Dairy Hormonal Interference

Dairy Hormonal Interference
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Concern that the consumption of cow’s milk can upset our body’s hormonal balance.

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So, where do we go from here? Here’s what the science says: “Our deeply-rooted beliefs about the wholesomeness of milk and dairy products should be reconsidered (…) We are just beginning to re-assess the biological effects of milk and dairy products as [human] foodstuffs. Human beings are the only species on earth that from the beginning of [infancy] into adulthood are subjected to [this] external hormonal manipulation (…) Milk developed over the course of mammalian evolution…only to be consumed during infancy. The consumption of cow’s milk [in humans] interferes with the sensitive endocrine regulatory network from the fetal period into old age.”

While dairy is being re-evaluated as human food, in the very least, “given the tumor promotor effect of IGF-1 [insulin-like growth factor 1, from dairy], patients with tumorous disease should restrict consumption of milk and milk protein.” Unfortunately, we don’t know if we have a tumor until it gets big enough to be picked up. “The same applies to patients with coronary heart disease [the #1 killer in the United States] and [those] with a family history of neurodegenerative disease. [Milk has]…already been identified as an aggravating factor in the acne epidemic…[but] it is even more important that excessive milk consumption can promote diseases commonly associated with a Western lifestyle.”

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to timsackton via Flickr.

So, where do we go from here? Here’s what the science says: “Our deeply-rooted beliefs about the wholesomeness of milk and dairy products should be reconsidered (…) We are just beginning to re-assess the biological effects of milk and dairy products as [human] foodstuffs. Human beings are the only species on earth that from the beginning of [infancy] into adulthood are subjected to [this] external hormonal manipulation (…) Milk developed over the course of mammalian evolution…only to be consumed during infancy. The consumption of cow’s milk [in humans] interferes with the sensitive endocrine regulatory network from the fetal period into old age.”

While dairy is being re-evaluated as human food, in the very least, “given the tumor promotor effect of IGF-1 [insulin-like growth factor 1, from dairy], patients with tumorous disease should restrict consumption of milk and milk protein.” Unfortunately, we don’t know if we have a tumor until it gets big enough to be picked up. “The same applies to patients with coronary heart disease [the #1 killer in the United States] and [those] with a family history of neurodegenerative disease. [Milk has]…already been identified as an aggravating factor in the acne epidemic…[but] it is even more important that excessive milk consumption can promote diseases commonly associated with a Western lifestyle.”

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to timsackton via Flickr.

22 responses to “Dairy Hormonal Interference

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  1. It is shocking that this information is not widely known by health care practitioners, parents, schools etc. It should be daily on the front pages of newspapers and in news bulletins on TV. Unbelievable, that people still look at you as if you are being not completely normal when you inform them about the health hazards of animal based foods. I wish I had known this at least 30 years earlier; my children would not have been raised on animal products. I could post this comment at almost every video though. Thanks again, dr. Greger.

  2. Have you seen Dr. McDougall’s video on IGF-1? He agrees with you on the dairy, but is even more adamant about soy protein isolate being orders of magnitude worse than dairy in this regard. (Soy protein isolate is an ingredient found in all those fake meat products that vegans often flock to, as well as protein powders, and all breakfast cereal and breads labeled “high-protein”.) The way Dr. McDougall talks about it makes it seem like it’s SO cancer promoting that it should be banned in food. Here’s the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHYFOJBU434 (or just google Dr. McDougall IGF-1)

  3. What about hormonal acne caused by fluctuating hormones during menstrual cycles? I am completely dairy and meat free (have been for a year) and I still get terrible breakouts during before and during my period. I would LOVE to know if I can take dietary measures to prevent this.

  4. Hello Dr. Michael,
    I’d like to know more about the diary/meat products and what is the best alternative available for diary/meat products.For example, I heard about grass-fed hormone-free whey protein, I hope maybe in the future you make a video that clarifies this issue in details.
    Related topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBhn62iuXXM
    Thanks.

    1. Dairy and meat products cause inflammation so substituting plants instead would be wise. Always stick to whole plant foods and you have nothing to really worry about besides pesticides which most can be washed off thank goodness.

    1. Why not just buy vegan-fed hormone -free human whey protein? I never understood this addiction to cows milk. Whey protein is concentrated cows milk. First, they are unable to get all of the hormones out and animal protein is linked to various cancers. So its not the hormones but the animal protein itself. Why go through the process of finding the most healthy version of an unhealthy habit when a mixture of multiple plant proteins would be significantly better?

  5. http://www.gutpathogens.com/content/2/1/21
    The attached study makes a very convincing argument that ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease are caused by exposure to mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (map) directly from the milk of or feces (from runoff) of infected cows. How does knowing this not make a cure available or at least in near sight?
    Just as a side note – The study identifies map as the cause of tuberculosis which is now close to erradicated, via innoculation, in many countries.

    1. I believe that if we did have a cure for UC and Crohns disease via eradicating the bacteria they would then start testing it on cows and within a year or less we would have cure resistant bacteria. We must make sure they won’t start giving it to cows and diluting it to such a point that the bacteria starts becoming resistant.

  6. I have a few questions:
    1) how much hormones are in milk per 100ml in the worst case of scenario at least approximately? So I could compare it with for example contraceptives.
    2) which part of milk has the most hormones?Most of the sources i found on the internet say that milk fat has more hormones, because they are fat-soluble while in your videos it says that butter milk and skim milk has the biggest hormonal concentration, while butter milk has the highest levels. ( So where the hormones are mostly concentrated and how butter milk could have higher concentration if it is made from the same milk?
    3) are there hormones from milk and traces of antibiotics in a whey or casein protein isolate???
    4) Organic milk products: how much hormones they have compared to factory farmed? is it a good replacement?
    5) Cheese and yogurt: do they keep hormones?

    (I consume big amounts of dairy products each day so it is very important for me)

    1. Olga: I don’t have answers to your specific questions, but I have some thoughts for you since you eat a lot of dairy.

      I think that focusing only on the hormones is missing the big picture. The big picture is that there is a whole bunch that is wrong with dairy. It’s not just the hormones, it’s the animal protein and it’s potential link to cancer growth, it’s the saturated fat, it’s the cholesterol, it’s the contaminants, and it’s the lactic acid (for many people).

      Once you eliminate the fat, animal protein, the lactic acid, the hormones and the contaminants, what are you left with? Water and some minerals? Anything that even remotely resembles dairy? So, the question we all need to ask ourselves is: Do the good things about dairy outweigh the bad?

      If you are not already familiar with the issue of animal protein and IGF-1, check out the following NutrtionFacts.org video and then keep clicking “next video” (link on the right) until you get to “Plant based bodybuilding” to have seen the whole series.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/igf-1-as-one-stop-cancer-shop/

      To learn about some of the other problems with dairy, check out:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/dairy/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=dairy

      After you assimilate all of this information, my guess is that your questions will not seem as important.

      Good luck.

      1. Thank you Thea, but these questions are still important, because there are no products on the market with absolutely 0 harmful chemicals even vegetables and fruits are not 100% harmless due to pesticides and genetically modified plants, and they also have hormones. if not mention they are loaded with fructose and other carbohydrates. If they are absolutely harmless why even Steve Jobs developed multiple cancers while being vegetarian from his childhood?
        And I think that animal protein including milk is healthy itself, people were consuming it for centuries and genetically we were made to consume this, the only what makes it anhealthy is how it is produced now on factory farms. Almost all food including vegetables has some naturally occurring hormones, the question is if there enough hormones to affect health. If some one would decide to find negative information about any product it is pretty easy to do so. Hormones from vegetables can affect health dramatically as well, from thyroid gland suppression to estrogen, testosterone suppression, and other side effects.
        So in my opinion only facts matter, just sayting that something has hormones and harmful chemicals without any factual numbers (how much) is pointless, and incorrect.

        1. Olga: I guess we are on completely different pages. From my perspective, it is a matter of evaluating the whole package – the whole food – and asking “Do the benefits outweigh the cons?”

          When you look at all of the evidence for and against plants, the benefits far outweigh the cons for the majority of the plants we consider food. Similarly, when you look at all of the benefits of dairy, the cons far outweigh any benefits–based on the evidence.

          A couple quick points that you raise as concerns: it is my understanding that while plants have hormones, they have plant hormones, not generally mammal hormones. In other words, plants do not have estrogen-estrogen like you and I have. Plants have phytoestrogen (sp?), which means plant estrogen. (NutritionFacts has a good video on this.) And what we have learned is that phytoestrogens are protective against cancer. Meanwhile, hormones in dairy, promote cancer. NutritionFacts links to various studies showing both of these points.

          re: “just saying that something has hormones and harmful chemicals without any factual numbers (how much) is pointless”. I agree with this to a degree. But when you have multiple studies creating a pattern and that pattern shows dairy promoting cancer and say soy and other plants discouraging it, then the issue of exactly how much hormones are in dairy is irrelevant. Whether it is the hormones or the animal protein or other things or (most likely) combinations of all of these things, dairy has been shown over all to be a harmful food.

          re: “they are loaded with fructose and other carbohydrates.” You say that like it is a bad thing. :-) Naturally occurring carbohydrates in whole plant foods are great for health. We have seen time and again that eating whole fruits, regardless of whatever fructose is in them, has healthful effects. An ideal diet consists mainly of starchy food containing lots of carbohydrates. You might want to check out the book, The Starch Solution, to get a very good idea of what a healthy diet looks like.

          re: Steve Jobs
          I love that you brought this up. Steve Jobs is a great example of how eating healthy lowers your risk dramatically, but does not provide guarantees against ever getting diseases. Steve Jobs lived literally decades with a cancer that is normally very fast growing. A fast growing cancer can kill someone in a couple of years. Steve Jobs lived decades with his cancer. Jobs’ healthy eating likely added years and years of happy living to his life. If you would like to learn more about Steve Jobs cancer vs diet, check out the free talk on YouTube from John McDouggal called, “Why Did Steve Jobs Die”. This talk is only 40 minutes, and it is really interesting and helpful.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81xnvgOlHaY

          re: “people were consuming it for centuries and genetically we were made to consume this”
          Genetically, no mamilian species is made to consume breast milk, let alone breast milk of another species, after weening. The vast majority of humans can not properly digest dairy. Only a small percentage of humans with a genetic modification, a fluke of nature, can do so.

          re: “what makes it unhealthy is how it is produced now on factory farms.”
          Factory farms certainly contribute to making animals even less healthy, but once you familiarize yourself with the issues, you can see that there are basic problems with meat, diary and eggs regardless of how they are raised. Toxins and other participants on this site have given nice lists of these issues to supplement the details on the videos.

          We are not likely to come to any sort of agreement or understanding. I get that. I just wanted to do give you one more follow up. Good luck to you. I hope you find the answers you are looking for.

          1. I believe that some people can digest milk because we have been drinking milk for so long in human history. If I’m correct ( which makes sense to me), populations that are heavy milk drinkers should have that gene much more than populations who don’t drink milk.

            I say this because its hard to become adapted to something you never experienced. You can in various forms but to be that specific tends to lead me to believe those heavy milk drinkers have been doing it so much that its ingrained on the genetic level which is simply amazing.

            I don’t know much about this but let’s say this. Suppose that Africa is the land of no cows (I saw this because cows are fat and slow and need the fat generates heat) and Europe is the land of cows. I would expect Africans not to have this gene and Europeans to have this gene.

            I’ll look it up and see what I can find.

  7. I have adopted a plant based diet and I am loving it. I eat lots of veg, berries, and follow your principles of including the daily dozen. I have ibs so have to opt for low FODMAP foods (struggled with beans when I first started) so I’ve been eating tofu (100-200g a day) as my protein source on top of veg and whole grains.

    I have broken out with acne badly on my face, particularly on my chin and cheeks. There are lots of things I am reading on forums like; your body is detoxing, phytoestrogens from soy products are cause a hormone imbalance, not enough zinc or not enough fats. I have read it could be food allergies but the only new food I have introduced is soy, and my stomach isn’t reacting to it like it does when I’m intolerant to something. Do you think there is any truth in any of this?

  8. I’m glad you’re reading those forum comments carefully and skeptically. Unless there are solid research studies behind the claims, as you will find here, they are only unfounded guesses and not any answers to what might be causing your acne. For answers, I’ll suggest:
    https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/adult-acne and for possible approaches to treat the acne with diet, please check these out:
    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/treating-acne-barberries/
    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/natural-treatment-for-acne-and-fungal-infections/

    If you find no resolution, you may want to consult a dermatologist but continue with the skin-protecting whole food plant-based diet you are on.
    To your good health and clearing skin-

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