Milk: an acutely unfashionable healthy product

Now in the West: in the USA and Europe – it has ceased to be acutely fashionable to be just a vegetarian, and it has become much more “in trend” to be a “vegan”. From this came a rather curious Western trend: the persecution of milk. Some Western “stars” – it doesn’t matter that they are very far from science and medicine – publicly declare that they have given up milk and feel great – hence many people ask themselves: maybe me? Although, perhaps, it would be worth saying to yourself: well, someone refused milk, so what? Feels great – well, again, what’s wrong? After all, not only the body of all people is different, but millions of other people (the way is not so famous) feel great, and consuming milk? But sometimes the herd reflex is so strong in us, we want to “live like a star” so much that sometimes we are even ready to refuse a well-studied by science and extremely useful product. Changed it to what? – to little-studied, expensive and not yet proven “superfoods” – such as, for example, spirulina. The fact that milk is a product thoroughly studied both in laboratories and in text groups seems to no longer bother anyone. There was a rumor about the “harm” of milk – and on you, now it is fashionable not to drink it. But for soy and almond milk – having a lot of harmful nuances, or products of dubious usefulness, such as the same spirulina, we are greedy.

“Persecution of milk” is understandable somewhere in the poorest Africa and beyond the Arctic Circle, where there is neither sanitary conditions nor a genetic predisposition to drink milk. But for Russia and the United States, which have had well-developed animal husbandry since ancient times, and which can be called the “country of cows” – this is at least strange. Moreover, the prevalence of a genetic disease – an allergy to milk, neither in the United States nor in our country does not exceed 15%.

The total “harm” or “uselessness” of milk for adults is a stupid myth that is “confirmed” only by an abundance of very aggressive rhetorical “evidence”, without reference to scientific research or statistics. Often such “evidence” is given on the websites of persons who either sell “nutritional supplements” or try to make money by “consulting” the population on nutrition (via Skype, etc.). These people are almost always far from not only clinical medicine and nutrition, but also from a sincere attempt to really investigate this issue. And who, in the sharply fashionable American manner, suddenly wrote themselves down as “vegans”. The arguments in favor of the harm of milk are usually simply ridiculous and can not compete with the volume of scientific data on benefit milk. “Persecution of milk” is almost always tendentious and the evidence people spend “”. In Russia, where a lot of old memory is done “meaninglessly and mercilessly”, there are, unfortunately, just a million such angrily “anti-milk”, tastelessly designed pages.

Americans, on the other hand, love scientific facts; give them research data, reports, articles in scientific journals, they are skeptics. However, both in Russia and in the United States, people relatively rarely suffer from lactase deficiency: according to statistics, in both countries, only 5-15% of cases. But you can see the difference between Western attitudes towards milk and “ours” based on materials from Russian-language sites: the latter are dominated by naked rhetoric, such as “milk is good only for children.” The fact that we are not talking about mother’s milk, but a completely different milk, does not seem to bother the authors of such “convincing” “arguments”. On American resources, few people will listen to you without references to scientific research. So why are we so gullible?

But the same American scientists have repeatedly written that the problem of milk intolerance mainly concerns individual peoples, including the inhabitants of Africa (Sudan and other countries) and the peoples of the Far North. Most Russians, like Americans, are not concerned with this issue at all. Who warms up – what’s there, literally boils – the public rejection of such a useful product as milk? The persecution of milk is comparable only to the fashionable “allergy” of American society to wheat and sugar: 0.3% of the world’s population suffers from gluten intolerance, and the body of any person needs sugar, without exception.

Why such wild refusals: from wheat, from sugar, from milk? From these useful and cheap, commonly available products? It is possible that the dramatization of the situation in the US, Europe and Russia is being done by interested parties in the food industry. This is also done, possibly by order of manufacturers of soy “milk” and similar products. On the wave of hysteria about the imaginary harm of milk and the allegedly widespread milk intolerance (which is presented as the “norm” in such propaganda!) It is easy to sell ultra-expensive “superfoods” and milk substitutes and “alternatives” – which are still extremely difficult to replace useful qualities regular milk!

At the same time, there is – and they appeared both in the Western and in our Internet press – and real data on the dangers of milk for some people. 

Let’s try to summarize the real facts about the dangers of milk:

1. Regular consumption of milk is harmful to people suffering from a special disease – lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is a pathological condition of the body that is not typical for a resident of Russia (or the USA). This genetic disease is often found among North American Indians, in Finland, in some African countries, in Thailand and in a number. Lactose intolerance is a disease in which the body is less than normal able to digest lactose, a type of sugar found in milk and dairy products. This pathological condition is caused by a deficiency of lactase, an enzyme that helps digest lactose. On average, genetically, the inhabitants of Russia are not very prone to lactase deficiency. The chance of having this “Finnish disease” is estimated at 5% -20% probability for a resident of our country. At the same time, on the Internet (on those very aggressive vegan and aggressive raw food sites) you can often find the figure of 70%! – but this is, in fact, the average percentage around the world (taking into account Africa, China, etc.), and not in Russia. In addition, the “average temperature in the hospital”, in fact, does not give anything to either the sick or the healthy: you either have lactose intolerance or you don’t, and all these percentages will give you nothing, only anxiety! As you know, there are emotionally unbalanced people who, when reading about literally any disease: be it lactose intolerance, celiac disease or bubonic plague, immediately find its first signs in themselves … And after “meditating” on the issue for a couple of days, they are already completely sure that they have been suffering from it for a long time ! In addition, sometimes even if there are “symptoms of milk intolerance”, the problem may be in the banal indigestion, and lactose may not have anything to do with it. From personal experience, I would add that a daily intake of fresh greens and an abundance of legumes – which is common among newly minted raw foodists and vegans – is more likely to cause stomach irritation than milk.

However, be that as it may, it is possible to diagnose with confidence in oneself (the very) lactazone deficiency, right now, and without any doctors! It’s simple:

  • Drink a glass of ordinary milk, which is sold in stores (pasteurized, “from the package”) – after bringing it to a boil, and cooling it to an acceptable temperature,

  • Wait 30 minutes to 2 hours. (At the same time, I overcame the temptation to throw in a portion of fresh salads and beans with peas). Everything!

  • If during this period you show symptoms: intestinal colic, noticeable bloating, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea (more than 3 cases of loose or unformed stools per day) – then yes, you probably have lactose intolerance.

  • Do not worry, such an experience will not bring harm to your health. Symptoms will stop with the cessation of milk intake.

Now, attention: Lactose intolerance doesn’t mean you can’t drink milk at all! It only means that only fresh milk is suitable for you. What is fresh milk – raw, “from under the cow”, or what? Why, it’s dangerous, some might say. And yes, it is dangerous to drink milk directly from under a cow these days. But fresh, steamed or “raw” milk is considered on the day of milking, in the first hours after the first heating (boiling) – necessary to secure against pathogenic bacteria that it may contain! Scientifically: such milk contains all the enzymes necessary for its self-digestion (induced autolysis)! In fact, it is “raw” milk. So even with lactose intolerance, “farm”, “fresh” milk, which has not yet been boiled, is quite suitable. You need to purchase it on the day of milking and bring it to a boil yourself, and consume it as soon as possible.

2. It is not uncommon to read that there is supposedly scientific evidence that drinking milk increases the risk of uterine cancer and breast cancer recurrence. No convincing studies have been done on this, to my knowledge. Only contradictory and preliminary scientific data have been repeatedly received. All this is at the stage of conjectures, working, but unverified hypotheses.

3. Milk – it’s fatty, high-calorie. Yes, in the United States, where one in three is obese, 30 years ago they began to nod at milk, which, they say, get fat from it. And the fashion for skimmed or “light” milk and low-fat yogurts has gone (whether these products are healthy or harmful is a separate conversation). And why not just limit your calorie intake, leaving milk in the diet that is healthy for many other reasons? It is possible that the producers of “almond milk” and soy “milk”, which leads to breast growth in men, would not be so profitable …

4. After the age of 55, milk consumption is not harmful, but it must be limited (1 glass per day. The fact is that after 50 years, the likelihood of atherosclerosis increases sharply, and milk is not an assistant here. At the same time, science considers that milk is a biological fluid that a person, in principle, can consume throughout his life: there is still no strict “age limit”.

5. Contamination of milk with toxic elements and radionuclides poses a real threat to human health. At the same time, in all industrialized countries of the world, milk is subject to mandatory certification, during which milk is checked, among other things, for radiation, chemical and biological safety, as well as for the content of GMOs. In the Russian Federation, milk simply cannot enter the distribution network without successfully passing such certification! The danger of consuming milk that does not meet sanitary standards exists, theoretically, mainly in African countries, and so on: in some underdeveloped, hot and poorest countries of the world. Certainly not in Russia…

Now – a word of protection. In favor of milk consumption, a number of factors can be cited, which, again, are on the wave of anti-dairy propaganda! – often hushed up or try to refute:

  • and other types of industrially produced milk were thoroughly studied by science back in the 40th-20th centuries. The benefits of cow’s milk consumption have been repeatedly and indisputably proven by science: both in laboratory studies and experimentally, including in groups of more than XNUMX thousand people, observed for more than XNUMX (!) years. No “milk substitute” such as soy or almond “milk” can boast such scientific evidence of usefulness.

  • Adherents of a raw food diet and veganism often consider milk an “acidifying” product, along with eggs and meat. But it’s not! Fresh milk has slightly acidic properties and an acidity of pH = 6,68: compared to the “zero” acidity at pH = 7, it is almost a neutral liquid. Heating milk further reduces its oxidizing properties. If you add a pinch of baking soda to hot milk, such a drink is alkalizing!

  • Even “industrial” pasteurized milk contains such, moreover, in an easily digestible form that one can write an encyclopedia to list its beneficial properties. Steamed milk is much easier and faster for the human body to digest than most “raw” and “vegan” products. And even store-bought milk and whole milk cottage cheese are digested no longer than, for example, soy. Even the “worst” milk is digested for 2 hours: exactly the same as a vegetable salad with greens, pre-soaked nuts and sprouts. So “heavy digestion of milk” is a vegan-raw food myth.

  • Milk – normal physiological secretion of the mammary glands of farm animals (including cows and goats). So formally it cannot be called a product of violence. At the same time, already 0.5 l of milk satisfies 20% of the body’s daily protein requirement: therefore, in fact, milk is one of the main products of an ethical, “kill-free” diet. By the way, the same 0.5 liters of milk per day reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 20% – so milk (unlike meat) still does not kill people, not only cows.

  • The exact norms of healthy, healthy consumption of milk, incl. cow, per person per year. The Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (RAMS) recommends an annual consumption of 392 kg of milk and dairy products (this, of course, includes cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese, kefir, butter, etc.). If you think very roughly, you need about a kilogram liter of milk and dairy products per day for health. Not only fresh cow’s milk is useful, but also.

According to statistics, the consumption of milk and dairy products in our “anti-crisis” days has decreased by about 30% (!) Compared to the 1990s… Isn’t this the reason for the noticeable general decline in the health of the population, including deterioration in the condition of teeth and bones, about which doctors often speak? This is all the more sad, because today in Moscow and other large cities high-quality, including fresh milk and fresh “farm” dairy products are already available to many people, even with average and below average incomes. Maybe we should save on trendy “superfoods” and start drinking again – albeit sharply unfashionable, but so healthy – milk?


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