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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Randy

The first U.S. dietary guidelines were issued in 1980 and recommended limits on saturated fat intake (source primarily from dairy and chicken in the American diet), which was vehemently fought by the dairy industry.

Dairy intake is associated with increased risk of a wide-ranging group of ailments including accelerated aging, being overweight, canker sores, kidney stones, childhood asthma, constipation, prediabetes and diabetes, prostate and other cancers, heart disease, imbalanced hormones, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, rising blood pressure, skin wrinkling, sudden infant death syndrome, ulcerative colitis, bacterial vaginosis and multiple sclerosis

Dairy products are not only high in saturated fat, but they are low in a number of beneficial dietary components such antioxidants and fiber, a nutrient that 97% of Americans are deficient in. Dairy products also contain cholesterol, trans fats, endotoxins, Neu5Gc and choline and may raise the risk of inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

The hormones in dairy products (including skim milk) may promote acne and also contribute to risk of premature puberty, multiple pregnancies (which are riskier to both mother and children), breast cancer, prostate cancer, other hormone-dependent cancers, declining sperm counts, and heart disease.

Industrial toxins such as dioxins, flame-retardant chemicals, PCBs, and perfluorochemicals in the dairy supply may in part account for the relationship between dairy intake and increased risk of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, lower testosterone levels and obesity. Pesticides and antibiotics can also be present in dairy products. An analysis of the diets of California children found the top food source of lead as well as banned pesticides and dioxins was dairy products.

Image Credit: Amanda Rae. This image has been modified.

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