Estrogen in Meat, Dairy, and Eggs

Image Credit: LivingLandscapeArchitecture Follow / Flickr. This image has been modified.

Should Pregnant Women Avoid Cow’s Milk?

Foods of animal origin in general naturally contain hormones, but cow’s milk may be of particular concern. The hormones naturally found even in organic cow’s milk may have played a role in studies that found a relationship between dairy products and human illnesses, such as acne, certain cancers, and male reproductive disorders. Milk consumption has also been associated with an increased risk of early puberty in girls and endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women, but “hormonal levels in food could be particularly dangerous in the case of vulnerable populations, such as young children or pregnant women. To these critical populations, even a small hormonal intake could lead to major changes in the metabolism.”

If you check out my video Why Do Vegan Women Have 5x Fewer Twins, you can see that children are highly sensitive to sex steroids. Because their levels of sex steroids are very low, even a small variation would account for a major change in the total activity of the involved hormone. Because no lower threshold for estrogenic action has been established, caution should be taken to avoid unnecessary exposure of fetuses and children to exogenous sex steroids, even at very low levels.

In the AMA’s Pediatrics Journal, the chair of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Obesity Prevention Center along with the chair of Harvard’s nutrition department questioned dairy industry recommendations that children should drink three glasses of milk a day. Dairy milk evolved to promote the growth of grazing animals at high risk for predation when small; so, they needed to put on a few hundred pounds quickly in the first few months of life.

The consequences of lifetime human exposure to such growth factors in milk have not been well studied. They wrote:

“Milk consumption increases serum concentrations of insulin-like growth factor 1, which is linked to prostate and other cancers. In addition, modern industrial methods maintain dairy cows in active milk production throughout their pregnancies, resulting in a milk supply with high levels of reproductive hormones.”

Pregnant cows excrete significantly higher levels of sex steroids into their milk than non-pregnant cows. The subsequent consumption of such dairy products from pregnancy results in additional consumer exposure. And it’s not just dairy. Although dairy products are an important source of hormones, other products of animal origin must be considered as well. All edible tissues of animal origin contain estrogen. This may explain why, in a study of over a thousand women eating plant-based diets, vegan women have a twinning rate that is one fifth that of vegetarians and omnivores.

Twin pregnancies are risky pregnancies, with much higher complication rates. Many parents and physicians underestimate the negative consequences of multiple pregnancy, but women with a multiple pregnancy face greater risks for themselves and their infants. Twin babies may be ten times more likely to die at birth. To avoid these complications, the research team writes, “women attempting conception should avoid milk and dairy products.”

Minimizing dairy, our nation’s #1 source of saturated fat, may be a good idea for dads too: Dairy Estrogen and Male Fertility.

What about the endocrine-disrupting xenoestrogens–how do they compare with the natural hormones in our food supply? That was the topic of my video Estrogen in Meat, Dairy, and Eggs.

Then, once they’re born, best to stick to human milk:

Then, for young children, dairy can sometimes cause another problem: Childhood Constipation and Cow’s Milk

Here’s a selection of other pregnancy-related videos:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations—2013: Uprooting the Leading Causes of DeathMore Than an Apple a Day2014: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food, 2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet, and my latest, 2016: How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers.

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


56 responses to “Should Pregnant Women Avoid Cow’s Milk?

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    1. Yes. I’m grinding up flaxseeds every morning and tossing them into my oatmeal. Of course, I could have answered fish oil to fit your question, but no informed person wants that!

      1. The way we take it , is a tablespoon of whole flax plus half teaspoon turmeric with a dash of black pepper in a cup of water , wait 20 minutes and put in a high speed blender . The stuff will be really slimmy and a pretty colour which we like both of those features.

        1. Plant based sources of omega-3 fatty acids are in the form of ALA, which has a poor conversion rate to EPA/DHA in humans. With flax you aren’t doing much to improve the omega 6 to omega 3 ratio.
          The only vegan EPA/DHA supplements I’m aware of are from ALGAE, but my preference is still a good concentrated molecularly distilled fish oil supp (does that make me “uninformed” Kim Churchman??)

    2. I just checked out Perfect Day. Interesting. It says it’s vegan, but it also says it’s made from “dairy yeast”. I’m curious why the “dairy” descriptor and not just “yeast”. Perhaps it’s a strain of yeast that once came from milk.

      I could be wrong on this, but I don’t believe Casein can be vegan. And that’s what the China Study says turns on cancer.

      I’m guessing this product was created because so many people are wrongly afraid to not drink milk and this product is basically (supposedly) milk w/o harming animals.

          1. I assume you got a reply too but for the benefit of anyone else who wants to know this is their answer to “what is dairy yeast?”
            “We call it a dairy yeast because it has applications in dairy, not because it is derived from dairy. In fact, our yeast came from the USDA and no part of our approach involves animals in any way (except the inspiration!)”.

            1. Nope, I didn’t get a reply yet. This is interesting, but since it’s casein I wonder if there are negative health implications or if this casein is different from what’s in cow’s milk. This would take vegan pizza up a notch if it gets a green light! But I won’t hold my breath. Thanks for sharing.

      1. Casein is a part of Cow’s Milk, it is Milk Protein, the part of Milk that encourages tumor growth, increases risk for SIDS and autism, Casein breaks down into Casomorphine causing an opiate-like drug effect that caused apnea in babies and that makes Milk addictive, they like to add it to foods to add that ‘addiction’ component to their product.

        No, Casein is a part of Cows Milk, it is not Vegan

    3. I just checked out Perfect Day, too. It also seems to me that casein is casein, the same substance whether it is produced by a cow or by genetically engineered yeast. We know from NutritionFacts studies and the China Study that casein is detrimental to health. My guess is that consuming Perfect Day will carry the same risks as consuming cow’s milk, though I’d like to see our contributors with science degrees weigh in on this. From a purely animal welfare standpoint, though, this product could be helpful, in the same way that lab-grown muscle meat could be helpful—people could keep eating the SAD without contributing to the cruelties Kim Churchman mentions above. But since eating plant based is so beautifully win win win (best diet for humans, non-human animals, and the planet as a whole), and it’s simple and inexpensive and can be oh-so delicious, I don’t see why we should be making such efforts to engineer a sort of semi-synthetic meat and dairy. Just eat plants. Yum.

    4. Casein stimulates cancer, as shown by Colin Campbell at Cornell over many, many years of resesrch. Why would anyone want an artificial casein? Eating natural foods always turns out to be the healthiest way – pant based whole foods.

      1. After reading again tangled web, i am also puzzled by the desir for dairy substitutes..but maybe it is just that he has n’t totally given up on dairy yet, at least as far as the taste goes and God knows how dairy is addictive as well as all animal protein products..

    5. I take an algal EPA/DHA supplement from Ovega. It doe have carrageenan in the capsule. I don’t know if another type of oil is used to dilute the EPA/DHA, and if there is what the type is.

      Also something to consider is that while the conversion efficiency of ALA to EPA and DHA is normally said to be very low (less than 0.5% for ALA to DHA), there are reasons to think that this is not the case. One study by Dominichiello found that there were methodological errors that drastically understate the conversion rate. And a 2010 study by Welsh indicates that the conversion rate of ALA to both EPA and DHA might indeed be substantially higher than assumed and result in fully adequate serum levels of EPA and DHA . This second study looked at a subgroup of 4902 subjects from the EPIC Norfolk cohort. It broke this group into meat and fish eaters, no-fish meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans. None of the subjects took EPA/DHA supplements so all measured serum levels were the result of nutritional intake. Note there was only 76 vegetarians and 10 vegans, so the findings will need to be replicated with more vegetarian and many more vegan subjects to know if these results will hold.

      The study compared the dietary intake to serum levels of ALA, EPA, DPA and DHA between the different groups and found that there was little difference in serum levels of either EPA or DHA and that the non-fish eating groups including the vegans had completely adequate serum levels. If the conversion rate of ALA was as low as commonly given, the vegan group should have had a substantially lower serum levels of the long chain O-3s. In fact the vegan men in the study had higher levels of EPA and the vegan women had higher levels of DHA than all the other groups including the fish eaters! The DHA level of all groups varied only from 286 in vegan women to 195 in vegan men. Fish eating women were at 271 and fish eating men were at 240. They used the ratio of dietary ALA, EPA and DHA to serum levels to calculated the conversion efficiency of ALA to the longer chain O-3s. For the four different groups it was 9.2%(M)/12.8%(W) in fish-eaters, 10.8%(M)/15.2%(W) in meat eaters,10.5%(M)/13.6%(W) in vegetarians, and 19.3%(M)/23.5%(W) in vegans. So much higher than 1% in all groups including the fish-eaters and the conversion rate increases with decreasing dietary consumption of EPA and DHA.

      Hopefully this type of research is on-going and that larger trials will be conducted, especially with many more vegans that don’t consume any preformed EPA or DHA.

      1. Jim and Tom,

        I mean to answer to the post by Tangled Web above about the Perfect Day milk but since my post will be deleted pretty soon by the police, I send to you guys so that you guys can analyze for everyone.

        So Perfect Day milk is totally vegan but it contains a kind of DNA modified yeast that the inventor claims that it produces the same amount of protein as cow’s milk. Granted, adults don’t want to drink cow’s milk or Perfect Day milk because it contains the growth factor which can cause cancer, but babies need growth and so it’s OK.

        Ethics putting aside, babies ideally should drink mother milk but when it is not available then babies have to drink cow milk at least for the first year in life until they grow teeth and can eat solid foods. I don’t know what is missing but definitively babies cannot survive on nut milk. We adults can because we also eat other foods.

        So assuming that all the claims of Perfect Day milk are correct, that it is as nutritious as cow’s milk, can this be an ethical and sustainable kind of milk?

        http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Manufacturers/Perfect-Day-vegan-animal-free-milk-a-gamechanger

        http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/R-D/Will-consumers-embrace-animal-free-milk-Perfect-Day

      2. DC Rick and Karin Dina also confirms that vegans they are testing are never deficient in EPA and DHA. I think we are really able to convert all omega 3 to what we need, if not, it shouldn’t be logical to be vegan? Should it? But industry try always to find something that could discourage people from stopping eating animal products… Many vegans have never taken any EPA DHA supplement and they were perfectly fine…
        just for sharing my thoughts…

    6. Hello Tangled Web,
      from what i understand vegans and vegetarians can get the most EPA/DHA from algae..i personally am very satisfied with HAWAIIAN SPIRULINA..you should check it out on the web..this algae is very complete and you not only get the epa/dha + lots of other micro and macronutrients!

      1. B12 analogues in spirulina. Be very careful, as this can really screw up the true-from of B12 absorption, no? I am wary for this reason of ingesting spirulina, as well as immune system stimulation from it.

        1. Hello Belinda H,
          I am not sure i understand your point about B12/spirulina..i’ve been taking hawaiian and i insist hawaiian(15 to 20 tablets daily) spirulina for almost 20 years now and i have not felt like any problem regarding B12..hope that helps..

          1. Do you supplement with B12? What form of pill?

            Spirulina known for containing high amounts of B12 analogue-form of B12. This form is reported to compromise true B12 absorption. And for those with autoimmune issues, spirulina might actually trigger some issues, making immune system too heightened, reactive.
            Who knows, I know some people swear by its benefits, but the B12 issue concerns me. DO some research on the analogue issue online….you’ll see what I’m talking about. And i look forward to hearing back from you on any further thoughts you might have on spirulina in this regard.

          2. Do you notice a real burst in energy from spirulina? Is it that dramatic? This is interesting to me. Some people say they notice nothing, some the opposite.

            1. Hello Belinda,
              Actually there are many kind of spirulina but the very best as far as i am concerned is the HAWAIIAN spirulina from Nutrex!It is invariably sold by different manufacturers across the u.s and u.k but they all originate from the Nutrex company based in the u.s!you can check out their website for nutritional and safety informations!now to answer more directly your question i think hawaiian spirulina is a must-have in your food supplement routine!i take from 10 to 20 tabs a day depending plus some adaptogenic herbs!the spirulina alone gives you truly lots of energy and what’s more it is neither stimulating like coffee nor addictive!i find it good before strenous activity in daytime but also at night before sleeping with some good quality magnesium with or without some klamath :-)

              1. Is this spirulina a reliable source of DHA/EPA in your opinion? And, does the spirulina contribute significantly to your protein intake? Thanks. I do know of some people who have raised concerns about spirulina being too stimulatory on the immune system, and that it can actually cause some issues as the immune system gets too ramped up (overdrive) as result of Spirulina. Who knows, but curious about the first 2 questions i asked.

                Side note……do you supplement with B12? Kind? How often? Thank, Stefan.

                1. That’s a good question you’re asking for myself i am not top sure about the epa/dha content of the hawaiian spirulina.I have been asking the question around on the website but so far i havent had any clear answer!Now, regarding the protein intake spirulina is among the very top vegetable/plant sources of protein around!i am not very proud to admit it but at my beginning trying to go vegetarian/vegan it was very easy because hawaiian spirulina makes me feel so full almost effortlessly :-)now the only thing with that magic algae is that if you have avery sensitive gut you may want to start slowly with powder form or 10/12 tablets then increase it!as for the immune system going overdrive i can only speak for myself but haven’t had any such reaction so far and i have been taking it for almost 20 years now!and for the b12 question the answer is no i have never felt the need for supplying and i don’t think i will either in the near future
                  :-) from Paris!!

                  1. Are you 100 percent vegan? No source of B12 all these vegan years for you? Interesting. Any seaweeds?

                    Wondering if you drink the vegan almond/soy milks as these are often fortified with B12 and many consumers simply are not aware of this.

                    1. I am not a hundred percent as i have been eating eggs from time to time!i do eat seaweeds with each meal+raw garlic+curry+organic olive/colza oils(i know its very bad but its my medditerranean side) among many other things as condiments!i have never had any kind of almond/soy milk as i don’t bear the taste!what about you, are you also on a WPBF diet?or trying to become vegegetarian/vegan?one of the reasons i particularly enjoy coming to this website is for this kind of exchange as the health/food debate not a still thing and you never cease to learn and share with others!it is especially true for me as i have been and is on an endless journey trying to answer that existential question:what food diet better suits human beings :-) and i am getting closer to an answer thanks to Nutrition Facts by the day!
                      :-)

                    2. only animal products i consume are some fish every once in a while. I would do eggs but my body does not tolerate well. I would like to be all vegan, just don’t seem to thrive as 100 vegan, though. Why do you think the olive oil is so bad? Is the science THAT conclusive? And, seaweeds at every meal…..what kinds? Raw or cooked seaweeds?

                    3. In the grand scheme of things, is it REALLY that horrible, olive oil? Ever been to some of the longest lived areas in Greece? They seem to be thriving, in spite of it, I guess? If it was that bad, would you not think they might be suffering in some way from the olive oil? On a scale of 1 to 10 I think we could all rank fried-french fries or a twinkie as a 10 as far as being bad for. Even with the science, I’d think olive oil might rank where on this scale? Maybe a 3 or 4. Or not even that? I truly don’t know.

                    4. Belinda H: Fair enough question. My answer is: If you want to be able to answer that question for yourself based on the science, I highly recommend reviewing the links I gave you, maybe starting with the one from Jeff Novick. And then I would say: Where ever you would put sugar on your scale from 1 to 10, oils should rank a bit worse.
                      .
                      Let me see if I can help by framing your question back at you slightly differently. So, say a population, the Bargers, eats a whole plant food base (WPFB) diet, but also includes *some* sugar in their diet. In fact, through some great marketing, everyone thinks of the Bargers whenever they think about eating sugar. This mythical Barger population that I’m making up does fantastically in terms of living long healthy lives. But knowing what you know about sugar, would you then ask if sugar was REALLY that horrible???
                      .
                      Oil doesn’t seem that bad to us because we have been raised and marketed to in order to see it as not that bad. The problem with oil is that it is empty calories – pure fat. Even if your weight is perfectly fine, for every oil calorie you are eating, that’s one less healthy calorie you are eating.
                      .
                      Note: I personally still eat oil, just like I still eat sugar. I treat oil as being slightly worse for me than sugar. So, I try to limit oil to desserts (which I eat too much of admittedly) or when I eat out (which I do too often–just trying to be honest). Oil is not poison. You can certainly eat some oil in the context of a whole plant food diet and probably be OK (depending on how susceptible you are to gaining weight). (And at least plant based oils are ethical.) So, in some ways, no oil is not REALLY that horrible. But I don’t kid myself that oil is healthy for me either.

                      .
                      Hope that gives you a helpful perspective. Please do look at those references. I think that will help put things into even better perspective than I can do.

                    5. Hello Belinda and sorry for the late reply but i got kinda busy those last two days :-)
                      First, i think you shouldn’t pressurize yourself at any cost to become vegan!Your body is your only reliable compass as for this and it will let you know when it wants some change!It may happen next week as it may never!It personnaly took me years to really become vegetarian with in between many relapse periods :-) but in the end i feel very good how i am on an everyday basis managing to always keep the pleasure side of eating in balance with my food regimen!if my body later gives me hints for an upgrade then i’ ll be all for it!
                      As a French, i naturally tend to always have a bottle of organic olive not too far but very soon after coming across Nutrition Facts and to my great distress also :-)i read many comments praising a zero tolerance for oils in the WPBF diet!From what i gather, i don’t think organic cold-pressed oils are that bad per se but its safer not to have too much and keep it to little/moderate consumption!plus for vegans/vegetarians i really can’t see it being a prime health destroyer like refined sugar, gluten and dairy :-)
                      The seaweeds i take are raw! They’re a mix of sprinkled dulse ulva lactica and porphyra!
                      Eventually the eggs it depends, sometimes i stay months without eating any and others i can go up to 4/5 fried-style in a month!
                      I’m off to bed now because its almost 1am here and i’ve had a long day :-)
                      I hope my answers bring you some help!i am ready to answer any of them if you have more on this thread or next when we meet around on NF!
                      Take care :-)

                    6. Stefan, thank you so much. Very helpful and insightful…..listen to your body. That is starting to make sense to me.

                      You mentioned that gluten is a health-destroyer. This is interesting to me. Why do you think it is so bad? If I were to listen to my body my body tells me gluten is bad for me. I know this. Maybe my taste buds (pleasure) are more important to me that my health, at this point. I am happy at least i am aware of this, as now I can make a change and maybe remove gluten.

                      How about brown rice and white rice? You OK eating them? Other grains? Fruits? I tend to like a lot of fruit and raw nuts.

                      Lastly, how about coffee and wine? I know some vegans whom I think benefit from a little of each. And some who do worse.

                    7. Hello Belinda!
                      Sorry for the late reply but i was kind of kept busy in a parallel universe(lol)
                      As for the gluten a good place to start with is with Dr William Davis ‘Wheat Belly’ where he thoroughly explains why gluten is a major health destroyer!plus google gluten and zonulin and you will understand that even though you feel like you have no problems with gluten it may already be affecting you and more specifically your gut/brain relationship!If you do decide to stop gluten, It is not going to be easy at the beginning because its pretty much everywhere and hidden in many products!So you don’t want to do it overnight but little by little, replacing it with equivalent gluten-free foods(buckwheat,quinoa…)that most importantly will not raise your blood sugar!!The good thing is that once you manage to leave gluten and dairy behind(with also the help of some specific adaptogenic plants) you get back at least twice more energy and feel lighter than before!
                      My all-time favorite as far as grains are concerned is Basmati rice, for the fragrance, the softness it has once cooked and digested plus its very appreciable low glycemic index compared to other rices!I also like very much buckwheat galette that i eat with almost every meal!
                      Like you i also eat a lot of organic unsalted raw/cooked nuts and fruits/veggies/greens of all kinds
                      I don’t drink coffee as it makes me a bit too edgy and wine very rarely!For those two though, i think it depends on the person but moderation is best!surely they do bring health benefits but you can also totally do without them and not suffer any lack!
                      You would have understood by now that i have developped kind of a tolerance zero for my taste buds urgings and rather go on the health side of things anytime i eat something while still making it very pleasurable :-)
                      Take care and looking forward to hear from you again ;-)

                    8. stefan seya: I have no problem believing that a small minority of people are sensitive to gluten, just like a small percentage of people are allergic to peanuts. However, that Wheat Belly book is a sham and a shame. While the author sites studies, the studies do not often support his claims. Here is one site showing how the science does not back up the claims in Wheat Belly. (And this is from an anti-gluten site!)
                      http://noglutennoproblem.blogspot.com/2012/03/wheat-belly-busted.html

                      Bottom line is that Wheat Belly is just another form of the Atkins/Paleo/low-carb/Eat For Your Blood Type diet fads. These fads confuse and mislead people, even doctors. It is so sad because it sounds like good science. It’s definitely not a source of information that I would refer anyone to, especially people who come to this site to get good, solid scientific information.

                    9. Hello Thea,
                      well its my honest mistake!
                      there are so many places where to get infos about gluten as a detrimental health food that i pretty much refered Belinda to the first one i remembered and it happened to be wheat belly by Mr Davis!thank you for making things clearer to
                      Belinda and myself at the same time about that and i will also look back into it with a new distance with the infos you brought here :-)

                    10. Stefan, good to hear from you. I too have basmati rice as my favorite. I use the organic white basmati. I think brown rices are too high in arsenic, and i like flavor of white rice better. Any missing nutrients in white rice i just get from other plant foods, easy to do.

                      I only do gluten every once in awhile. I am very intolerant to it, my body fights back a lot, but i like the taste. I am not celiac, but i will say that removing gluten from my diet for long periods of time completely changes my mind and body for the better. Same with soy…..feel much better without it, regardless of how it is prepared/fermented, etc.

                      When i asked about gluten to you, i was wondering if your issue was celiac or just a gluten intolerance. I find that the people i know who benefit the most are not celiac, they just seem to function in all areas of mind and body better once they remove all gluten, 100 percent.

                    11. Stefan, maybe you have an email address you wouldn’t mind posting? I am not comfortable posting my email address here, but maybe you are. If so, thanks. I just figured it might be better to continue this conversation elsewhere as this might clutter the topic/discussion dr. greger highlighted on this day’s website.

  1. I guess it’s anecdotal, but my wife who is vegan never had the slightest bit of morning sickness. Her mother, and other women in her family who “had milk and ice cream every day” had morning sickness and vomiting each day. Maybe baby, being a fresh life form, has an unadulterated system in place to let you know what’s not good or natural to eat.

    A note on twins. My wife and I are both vegan, she for 18 years, and she’s 6 months pregnant with identical twins. The role of estrogen and twinning refers to dizygotic, or fraternal twins—when the woman produces more than one egg. Monozygotic twins are from one egg and, as far as science knows (at least as far as I know), spontaneous and unrelated to family history or what’s noted in this article.

    Great article!

  2. In the photo you see how hard the dairy life is for the cows. They’re filthy. They get abcessed leg joints from lying on concrete. The cow left of center has her tail removed because cows without tails have udders easier to wash. Their udders weigh up to fifty pounds when full because of selection for profitable production, so they become pendulous and hang down between their legs. Away with that whole scene, my drink comes from beans.

  3. There have been no growth hormones in dairy herds in CANADA since 1999
    Also, when a cow becomes pregnant, she is “dried up” and not milked to save nutrition for the baby calf

    1. Yes you are correct cows are dried up before the next calf is born , but only normally for 2 months , so they would still be pregnant and producing milk for 7 months , as their gestation period is 9 months , even a lot of beef cows would do double duty . That is they would have a calf sucking on them and pregnant at the same time.
      Cheers for Canadians!

    2. Janet Stark: You may have picked up on this already, but I just wanted to make sure you noted this sentence: “The hormones naturally found even in organic cow’s milk may have played a role in studies that found a relationship between dairy products and human illnesses, such as acne, certain cancers and male reproductive disorders.”

      Organic milk also does not have any added hormones. So, what that sentence means is that this article applies to people in Canada too.

  4. I didn’t see any mention of the link between milk consumption and diabetes in children. From what I understand, the implications are as strong as they are in the smoking/lung cancer link. Please comment.

    1. Kathy,

      I think the question you’re asking might be expanded to include consideration of what type of milk, as well as if milk is even appropriate. Let’s start with asking; are you buying an organic, non-pasteurized / homogenized, full fat or reduced and is it certified as not containing BGH (bovine growth hormones) ?

      Sorry to add this layer of complexity but as a knowledgeable consumer you might want to consider the “rest of the story”.

      All milk, excluding lactose reduced, contains a high level of naturally occurring lactose (milk sugar). Although it has not been shown to be as injurious as fructose, it’s a fairly simple sugar and should be restricted in the diet. Additionally, you will find a significant number of published articles (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=milk+and+decreased+bone+density) discussing the lack of correlation between bone density and milk ingestion, one of the key ideas behind the dairy counsels push towards our consumption.

      I’d also recommend reviewing Dr. Greger’s articles (Is Milk Good for Our Bones?) and with direct reference to your question of diabetes and milk as an effect from weight gain, (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/formula-for-childhood-obesity/).
      Dr. Alan Kadish NF moderator

  5. When having a home garden, should we not use “organic” fertilizer, such as chicken or any manure. Would the plants absorb the estrogen from the soil and be at an unhealthy rate in the produce?

  6. Dr Greger,

    WRT your statement,”The hormones naturally found even in organic cow’s milk may have played a role in studies that found a relationship between dairy products and human illnesses, such as acne, certain cancers, and male reproductive disorders.”

    The topic of your post was,”Should Pregnant Woman Drink Cows Milk?”
    What relevance do unspecified ‘human illnesses, acne, cancers and male reproductive issues’ have to pregnancy?

    Also, In the context of your sentence ‘May’ means either possibly or probably. Possibly is not science; probably is, if defined as probability and accompanied by data and statistical analysis.

    I haven’t the time to thoroughly search through all of the relevant scientific publications but I did quickly find a coupe that seem to point in the opposite direction to the one you are taking:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18584476

    Nutr Cancer. 2008;60(4):421-41. doi: 10.1080/01635580801911779.
    Dairy products, dietary calcium and vitamin D intake as risk factors for prostate cancer: a meta-analysis of 26,769 cases from 45 observational studies.
    Huncharek M1, Muscat J, Kupelnick B.

    [quote]

    The data from observational studies do not support an association between dairy product use and an increased risk of prostate cancer.

    [unquote]

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22081693

    J Am Coll Nutr. 2011 Oct;30(5 Suppl 1):464S-70S.
    Dairy products and cancer.
    Lampe JW1.

    [quote]

    As a dietary exposure, dairy products are a complex group of foods and composition varies by region, which makes evaluation of their association with disease risk difficult. For most cancers, associations between cancer risk and intake of milk and dairy products have been examined only in a small number of cohort studies, and data are inconsistent or lacking. Meta-analyses of cohort data available to date support an inverse association between milk intake and risk of colorectal and bladder cancer and a positive association between diets high in calcium and risk of prostate cancer. Other constituents of dairy products, such as rumen-derived metabolites, have not been evaluated extensively for cancer-preventive properties.

    [unquote]

    I apologise that time constraints prevent me from posting further examples (for or against) and digging into the papers to check the veracity of the authors claims.

    It is a subject of interest to me because if I don’t want to walk around feeling hungry all of the time I need a source of high energy food. I’m not fond of meat so that leaves me a choice of dairy, lipids or carbs which all have their nutritional negatives (caught between the devil and the deep blue sea?)

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