Doctor's Note

Isn’t this amazing? I just kept thinking, “why didn’t I learn this in medical school?” Is the dairy lobby so persuasive that a cheap, simple, safe, life-changing intervention like this remains buried? Until now! If you appreciate learning what your child’s pediatrician probably never did, please consider making a donation to the 501c3 nonprofit charity that keeps this website going. I don’t make a penny off the site, but it does require substantial server and logistics costs.

Avoiding dairy may be important for infant health too. Watch my 3-part video series:

Then the effects on adolescents and beyond:

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  • Jocelyn

    So sad. And parents think they are promoting health when they feed their children dairy. Thanks for bringing the facts to light and helping people see the truth behind the dairy lobbying lies.

    • beetsbeansbutts

      Those lies have cost many people dearly.

      I have a Japanese friend who told me she was essentially force fed milk during her childhood, despite the fact that she is lactose intolerant. She had diarrhea at least 50% of her childhood, but brainwashed adults thought they were doing her a favor. That was 25 years ago, things have probably changed in Japan.

  • Johnny

    Id bet the “cows milk” discussed is the super processed, dead, homogenized, pasteurized BS from malnourished cows. Real milk from HEALTHY cows is still alive with Lactobacilli (and other beneficial microorganisms that are there to inoculate a baby mammals intestines), enzymes, minerals and fat soluble vitamins, among many other unstable molecules.

    RAW milk from HEALTHY cows would not cause constipation in young children. Id bet it would greatly enhance digestion.

    • Veganrunner

      Johnny have you seen any research substantiating your claim? It just seems so counter intuitive that human babies should drink cows milk.

      • Johnny

        To me, it seems less intuitive that human babies eat vegetables than drink cows milk. After all, humans and vegetables are from a completely different kingdom, while cows and humans are more closely related.
        -Im all for veggies, but the above illustrates my point nicely. I dont see how being a different species is relevent.

        Intuition aside, i have no scientific literature to back up the above (id bet its out there), however there have been millenia (literally) of years that humans have drank milk (why would they go through the trouble to boil it?) and recognized the life giving power of it. To me, thats likely more than scientific literature could ever prove.

        • Veganrunner

          Milk never worked well for my family. So now we never buy it. First my daughter turned up lactose intolerant and then my son developed terrible acne that went away as soon as I was able to convince him to try to give it up for just 2 weeks. Oh and by-the-way that was raw milk from the farmers market. Had I known better at the time I never would have introduced cows milk/dairy of any kind.

        • KWD

          Johnny, Admittedly I’ve never tried raw cow’s milk but I want to offer up for your consideration this excerpt from a recent video of Dr. Greger’s, “Saving Lives by Treating Acne with Diet” that struck me as crucial when I first listened to it because it hones in on a key biochemical implication of cow’s milk consumption by humans and why the target species is relevant:

          “Milk is not just food but appears to represent a most sophisticated hormone signaling system activating TOR, which is of critical concern given that TOR recognized as the fundamental driving force for a number of diseases. But if milk is naturally supposed to stimulate TOR, why the problem? Because we’re drinking milk from the wrong species. Cow’s milk is designed for calves. Cow infants grow nearly 40-times faster than human infants. Cow’s milk has three times more leucine, the primary activator of TOR, so it may lead to human TOR over-stimulation. It’s like where they do experiments giving donkey milk to rats to see what happens. Makes no sense. And of course milk is for babies, continued consumption of any kind of milk during adolescence and adulthood is something that never really happened naturally, and may have long-term adverse effects on human health.”

          Here’s a link to the video from which the above excerpt is copied: 2

        • largelytrue

          If you have no good reason for making your claims, then why do you make them, with EMPHATIC CAPS included? It simply reads as your own bias talking, and we know that there is a certain religiousity about raw milk in some people. Some of your wording right here (“life giving power”) shows this bias, and your last sentence is veering toward the antiscientific. Surgeons over the millenia have not made it their general practice to wash their hands before operating until relatively recently, for example, but no biggie, right?

          There is no question that milk has had “life giving power” for some populations for millenia, but what kind of life giving power do you have in mind? Can’t a pastoral culture revere their staple food source simply because it enables them to survive? Were milk-drinking people over the millenia ever particularly concerned with the health of those over 50? Would the pathogenic risks of milk or the long term effects on their lipids stand out to them very much when so many other forms of infectious disease were a larger problem?

          Do you think that unpasteurized milk is necessarily a food without risks to health, just because it has been used as food for a long time, and with some degree of reverence? For a long time in many cultures, alcohol and tobacco have been treated with reverence, but these are obviously problematic things.

          And if you are aware that raw milk is generally implicated with a greater burden of foodborne illness in the here and now (as, for example, here: but are choosing to ignore that in order to push your citation-free certitude about the healthfulness of raw milk, I think that’s somewhat shameful.

        • Rosemary Guy

          The issue is that they are so much like us that some times this is confusing to our system. Type 1 diabetes is an example of this where antibodies built up against cow protein is confused with the pancreas cells. There is also just confusion sometimes as the link with caseomorphins and muscular dystrophy shows

        • Gigi82

          I have read studies done on raw milk versus UHT/ homogenised—>. ” Adelle Davis “lets have healthy children” promoted various things for children’s health- raw milk being one of them..her writings about the studies of the effects of UHT milk and its effects were very interesting.

          • Ralph Graham

            “Adelle Davis used to say that she never saw anyone get cancer who
            drank a quart of milk daily, as she did. She stopped saying that when
            she died of cancer in 1974, leaving behind her a trail of ten million
            books and a following that was large, devoted, and misinformed.
            Her influence has faded, but not to zero. In 2005, an
            11-month-old boy who was raised on barley water and goats milk as
            recommended in Let’s Have Healthy Children wound up with severe anemia due to vitamin deficiency [10]. The treating physicians said he was lucky to escape brain damage.”
            Adelle Davis recommended Megadoses of Vitamin A, one vitamin that is dangerously toxic in megadoses. Her estate was successfully sued by people who took her advice – one case due to the terrible outcome to a child due to her advice and another resulting in the death of a child.

        • Stewart

          Interesting assertion. However, dairy is less standard in most parts of the world because lactose intolerance is very close to the norm in many gene pools. The impact of milk protein is less obvious than that of milk sugar. But the studies have shown that milk protein has many deleterious effects including provoking auto immune problem which have impacted me directly.

          The studies noted here did not take into account anything but the milk and the milk protein. I do not doubt that the micro flora you mention could be helpful but it is just not necessary that any beneficial ones come from milk. At the same time we began pasteurization due to the many deaths from raw milk. Indeed that is still a concern.

          I did drink lots of milk growing up and much of it was raw. At 21 I developed type I diabetes. At 55 I developed psoriatic arthritis. I woke up (more like flipped out) when they wanted to put me on an immune system suppressant and began studying. Eliminating gluten helped almost immediately but after reading about all the dietary dairy and meat impacts I went whole food plant based diet. All the residual symptoms disappeared and the gluten sensitivity did as well.

          I’ve seen other reports that a WFPBD can often eliminate gluten sensitivity.

          Johnny, the evidence on dairy and animal products is growing every day and it’s not a pretty picture.

          • Only in countries that pasteurize their milk. Most people can digesting lactose. It’s the pasteurized, homogenized
            protein that is a problem. That’s why the Mayo Clinic calls it milk protein intolerance.

          • Ralph Graham

            to Rawmilkmike
            With respect, is it possible that in spite of the Tsunami of evidence contrary to your opinion, the only reason you plod on and persevere is because you don’t want to change your screen name? :)

        • Dr. FloraMason Van Orden

          That was then, and this is now. Scientists have proven that the cow is the only creature that has the IGF-1 (growth factor) that triggers so many diseases, like diabetes and cancer growth, ear infections, growth of flu, pneumonia, leukemia, etc. Genetically, the Bonobos primates are almost equal to us. They are the most peaceful creatures in existence. Goats, buffalo, yaks, sheep do not have the IGF-1. Please look up this information at and (an organization of over 5,000 medical doctors, all of which do not include dairy from cows in their recipes in their Cancer Project and their president’s – Dr. Neal Barnard’s book “The Dr. Neal Barnard Program for Reversing Diabetes”, which we also use along with Dr. Gabriel Cousens’ book, “There is a Cure for Diabetes” in our classes, which are funded by a grant by the City of Homestead.).

          • IGF-1 (growth factor) is necessary for life. rBGH, a genetically engineered artificial hormone injected into dairy cows to increase milk production, is not.

        • Just Me

          If we are so much like cows like you said. Then cows are vegans, cows feed their babies their milk. So why wouldn’t we? I have never seen a cow feed it’s baby other species milk. The logic doesn’t work for me.

    • Ann

      No sane human being walks up to a cow and desires their milk.

      • Johnny

        Your statement is subjective and rather rude.

        • PeopleAreIdiots

          Really?? It’s subjective to say that humans look at a cows teet and their instinctual reaction isn’t to put their lips on it and start sucking away??? Really….. that’s subjective???? And how exactly is that statement rude?

          I think it’s rude to take the milk of breastfeeding animal that was biologically designed for their own offspring (just like any other mammal) and think it belongs to us just because we like dipping our oreos into something. I think that’s kind of rude.

      • Madhava das

        Because it is not necessary for optimal health to eat any kind of dairy product from any source, your comment is not rude – and certainly from the cow’s perspective, unnecessarily exploiting cows IS rude.

    • Hal

      Two of the most highly suspected causes of diabetes, excess protein and excess sugars, are far worse yet when combined. This is what the dairy industry and USDA absolutely do NOT want you to know (gotta love corporate influence). The most common AND consumed source of protein and sugars – milk. So, even raw milk from free range “happy” cows (!?) would be bad, for starters…

    • Madhava das

      When healthy cows cannot be exploited for milk any longer they are slaughtered – so much for “healthy” cows.

    • Coacervate

      I had to get up early and milk, by hand, with my father. Hated it. We’d sell most and one bucket went right into the kitchen. A towel strained out the big chunks as it went into brown gallon jugs. We would pull that ice cold raw milk out of the refrigerator and drink it down by the tumbler full. He loved it. So did I, especially on hot sunny days.

      One autumn, at fifty two, he went out to hunt deer. He didn’t come home. We found him dead next morning on a hillside. Heart attack. The autopsy showed his arteries were loaded up with pure, unadulterated unpasteurized plaque.

      They told mom and us boys to eat cheese, fish and chicken and EXERCISE MORE…on our farm!!!! They never said a thing about restricting dairy. So at 50, my turn came, heart attack, quad bypass. Anecdotes aside, the science is screaming at us: Raw milk from healthy cows will sicken and kill humans of all ages.

      • Stewart

        Only two more questions; How long since that surgery and what is your endothelial health now given the changes you’ve made?
        I know from your many posts that you have made drastic changes in your lifestyle and I would be very interested in the results. With type I diabetes my arterial condition is supposed to be treated as though I’ve already had a heart attack. So of course my doctor is eager to prescribe statins. With this diet my total cholesterol is now 110 so I’ll pass. I do have a friend whose CAD history is not unlike yours ie active but a lousy diet and it almost killed him. He has chosen, after the first surgery, more stents and drugs for life. He now is starting to suffer dementia and falls (at age 70).
        My guess is yours is a much better outcome.

        • Coacervate

          Best wishes to you and anyone coping with Type I. They seem to have come so far with humulin and pumps. I hope life is getting closer to “normal” for you. I am sure you can have healthy arteries and trade off some or all of the statin for plant-based eating. But do keep that great cholesterol number. Even, IMO, if it takes a small hit of statin.

          My op was on St Pat’s day, 2004. They didn’t/couldn’t get it all so I still had angina after. Could not walk to the mailbox without a break. Started whole plant foods on 11 July 2011. Now, 50 lbs lighter, have no detectable angina. I was on 90 mg of simvastatin with cholesterol above 5 mMolar(200 usa)…now it is 4 mMolar on zero statin.

          My brother is going the stent/drug route. Locked into a hunter SAD lifestyle, A typical veg for him is slaw drenched in sugar/mayo. Belief in “clean, wild game”, low-fat dairy, free range eggs as natural. I see his mind disintegrating. TIA’s, memory loss, brittle frustrated rage. Simple maths are a struggle. The difference between the two of us could not be greater.

          I tell my story, bang this drum loudly over and over because I can’t bear to see family and strangers alike going down needlessly. I feel like Logan might have if he’d made a successful run.

    • Robin Jackson Oldham

      You know what’s even better for young children? PEOPLE milk! It totally enhances digestion. Of course, no one really needs even people milk after a year or two… then it’s okay to drink water. Or the juice of soybeans. Or almonds. Or other plants, if you really must have a protein drink. ;)

      • Teresa Pitman

        Actually, the natural age of weaning from human milk (ie breastfeeding) is more like four or five years. And yes, that is exactly what all small children should be drinking. Then on to water…

    • Babette

      Raw healthy cow milk is what I was raised on and yes it does cause constipation, as I know all too well. When finally at age 11 ,, was “allowed” to choose what I ate__ mostly vegetables,,, stopped drinking milk , rarely ate cheese, oh to my delights every thing came out easy everyday. Also skin problems I had went away within 2 weeks.

  • New

    My entire life was riddled with constipation, gas, and anal fissures until I discovered Dr. Greger’s website and gave up meat and dairy products. I wish it didn’t take me 31 years to figure this out! The “doctor” I saw suggested surgery with the possible side effect of incontinence. No thanks! I’ll just eat some greens and beans! Can’t thank you enough Dr. Greger!

  • guest

    Quitting wheat and gluten and doing low FODMAPS seems to help me with constipation (and of course, abstaining from dairy).

  • Ariel Gail MacLean

    I would like to add to this discussion the fact that some kids (and adult kids, including me) have both allergy to milk protein AND lactase deficiency (problems with milk sugar) which manifests by diarrhea symptoms or alternating diarrhea and constipation (as well as further distractions caused by ear-nose-throat symptoms). As was explained to me in my early 20’s by one of the last true scientist-GI Specialists in America, these two metabolic errors often come together and the confusing symptoms mislead to incorrect, superficial diagnoses as simply a milk protein problem. Eliminating milk also gives the bonus of eliminating the many additional symptoms – GI + ear-nose-throat.

  • Cassandra H

    I too would bet it was a study using pasteurised milk ? I am from the UK and personally have witnessed healing with myself and my pets with the use of raw milk from Jersey cows.

    • Ravi Janu

      is the Jersey cow milk that tesco sells is raw? without artificial hormones injected into cow to produce milk?

      • Cassandra H

        Hi, Ravi no unfortunately no UK store stocks raw milk, Jersey yes but not raw. I get mine from a farm local to me in the North West there is a web site that lists them in the UK. I hope no one objects to me posting this but it is

        • Ravi Janu


  • Tobias Brown

    Astounding! I had to have a sphincterotomy a couple decades ago to deal with a fissure problem when I was younger. I has some recurring issue but thankfully nothing as serious… Anyway. Now, I know what was behind this, besides the likely too low level of fiber that I was consuming. It was the milk products! Ah! It is very sick that the American way of life has produced a situation where the medical system can now count on close to the entire population being sick and dependent on medical care and drugs for the last 15-20 years of each person’s life. The bad dietary habits aren’t simply deadly but they provide a long, extremely drawn out death ideally suited so the system can maximize it’s profits off each and every person. Not me. That’s one system I don’t want to get hooked into. And if this is the model for this one sector of our economy, don’t you imagine others are probably infected by the same anti-human, or inhuman, type of caring model for the public? It’s certainly true with the financial services industry. They have so many people as debt slaves now that only a fool couldn’t see it. Health slaves. Debt slaves. Education debt slaves. These are not the attributes of a nation that values freedom. Freedom would mean that we have an overwhelming preference for independence and for not relying on these parasitic features of our society.

    • Madhava das

      You are so correct – slaves. See my reply to “Outer Banks Co-op”.

  • malcontex

    I’d like to know to what extent any of this research can be (from a scientific perspective) applied to the general population, rather than just children with chronic idiopathic constipation.

    • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

      This is just another nail to the milk coffin. Milk probably increase the risk for cardiocascular disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disease etc.

  • Amy W

    My daughter suffers from this and has her whole life. She has been off cows milk for 2 yrs and off everything dairy for about a year. She refuses to drink water and only wants juice which causes other problems too. Any suggestions on alternative ways to hydrate her? She has dealt with two bladder infections within a year due hydration issues. She will drink oat milk but uses that to fill her stomach instead of food (another major issue). She won’t eat anything unless it has cheese in it and we cannot find the best non-dairy cheese or substitute that will suffice. Any suggestions on this matter would be greatly appreciated!

    • Leslie

      Eat juicy, water-dense fruit.

      Make a smoothie of berries and dates with a some water.

    • beetsbeansbutts

      Dr. G has a recipe for hibiscus, erythritol sweetened beverage…

      “My family’s recipe is to soak a handful of bulk dried organic hibiscus flowers overnight and then blend with a knuckle of fresh ginger, a teaspoon of amla, three tablespoons of erythritol, and a handful of fresh mint leaves to make the half-gallon we drink throughout the day. By blending in the mint, you’re adding dark green leafies to what may be the highest antioxidant beverage in the world, and it tastes like fruit punch! Your kids will love it. ”

      Link to a blog post :

      And seriously hibisbus is tasty. It really looks and tastes like fruit punch. Might be good for your juice obsessed child, haha.

      He also has some nice videos about getting children to eat veggies. Link below


      • Olivia

        Sounds like a great idea. I’ll make some of that too!

    • Olivia

      Amy, give her some lemonade made with fresh lemon juice, a little fresh mint, and lightly sweetened with organic cane sugar or erythritol. Since it’s mostly water, it will hydrate her, as well, the lemon in it will be healthy and cleansing.

      Find ways to get more fiber in her diet to help improve her bowels. Oatmeal with a little ground flax might help, some sliced apples, bananas, oranges, and strawberries (make a fruit salad).

      Also, homemade watermelon pops are a great treat and provide good hydration. Just take some seedless pureed watermelon, a bit of lemon juice, sweeten as desired.

      Hope that helps, and good luck!

    • Olivia

      Also, I’ve found that Daiya brand vegan cheese is the best tasting so far.

    • Ralph Graham

      “My daughter suffers from this…”
      Not sure what “this” is but, whatever, it appears her refusals and insistance(s) could hardly be got around with food. I would say she would benefit form counselling so that she can make choices rather than be dictated to by her obsession with refusing this and insisting on that. :)

  • Outer Banks Co-op

    It is not the dairy products, it is what has been done to the dairy by the dairy industry. Not even baby calves can thrive on homogenized, high pasturized , hormone filled milk. Homogenizing makes it the most dangerous. Its not even the same molecule anymore. Some people can drink dairy that IS NOT homogenized but is lightly pasturized AND from grass-fed cows ; others can only drink certified raw which is almost always from grassfed cows. I am from a state where raw milk was inspected and certified and there was never a problem with it in the entire 50 years i drank it as it was delivered in glass bottles to my families’ door. However, as an adult, i have sinus problems every time I drink milk from the store. Yogurt with live cultures doesn’t seem to be much of a problem to many people that I deal with, but cheese and butter have been ruined as well and give many people problems. It’s not the REAL FOOD that is a problem, its the FAKE MILK created for profit that is killing us and our kids. I personally breastfed my children for 2 years each and neither have any allergies to anything. I also gave them no solid food before 7 months to protect their delicate digestive system from allergens. I wish I had been so lucky! I was dairy-formula fed as are most people these days. If we would just leave well-enough alone, all this UNNATURAL FOOD wouldn’t be making us so sick. Just an old woman’s 2 cents worth…….

    • Madhava das

      It is not required for optimal health to take any source or kind of milk product, therefore it is UNNECESSARY EXPLOITATION of the innocent to take any kind of milk product from any source. It’s still slave milk.

      • BigBeefyButtBarnacleBabes

        I am vegan, I don’t share Madhava’s sentiment that animal agriculture is necessarily exploitation.

        But the current system seems to represent torture of animals….

        It would seem obvious to me that steroid, chemical free milk is better than steroid heavy milk.

        It is also likely that no milk > milk.

        • b00mer

          All milk is steroid heavy. Breastmilk from any species, added synthetic hormones or not, is filled with hormones. This is perfectly healthy and natural [for an infant of the same species].

        • Ralph Graham

          Big Beefy etc your life may be vegan in some or many ways but part of being vegan is to express exaclty what Madhava said.

      • Lawrence

        Just to clarify – we all need at least one form of animal milk. Our mother’s. Once we are weaned we never need to consume animal milk or by-products again. Breast is best followed by a whole plant food diet.

    • Dr. FloraMason Van Orden

      Calves will die within 6 months if given pasteurized, homogenized milk. Not many people have really thought about what happens emotionally to the cow and calf when separated. The cow’s grief (as does all emotions, ours included) goes into the fat, and when we eat that fat, the emotions go into us, and we wonder why we are feeling ‘down’ and ‘depressed’, when the normal feelings we should be feeling are joy and bliss. When one talks to people who are living a truly vegan life, especially the higher vibration life of living foods, one notices an exuberance and natural excitement that are absent in other groups and this silent peace is free to all who understand that we are one, and when animals are grieving and are feeling rage, this goes into the eater and drinker of the animal’s by-products. I call this the creature’s revenge My Asian and Eastern friends understand this. As long as we exploit others, whether animals or groups of people, we will pay a steep price in our own physical and emotional/psychological health.

      • Ralph Graham

        Dr Flora
        Claims like this will be dismissed by the majority.
        You could counter that by quoting your scientific sources.

    • Ralph Graham

      to Outer Banks Co-op
      Respectfully, what you appear to have thoroughly missed is that although health can improve with raw milk, compared to treated milk, most of what is caused by milk is caused by both kinds. Read more widely and you will see that the problems with milk are because it is not meant for human consumption and whole populations who don’t drink it ( including cheese etc) do not have the problems it causes. Many people somehow fear giving up dairy products. Out addiction to it goes in less than 30 days and there are many benefits to be had. Just give it a try. You can always go back :)

  • Karin

    There is no question about it with all the research and knowledge we have now cows milk is for baby cows and not for human babies or adults. It is disgusting and nowerdays full of pus hormones bacteria and antibiotics. I never liked milk and when i had to drink it as a child because my parents still thought it was healthy than i constantly had throat inflamations. That disappeared when a homeopathic doctor told me to stop consuming milk and eggs. Now i stopped with dairy completely and am vegan i never felt better!

  • Daniel Wagle

    I haven’t been drinking glasses of milk for a long time (2 or 3 years) but recently I have really tried to cut down on dairy byproducts, such as milk chocolate and even non dairy creamers which have milk byproducts in them. I now use a coconut creamer and I never buy cheese and try very hard to avoid it at restaurants and the like. I do it first and foremost for the ethical reasons, but the rationale that dairy has hormones that are meant to stimulate the growth of calves which are designed to grow much faster than humans. sounds very plausible as a reason as well to avoid dairy. Even “grass fed, organic” dairy would contain these hormones. I get my calcium from soymilk, blackstrap molasses, turnip greens and almonds and sometimes oranges as well. Now that I eat all of these things, when I fall I don’t break bones like I used to when I fell. Beans also have calcium in them. There is just too much cruelty in dairy farming for me to consume any dairy products.

  • Megan

    Suits this help with encopresis in children?

  • BenzoSt

    I had chronic constipation when I was very young. My doctors attributed it to anxiety, which may have been true. What’s odd is that my doctors told my parents to give me laxatives and whole milk, while the rest of my family drank 1% milk. I wonder why this was so?

    • Madam

      Cow’s milk is intended for the calves, not us. Cows are kept constantly impregnated so they will keep producing milk. If a male calf is born, it is ripped away from its mother and sent to slaughter. Just so humans can have that milk instead. Hopefully your family no longer buys into cruelty.

      • BenzoSt

        You have missed the point of my question, which is: Why would someone suggest whole cow’s milk as a means to treat constipation?

        As a mutant capable of digesting lactose, it’s a survival advantage for me to be able derive calories from products – but I doubt it’s optimal for my longevity. So I’m going to see what 3 months of a strict vegan diet does to my blood work, athleticism, and subjective well-being. Animal welfare is a nice bonus, but I am more concerned with improving my health and reducing my carbon footprint. I’m concerned that many people take up veganism for the sake of animal rights, rather than personal health. Without being educated about proper nutrition, many vegans suffer nutritional deficiencies after a while.

        I predict that a vegan diet devoid of refined flour, sugar, or vegetable oil, and with supplemental B12 and algae-derived omega-3 will make me healthier in 3 months. Time to put my prediction to the test!

        • Thea

          Good luck BenzoSt! You are on an exciting journey.

        • b00mer

          With most doctors considering cow’s milk vital for children, maybe they didn’t consider *no milk* to be an option, so thought that the increased fat in whole vs 2% would somehow help with the constipation? I’m not saying it’s a good idea, just that maybe that’s what they were thinking.

          • BenzoSt

            Probably so, but then again it might be hard to get kids to eat enough leafy greens to meet their calcium quota.

            Anyway, after being 99.9% vegan for about a month (I take supplements with gelatin capsules), I am more regular than ever. I’m consuming about 100g of fiber a day without even trying and pooping about 3 times a day, which is rather hedonistic.

            Previously to this vegan experiment I was experiencing intermittent constipation on an omnivorous diet that included sardines/salmon 2-3 times a week, meat like 1 time per month, egg whites fairly frequently, and yogurt and whey 2-3 times a day. Given what I have learned here, I think the dairy was the primary culprit for my prior irregular irregularity.

          • Thea

            BenzoSt: That second paragraph – almost had me laughing out loud.

            What I also really like about your post is the detail you went into about your previous diet. I think most people (Americans anyway) would read that and think that you had been eating animal products in moderation – maybe even not that much compared to other people. And yet when you went vegan (I think you are close enough to proudly claim the title), you experienced a significant, visible health improvement. Thanks for sharing! And for being funny. :-)

          • b00mer

            Re: calcium, it really shouldn’t be an issue when promoting milk, since most milk only has calcium because the cows receive supplementation in their grain-based feed. Unless doctors are recommending only 100% grass-fed dairy to parents, there is no difference between giving a child milk vs giving the child a calcium supplement directly. While of course as we now know, grass-fed or not, there are multiple reasons to actively discourage milk consumption.

        • Rosetta

          This really sucks I love cheese

        • Most people can digesting lactose. It’s the pasteurized, homogenized protein that is a problem. That’s why the Mayo Clinic calls it milk protein intolerance.

  • Sandy K

    What can we give our kids. We have to grandsons ages 10 and14. They are allergic to soy, don’t like coconut milk and the 10 year old is allergic to almonds. Any suggestions?

    • Thea

      Sandy: Have you tried rice, hemp or oat milks? I have seen them all in the stores. You can also have fun making your own milks with various nuts, seeds and grains.

      • Sandy K

        They didn’t like hemp. They have not tried rice or oat milk. We want them to get their calcium.

        • Veganrunner

          My older kids like the rice milk the best. We have tried them all.

          • Sandy K

            Thank you, we will give rice milk a try.

        • Thea

          Sandy K: Most of the commercial non-dairy milks have calcium added. You just have to check the box. When they do add the calcium, it usually equals or exceeds the amount in dairy milks.

          If the comment about wanting them to get calcium was in response to making your own milks, I can understand that. But you might want to educate yourself a bit about what foods have calcium in them. A proper whole food plant based diet will have lots of sources of calcium and may not need supplemented milks at all. Brenda Davis has a book that is a really good reference for proper diet and nutrient and includes a whole chapter on feeding children – including meal plans for children of various ages. The book is called: Becoming Vegan Express Edition. Just a thought.

          Good luck! It is so vital to feed kids right. I hope it works out for you.

          • Sandy K

            Thanks, Thea.

        • b00mer

          Hi Sandy, I really enjoy rice milk, I think it’s the most “neutral” tasting milk, it reminded me the most of dairy milk in that regard. But I don’t buy it because at least where I live it’s quite a bit more expensive than soy or almond. However, it’s dirt cheap if you make it yourself – about $0.30 to $0.60 per gallon depending on how thick/dilute you like it.

          Also regarding calcium, I would second Thea’s advice, and perhaps recommend entering your children’s food into cronometer, so you can really see how much calcium they’re getting from a plant-based diet; you might discover they’re getting plenty without any milk.

          But also keep in mind that both non-dairy and most dairy milks simply contain calcium supplements; it’s not inherently present in significant amounts in non-dairy milks or in most cow’s milk, since most cows aren’t eating the leafy greens (grass) that the calcium originates from. The calcium in most cow’s milk comes from a supplement added to their feed. So unless the kids really enjoy drinking milk, or it’s a matter of habit or convenience, there’s no reason to think it would be a superior way to get calcium into your kids compared to just giving them a supplement.

        • gs

          Sandy get their calcium from fruit and veges – search and you will see :]

    • Madam

      Why don’t try oat milk? You should be encouraging your children to live in a cruelty free world. What the Dairy industry does to the unwanted male calves, just so humans can have that milk instead, should be reason alone for your kids not to want to drink it. They are just used to the taste of dairy. Eventually they will get used to the taste of dairy free alternatives. Kids need to learn to accept that we cannot be part of animal cruelty just to suit our taste buds.

    • Julot Julott

      They dont even need vegan milks to be healthy…

    • Małgorzata Gumienna

      Sandy please take a look at top vegetables for calcium
      & top fruit for calcium
      top legumes for calcium
      top grains for calcium
      & top nuts & seeds for calcium
      and even some herbs has so much of calcium that few percent of daily RDA value you can get during the day from mixed spices like basil&poppy seeds&thyme&dill weed

      I hope this is helpful to check how much calcium your grandsons consume during typical day and maybe add some low dose supplement if it is really needed. I sometimes take 200mg cheap calcium supplement once or twice a day just to add some calcium to my diet and I never take those calcium supplemetns that contain whole daily RDA value for calcium cause I don’t need that much. Maybe consider doing the same if your grandsons don’t want to drink any kind of calcium fortified milk alternatives. You can also make some meal or even dessert and just add some low dose calcium supplement to it – and you get homemade calcium fortified meals:) You can do the same with b12.

    • Raw milk. It will eventually cure their allergies.

      • Thea

        rawmilkmike: Dairy of any kind, whether raw or otherwise, is not a healthy food. The following videos will give you a start in understanding why that is:

        Good luck.

        • Forks over Knives gives no proof that raw animal products don’t produce even better health benefits than a raw plant based diet. Anyone who says “raw or otherwise” is expressing there opinion. The studies they quote are not on raw milk or any other raw animal product. There are millions of raw milk consumers that grew up on pasteurized milk. They know the difference. How healthy do you think a plant based diet would be if it came in a can?

          • Thea

            rawmilkmike: re: ” How healthy do you think a plant based diet would be if it came in a can?” Quite healthy relatively, thank you! My diet consists of quite a bit of food from “cans”/pre-processed. I eat a lot of canned beans. And I eat jarred and boxed tomatoes. And I eat lots of frozen veggies which have been pre-cooked and stored in plastic bags. Etc. And by all the overwhelming scientific information and personal information I have gathered, I’m far healthier and have far less disease risk compared to milk drinking people–milk of any kind. But most especially raw milk.

            re: “… no proof that raw animal products…” I believe that Toxins addressed this point with you on another post. I will also refer you to the following site, which includes a list of stories of poor kids who got ***terribly*** sick (including losing kidneys) from drinking raw milk:


            So sad. These are not isolated incidents. This is why we pasteurize milk. Not that milk of any form is healthy. To understand the health risks, I’ll provide the following quote from the above site:

            “Between 1998 and 2008, 85 outbreaks of human infection resulting from consumption of raw milk reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including a total of 1,614 reported illnesses, 187 hospitalizations and two deaths. Illnesses and deaths have also been linked to the consumption of fresh cheese made from raw (unpasteurized milk), especially the Mexican-style queso fresco cheeses. Since many millions of people drink pasteurized milk every day in the United States, and only about 1-3% of the population drinks raw milk, the number of illnesses reported show that the actual risk of getting sick from drinking raw milk is tremendously higher than drinking pasteurized milk.

            Statistics from the CDC and state health departments comparing raw and pasteurized dairy products linked to reported foodborne disease outbreaks (1973-2006) show that raw milk and Mexican-style queso fresco soft cheeses (usually made from raw milk) caused almost 70% of the reported outbreaks even though only 1-3% of the population consumes raw dairy products. If raw and pasteurized milk were equally risky, it would be expected that there would be far more pasteurized outbreaks since the number of people drinking conventional milk is so much higher.”

            I don’t expect any of this to be convincing for you. You appear to be very vested in drinking raw milk. I just hope others do not get mislead, which is why I responded again this time. I hope that you are able to stay healthy and wish you luck.

          • Toxins

            Thanks for sharing this important information.

          • So Thea, you admit you are not completely healthy. The only empirical evidence that exists on raw milk suggests that raw milk may help you with your health problems.

            “poor kids” can’t afford raw milk in this country.

            Toxins has not addressed the issue of “raw animal products”. Their data is on cooked and processed animal products. There is no empirical data linking raw milk to illness. Association is not proof of cause.

            You are referring to unsubstantiated isolated incidents. Yes these children got sick and suffered terminable complications but what were the causes of the diarrhea and the complications?

            According to U.S. government studies raw milk may actually have a negative risk factor.
            1. An estimated 17.3% of raw milk consumers in Minnesota may have acquired an illness caused by 1 of these enteric pathogens during the 10-year study period. (That’s 1.7% per year.) or (1 in 59) and (No deaths in the US from fluid raw milk consumption.)
            2. About 48 million people (That’s 15% per year or 1 in 6 Americans) get sick and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases, according new estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
            If raw milk is the most dangerous food NOT on the market how is it possible that only 1 in 59 raw milk consumer get sick each year from foodborne diseases while 1 in 6 Americans(78.5% of whom drink
            pasteurized milk and only 3% of whom drink raw milk.) get sick each year from foodborne diseases? Raw milk may be preventing 1.3 million cases of foodborne disease and 90 deaths every year in the US. Or in
            other words: Apparently people who don’t drink raw milk are 9 times more likely to contract a so called foodborne illness than people that do.

            I am “very vested” in my health and that of my wife and children.

          • Dr. FloraMason Van Orden

            Pasteurization does not guarantee that all dangerous pathogens will be killed.

          • Thea

            Dr. FloraMason Van Orden: That’s true. The above quote from “realrawmilkfacts” shows not only that drinking raw milk is more dangerous than drinking pasturized, but that drinking any milk comes with risks. I don’t know how the pasturized milk risks compare to risks of “foodborne disease outbreaks” of plant foods, but I do see that as being just one more reason of so many why drinking any kind of milk is not wise.

          • Actually, raw plant foods have some of the worst so called outbreaks of so
            called food-borne disease.

          • Toxins

            Would you eat raw chicken? I think raw plant foods are over hyped in the media because it is so unusual for it to happen, and people do not expect their raw produce to hurt them. But if you ate raw chicken we can assume that at the least,90% of the time you would get sick.

          • If you buy raw chicken you can assume that at the least 90%(actually 65.2%) of the time it will contain E. coli.

            “It is important to note that only a small proportion of patients who ingest E. coli O157:H7 actually get sick. Infection can range from asymptomatic carriage of the bacteria to abdominal discomfort, bloody diarrhea, or even the more serious HUS.”

          • Toxins

            Nice quote, but without context it is not evidence. Please share the studies.

          • Why? Do you disagree?

    • ruth sandin

      Rice milk?

    • dkrt

      Have you tried rice milk?

  • Madam

    Cow’s milk is intended for the calf, not us! No wonder so many people have trouble consuming it. The fact so many male calves are destroyed within days of being born, just so the selfish human race can have that milk, speaks volumes on how rotten the human race is. I gave up all dairy products five years ago for that reason alone! Yet many people are only giving it up because reports now suggest it causes osteoporosis, constipation, diabetes etc. Proves that humans still have no compassion for other living beings. Would you drink your own mother’s breast milk beyond infancy? Of course you wouldn’t, but you’d happily drink a cow’s milk if it didn’t cause you any problems. You’ve been brainwashed for years by the Dairy industry. With the large amount of dairy-free alternatives available in the supermarket (soy, rice, almond oat milk), there is no need for anyone to buy cow’s milk. Stop buying into cruelty. What the industry does to male calves is so shocking, do you really want to be part of that??? I am quite appalled by some of the comments here. “Me, me, me”. No respect for the animals.

  • Merio

    I found interesting this post about past populations where meat and diary/milk were staple products:

    and about cow’s milk there is this review:

    Of course, there is even the elephant in the room, id est “The China Study”…

    • Coacervate

      Thanks Merio! I just read them all. I found the German dermatology review most interesting and useful. It is on its way to some young friends with just these sorts of problems. Why is it taking so long to unmask this problem?

      And how could we ever change something so huge and powerful as the dairy industry? I think one critical step is to get this at least presented in schools from primary right through university. Just let the work stand on its own. But who is in control of that? Certainly not me. My assistantship was funded on a dairy grant. I really can’t see how my Alma Mater could ever support anything like unbiased teaching and research in dairy.

      • Merio

        When i was young i used to drink a LOT of milk, simply ’cause TV said that was good and doctors said that too so… Unfortunately people forget that we are not cows and our babies had a complete different growth rate compared to baby calf… i quote from wikipedia:

        A commercial steer or bull calf is expected to put on about 32 to 36 kg (71 to 79 lb) per month. A nine-month-old steer or bull is therefore expected to weigh about 250 to 270 kg (550 to 600 lb).

        • “human babies” and “calves” will get sick and eventually die if there milk is pasteurized and homogenized. The same goes for any food and any creature really.

          • Merio

            Question: are you a baby cow ? What happens to a calve after the weaning period ? Any creature and food ? Does every creature in this world drink milk, or homogenized food ? Are potatoes digestible without proper cooking ?

          • Merio’s Questions and answers: “Are you a baby cow?” No, do baby cows eat their mothers? “What happens to a calve after the weaning period?” We eat them. “Any creature and food?” Yes. “Does every creature in this world drink milk,” Any mammal does. “or homogenized food?” No and that’s my point. “Are potatoes digestible without proper cooking?” Consuming raw potatoes has more health benefits than cooked one. Because of its high content of potassium, sulfur, phosphorus, and chlorine, undiluted raw potato juice is proven to be effective in clearing up skin blemishes. However, you can get this potato benefits only if you consume potato as raw food because these powerful minerals are converted to inorganic atoms when potatoes are cooked. And, the best way to consume it raw is by taking it as juice. Fresh raw undiluted potato-carrot juice is so nutritious. A cup or two of potato-carrot juice a day is a great help to health problems like skin blemishes and high blood pressure.

          • Merio

            So you are not a baby cow perfect, so why we need their milk ???

            For the second question you are righ in part, but i forget to add that i was talking about free baby cows that after their weaning period STOP to drink milk and start to eat grass just like other cows, they do not eat milk anymore…

            For the third i was talking about ALL the animal kingdom ( and of course you are wrong because only mammals feed their babies with milk during the lactation period (

            For the fourth, your right: any mammal does (NOT every creature in the world)… until the weaning period where they stops to eat milk and start to look at other types of food.

            I’m sorry for the homogenized food question, i forget to erase that after writing the post.

            While for the potato question i am at odds with you and i think that it’s not a good way to eat potato raw.

            You can get vitamins by eating fruit and veggies, there is not need to eat potatoes raw.

            While for the minerals, talking in general: Calcium (I), Phosphorus (I), Iron (I), Sodium (I), Chloride (I) , Zinc (I) are absorbed in an inorganic form (I):




            While Co is absorbed in an organic form (B12 vitamin), Fe could be absord in both form (organic (heme) and inorganic).

            Anyway if you feel confident to eat raw potatoes i can’t argue with that.

            While i agree with you that fresh juices could be really useful for everyday diet.

          • Merio’s Questions and answers: I assume we are still talking about raw unprocessed milk bought direct from
            the farm. “so why do we need their milk ???” We don’t. What’s your point? Almost any food can be replaced if you try hard enough, especially if price, taste, availability, and proper supplementation are not an issue. You do realize that in some European countries effective vitamin supplements are already prohibited. If your friends at the FDA, CDC, WHO, and AMA get their way we could see the same prohibition here. If you don’t like milk fine but please don’t support the organizations trying to force feed us GMO corn, soy, wheat, and toxic drugs that do not cure the illnesses they cause. These people would love to eliminate the cows, chicken, and fish and just feed us the GMO corn and soy directly.

            Humans have no set “weaning period” or “lactation period”. Look it up. You will get all kinds of answers. What it comes down to is as long as the mother has the time and the inclination. What does this have to do with the nutritional value of milk?

            Maybe you do “not need to eat potatoes raw” but the point is you don’t need to eat them cooked either and they are healthier raw. “Fruit and veggies” can be cooked and pasteurized also. Where do you draw the line? The more you cook and process your food the more you rely on supplementation. How do you even know what supplements to take? Who can you trust for such information and how do you keep it all strait?

          • Merio

            My point is that we should minimize animal food as possible (1-2 time per week), so milk consumption (of course different from human milk that is perfectly fine for babies) should tend to zero; while maximizing intake of veggies, fruit, whole grains and legumes.

            I do not have any friend at the FDA, CDC, WHO and AMA, and probably my thougths about human health in general could be at odds with them; it depends on the subject.

            I do not support them any way cause i am not an US citizen.

            The GMO issue is really important for me, in fact i think that we should NOT use GMO food since we do not need it and for my perspective there are too many questions about it.

            You are in doubt with soy ? Change legume !!!

            If they want to eliminate animal food ?

            I do not think so or FDA will try every action to destroy animal business while it does not even address the antibiotics foodstock debate.

            And remember that the vast majority of soy feed goes to animals:


            And “we”(=women) have a lactation period (the period when the mother produces milk for her babies) while the weaning period is when babies start to eat other foods different from milk.

            You you cannot decide to give hamburgers to a new born.

            For the “pasteurized” issue is really simple: there a lots of fruit and veggies that should be eaten raw, why i have to have problems with potatoes when i can eat carrots, apples, berries etc raw ? Mix cooked food and raw carrots, to be sure to eat enough vitamins.

            I eat potatoes for starch, not vitamins.

            For nutritional guideline read this article by Doctor Greger:


            Or check this site created only for evaluating supplements:


          • Wasn’t the issue the length of the lactation period, not whether or not women have one? You can decide
            when to give hamburgers to a baby, 6 months, a year, or 6 years. It’s completely up to the mother.

            “A mother and her baby should breastfeed for as long as they wish to breastfeed. It provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. Breastfeeding should be continued for as long as mutually desired by mother and child. All the benefits of human milk including nutritional and health continue for as long as your baby receives your milk. In fact, as your baby takes less human milk, these
            advantages are condensed into what milk is produced. Many of the health benefits of human milk are dose related, that is, the longer the baby receives human milk, the greater are the benefits. To quote
            Dr. William Sears, “There is no set number of years you should nurse your baby.” If you and your child enjoy breastfeeding, there is no reason you need to stop. Both of you will continue to benefit from breastfeeding as long as you like.”

            The WHO is international and so are most of our problems with access to healthy food.

            Thanks to your comment on the potato look what we have stumbled across.






          • Merio

            I think there is a misunderstanding cause i think that mothers should breastfed their babies as long as they can; i do not think it’s a problem for human to eat human milk.

            The WHO said at least 6 month, but i think that one year is better even more if the mother can.

            I will read the links, and further investigate the “potato juice” issue.

          • Normally when someone says to me “Cows milk is for baby cows” I say “Ya and bananas are for monkeys.” because the argument is just that silly.

          • Toxins

            That analogy does not make sense, and it is a stretch to make it true. The reason mammals lactate are to feed their young, that’s it. Bananas, which by the way have been selected by man to look the way they are now, do not exist to feed monkeys.

          • So now you want to talk about the meaning of life. The analogy was meant to be funny. Just because baby
            cows sometimes drink cow’s milk that doesn’t mean we can’t also.

          • Merio

            Bananas and milk are completely different.

            Banans are fruit and their existence is a mean for the banana tree to maximize the spread of his seeds.

            Milk is a particul mammal secretion and his significance is to assure complete nutrition for a baby mammal until he can digest other kind of macro nutrients.

            And baby mammals are different from each other, or you think that the growth rate of human baby is the same for calf, or baby pigs etc ?

            Human milk is specific for human babies, while cow’s milk is specific for calf.

            And a lot of people lose the enzyme needed to drink milk

            Read about populations that eat a lot of natural “meat” and raw milk:


            They are not disease free.

          • We don’t know what these people where eating and they don’t mention raw milk. Bananas are fruit and their
            existence is a mean for the banana tree to maximize the spread of his seeds. They are not meant to be food for humans and certainly not a complete and balanced diet.

            “A lot of people lose the enzyme needed to drink milk?” This is pure speculation. It is an attempt to explain milk protein intolerance. The truth is most lactose intolerants are not lactose malabsorbers and have no problem with raw milk. As a matter of fact most lactose malabsorbers are not lactose intolerant.

          • Merio

            Did you read the link ?

            You do not understand the banana example… the fruit it’s a trick for the plant to induce animals (we) to eat it so that they will act as a vehicle and disperse seeds after digestion (even if today cultivars are practically without seeds for selection).

            Bananas are healthy fruits and can be a part of an healthy diet as many other fruits.

            Raw milk is not:


            There are compounds intrinsic of milk, it doe not matter if pasteurized, or not…


          • Toxins

            Merio, I completely forgot about these. Thanks for digging this up for us. How could I forget about TOR

          • They do not mention organic raw milk or say that it is the same as processed milk. They don’t say that
            milk is a carcinogen. They do say anorexia reduces the incidence of breast cancer. Maybe we should recommend an anorexic diet? Are they saying that vegetables are unhealthy for growing children?

          • Toxins

            Raw milk mike, your interpretations are off. Please try and see through your raw milk bias and view what Dr. Greger has shared as well as the studies themselves. The compounds are inherent, there is not an indication that these harms would not occur in organic, raw or conventional.

          • Tox, did you see Merio’s quote “Increased levels of IGF-1 are found in the milk from cows that have
            been given recombinant growth hormone”? You don’t think Dr. Greger has a bias? A medical doctor is not going to indorse alternative medicine. Anyone switching to raw milk knows there is a difference and it isn’t the taste. Are you sure you aren’t the one with the bias?

          • Toxins

            I still think the bias remains with you, as your username would suggest. Increased IGF-1 in milk from growth hormone does not mean that IGf-1 is not present to begin with, it just means it is further increased with the hormone. Even if IGF-1 were non existent in milk, the body still produces more IGF-1 due to the amino acid ratio of milk.

            “Milk is a complex fluid that developed over the course of mammalian evolution. Its primary function is to support growth and cell proliferation.”
            This is not something for humans to be consuming, growth is not an attractive feature as an adult, as this typically translates to unwanted growth.

          • MD stands for MEDICAL doctor not nutritionist. They sell MEDICINE not health-food. We are not just talking about adults but adults require sell growth also. 50,000 of the cells in your body will die and be replaced with new cells, all while you have been reading this sentence! Our bodies are recreating themselves constantly – we make a skeleton every 3 months, new skin every month. 15 million blood cells are destroyed in the human body every second. Every year about 98% of the atoms in your body are replaced. Doesn’t this mean that adults require more cell growth than children?

          • Toxins

            rawmilk mike, these conversations we have are honestly silly, and your arguments are elementary. I think you can figure this one out yourself.

          • “typically translates to unwanted growth in the form of cancer” Tox, you are just making this stuff up as you go. You did not read that anywhere. If this argument is so elementary why is it so difficult for you? “Normal cells are mortal, that is, they have a life span.” Cancer cells “essentially become immortal.”

          • Toxins

            rawmilk mike, I have already shared with you the links to see the easy to understand explanations from Dr. Greger. Your attempts to discredit the issue are just silly and demonstrates your lack of understanding of the issue.

            I would prefer not to carry this conversation on any longer, I can’t force you to think critically about this. Please see the video links and studies. If you don’t want to see the evidence, that’s fine. It doesn’t make the facts any less true.

          • Tox, I have already shared with you easy to understand explanations for why Dr. Greger’s issue is just silly. Your attempts to discredit me demonstrates your lack of understanding of the issue.
            I would prefer not to carry this conversation on any longer, I can’t force you to think critically about this. Please re-watch the video links. If you don’t want to see the evidence, that’s fine. It doesn’t make the facts any less true. Our bodies are recreating themselves constantly – we make a skeleton every 3 months, new skin every month. 15 million blood cells are destroyed in the human body every second. Every year about 98% of the atoms in your body are replaced. Doesn’t this mean that adults require even more cell growth than children? Proper nutrition is a much better way to fight cancer than starvation. Kids get cancer to
            and not all cancers involve growth. Cancer growth is actually a lack of cell death.
            Didn’t you see Merio’s quote “Increased levels of IGF-1 are found in the milk from cows that have been given recombinant growth hormone”? They also say anorexia reduces the incidence of breast cancer. Maybe we should recommend starvation as a way to prevent cancer? You should do a search on
            “cancer and the immune system”. Industrialization is just as bad for a plant based diet as it is for an animal based diet. Humans can’t live on Coca-Cola and Chips Ahoy any better than on ice cream and chocolate milk.

          • Merio

            if you wanna join the debate, it’s not a problem… i’m only a “biotechnologist”, human nutrition it’s only a free time activity… :-)

          • As a “biotechnologist” what products are you working on? What is your area of expertise?

          • Merio

            Technically speaking ? In nothing :-)

            I have a 3 years degree in Biotechnology and now i’m working on my Master program that is related to biotechnology applications to human disease.

            My thesis was much more molecular/structural and focused on a particular type of enzymes:


          • So you’re just a kid.

          • Merio

            I do not know… how many kids do you know with an University Biotechnology degree ?

          • Normally when people grow up they get a job. And what’s with your English? “with an University Biotechnology degree”?? “I have a 3 years degree in Biotechnology”?? “i’m”?? “wanna”?? “Yes, to this (your) reply”?? “it doe not matter”?? “it’s an hormone”?? “naturalling occurring”?? “Here is to you a site that is highly critic with raw milk”?? It’s no wonder your replies are completely non sequitur. We are not just talking about adults but adults require sell growth also. 50,000 of the cells in your body will die and be replaced with new cells, all while you have been reading this sentence! Our bodies are recreating themselves constantly – we make a skeleton every 3 months, new skin every month. 15 million blood cells are destroyed in the human body every second. Every year about 98% of the atoms in your body are replaced. Doesn’t this mean that adults require even more cell growth than children?

          • Merio

            Sorry, i’m not english, but italian.

            I forget to say that, so it may be that sometimes my english is not perfect.

            I do not proofread everytime i write something.

            Doesn’t this mean that adults require even more cell growth than children?

            And why i have to take my nutrients from milk ?

            There are many other options: seeds, legumes vegetables, fruits, etc.

            To me cow’s milk is simply useless, if not dangerous (on the long term).

          • I’m glad you have finally changed the subject. You don’t need to take your nutrients from milk but you shouldn’t criticize people that do. We have enough trouble with the government. If you don’t have easy access to raw milk then yes pasteurized milk is not only useless but very dangerous. There are not that many options for obtaining B12.

          • Merio

            Ok !

            Best regards !

          • Your english is fine Merio. I find that if you dont feed a troll then it will go away.

          • Merio

            Oh, thanks for your reply Coacervate, but it’s not a problem really.

            I have seen all kind of trolls (much more in political debate) and they do not bother me.


          • Just because we can eat bananas doesn’t mean we can live on them. Bananas are a healthy fruit and can be “PART” of a healthy diet as are many other fruits. Saying that cow’s milk is perfectly balanced for cows only means that it could theoretically be a problem for human infants less than 6 months old. I haven’t been able to find any study that shows that raw cows milk is any worse than infant formula.

            “The researchers basically concluded that the impact of pasteurization on the nutritive value of milk APPEARS to be MINIMAL.” According to the nutrition label on the side of the carton.

            The people saying raw milk is a super-food are raw milk consumers who know this to be a fact. The propaganda comes from raw milks competitors.

            All it says is “Consumption of cow’s milk and cow’s milk protein result in changes of the hormonal axis of insulin, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor – 1(IGF-1) in humans.” It doesn’t say what “compounds are intrinsic to milk”. Where do you get the idea it doesn’t matter if it is organic raw milk or not? And it doesn’t say that IGF-1 causes cancer. Anorexia reduces the incidence of breast cancer. Maybe we should recommend an anorexic diet?

          • Merio

            Who said that we can lived on them, uh ?

            The people saying raw milk is a super-food are raw milk consumers who know this to be a fact. The propaganda comes from raw milks competitors.

            Are there any papers about that ? Or just opinions ?

            All it says is “Consumption of cow’s milk and cow’s milk protein result in changes of the hormonal axis of insulin, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor – 1(IGF-1) in humans.” It doesn’t say what “compounds are intrinsic to milk”. Where do you get the idea it doesn’t matter if it is organic raw milk or not? And it doesn’t say that IGF-1 causes cancer. Anorexia reduces the incidence of breast cancer. Maybe we should recommend an anorexic diet?

            You missed this part:

            […]Milk is a complex bioactive secretion that plays an important role in enhancing growth and in the development of newborn mammals. Human beings are the only mammals that have access to milk and dairy products over the life span. Cow’s milk contains a number of bioactive hormones including IGF-1 (4–50 ng/ml) and IGF-2 (40–50 ng/ml) [57, 58]. IGF-1, an important stimulator of lactogenesis, is secreted into milk. Increased levels of IGF-1 are found in the milk from cows that have been given recombinant growth hormone to increase milk production [58]. Pasteurization and homogenization do nothing to significantly decrease IGF-1 activity [59]. Bovine and human IGF-1 are identical and bind with the same affinity to human IGF1R.

            It’s in the chapter titled “Increased serum levels of IGF-1 as a result of milk consumption”



            It’s important for cow’s metabolism:


            Like cholesterol, casein (do you know the China Study ?), and many other compounds… or microorganisms:


          • Thank you for proving my point. I missed that. “Increased levels of IGF-1 are found in the milk from cows that have been given recombinant growth hormone to increase milk production”

          • Merio

            maybe you do not understand the fact that there was ALREADY a IGF 1 level that with the use of an external hormone increase because that is the aim of the hormone.

            Or maybe you think that IGF 1 came out or nothing ?

            The hormone act on a pathway that is already there.

            Do you understand that ?

          • “Do you understand that ?” your previous statement “There are compounds intrinsic of milk, it doe not matter if pasteurized, or not…” contradicts your quote “Increased levels of IGF-1 are found in the milk from cows that have been given recombinant growth hormone” because organic raw milk does not have “recombinant growth hormone” like the milk referred to in your study/opinion peace.

          • Merio

            No it is not… simply because IGF1 is a natural occurring compound found in mammals and their milk.

            The quote is this:

            Milk is a complex bioactive secretion that plays an important role in enhancing growth and in the development of newborn mammals. Human beings are the only mammals that have access to milk and dairy products over the life span. Cow’s milk contains a number of bioactive hormones including IGF-1 (4–50 ng/ml) and IGF-2 (40–50 ng/ml) [57, 58]. IGF-1, an important stimulator of lactogenesis, is secreted into milk . Increased levels of IGF-1 are found in the milk from cows that have been given recombinant growth hormone to increase milk production [58]. Pasteurization and homogenization do nothing to significantly decrease IGF-1 activity [59]. Bovine and human IGF-1 are identical and bind with the same affinity to human IGF1R.

            IGF 1 it’s an hormone that is found in mammals and have various actions and it’s completely normal to have it both for cows and humans.

            The rBGH mimic the naturalling occurring cow’s hormone (BGH) to enhance the normal IGF 1 levels and promotes milk production.


            So IGF1 it’s intrinsic to our metabolism, like cholesterol, or C-reactive protein.

            Some intrinsic compounds are “natural”, while others were made by us and contaminate the life cycle:


            Here is to you a site that is highly critic with raw milk:


          • Is this suppose to be a response to something I said?

          • Merio

            Yes, to this (your) reply:

            “Do you understand that ?” your previous statement “There are compounds intrinsic of milk, it doe not matter if pasteurized, or not…” contradicts your quote “Increased levels of IGF-1 are found in the milk from cows that have been given recombinant growth hormone” because organic raw milk does not have “recombinant growth hormone” like the milk referred to in your opinion peace. Are you suggesting our IGF-1 level should be zero?

          • Geb.

            I turned 61 years old this year. My Mother could not breastfeed her 4 children because she had the rare condition of inverted nipples which would not allow suckling. I was raised on pasturized/homogenized cows milk. I did not get sick and die and neither did my three brothers.
            I did, however, switch to a whole foods plant based diet (no meat, no dairy) 6 years ago when my cholesterol shot high, when I developed gout, prediabetes, beginning osteopenia and carried 30 extra lbs being officially overweight. After the diet change I am now normal in every medical test and have returned to a normal weight of 135 on my 5’7″ frame.
            My friend, Jeff, at 69 years, suffered from Type II diabetes for the last 9 years. Jeff, as well, read China Study and, with his doctors help, switched to a WFPB diet. Two months later his doctor declared him free of his Type II and he is off all medications as well as saving the $500/month he spent on medicine. His physician read China Study as well and his clinic now treats all their Type II diabetics completely differently. His physician: “I was never taught any of this in medical school.”
            Re: milks. . the protein content of cows milk is 14%, rat – 49%, human being – .08 to 09%. Fat content of human mother’s milk is approx 3-5%. Whales – also a mammal – have mother’s milk fat content of approx. 40%. Milks are species specific and are not interchangeable. The ONLY mammal that continues to suckle after weaning is the human being .. which continues to suckle at the (removed) breast of the cow. Even cows don’t drink cows milk after infancy. Pasturized, raw, chocolatized, or concentrated into cheese (remember, it takes approx 8 gallons of milk to make one pound of cheese – concentrated saturated fat), cows milk has no biological place or role in human being health.

          • KWD

            Geb. Thanks for sharing your story and that of your friend to inspire others. Wishing you both continued good health.

          • He would have had the same results simply switching to raw dairy. Also losing weight can lead to yo-yo dieting.

          • Toxins


          • Look who’s talking. The pot calling the kettle black.

            Don’t you troll from 10 to 7 Mon thru Fri? Are your working overtime now?

          • Valerie says: I avoid dairy at all cost. My son is off of it. It makes his skin erupt terribly. It is bloating, full of mucus and blood and there is nothing nutritional about it.

            Rawmilkmike says: That’s only true of pasteurized milk.

            Toxins says: Inherent compounds exist in milk that are irrelevant to how the milk is prepared.

            Notice how you changed the subject and I fell for it. You never really disagreed with my initial post.

            You post one word and I waste 2 days answering a question you never asked. Well done.

          • Geg, you started out disagreeing but then proved my point. You would have died from pasteurized milk.

            You would have died as an infant if it weren’t for fortified baby formula. “By the 1920s, feeding of orange juice and cod liver oil greatly decreased the incidence of scurvy and rickets.” In other words doctors have known for nearly 100 years that pasteurized cows milk gives infants scurvy and rickets.

            “A good recommendation is to wean calves at 4 to 5 weeks of age.” “On bottle calves, I offer hay to them on day 3 as well as a handful of grain.” So calves don’t die from pasteurized milk either. But they would if they didn’t have another source of nutrition.

            Milks are species specific but so are plants. Not all mammals can live on bamboo. You apparently have not researched raw milk or infant formula. Human health appears to be a mystery to you.

          • Geg, I apologize for the flippant nature of my previous post but I still can not think of a pleasant way to make what I believe to be seven very important points.

            Maybe if I elaborate on 4 of them: Pandas can live on bamboo. Humans can’t. Cows can live on grass, Humans can’t.

            You didn’t say anything specifically about raw milk. Suggesting that you have no hard evidence showing that raw milk could have caused any of you and your friends health problems.

            Saying that you were fed exclusively cows milk as an infant suggest that you may not know what was being fed to infants in the 50s.

            To suggest that cooked and homogenized milk, today’s mutant plants, and a lack of healthy fats did not cause any of you and your friends very serious health issue but that only cooked meat did, gives the impression you don’t really know what caused those illnesses. Hence the use of the word mystery.

        • Dr. FloraMason Van Orden

          The T. Colin Campbell Foundation is offering an on-line certificate program in Plant-Based Nutrition for 30 CME credits to doctors to learn about many important and life-saving facts, such as that a majority of people on certain councils and boards in Washington, D.C. are being paid by the “industry” (dairy and beef), and so many have stock in the industry or other ways of being connected to it, that there is no freedom to vote on decisions that affect every the health and longevity of every baby born. Even international policies are being ‘sold to the highest bidder’, as far as the unhealthy amounts of protein, sugars, and fat that are recommended. Dr. Campbell has been a member of these committees, and had to actually sue some of them to disclose these awful facts to the general public. These organizations that are supposed to keep us and our innocent children safe have sold out..

          • Merio

            I think it’s an interesting program and health professional should be aware of it… as a former Biotechnology student (i got the degree in February) and now Medical Biotechnology student i will be interest in this kind of certificate just for my passion of Human Nutrition but now i have to focusing on my master program and lab skills. Maybe in the future i will invest more deeply in the nutrition field.

          • That is all very true but don’t forget corn, soy, and pharmaceuticals. Most importantly don’t forget that the plant based diet lobby is also guilty of spreading the same propaganda about raw milk.

          • Toxins

            Who is this plant based lobby you speak of? Do you know where government subsidies go?

          • Have you seen the food pyramid?

            “Although I often use the terms “support” and “subsidy” interchangeably, much government support of agriculture is not in the form of direct subsidy for farmer incomes or direct subsidy for production, but is indirect.

            Economists have criticized farm subsidies on several counts. First, farm subsidies typically transfer income from consumers and taxpayers to relatively wealthy farmland owners and farm operators. Second, they impose net losses on society, often called deadweight losses, and have no clear broad social benefit (Alston and James 2002). Third, they impede movements toward more open international trade in commodities and thus impose net costs on the global economy (Johnson 1991; Sumner 2003).”

            “The U.S. government heavily subsidizes grains, oil-seeds, cotton, sugar, and pasteurized dairy products.”

          • Toxins

            The few subsidies for grains, soy and corn go to feed the animals primarily, lets not pretend otherwise.

          • So besides oil-seeds, cotton, sugar, and pasteurized dairy products, we are also subsidizing beef and
            poultry production. What is your point?

          • “Who is this plant based lobby you speak of?” The pharmaceutical industry and anyone not selling animal products.

            “Do you know where government subsidies go?” Yes, to McDonald’s, Walmart, and anyone else selling products made from these commodities.

  • Brian

    Maybe a babies milk should come from a human and not a cow. I’m just saying, Johnny.

  • Lawrence

    Dear Dr Greger – Here in Australia we are currently seeing ads on TV extolling the virtues of milk with the A2 protein and not the A1 protein. The claim is that those who have an upset tummy from A1 Milk can drink A2 without any problems. Do you have any research on this point?

  • Tati

    The only milk an infant should drink I believe is breast milk as nature intended. My excessive milk consumption while pregnant and nursing flared up my eczema until a naturopath discovered I was intolerant to it. Went off dairy and healed my gastritis and no more steroid creams for eczema and no more constipation for my daughter. I cringe when I see kids drinking milk now and all these giant kids and pre pubescent girls? Marketing at it’s finest. Terrible.

  • Thea

    I have a thought for those people who think that consuming any kind of dairy after weening is a good idea. In other words, this site encourages breast feeding for human infants if at all possible. But what if you are no longer drinking your mother’s breast milk? Does it make sense to drink the breast milk of other species? Is it really natural and healthy?

    1) To my knowledge, humans are the only animals on the entire planet who suckle past weening – and not only that, but do so with the breast milk of other species.

    2) While drinking dairy milk is natural for infant mammals, with one exception, we all loose the ability to properly digest diary milk after weening. The one exception is a small subset of humans who have mutated to be able to properly digest dairy milk even after weening.

    I’ve seen various numbers about how many humans can properly digest dairy. The numbers usually range from 15% to 25%. That means at least 75% of humans experience mild to sever problems consuming dairy – and most of those humans are people of color:

    “According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 60-80 percent
    of African Americans, 50-80 percent of Latinos, and at least 90 percent
    of Asians and Native Americans are lactose intolerant and may suffer
    stomach cramps, diarrhea, and other painful or distressing
    gastrointestinal symptoms. Lactose intolerance occurs in 6-22 percent
    of people of northern European descent.”

    So, here’s my thought: Suppose you want to completely ignore the giant and compelling body of evidence that shows how terribly unhealthy it is for humans past weening to consume all forms of dairy (raw or otherwise). And suppose you want to completely ignore global climate change and human and non-human animal suffering caused by the dairy industry. Just based on understanding the above two points alone, we can see that any philosophy or theory of eating that indiscriminately includes dairy as healthy for consumption is inherently racist.

    That is worth taking some serious time to think about.

  • Richard

    Our daughter when she was a baby had terrible constipation. She would cry all the time and we as a result got very little sleep. We tried everything to try resolve the problem including laxities, enemas. Doctors weren’t much help. Our daughter was breast fed so we didn’t even think about the milk. Our daughter got a cold with a lot of congestion so my wife decided eliminate yogurt, cheese etc to help her recover from the cold. Within days she had no more constipation and we were getting sleep :). My wife also gave up dairy which we felt helped alleviate the problem. I wish the sort of information on this website was more widely available.

  • Dani D

    Is anyone aware of any research on adults? For milk, but also other diary products (yoghrut, cheese, etc.)? thanks!

  • This is excellent!! Thank you!!!!

  • There are 10 million raw milk consumers in America. Ask around you’ll be surprised how many you find. When you find one that has switched from pasteurized milk ask them about the health benefits.

  • Valerie

    I avoid dairy at all cost. My son is off of it. It makes his skin erupt terribly. It is bloating, full of mucus and blood and there is nothing nutritional about it.

    • That’s only true of pasteurized milk.

      • Toxins

        Inherent compounds exist in milk that are irrelevant to how the milk is prepared.

        • This video is also filled with unsubstantiated speculation.

          Not all dairies use Holstein cows and not all dairies keep their cows pregnant and not all dairies use rBGH. There’s a big difference between small raw milk dairies and large pasteurized milk dairies.

          They don,t refer specifically to raw milk or any raw animal products for that matter.

          Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) and antibiotics are given to animals, such as cattle and chickens in order to make them gain weight faster. Growth hormones also increase milk production in animals. These hormones may hold negative health repercussions for humans. Early puberty in girls has been associated with certain growth hormones used in meat and dairy products.

          • Toxins

            Xenoestrogens have been implicated here, which is present in milk. These are natural compounds that appear in milk. Growth hormones from human sources is not what is being discussed. Also, xenoestrogens are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the harmful effects of milk. Good luck finding a study showing decreased rates of cancer with increasing consumption of milk. I understand you are passionate about raw milk, but here at we use an evidence based approach and do not come to dietary conclusions based on emotion or feelings. Please present studies to back up your claims.

          • First, you are the one forcing others to buy your product. You are the one with the burden of proof. Implication is not proof. Where is your empirical evidence? “Growth hormones from human sources” can just as easily explain the results of your studies. They show increased rates of cancer with increasing consumption of pasteurized milk, not raw milk. Don’t try and create a straw-man.

            What you use is a lack of “evidence based approach” by saying you have not published any recent studies that show raw milk is safe and beneficial. That doesn’t mean you haven’t published the them in the past or that there aren’t present day studies that you choose not to publish.

            Like all salesmen you get emotional when your sales pitch is ignored. Your own evidence does not support your accusations. Your data suggests that raw milk is a safe alternative treatment for illness. It’s results speak for themselves. Passion has nothing to do with it.

            A person drinking raw milk has no need for speculation and is immune to much of the propaganda from competing pharmaceutical salesmen. A person switching to raw milk often sees imitate results with continued improvements in health over the weeks, mouths, and years to follow.

            Let’s see the rest of the iceberg. “is likely due to” “Now it appears we know why” “and ask why” “Higher Quality May Mean Higher Risk.” This is the best link you could come up with?


            “Whenever there is a new drug or surgical procedure, you can be assured that you or your doctor will probably hear about it because there’s a corporate budget driving its promotion. But what about advances in the field of nutrition? The reason we don’t see ads on TV for broccoli(or raw milk) is the same reason groundbreaking research on the power of foods and eating patterns to affect our health and longevity gets lost and buried in the medical literature–there’s no profit motive. It may not make anyone money, but what if our lives would profit?”

          • “GH and IGF levels are both elevated dramatically following exercise”

            “IGF-I in children have been associated with higher IQ”

            “Its deficit can cause hearing loss. Serum level of it also underlies a correlation between short height and reduced hearing abilities particularly around 3–5 years of age, and at age 18 (late puberty).”

          • Toxins

            I fear you have completely missed the point, to each his own I suppose.

          • The point is that humans are not herbivores. Your data only shows that raw food is healthier than processed food and on that we can agree. What you do not seem to comprehend is that raw and fermented animal products are more natural and even healthier than raw and ferment plants. Your data does not address this issue. Do you know anything about the traditional diets of Eskamos and native Americans?

          • Toxins

            I apologize raw milk mike, but I cannot further this conversation if you continue to not support your claims with evidence and if you continue to ignore the presented videos I have shared. Don’t let your passion for raw milk blind you from considering opposing arguments. You may think you are “in the know”, but it is apparent you have seen a small fraction of the videos Dr. Greger has shared. Please continue your research. Yes I am well aware of the Eskimos, their diet and lifestyle is not something I would idolize.

          • Tox, you took the words right out of my mouth. Who’s idolizing the Eskimos diet and what do we know about their lifestyle? If you are well aware of the Eskimos diet then you know it disproves Dr. Greger’s theories.

          • Toxins

            Clearly you are misinformed.

            “The data collected through this new investigation shows that Eskimos do have a similar prevalence of [coronary artery disease] CAD to non-Eskimo populations, and in fact, they have very high rates of mortality due to cerebrovascular events (strokes). Overall, their life expectancy is approximately 10 years less than the typical Danish population and their overall mortality is twice as high as that of non-Eskimo populations.”


            It is in line with the evidence shared. Furthermore, Dr. Greger has no “theory”, he is simply stating what the evidence has to say. You are the one who has a problem with it, which is clearly why you are so defensive. You cannot fight good science with whimsical ideas.

          • Tox, I said “Do you know anything about the traditional diets of Eskimos and native Americans?” No where in your link do they say anything about “the traditional diet of Eskimo”. To the contrary, they are referring to their current diet. Eskimos didn’t cook their food before the Europeans came to this continent and unlike us they ate the entire animal. Their diet was not high protein. It was high fat. 80% fat calories and almost zero carbs.

            Dr. Greger’s doesn’t specifically say anything. He uses terms like: “May have” “May be why” “Particular concern” “Could be” “They think” “Important theme” “Hormone dependent cancers” not “cancers caused by
            hormones” “Commercial cows milk” not “Organic raw milk” “Estrogen dependent malignant diseases” not “malignant diseases caused by estrogen” “Cow’s milk and cheese” when he is actually referring to “Pasteurized cow’s milk and cheese”. Good science or whimsical ideas?

            His data suggests that children need to eat more meat than adults and that animal fat may be more important than animal protein.

          • Toxins

            Again, you have failed to present evidence that raw makes any difference in terms of animal foods and milk. Once you do, we can get somewhere. Otherwise you are just gong to repeat the same unjustified ideas and I am going to continue to not believe you.

          • It may appear that I’m trying to sell raw milk but in reality I’m just trying to buy it. We just want to be left alone but we are constantly under attack. Tox, you are the one who has failed to present evidence to support your theories.

            You say some of the silliest things. Do I really need to present evidence that there is a difference between raw and processed foods. If you are going to insist that they are the same I think you may again be the one with the burden of proof.

            Again you have not responded to a thing I’ve said. You ignored all ten points and now you want to discus whether there is a difference between raw and processed foods.

          • Toxins

            Your points were not valid. I talked about the inherent xenoestrogens present in milk whether it be raw or not. All you did was retort with a bunch of ideas on why I am wrong without presenting evidence. I then shared that consuming milk is not helpful due to its IGF-1 raising effect, you retorted that low igf-1 is unhealthy, which does not have anything to do with the issues I raised, its just a distraction. I have already done my part, you are the one who does not want to listen.

          • My points were related to the link you posted. I assumed it was meant to support your position. “Bunch of ideas” ? It’s called logic. I have evidence out the wazoo. What evidence are you looking for? You are the one with no evidence. Quoting unsubstantiated accusations from people with a clear conflict of interest is not evidence.

            Retort: a quick, witty, or cutting reply; especially : one that turns back or counters the first speaker’s words. Why thank you.

            It’s silly to say “consuming milk is not helpful due to its IGF-1 raising effect”. IGF-1 is not a carcinogen and it would not negate raw milk’s numerous health benefits even if it were.

            Eskimos have been consuming European junk food for the last 100 years. To say that their lifespans are now worse than the rest of us is off topic since the subject was their traditional raw food diet.

          • Toxins

            If you bothered to see the video link and do a bit of research, just a bit, which you have not, you would see that elevated IGF-1, which milk is the greatest offender for, is cancerous. If oyu have evidence than sahre it, again you choose to share whimisical ideas which you refer to as “logic”.

          • You must have forgotten my earlier post. “Dr. Greger’s doesn’t specifically say anything. He uses terms like: “May have” “May be why” “Particular concern” “Could be” “They think” “Important theme” “Hormone dependent cancers” not “cancers caused by hormones” “Commercial cows milk” not “Organic raw milk” “Estrogen dependent malignant diseases” not “malignant diseases caused by estrogen” “Cow’s milk and cheese” when he is actually referring to “Pasteurized cow’s milk and cheese”. Good science or whimsical ideas?”

            Look at your non-statement: “elevated IGF-1, which milk is the greatest offender for, is cancerous.” IGF-1 promotes cell growth. it doesn’t cause cancer.

          • Toxins

            When you have a mass of evidence you can make links like this.

            Why do centenarians escape or postpone cancer?

            The role of IGF-1, inXammation and p53


            Cell growth is determined primarily by the growth hormone Insulin like growth factor, also called IGF-1. As a child, this growth hormone is found in much larger amounts and then slowly tapers off during adulthood. Increased levels of circulating IGF-1 as adults can promote unwanted growth, particularly in the form of tumors. An association can be seen in the following meta-analysis between increased IGF-1 levels and prostate cancer. “Our meta-analysis revealed that the body of the world-wide published literature is consistent with an average 21% increased risk of prostate cancer per standard deviation increase in IGF-I”


            A similar association is revealed between increased IGF-1 levels and breast cancer “The results of this collaborative analysis show that plasma concentrations of IGF1 are positively associated with breast-cancer risk.”


            Elevated IGF-1 has also been shown to increase the chance of the cancer to metastasis. This hormone is responsible for cancer proliferation, survival, migration and angiogenesis (feeding cancer with blood supply)


            IGF-1 deficiency leads to dwarfism and one might expect this group of the population to not get cancer, as is the case. “The individuals with GHR deficiency (GHRD) exhibited only one non-lethal malignancy and no cases of diabetes, in contrast to 17% cancer and 5% diabetes prevalence in the controls.”


            “Fasting serum was obtained from postmenopausal women participants at the Pritkin Longevity Center Residential Program where they were placed on a low-fat (10-15% Kcal), high-fiber (less than 40 gm/d) diet and attended daily exercise classes for 2 weeks.” They used the blood of this group and dripped it on cancer cell lines. Significant cell death was observed as well as reduced IGF-1 levels in the blood.

            In an attempt to “determine the underlying mechanisms for these anticancer effects”, cell apoptosis was again to be examined when the blood of a group eating a similar diet was dripped on a cancer cell line. What made this study so remarkable, was that not only did cancer cells die off in greater abundance when IGF-1 levels were lowered through diet, but that the cell death benefits were nulled when the researchers put back the IGF-1 into the blood and re dripped it on the cell line. It was also discovered that IGFBP-1, the protein that binds up the IGF-1 hormone, was found in greater quantities on a low fat, high fiber diet.

            “The aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine whether a plant-based (vegan) diet is associated with a lower circulating level of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) compared with a meat-eating or lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet among 292 British women, ages 20 –70 years” It was found that vegetarians and omnivores had very similar numbers in terms of IGF-1 levels, and one truly has to eliminate all animal products to have optimal levels of IGF-1 and IGFPB-1.


            “These considerations enable the prediction that a low-fat vegan diet will be profoundly protective with respect to risk for postmenopausal breast cancer. The protein content of this diet will preferentially support glucagon activity and possibly decrease IGF-I synthesis.”


            “In summary, these results suggest that total IGF-I concentration is lower among women who adopt a vegan diet. In addition, IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-2 concentrations are substantially higher in vegan women compared with meat-eaters and vegetarians, suggesting that the amount of bioavailable IGF-I may be lower in vegan women. The nutritional characteristics of the vegan diet that account for these differences are not clear but may be related to vegans’ lower intake of protein high in essential amino acids. These results suggest that even when total protein intake is not notably low, a low intake of essential amino acids, as typically found in a plant-based diet, may be sufficient to reduce serum IGF-I and increase serum IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-2 levels.”


            Milk indeed raises igf-1

            Thus we can conclude that milk can promote cancer growth, these are not whimsical ideas like the ones you present.

          • Tox, I appreciate the effort but you evidently did not read any of this link.


            Centenarians are exceptionally long living individuals who escaped the most common age-related diseases. In particular they appear to be effectively protected from cancers. The mechanisms that underlie this protection are quite complex and still largely unclear.

            As discussed along this paper, it appears that centenarians are protected from cancer by at least two
            different mechanisms: low IGF-1-mediated responses and elevated production of anti-inflammatory mediators. This can be likely due to individual genetic variants…


            Hold on now. So all you are saying is “Thus we can conclude that milk can promote cancer growth.” If this is your only point it isn’t much of a disagreement. So you are not talking about raw milk or what actually causes cancer?

          • Toxins

            Again raw milk mike, your citation does nothing to bolster your claim or diminish mine, if anything it further reinforces my claim that elevated IGF-1 is linked with decreased longevity. What is your point? Yes all milk does this, even raw. Your efforts to pick apart the studies as if they were faulty is unwarranted.

          • Tox, if you are not saying that raw milk causes cancer then we do not have a disagreement. So is that
            what you are saying or not.

            Also, originally Valerie said “dairy makes his skin erupt terribly. It is bloating, full of mucus and blood and there is nothing nutritional about it.” and I said “That’s only true of pasteurized milk.” Are you disagreeing with that or not? Are you saying that raw milk “would have maked his skin erupt terribly. It is bloating, full of mucus and blood and there is nothing nutritional about it.”

          • Tox, you didn’t read this one either:


            Even though we observed a modest increase in risk of prostate cancer associated with higher levels of IGF-I, and a slight reduced risk with higher levels of IGFBP-3, neither of these peptides are likely to be useful as additional measurements in prostate cancer PSA screening. The strength of the associations are too weak to have any value as a screening test, because at these odds ratios, the detection rate (sensitivity) is less than 8% for a 95% specificity (5% false positive rate)


            Do I really need to go through all of them?

          • Toxins

            Rawmilkmike, do you understand what you are citing? It is basically saying that if you have high igf-1 it does not mean that cancer is present. PSA screening tests cancer by-products. This does not mean that elevated IGF-1 does not lead to the development of cancer. Elevated IGF-1 is universally understood to be strongly related with increased cancer rates, this is not an issue in question.

          • If this link does not say that IGF-1 causes cancer why did you post it?

          • Toxins

            You are not understanding my posts nor your own citations from them. Alas, to each his own.

          • “Twenty-two consumer groups including the Physicians for Social Responsibility have endorsed a ban on
            artificial growth hormones in dairy cows. They cite studies that indicate treated cows produce milk with an increased second hormone, IGF-1”


          • Which is it? A misunderstanding or a difference of opinion?

  • Jason Harmer

    This:- “…cure constipation in up to 100% of kids tested,…” is rather vague, it could be 1%. In which case you’re just spreading misinformation. In fact, reading through a few of your citations (picking those in the last ten years), most groups are small and those that do report cows milk intolerance specifically are around 30-50% in cases of constipation. Statements like yours are why the public are losing faith in science.

  • Mermaid

    I’ve been regularly constipated all my life since I was a baby, even on a vegetarian diet (I have always been disgusted by the idea of eating meat). I supplement with B12 and omega after watching your video’s btw.
    A year ago I stopped eating gluten and I was so relieved to have my chronic headache disappear within two weeks. However, my constipation got much worse! After seeing your video on childhood constipation and cow’s milk, I got new hope. I stopped eating and drinking any milk containing product at all. The little that still remained from my headaches now got even better, so thank you for that!
    However, the constipation continued, and the over-the-counter as well as the prescription laxatives are having little to no effect anymore. I finally insisted my GP (who didn’t take my constipation problems very seriously) to refer me to a specialist and I’m awaiting the blood tests after finishing the required gluten challenge. The only thing that is keeping me out of the ER right now is a daily dose of what people normally get to empty their bowels before a colonoscopy, together with a suppository.
    The other day, I found out that there is something called Hirschsprung’s disease, which seems quite similar to my situation. That gave me some hope that maybe I don’t have to live with this pain and medication for the rest of my life. But I’m very worried about again getting the wrong diagnosis and treatment, or no treatment at all.
    Therefore I’d love to hear from your experience whether you think it’s at all possible that such a severe constipation can still be food-related, or that there must be some kind of physical obstruction causing it, such as Hirschsprung’s.


    My son just turned 1 and is no longer using breast milk. We are giving soy milk to our daughter which is 3 but I am concerned about the female estrogen found in soy milk. Any suggestions what to use that has enough protein and calcium?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Hi Shawn. You are of course free to choose whatever beverage you think is best, but I may suggest that soymilk does not boost estrogen levels or decrease male fertility. Dr. Greger addresses a safe amount here. I published a paper on cancer with a topic on soy titled Applying the Precautionary Principle to Nutrition and Cancer. If you do want to avoid soy you could try almond milk with added pea protein. It does exist on the market and has calcium. Hope this helps.

      • Thea

        Joseph: I didn’t realize you have published papers. Very cool! And I like the premise of the one that you linked to above. It just makes so much sense. Thanks for sharing it.

  • HeidiH

    I am an ENT physician and the debate over cow’s milk is not even a debate in medicine yet. No one is talking about it, even with a plethora of studies showing the connection between cow’s milk (and all animal products) and MANY illnesses. I, like Dr. Greger, felt cheated and could hardly believe that so much about actual cause of illness (ie., diet and life- style) had been left out of our medical training. I “bumped” into the work of Roy Swank, John McDougall, Drs. Esselstyn and Campbell while researching multiple sclerosis and sinus infections six year ago. I was skeptical (I mean surely if this was true I would have heard about it in medical school or residency, right?!?). So I put it to the test on my own sick family.
    My then 5-year-old suffered from chronic upper respiratory infections, ear infections, constipation, diarrhea, croup, & strep 42 of 52 weeks a year. He had already had tubes in his ears at age 1. He missed 6 weeks of kindergarten for illness. Our pediatrician told me that 10 colds a year is normal, and that his love of tortillas and cheese, cereal and milk as his main food source was fine. My husband had familial pre-cancerous colon polyps requiring removal every 2-3 years, chronic kidney stones (ouch) and chest pain at age 45. We decided together to make a family change to a WFPBD and see what happened. We did it over night to the loud protests of our children but have never looked back. The following year my son did not miss one day of school! He now gets a cold and it lasts a day or two and that is only once or twice a year. He has not had an antibiotic in 6 years. My husband had his last colonoscopy 3 years ago (3 years into the diet change), and NO polyps found! He now has a clean bill of health from the so-called familial polyps that were supposed to be forever-forming and incurable. He has not had a single kidney stone attack (although he had 6 yet to fall on his last CT prior to our diet change). Chest pain in gone! My daughter’s “whoop” from her whooping cough finally left after being present 8 months. For our family it was miraculous.

    I was so excited to bring this new information to my patients! I was a busy ENT surgeon, with many sinus, ear and tonsil surgeries always on my schedule. I could just imagine the thrill of families knowing that they could very likely control the sickness of their children and avoid surgery altogether by eating right. I was a bit too zealous perhaps with my approach. I wanted everyone to try diet change first. I mean, surgery comes with real risk! About 1/2 the patients said they would try, and 1/2 of those actually did. More than 70% who tried were cured. But at least 1/3 of the patients who had come seeking the “easy” answer, surgery, left for another practice where they could get surgery NOW. Worse than that, I have now been removed from the referral list of two of the biggest pediatric practices in my area because I take children off milk. The pediatricians think my approach to ear and tonsil infections using diet to change the health status of the patient is extreme. I have been called a wacko and a fraud. I still see the nurses of these practices but one told me she is not allowed to give my name out to any patient that calls but gives my name to all her friends. Her daughter was cured of chronic migraines that were food related which her pediatrician had been medicating unsuccessfully for years. “Dr. Google” has become my best referral sources as hundreds of patients have been helped by diet without surgery and post it online. Sure some still need surgery but at least 50% do not. And of the ones that do needs surgery, most were unable or unwilling to change their child’s diet effectively.

    So, there are some of us that really want to help the patients. It is amazing how contentious and lonely the road is when you are a pioneer. I have read and re-read the works of these pioneering physicians and gain solace in their lonely journey. I have thought of quitting a thousand times over the last 6 years. I am happy that WFPBD is starting to gain a little momentum among the lay person, because I do not think during my career we will see much change from the status quo in medicine. There is too much money to be made continuing as we are. Sorry so long, but it’s therapeutic to vent to sympathetic ears!

    • Thea

      HeidiH: I enjoyed reading your posts and cheered at your personal successes.
      What particularly caught my attention was your comments about the struggle and loneliness of the road you are taking. It’s the high road, but clearly so very difficult. You will notice that there are several people in the medical profession who participate in the forum here on NutritionFacts. It can give you some sense of community. Though probably not as much as you would ideally get, I would think. You might think about finding some posts from Dr. Forrester and Dr. Hemodynamic and communicating with them. They may have some helpful advice for you or at least can commiserate.
      Best of luck to you. You are one of the good guys!

      • HeidiH

        Thanks, Thea.

        After so much time spent taking courses and classes on nutrition in the last 6 years I am so disillusioned by our “health care” system. We are actually not health care providers we are disease-maintainers. If everyone ate right, the majority of doctors would not be needed.

        I had someone at church just yesterday ask me about constipation and Miralax. I mentioned she needs more fiber, less dairy and white bread. She said she has come up with a great regimen with her GI doc which includes regular scopes ($$$) and daily Miralax (costs $120 a month in France where she lives). Not one word about diet change. She told me she has other health problems like interstitial cystitis that does not allow her to try “alternative medicine approaches.” (She cannot have citrus.) My reply was, “There is nothing alternative about a trial off the most constipating foods known!”

        I have been doing dietary research on recurrent ear infections for 6 years now and was taking children off dairy to see if their ear infections cleared. (Most did.) The interesting things is that the moms would tell me that constipation, diarrhea and night time crying was also improved or gone. So, not only have I seen this in the literature, but seen it with patients.

        • Thea

          Wow. If my kid had recurrent ear infections, I would *love* a dietary option for stopping it. So sad. Keep up the good fight. :-)


    Dear Dr Greger,
    I am raising 3.5 y/o twins and our family is vegetarian. My daughter developed asthma and we are trying to now become vegan. What can I give the kids instead of cow’s milk to make up for the calcium + protein when they are eating their breakfast. They love their cereal.
    P.S:My husband and me attended your talk yesterday in Boston and it was very inspiring.
    Thank you

  • Thea

    B THAKKAR: Almond milk is a good alternative to cows milk and is enjoyed my most children. If almond milk does not work, you can explore the many other plant based milks which are available.
    Here is a good resource for raising vegan children. Scroll down to the nutrition section and read the articles: You might also consider picking up a copy of Brenda Davis’s book, Becoming Vegan, Express Edition. The book contains a whole chapter on raising vegan kids. Finally, (but not any less good!) is the PCRM website which has some great information about the nutritional needs of children: Good luck to you and your whole family!