The Top 13 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Dairy Products

July 22, 2020

We have been told since the beginning of time about all the health benefits of milk and related products. But let us break the bubble because there is a whole different side to this story. The dairy products you have been consuming all this time are in fact doing more harm than anything good.

Here are 13 reasons why you should stop consuming milk and all the other dairy products right away (Better late than never!)

  1. Milk protein and Diabetes

Beta casein A1, a protein present in milk, is directly linked to cause Type 1 Diabetes. The risk develops due to exposure to milk early in the life course, research reveals (1). 

  1. Toxins and Contaminants

Certain compounds may find their way into milk indirectly through dairy animals as residues of pesticides (DDT, lindane, dieldrin, etc.) on feeds/fodder. Several of these compounds get stored in the milk fat and are secreted with it (2). Contaminants may also enter milk directly as a consequence of hygienic or industrial practices (e.g., detergents and sanitizers/disinfectants), or as adulterants as in the case of melamine (often found in plastics and food contact materials and can harm the kidneys and urinary tract) (2).

It is very common for milk to contain residues of pharmacologically active substances (PAS), which have undesirable effects on the quality and technological properties of dairy products and also, more importantly, on your health. A study found the presence of 20 of such active substances from the following categories: antibacterials, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, antiseptic, antiepileptic,  lipid regulator, β-blockers (3).

Apart from the ones mentioned, hormones like estrogen are injected into the animals in order to increase the yield. While some amount of estrogen is also present in the cow’s body which can lead to further passage into the human body. Estrogen is known to have negative impacts on human reproductive health as well as is linked to cause cancers (4).

  1. Dairy fat and Insulin resistance

Insulin is the only hormone in our bodies that helps in lowering blood sugar levels. The casein present in all dairy products poses a threat to Insulin resistance, meaning our bodies resist insulin, thus leading to high blood sugar levels.

  1. Cancer

Consumption of dairy products has been linked with a lot of different cancers. Studies have found positive cases of prostate cancer and colorectal cancer in men consuming milk on a daily basis. High circulating levels of something called’ Insulin like growth factor’ (IGF-1) is believed to be the reason causing cancer (6). A large study done on women found that those who  consumed the highest amounts of cheddar cream cheeses had a higher risk for breast cancer (7). Dairy intake can also lead to development of ovarian cancer. The reason is believed to be conversion of milk sugar (lactose) to galactose, a sugar which may be toxic for the ovarian cells (8). 

  1. Bad fats and heart problems

Dairy products including milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, ice cream are major food sources containing saturated fat. Saturated fat increases the level of bad fat, i.e., low density lipoprotein (LDL) in your body, which is directly linked to cause heart problems (9).

  1. Addictive substances

Using the Yale Food Addiction Scale, designed to measure a person’s dependence on, scientists found that cheese is particularly potent because it contains casomorphins (Casein derived Morphine like substance)- the substance, which is present in all dairy products, can trigger the brain’s opioid receptors which are linked to addiction. Neal Barnard, author of The Cheese Trap, also refers to Caseomorphins as opiates and mentions that these opiates attach to the same brain receptors that heroin and morphine attach to. They are not strong enough to get you arrested, but they are just strong enough to keep you coming back for more.

It has also been found that Casomorphins can destroy pancreatic beta cells, cells which are responsible for making Insulin. This destruction can lead to Type-1 Diabetes. Also, they have the potential to kill your body’s immune cells, subsequently causing autoimmune disorders (11).

  1. Lactose Intolerance

In a recent article published in The Times, 60% of the Indian population was found to be lactose intolerant without even realizing the same. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest milk sugar called lactose. Nursing children make enzymes that break down lactose, but as we grow up, many of us lose this capacity (12). As a result, lactose is not absorbed, but remains in the intestine where it causes symptoms which  include  upset  stomach,  diarrhea,  and  gas (12).

  1. Allergies 

Cow’s milk is among the first foods introduced into an infant and accordingly is one of the first and most common causes of food allergy in early childhood. Various respiratory (wheezing, coughing, asthma) and gastrointestinal (abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) discomforts and rashes on the skin have been observed (13).

Contaminated milk can cause allergic reactions or indirect problems through bacterial resistance to clinical treatments.

Cow’s milk contains 30 different proteins, of which Casein constitutes 80% share. The allergic reactions upon milk consumption are thought to be because of this milk protein, termed as cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) (14).

  1. Effects on infant and child health

Cow Milk (CM) allergy can be one of the things that can impact infant and child health. Besides, Colic is an additional concern with milk consumption probably due to either Casein allergy or Lactose intolerance. Colic is a process in which an infant has inconsolable outbursts of crying for more than three hours per day, more than three days per week, for longer than three weeks. Possible treatment options include restriction of any form of milk or dairy product consumption by the breastfeeding mother (15), as the allergens can be passed on from breast milk to the baby and further aggravate the problem.

  1. Not-at-all-healthy-bones

To assume that weak and brittle bones are due to calcium deficiency is like assuming that infection is due to penicillin deficiency. In fact, these impotent bones are not due to calcium deficiency but rather due to excretion of too much of what you already have. This breakdown of Calcium is due to overconsumption of proteins. Dairy products, as we all know, contain good amounts of proteins and excess protein tends to leach out calcium, in order to buffer the renal acid load as caused by proteins (17).

Also, it has been found in an ample number of studies that milk compounds like beta-casein and D-galactose can negatively impact bone health due to their capability of causing inflammation (18). Also in another study, it was concluded that milk consumption did not prevent fractures (19). This can possibly be due to the fact that several other nutrients play an important role in the cascade of strengthening the bones. (Vitamin D, Vitamin K along with Calcium).

  1. Dairy and skin problems

Dairy products, especially milk allergy, can manifest as Eczema along with other symptoms. Psoriasis is a condition in which there are dry, itchy, scaly patches on the skin and is thought to be caused by immune system problems and infections. Dairy products can be triggers for this skin problem because of their capability in causing inflammation as well as infections.

  1. Dairy products and infections

Developing countries like India face greater challenges as a result of incorrect processing or storage of dairy products. Being rich in protein, dairy products represent a transmission hazard for a large number of pathogens and can be responsible for outbreaks of  infections like brucellosis, listeriosis, tuberculosis, etc (20).

  1. Common sense

Besides humans, no other organism drinks milk beyond their natural age of weaning or drinks the milk of another species. Any type of milk whether it is A1 or A2, pure and farm fresh or organic, it does not suit the nutritional needs of humans, so it’s no wonder that consuming it and its derivatives causes us so many problems.

Our recommendation. Ditch the dairy. 

Confused about what to eat? Reach out to iThrive on +91 77966 92504.


Ria Jain
Functional Nutritionist

Ria has a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and is in a permanent research mode and keeps the rest of us at iThrive (Previously ThriveFNC) updated with her latest findings in the field of Nutrition. Her articles on iThrive's blog are an expression of her research findings. We really don’t know what we’d do without her support and her focus.

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