Doctor's Note

Be sure to check out the final two videos in this series: Cow’s Milk-Induced Infant Apnea and
Cow’s Milk Casomorphin and Crib Death. Breast is always best, but the breast milk of women eating plant-based diets may not only exclude bovine casomorphins, but contain lower levels of industrial pollutants like dioxins; see Flame Retardant Chemical Contamination.

For other effects animal products may have on healthy development, see Dairy & Sexual Precocity, and Protein & Puberty. No wonder Dr. Spock, the most esteemed pediatrician of all time, recommended children be raised without exposure to meat and dairy (see Doctors’ Nutritional Ignorance). 

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

To post comments or questions into our discussion board, first log into Disqus with your account or with one of the accepted social media logins. Click on Login to choose a login method. Click here for help.

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please also see the last two videos in this series, Cow’s Milk-Induced Infant Apnea and
    yesterday’s video. Breast is always
    best, but the breast milk of women eating plant-based diets may not only
    exclude bovine casomorphins, but contain lower levels of industrial pollutants
    like dioxins. See Flame Retardant Chemical Contamination.
    For other effects animal products may have on healthy development, see Dairy & Sexual Precocity and Protein and Puberty. No wonder Dr.
    Spock, the most esteemed pediatrician of all time, recommended children be
    raised without exposure to meat and dairy (see Doctors’ Nutritional Ignorance). And if
    that isn’t enough, there are and hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects.


    Please email me to schedule an interview at – thank you for your time. 

    • DeeWhy

      Paul if you give this rubbish any air time you are acting against the interests of people with ASD and Autism. IT srubbish about foods causing Autism and they are just praying on vunerable peolple to promote an agenda

    • Han

      since I’ve gone vegan I feel much more normal. I bet that reproduceable.

  • Melanie

    I appreciate that the link of bovine cow milk to autism has more than one reference. I had to drink skim cow milk at a baby because I could not digest my mother’s milk, regular cow milk or other milk available in ’71. I think because I was premature, I perhaps couldn’t digest the fat in the milks. I bet I would have flourished on soya or almond milk, but I don’t think it was commonly available at the time. Fortunately, I did not develop autism or other problems from the skim milk. I really loved the depth of the analysis in this brief segment.

  • estrellitazul

    There should be a distinction made here.  What kind of milk is being tested?  My guess:  industrialized, homogenized & pasteurized milk.  People have drunk raw milk for thousands of years, and no doubt fed their babies raw milk during said time.  While i’ve no doubt that these associations are true within the industrialized food context, left to it’s own devices the simple, unadulterated foods nature provides it’s own defenses against most potential pathogens.  Drink Raw Milk, Know Your Farmer.

    • Michael Greger M.D.

       Because the purported link is thought due to casomorphin, which is a natural component from milk that presumably developed through millions of years of evolution to strengthen the mammalian infant-mother bond (rather than some industrial additive like bovine growth hormone), one would not expect raw milk to have any advantage in this regard.

      • estrellitazul

        True, milk has to be inherently milk.  My own (completely amateur!) research has led me to think that the benefits of raw milk and it’s products outweigh the potential cons.  Thank you for your (completely professional!)  research and hard work on this site.  It is helping thousands know about the vast healing properties of food !!

        • Toxins

          Little evidence actually supports raw milk over pasteurized. You will find many websites though without scientific backing advocating this milk as superior when in fact they both contain the same harmful compounds.

    • Toxins

      Raw milk should not be considered a healthy food. there are inherent ingredients in milk that are not removed with pasteurization, such as xenoesterogens, which make this food quite harmful to consume.

      • estrellitazul

        Hey, thank you, i appreciate the link.  Early puberty in children is shockingly sad (and if you combine it with our culture’s focused effort at pushing our children to ‘grow up’ via media it’s doubly so.)  I do want to point out however that in the tagline above the linked video it says ‘until the twentieth century’ puberty held off until 16-17 years old.  Which, interestingly enough is the exact century in which we whole-heartedly started tampering with our food, perhaps out of necessity, true, but it sure ain’t what our grandparents ate and we have the diseases and skeletal deformities (i.e., teeth) to prove it.  I am a Weston Price devotee, but i am also a believer in the power of clean veg & fruit & vitamins and have seen the power of juicing for example in my life! Whether we are veg*n or real foodists, my main priority is that we are informed and FREE to choose what we put into our bodies. Thanks again, i love when people are passionate enough about their food to make a statement!

      • estrellitazul

        also uniting the animal/veg line are refined products.  vive la difference, it keeps us honest =)  Cheers!

    • Milk is nature’s food for infants who have unique nutritional requirements. Adults have no need for breast milk. What has to be done to cows to get their milk and what is done to calves (killed or isolated for veal then killed) is hideously barbaric. Time for people to grow up and consume only adult food.

      • estrellitazul

        We get our raw milk from a farm that keeps the calves with their babies, and milk as that allows– thereby growing the herd as well. I’m sure it isn’t without its faults, but I think for diary drinkers it’s a step forward. I agree with you thigh- I’ve seen veal farms back home and it’s heartbreaking. That practice is inhumane and we should know better. Peace to you .

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Also be sure to check out my associated blog post Cow’s Milk Casomorphin, Crib Death, and Autism!

  • lovestobevegan

    Something for the kids which hasn’t been linked to autism.

    Leave the Cow Out to Pasture Chocolate Milk

    – 1 cup cooked brown rice
    – 4 cups water
    – 2 tbsp date sugar
    – 2 heaping tbsp cacoa powder

    Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth, 1-2 minutes.

    Bookmark my new Plant-Based Emporium Facebook page for all my latest recipes.

    ~Complements of lovestobevegan

  • DeeWhy

    It digusts me when people who have an agenda use Autism to promote it. It is absolute rubbish that Autism is caused by Dairy or any other foods for that amtter and to promote this rubbish is just a con job. TO pray on vunerable people with a disability is disgusting.

    • You mean ‘prey’, not ‘pray’. But I think your assumption is wrong anyway.

  • Virginia

    “Accused of” is a far cry from “studies show.”

  • Mike

    Thus, bovine or human β-CMs may be of pathological importance in some infants with SIDS who may absorb excessive amounts of such bioactive peptides. In order to establish such a hypothesis, however, endogenous as well as exogenous opioid peptides must be measured in plasma and CSF of neonates with respiratory disturbances and compared to concentrations in healthy individuals.

  • Hanka Tesarova

    Thank you fro the link. Just curious….is this also true for goat and sheep milk or just cow milk?

  • vegank

    I was wondering if there was any link between autism and the consumption of cow’s milk during pregnancy.
    e.g. Cases where the infants are breastfed from the beginning but still diagnosed with autism later on.

  • paxfilosoof

    People with autism have opiod like affects from casomorphine and glutomorphine, but it doesn’t cause autism…

  • Amy

    Hello Dr. Greger, In the past year I have developed histamine intolerance and I break out in hives. I understand this is exacerbated in menopause. I have noticed that dried fruit is a trigger, but not the only one. I eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet, 99% vegan. Can you give me any suggestions of dietary changes or other avenues to pursue?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Hi, thanks for reposting your question. Someone commented on this before, I’ll link you to her comment as she found a study about histamine in foods. The dried fruit may contain sulfites, which can be problematic. The study posted says “Histidine is generated from autolytic or bacterial processes (74). Therefore, high concentrations of histamine are found mainly in products of microbial fermentation, such as aged cheese (75), sauerkraut, wine (76), and processed meat (77, 78) (Table 3⇓) or in microbially spoiled food. Thus, histamine, tyramine, putrescine, and cadaverine serve as indicators of hygienic food quality (73). Tyramine and putrescine also may lead to intolerance reactions in combination with histamine.” Dr. Greger does have info about putrescine, which may also be helpful.

      • Amy

        Thank you for the reply. I have read both articles. Since this histamine response is new (I have never reacted to these foods in the past 50 years), and I am a vegan, the cause is most probably related to lower estrogen and progesterone levels. My questions are: Is there something that could be lacking in my diet that would aggravate the problem? Could there be a microbiological imbalance in my GI tract? Where would you recommend testing for dietary sufficiency in all vitamins and minerals, etc. Are there probiotics that would help? I know most women do not experience this, but google searches show that a fair number do. I am looking for the root cause. I don’t just want to give up spinach and strawberries. Thank you!

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          Not sure about anything “lacking” in diet that could aggravate symptoms. Standard lab tests ordered by your doctor would cover important vitamins and minerals. I would say no harm in trying a probiotic. Make sure to find a good brand or run a test on it like Dr. Klaper mentions. ​Here is a great Q&A written by Dr. Greger on​ probiotics , if interested. Good luck I hope you find some relief.

  • Est

    Is Goats Milk as bad as Cow’s milk, we have tried Soya and Rice Milk but no one likes it!! Goats Milk tastes as good as cows milk but not sure if it’s free from the same proteins as cows milk? You

  • FelipeM


    What about colostrum? I guess one of the dangers of milk is casein but also the IGF. However, regarding colostrum, I’ve read that its IGF is good to reducing inflammation and for cancer patients (enhancing the immune system) Is this really so? Is colustrum as good as I’ve read? Thank you.