Is Dairy Consumption Good or Bad?

January 9, 2023
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5
Min

Dairy Consumption : Benefits & Negative Effects on Health

Since we were young children, we have heard numerous times about the health benefits of dairy products, particularly milk. Dairy products are rich sources of calcium, which helps to maintain bone density and lowers the incidence of fractures.

With the increasing need for milk and dairy products, the need for overproduction of dairy also rose. But this led to poor agricultural, veterinary, and hygienic/industrial procedures, including raw milk adulteration that has resulted in unacceptable levels of chemicals and their residues in our milk supply; this could represent a risk to human health and negatively impact trade (1).

What are Dairy Products?

Many people's diets include dairy products like milk, yoghurt, cheese, and cottage cheese because they are rich in calcium, phosphate, and milk proteins such as casein, whey, and bioactive peptides. Dairy products may be tampered with by adding protein from different sources. Due to the strong composition of milk and the variety of microorganisms that can flourish in it, dairy products are incredibly diversified (2).

Is Dairy Bad for You?

There are benefits to dairy. All of the necessary nutrients and numerous anabolic hormones are present in milk because it is designed to nourish and aid in the growth of young mammals. Cows have been bred to produce more insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) to boost milk production. They are pregnant most of the time they are milked, which significantly raises the amounts of progestins, estrogens, and other hormones in milk (3)

In the agriculture sector, the use of commercial synthetic insecticides to control insects as disease carriers and pests has led to the occurrence of various contaminants like pesticides, heavy metals, antimicrobials, and other drugs. Due to their resilience to biodegradation, certain compounds like DDT and endrin may be present in the milk indirectly (4). The presence of heavy metal deposits like lead and cadmium is of special concern since they are considered carcinogens and are linked to diseases of the blood, skeletal system, neurological system, kidneys, and cardiovascular system (5).

Breast cancer, prostate cancer, and other cancer rates are all closely tied to dairy product consumption. A discovery that may be related to the sex-hormone content of dairy products has been linked to an increased risk of endometrial cancer, especially in postmenopausal women who are not taking hormone therapy. Due to its high calcium content, milk may explain why there was a negative correlation between milk consumption and the incidence of colorectal cancer (6).

Milk consumption, dairy items, and the associated hyperinsulinemia produce negative long-term effects in healthy people, such as insulin resistance (7). Cow's milk has more than 25 distinct proteins, including casein proteins, which make up 80% of the coagulum, and lactoserum (whey proteins), which make up 20% of the total cow milk proteins, and these proteins are responsible for cow’s milk allergy (CMA) (8).

Due to genetically low levels of the enzyme lactase, some people are unable to digest large quantities of lactose, so they are lactose intolerant. Following the consumption of lactose-containing meals, common symptoms include bloating and stomach discomfort, increased flatulence, and watery stools (9)

We are always told about the health benefits of milk, but the negative effects also come along. By following an elimination diet, you can check if you are allergic or intolerant to dairy products. Due to changing needs, the quality of dairy products has been hampered over time by incorporating more toxins and other unwanted substances that can affect your overall well-being. 

Reference: 

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/286207147_Contaminants_of_Milk_and_Dairy_Products_Contamination_Resulting_from_Farm_and_Dairy_Practices
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/dairy-product
  3. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1903547?casa_token=Uq7AgHQbt0AAAAAA:46RoPtrX8xS3R_h4wo9qcG2LoQRUmMZtcnLQbao2WN5EwIBAJR_9dneVvGokJ7YXALHGT9A-zAMXmh0X
  4. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Benoit-Schilter/publication/286207147_Contaminants_of_Milk_and_Dairy_Products_Contamination_Resulting_from_Farm_and_Dairy_Practices/links/5a5c5fbe458515450278f123/Contaminants-of-Milk-and-Dairy-Products-Contamination-Resulting-from-Farm-and-Dairy-Practices.pdf
  5. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11694-014-9203-6
  6. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1903547?casa_token=8qRWFf0ORQsAAAAA:bFobiUZiRWPAzUDIR3MN2XdP198ajPMA8eYJrkfrPyJPJG1Dwv2xoLW4-u3cxiUy3FbODQ8CLX63GPsd
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25710041
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1046202313003034
  9. https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2002/0501/p1845.html?ref=Guzels.TV

Anagha Gawade
Researcher

Anagha holds a Master's degree in Biotechnology. She is very enthusiastic about research, always want explore and wants to share her knowledge with everyone.

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