general population do not drink raw milk, they drink pasteurised, homogenised milk, all of which contain antibiotics and genetically engineered forms of bovine growth hormone to increase milk production.