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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.
Breast Cancer Truths and Dairy Lies
THE MILK LETTER : A MESSAGE TO MY PATIENTS
Robert M. Kradjian, MD
Breast Surgery Chief Division of General Surgery,
Seton Medical Centre #302 - 1800 Sullivan Ave.
Daly City, CA 94015 USA
"MILK"Just the word itself sounds comforting! "How about a nice cup of hot milk?" The last time you heard that question it was from someone who cared for you--and you appreciated their effort.
The entire matter of food and especially that of milk is surrounded with emotional and cultural importance. Milk was our very first food. If we were fortunate it was our mother's milk. A loving link, given and taken. It was the only path to survival. If not mother's milk it was cow's milk or soy milk "formula"--rarely it was goat, camel or water buffalo milk.
Now, we are a nation of milk drinkers. Nearly all of us. Infants, the young, adolescents, adults and even the aged. We drink dozens or even several hundred gallons a year and add to that many pounds of "dairy products" such as cheese, butter, and yogurt.
Can there be anything wrong with this? We see reassuring images of healthy, beautiful people on our television screens and hear messages that assure us that, "Milk is good for your body." Our dieticians insist that: "You've got to have milk, or where will you get your calcium?" School lunches always include milk and nearly every hospital meal will have milk added. And if that isn't enough, our nutritionists told us for years that dairy products make up an "essential food group." Industry spokesmen made sure that colourful charts proclaiming the necessity of milk and other essential nutrients were made available at no cost for schools. Cow's milk became "normal."
You may be surprised to learn that most of the human beings that live on planet Earth today do not drink or use cow's milk. Further, most of them can't drink milk because it makes them ill.
There are students of human nutrition who are not supportive of milk use for adults. Here is a quotation from the March/April 1991 Utne Reader:
If you really want to play it safe, you may decide to join the growing number of Americans who are eliminating dairy products from their diets altogether. Although this sounds radical to those of us weaned on milk and the five basic food groups, it is eminently viable. Indeed, of all the mammals, only humans--and then only a minority, principally Caucasians--continue to drink milk beyond babyhood. "Indeed, of all the mammals, only humans--and then only a minority, principally Caucasians--continue to drink milk beyond babyhood.
Who is right? Why the confusion? Where best to get our answers? Can we trust milk industry spokesmen? Can you trust any industry spokesmen? Are nutritionists up to date or are they simply repeating what their professors learned years ago? What about the new voices urging caution?
I believe that there are three reliable sources of information. The first, and probably the best, is a study of nature. The second is to study the history of our own species. Finally we need to look at the world's scientific literature on the subject of milk.
Let's look at the scientific literature first. From 1988 to 1993 there were over 2,700 articles dealing with milk recorded in the "Medicine" archives. Fifteen hundred of theses had milk as the main focus of the article. There is no lack of scientific information on this subject. I reviewed over 500 of the 1,500 articles, discarding articles that dealt exclusively with animals, esoteric research and inconclusive studies.
How would I summarize the articles? They were only slightly less than horrifying. First of all, none of the authors spoke of cow's milk as an excellent food, free of side effects and the "perfect food" as we have been led to believe by the industry. The main focus of the published reports seems to be on intestinal colic, intestinal irritation, intestinal bleeding, anemia, allergic reactions in infants and children as well as infections such as salmonella. More ominous is the fear of viral infection with bovine leukemia virus or an AIDS-like virus as well as concern for childhood diabetes. Contamination of milk by blood and white (pus) cells as well as a variety of chemicals and insecticides was also discussed. Among children the problems were allergy, ear and tonsillar infections, bedwetting, asthma, intestinal bleeding, colic and childhood diabetes. In adults the problems seemed centered more around heart disease and arthritis, allergy, sinusitis, and the more serious questions of leukemia, lymphoma and cancer.
I think that an answer can also be found in a consideration of what occurs in nature – what happens with free living mammals and what happens with human groups living in close to a natural state as "hunter-gatherers".
Our paleolithic ancestors are another crucial and interesting group to study. Here we are limited to speculation and indirect evidences, but the bony remains available for our study are remarkable. There is no doubt whatever that these skeletal remains reflect great strength, muscularity (the size of the muscular insertions show this), and total absence of advanced osteoporosis. And if you feel that these people are not important for us to study, consider that today our genes are programming our bodies in almost exactly the same way as our ancestors of 50,000 to 100,000 years ago.
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