Many people enjoy a glass of ice-cold cow milk over breakfast or with a sweet dessert. The thing is most of us have been raised believing that cow’s milk is supposed to bring numerous benefits, such as promoting strong and healthy bones and teeth. It’s not surprising that in 1993 the Got Milk campaign was launched in order to increase milk sales which were going down.
On one hand, milk is an indispensable item on every dining table around the world, but on the other hand, this common kitchen ingredient has raised a lot of discussions lately about the effects it really has on human bones.
Now, we all know that the milk we buy at supermarkets is pasteurized. This means it has undergone a thermal process that uses heat to kill pathogens in food such as disease-carrying germs. The thermal processing also prevents milk from turning sour too early. What happens during this process is that every particle of the milk is first heated to a required temperature then cooled rapidly. But, this process of pasteurization has a major drawback – it also destroys the beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in milk, and even some of its nutrients, including vitamin C and iodine. Plus, it also neutralizes some of the enzymes in milk thus making it harder on your body to use calcium and phosphorus from the milk. It’s surprising that the countries that consume most dairy, (the U.S. and countries in the European Union) also have most cases of osteoporosis.
The fat content in milk is actually irrelevant as all variations (1%, 5.2% or skim milk) undergo the same type of pasteurization before they get into your shopping bag.
Another important thing is where this milk comes from. Although you may think it comes from natural, healthy cows, the truth is these cows are normally injected with a genetically engineered hormone or a growth hormone called rBGH so as to give more milk. Countries like Australia, Japan, Canada and the European Union have already banned this hormone because of health issues it triggers. However, the US is still largely using it to increase milk production to 10-15%.
So, milk derived from these cows may actually contain up to 20 painkillers, antibiotics and growth hormones in one glass. Some studies have linked this to excessive tumor growth and cancer. Also, these cows are far from healthy as they are weaker and more susceptible to disease; their milk contains large amounts of pus too. The pasteurization process starts here and this milk undergoes a quick heating process. But, this heating process doesn’t guarantee the cleanness of the milk, which has been confirmed by a number of salmonella outbreaks from pasteurized milk in recent years. And, we all take for granted that pasteurized milk is clean.
Furthermore, the process of pasteurization also removes any healthy electrons from the milk that could actually be beneficial for the human body. Also, the human body depends on pH balance to maintain homeostasis. Consumption of processed and refined food disturbs this balance triggering an acidic environment in the body. Once your internal environment becomes acidic, your body strives to fight it by taking calcium and magnesium from your bones. In time, you bones weaken from this and osteoporosis eventually sets in. In addition, the acidic environment also leads to tumor growth.