by Judith G. Cobb, MH, CI, NCP
One of the dietary directives I often give to clients is to eliminate cow milk from their diets. Several factors have influenced my feeling secure in giving this advice.
There is the fact that humans are the only animal that willingly seeks out and consumes the milk of another animal. Humans also continue to consume that foreign milk long after they have been weaned.
Cow milk, especially, is a good source of mucus. When you have a cold the doctor doesn’t say, “Go home and drink plenty of milk”; instead he says, “Go home and drink plenty of clear fluids,” because these fluids will help to break down mucus.
Dairy products may not be well digested and may result in the build-up of mucus, which can result in reduced immune response, recurring upper respiratory infections, recurring ear infections, gut issues, and constipation.
“What about calcium?” you ask. Once again, cow milk was not designed for the human system. The major problem here is a protein called casein which binds up the calcium present in milk when the milk hits the stomach. The resulting calcium-caseinate complex is impossible for humans to break down. Cow milk contains enough magnesium and phosphorous to draw calcium out of solution in your body, and as such may actually play a role in the development of osteoporosis. Dr. Lendon Smith wrote an excellent article for the August 1992 issue of Alive magazine. He stated specifically that babies who are fed only cow milk will develop iron deficiency anemia. While human milk has very little iron in it, it is ‘species-specific,’ making it much easier for the little gaffer to get his quota of iron to prevent this type of anemia.
Dr. Smith goes on to state that cow milk formula is often deficient in vitamin B6. This can lead to a deficiency that can cause seizures.
Folic acid is also destroyed in the making of milk based formula. This can lead to megaloblastic anemia. (This is also a drawback of using goat milk.)
Breast milk fed babies have fewer ear infections, as a general rule. Smith gives several reasons for this, including less likelihood of developing allergies to breast milk and the presence of anti-bodies in breast milk. As a last point, Smith stresses that the act of breastfeeding as well as the easy-to-assimilate calcium help contribute to a properly formed dental arch and strong bones.
Of course, we know that breastfed babies usually need to be fed more often. This is proof, in this case, that breast milk is the perfect food. It is digested completely and quickly, and does not put stress on the delicate and immature digestive tract of infants – thus, they seem to get hungry more often. (This supports the argument for breastfeeding on demand. Babies can’t tell time and should be fed when they are hungry.)
Dr. Joseph S. Golden of Stoughton, Massachusetts, said, “Goat milk is easier for the enfeebled or weak digestive tract to handle and there is less vomiting of goat milk by infants. The curd is smaller and more flocculent, permitting easier and more thorough assimilation. This has been proven by tests made of partially digested stomach contents and stools of infants fed on goat milk at St. Mary’s Infant Asylum and Hospital in Buffalo, New York.” Clearly, goat milk is second best, and may be the best option in cases where the mom can’t breastfeed.
It has been my experience that fresh, raw goat milk from healthy animals on a clean farm is not only pleasant to use, but actually enhances the results when I use it in baking. I don’t understand why. I just know that fresh goat milk does not have the unpleasant taste or odor that days-old goat milk has.
The following chart, excerpted from the Nutrition Almanac, makes it clear that human milk is for humans. No other milk comes close, although goat milk may be ‘second best.’ As adults, milk should not be a major part of our diets. As children, especially infants, human milk is the ideal food.
|measure||1 C||1 C||1 C||1 C|
|total lipid (fat)||gm||8.15||.11||10||10.7|
If you have concerns about your child’s health, or just don’t know where to begin making improvements, please contact me, Judith Cobb, to book an appointment. Skype, phone, webinar, and face-to-face appointments are available. I also invite you to Like us on Facebook (Cobblestone Health Ltd) and to visit my other websites:
Smith, Lendon. Alive. Vol 121, Aug 1992, p. 26
Kirschmann, John. Nutrition Almanac, Sixth Edition, McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, 2006.
Copyright © 2015 by Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health Ltd. All rights reserved. Please respect the time it takes to write and publish articles. If you will link to this article and give proper attribution, you are encouraged to quote sections (though not the entire article).