Flashback Friday: Childhood Constipation & Cow’s Milk

Flashback Friday: Childhood Constipation & Cow’s Milk
4.83 (96.55%) 29 votes

The elimination of all dairy products was found to cure constipation in up to 100% of kids tested, leading to a resolution of rectal inflammation and complications such as anal fissures.

Discuss
Republish

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Back in the 50s, it was suggested that some cases of constipation among children might be due to the consumption of cow’s milk, but it wasn’t put to the test until 40 years later. We used to think most chronic constipation in infants and young children was all in their head, they were anal retentive, or had some intestinal disorder, but these researchers studied 27 consecutive infants who showed up in their pediatric gastroenterology clinic with chronic idiopathic constipation, meaning they had no idea what was causing it, and tried removing cow milk protein from their diet.

Within three days, 21 out of the 27 children were cured. Symptoms completely regressed when a cow’s milk protein-free diet was used, and there was a clinical relapse during two subsequent cow milk challenges, meaning they then tried to give them back some cow’s milk and the constipation reappeared within 24 to 48 hours. And they did that twice. Same result. They stuck with the milk-free diet, came back a month later, and they stayed cured—and their eczema and wheezing went away too! The researchers concluded that many cases of chronic constipation in young children—more than three quarters it seemed—may be due to an underlying cow’s milk protein allergy.

Chronic constipation is a common problem in children, for which fiber and laxatives are prescribed. If that doesn’t work several laxatives at progressively higher dosages can be used, and that still may not work. Five years later a considerable number of kids are still suffering. In fact it may even extend into adulthood. So to cure the disease in just a few days by eliminating cow’s milk was a real breakthrough.

But this was an open study, meaning not blinded, not placebo-controlled, until … this landmark study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a double-blind, crossover study, cow’s milk versus soy milk. Sixty-five kids suffering from chronic constipation, all previously treated with laxatives without success; 49 had anal fissures and inflammation and swelling. An anal fissure is where there’s a rip or tear in the anus, very painful. They gave them either cow’s milk or soy milk for two weeks and then switched it around. So what happened?

In two thirds of the children, constipation resolved while they were receiving soy milk. And the anal fissures and pain were cured, whereas none of the children receiving cow’s milk had a positive response. In the 44 responders, the relation with cow’s milk protein hypersensitivity was confirmed in all cases by a double-blind challenge with cow’s milk. All those lesions, including the most severe anal fissures, disappeared on a cow’s milk-free diet yet reappeared within days after the reintroduction of cow’s milk back into their diet.

This may explain why children drinking more than a cup of milk a day may have eight times the odds of developing an anal fissure. Cutting out cow’s milk may help cure anal fissures in adults too, but then give them a cow’s milk challenge and their pain goes from 0 back up to 8 or 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. Cow’s milk may also be a major contributor to recurrent diaper rash.

Why though? All the studies looking at biopsy tissue samples in patients with chronic constipation because of cow’s milk protein hypersensitivity have signs of rectal inflammation. Bottom line, for all children with constipation who do not respond to treatment, a trial of the elimination of cow’s milk should be considered.

Regardless, studies from around the world have subsequently confirmed these findings, curing up to 80% of kids’ constipation by switching to soy milk or rice milk. A common problem with the studies though is when they switched kids from cow’s milk to nondairy milk, the kids could still have been eating other dairy products—they didn’t control the background diet, until now. A 2013 study got constipated kids off all dairy and 100% were cured, compared with the 68% in the New England Journal study where the background diet was unrestricted. In fact in that original study 20 years ago, the cow’s milk was replaced with soy milk or ass milk. Either was better than cow milk, but no mammary milk at all may be best.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Tom & Katrien via Flickr

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Back in the 50s, it was suggested that some cases of constipation among children might be due to the consumption of cow’s milk, but it wasn’t put to the test until 40 years later. We used to think most chronic constipation in infants and young children was all in their head, they were anal retentive, or had some intestinal disorder, but these researchers studied 27 consecutive infants who showed up in their pediatric gastroenterology clinic with chronic idiopathic constipation, meaning they had no idea what was causing it, and tried removing cow milk protein from their diet.

Within three days, 21 out of the 27 children were cured. Symptoms completely regressed when a cow’s milk protein-free diet was used, and there was a clinical relapse during two subsequent cow milk challenges, meaning they then tried to give them back some cow’s milk and the constipation reappeared within 24 to 48 hours. And they did that twice. Same result. They stuck with the milk-free diet, came back a month later, and they stayed cured—and their eczema and wheezing went away too! The researchers concluded that many cases of chronic constipation in young children—more than three quarters it seemed—may be due to an underlying cow’s milk protein allergy.

Chronic constipation is a common problem in children, for which fiber and laxatives are prescribed. If that doesn’t work several laxatives at progressively higher dosages can be used, and that still may not work. Five years later a considerable number of kids are still suffering. In fact it may even extend into adulthood. So to cure the disease in just a few days by eliminating cow’s milk was a real breakthrough.

But this was an open study, meaning not blinded, not placebo-controlled, until … this landmark study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a double-blind, crossover study, cow’s milk versus soy milk. Sixty-five kids suffering from chronic constipation, all previously treated with laxatives without success; 49 had anal fissures and inflammation and swelling. An anal fissure is where there’s a rip or tear in the anus, very painful. They gave them either cow’s milk or soy milk for two weeks and then switched it around. So what happened?

In two thirds of the children, constipation resolved while they were receiving soy milk. And the anal fissures and pain were cured, whereas none of the children receiving cow’s milk had a positive response. In the 44 responders, the relation with cow’s milk protein hypersensitivity was confirmed in all cases by a double-blind challenge with cow’s milk. All those lesions, including the most severe anal fissures, disappeared on a cow’s milk-free diet yet reappeared within days after the reintroduction of cow’s milk back into their diet.

This may explain why children drinking more than a cup of milk a day may have eight times the odds of developing an anal fissure. Cutting out cow’s milk may help cure anal fissures in adults too, but then give them a cow’s milk challenge and their pain goes from 0 back up to 8 or 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. Cow’s milk may also be a major contributor to recurrent diaper rash.

Why though? All the studies looking at biopsy tissue samples in patients with chronic constipation because of cow’s milk protein hypersensitivity have signs of rectal inflammation. Bottom line, for all children with constipation who do not respond to treatment, a trial of the elimination of cow’s milk should be considered.

Regardless, studies from around the world have subsequently confirmed these findings, curing up to 80% of kids’ constipation by switching to soy milk or rice milk. A common problem with the studies though is when they switched kids from cow’s milk to nondairy milk, the kids could still have been eating other dairy products—they didn’t control the background diet, until now. A 2013 study got constipated kids off all dairy and 100% were cured, compared with the 68% in the New England Journal study where the background diet was unrestricted. In fact in that original study 20 years ago, the cow’s milk was replaced with soy milk or ass milk. Either was better than cow milk, but no mammary milk at all may be best.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Tom & Katrien via Flickr

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!

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

Then the effects on adolescents and beyond:

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

55 responses to “Flashback Friday: Childhood Constipation & Cow’s Milk

Comment Etiquette

On NutritionFacts.org, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer health supporters by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. NutritionFacts.org is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

    1. I suspect the dairy industry had something to do with hushing up the findings, all the way back to 1958.

      I’m going to give Dr. G a shirt with a great, big S on it for Christmas… er, Hanuhhah, I mean.

      1. Wrong Dr. Cobalt. Dairy reality and hiding the consequences of milk and milk products consumption go all the way back to about 1858 when thousands of children were killed annually. Dairy history is one of industrial genocide supported by governments. There was no reporting system and it was considered an inexpensive way to feed the poorest of the poor.

  1. It’s not only the milk which has been homogenized, but add the no fiber surgery cereal and white bread
    and well some people never want to change.
    I sometimes think constipated people don’t give a crap.

    1. That’s not fair. Children don’t know the difference and most parents don’t either. They believe the advertising completely. If they didn’t, breakfast would not be the huge profit centre for supermarkets that it is.

      1. John,

        I’m thinking as a parent it’s your responsibility to try to do the best for your children. Given the amount of free film, web information and the abundance of good dietary info it should be one of your parental obligations to question “facts” regularly and observe the results in your offspring. Is the failure to do so an educational issue or otherwise…certainly one for debate.

        Food advertisements are indeed pervasive and designed specifically to sell the item/s without the necessity to illustrate good healthy details. Think about the basic confusion and lack of veggies in the typical diet, let alone a WFPB diet. The concept of WFPB diets are still far from mainstream however, with that said the growing knowledge bank regarding sugars impact, as on example even being taxed by governments, should be a wakeup call to most consumers.

        I’m thinking of the ubiquitous plant based burgers , clean label movement and other groups who are front and center and easily seen daily, again not necessarily for health purposes but it should/could give one a sense of questioning ones food inputs. Will it lead to more confusion, I don’t think so as my belief is that people have the basic skill set to get enough information and make better choices.

        So without going into the child obesity or diabetes debacles, let’s not give the parents a total slide from responsibility. It’s time to keep pushing for quality food and consumption based on science and not cheap fake food that poisons our generations.

        If this seems harsh, consider the consequences of unsustainable medical costs along with the decline in longevity (https://www.washingtonpost.com/steps-for-disabling-adblocker/2016/09/14/a8c3d4d2-7aac-11e6-bd86-b7bbd53d2b5d_story.html) and I’m suggesting it needs to change ASAP.

        Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

  2. An inadequate colony of gut flora is a likely cause, also. At age 71, my lifelong pattern of bowel movements has improved drastically due to a forkful of unpasteurized sauerkraut daily.

    1. Yes, I use saurkraut also when I eat dairy. Dairy is so rich and I suppose comforting too to those who grew up drinking milk, but ultimately, it is not worth it, especially if your fighting another existing condition.

      What about goats milk?

      Is Dr. Greger Judaic? I would probably know this if I read more of his book and I need too. ‘always have a reading pile…

  3. My son had chronic constipation as a toddler. It was terrible! I had to give him laxatives regularly and he would struggle until he had a softball sized bowel movement. This was, of course, traumatic for both of us. The pediatrician prescribed a regular dose of Exlax and when I proposed my theory of a correlation between cows milk and constipation she looked at me like I was crazy. Nonetheless, I switched my son to a cows milk alternative and the problem stopped soon after. I also found that while I was breast feeding my kids, if I consumed cows milk the baby would get a tummy ache.

    1. Awwww, poor kid.

      The concept of the pediatrician looking at you as if you were crazy is so common.

      There was a discussion on a radio program about how many people have “bathroom phobias” and shame about things like bowel movements. It was a side topic to a different program, but the concept of alternating between constipation and the burning and pain and mess and accidents and softball-sized bowel movements makes this such an important topic for young people’s bodily function esteem.

      1. When I was growing up, we were in a house with one bathroom and if my mother had known that removing milk could stop the line in the bathroom, it would have been gone.

  4. So, what would Sigmund Freud have said about this topic?

    Freud believed that the anal stage of development, or that regarding toilet training, could have a profound effect on the later personality of a child.

    Give up milk and suddenly kids become less frustrated, and parents become less frustrated, and bathroom toilet training goes smoother and easier and quicker.

    Wonder what the butterfly effect of it might be in the life of a child.

    1. And, yes, I would generally say that Freud was “full of it”

      But if you take away his creepy mind and just look at it naturally that having things go wrong in something like potty training can affect a person for a whole lifetime. People get strange rituals and belief systems and emotions and even rituals that have to be undone for health and mental health’s sake.

  5. I can say for sure that getting rid of dairy changed the amount of time spent in bathrooms and if you have ever done the math of how little time there is in a day during the working years of your life – recovering a half hour a day actually can make a big difference.

    We have a lot of bathrooms and after lunch suddenly they are all taken.

  6. OMG – this is the story of my life! As a child, I discovered that meat was dead animals. At the age of around 4 or 5, I refused to eat any meat or fish. The doctor told my mother I must drink 2 pints (1 quart) of milk every day for calcium. I was already drinking about a 1/2 pint a day and was constipated and loaded with mucus. I struggled to get the milk down and it gave me even more mucus (catarrh) and even more constipation and a painful rear end. I was given Milk of Magnesia for the constipation and shots for the mucus. It took many years before I was old enough to figure things out for myself. I am now plant based vegan, regular a clockwork and the mucus has diminished over the years. BTW: I was born in 1943.

  7. Dr Greger’s ‘lets throw throw the baby out with the bathwater’ solution.

    Summary of following reference from the Royal Children’s Hospital, Australia. If the child is frequently constipated decrease sweet drinks prior to meals, decrease processed foods, increase water and fibre (fresh fruit and vegetables, unprocessed cereals, wholemeal bread, prune juice), and in children aged over 18 months limit milk consumption to 500 ml per day (so as to avoid a mono-milk diet to the exclusion of fibre-rich foods), impose regular toilet breaks, change toilet environment, and/or have medical check up for anal fissures, thyroid deficiency, colonic nerve endings. In children over the age of 6 months ensure the diet is rich in iron (meat, iron-enriched cereals).

    ‘In most cases of constipation in children, no serious cause is found. Some possible reasons include:

    Natural tendency – some children have slow gut movement, which causes constipation.
    Bowel habits – such as ignoring the urge to have a poo. Many young children are too busy playing and put off going to the toilet. The poo then becomes harder and larger. Toilet time should be set aside three times a day, every day, to allow for regular, undisturbed visits to the toilet.
    Holding-on behaviour – a child may begin to ‘hold on’ after a painful or frightening experience, such as doing a hard poo when they have anal fissures. Holding on further hardens the poo, and makes the next bowel movement even more painful.
    Change in toilet environment – such as new or undesirable school toilets, or being told to hold on when they feel the urge to go (typically at school).
    Diet – a diet high in processed foods and low in fresh fruit and vegetables may lead to constipation. Children who drink large amounts of cow’s milk each day may also become constipated.
    Disease – in a very small number of children, diseases such as the absence of normal nerve endings in parts of the bowel, defects of the spinal cord, thyroid deficiency and certain other metabolic disorders can cause constipation. All of these are rare, but your doctor will check your child for them.
    Diet is less important in the treatment of constipation for children than it is for adults, but increasing fibre intake might help some children who have a natural tendency to be constipated. To add more fibre to your child’s diet, you can try the following:
    At least two servings of fruit each day – fruits with the peel left on, such as plums, prunes, raisins, apricots and peaches, have a lot of fibre.
    Prune juice – this is a mild, natural laxative that works in some children. Prune juice may taste better if mixed with another juice, such as apple, apricot or cranberry juice. You can freeze prune juice to make icy poles.
    At least three servings of vegetables each day.
    Cereals that are less processed, such as bran cereals, shredded wheat, whole grain cereals or oatmeal – avoid refined cereals, such as Corn Flakes and Rice Bubbles.
    Wholemeal bread instead of white bread.
    If your child is over the age of 18 months, reduce cow’s milk intake to a maximum of 500 ml per day and avoid sweet drinks before meals. This will help to improve your child’s appetite at meal times. Drinking plenty of water will help soften your child’s poo.

    For babies on solids, increased fruit and vegetables in their diet might help. You can give your baby up to three tablespoons of strained, stewed prunes or apricots, three times a week, or give them prune juice diluted with water.

    Babies with constipation who drink formula might need their formula changed.

    https://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Constipation/

    In short, excessive milk consumption at the expense of fibre rich fruit and vegetables should not be encouraged in constipated children. There needs to be a balance between these nutrients. Excessive cow’s

    milk may reduce the amount of iron that is absorbed from the gut due to its high protein and calcium content. The solution ….supplemental meat or iron-enriched, high fibre cereals……

    What should my baby’s diet look like when they’re between six and 24 months?
    Continue to breastfeed if you and your baby want to and you are able to. In the first 12 months in particular, breastfeeding helps to maximise nutrients and the immunological benefits that your baby receives
    Increase solid foods slowly from around six months and aim for a variety of such as fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, cooked plain tofu and eggs
    Give iron-fortified infant cereals and meat as they are good sources of iron. The iron from meat is more easily absorbed from the gut and is a good source of zinc and vitamin B
    The best source of calcium for infants is breast milk or infant formula
    Dietary fat is an important source of energy and essential fatty acids and also helps with the absorption of essential fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A and D. Therefore, fat-free or low fat milk should be avoided
    https://www.victorianchildrensclinic.com.au/2015/11/cows-milk-and-infants/

    Now who am I going to trust. The Royal Children’s Hospital in 2019, or Dr Greger expressing his selective and risky bias against cows milk?

    Dr Greger mentions rice milk as an alternative. Be warned:

    ‘A Geelong couple who fed their 5½-month-old daughter rice milk caused her death, a coroner ruled yesterday.

    https://www.theage.com.au/national/parents-caused-baby-death-coroner-20030408-gdviar.html

    ‘The parents of a baby who died after being fed a diet of alternative milks have been given a six-month suspended jail sentence.

    ‘A Belgian court found them guilty of unintentionally causing seven-month-old Lucas’ death’.

    ‘They had been feeding him for four months with “milks” including quinoa, buckwheat, rice and oat milks, all of which they sold in their shop’.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/06/14/parents-sentenced-after-baby-dies-from-alternative-milk-diet_a_22223510/

    1. Pete,

      He isn’t throwing out the baby with the bathwater. He is posting a study.

      He would agree with you that babies should not be on plant milk.

      They should be on human breast milk.

      In America, there are breast milk banks all over the place to aid in the process of making sure babies get human breast milk, rather than cow’s milk.

    2. Also, the child who died wasn’t on formula. The child was on milk from a store.

      I looked to whether any child on a plant-based formula had died and there was a sentence that no harm has been done from the plant-based ones and there is a new non-soy formula coming out. Just announced this year.

      Still breastfeeding is better, but they do give children with allergies the formula and more options are coming out.

      1. Deb,

        Its not just a matter of whether a child dies or not – this being subject to the duration the child is on the plant-based milk. It is a matter of providing them the best possible diet. The prime responsibility of parents.
        Lets wait and see on a soy-based alternative. I have my doubts:

        *March 12, 2018* *Source:* *Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia* *Summary:* *Infants who consumed soy-based formula as newborns had differences in some reproductive-system cells and tissues, compared to those who used cow-milk formula or were breastfed, according to a new study. The researchers say the differences, measured in the months after birth, were subtle and not a cause for alarm, but reflect a need to further investigate the long-term effects of exposure to estrogen-like compounds found in soy-based formulas.

    3. The problem with Australian dietary guidance is that the country’s political system is beholden to powerful rural lobbies including the meat and dairy industries, and this taints advice coming from government funded bodies – and most hospitals in Australia are state managed and part federal and part state funded.

      The Australian national scientific body’s mission statement makes it clear that science should be used to support industry

      ‘The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation is an independent Australian federal government agency responsible for scientific research. Its chief role is to improve the economic and social performance of industry

      I suspect that Dr Greger’s advice is founded more robustly on science than the position of the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), based in Melbourne Victoria.

      ‘The industry produces $1.8 billion of raw milk, most of which is processed into powdered or fresh milk, cheese and other dairy products. The dairy sector is the largest agricultural industry in Victoria, accounting for more than 65 per cent of annual national milk production and with exports valued at $1.85 billion.’
      http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/dairy

      I sincerely doubt that any Victorian government controlled agency, even the RCH, would be allowed to tell people not to drink milk. By the way, isn’t Victoria the state where Pete Granger was formerly the dairy council’s marketing manager?

      1. By coincidence, I saw the article below in the BMJ a few moments ago.

        It makes the point that, against a background of a standard Western diet, dairy consumption doesn’t seem particularly unhealthy and even appears a superior alternative to red meat consumption. However, it also appears to deliver higher mortality than alternatively consuming whole grains, legumes and/or nuts What foods dairy replaces in our diets and what foods replace dairy in our diets’ are therefore clearly important issues (and may explain how some studies can show that dairy consumption may provide health benefits)

        ‘Results Compared to the lowest category of total dairy consumption (average 0.8 servings/day), the multivariate pooled hazard ratio for total mortality was 0.98 (95% confidence interval 0.96 to 1.01) for the second category of dairy consumption (average 1.5 servings/day), 1.00 (0.97 to 1.03) for the third (average 2.0 servings/day), 1.02 (0.99 to 1.05) for the fourth (average 2.8 servings/day), and 1.07 (1.04 to 1.10) for highest category (average 4.2 servings/day; P for trend <0.001). For the highest compared to the lowest category of total dairy consumption, the hazard ratio was 1.02 (0.95 to 1.08) for cardiovascular mortality and 1.05 (0.99 to 1.11) for cancer mortality. For subtypes of dairy products, whole milk intake was significantly associated with higher risks of total mortality (hazard ratio per 0.5 additional serving/day 1.11, 1.09 to 1.14), cardiovascular mortality (1.09, 1.03 to 1.15), and cancer mortality (1.11, 1.06 to 1.17). In food substitution analyses, consumption of nuts, legumes, or whole grains instead of dairy foods was associated with a lower mortality, whereas consumption of red and processed meat instead of dairy foods was associated with higher mortality.

        Conclusion These data from large cohorts do not support an inverse association between high amount of total dairy consumption and risk of mortality. The health effects of dairy could depend on the comparison foods used to replace dairy. Slightly higher cancer mortality was non-significantly associated with dairy consumption, but warrants further investigation.'
        https://www.bmj.com/content/367/bmj.l6204?utm_source=etoc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tbmj&utm_content=weekly&utm_term=20191129

        1. Note also the finding that

          ‘For subtypes of dairy products, whole milk intake was significantly associated with higher risks of total mortality (hazard ratio per 0.5 additional serving/day 1.11, 1.09 to 1.14), cardiovascular mortality (1.09, 1.03 to 1.15), and cancer mortality (1.11, 1.06 to 1.17).’

          This supports US dietary guidelines advice that people who consume dairy products should choose no or low fat versions.(they also recognise fortified soy products as an alternative)
          https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/eat-healthy/dietary-guidelines-for-americans/index.html

  8. Pete,

    I just re-read my post and it sounded very cold and clinical because I didn’t put any niceties.

    I am glad you come and post your side of the story.

    But I look at the list of what parents need to do and it doesn’t sound all that great.

    The concept that the constipation and mucus I had was from milk and so was the acne when I got older, milk would have been replaced the moment I found something to put in my coffee.

    The oat milk I use tastes so similar to milk that I am happy.

  9. I will add that you generally can make the debate interesting, but the minute a parent has to bring a child to a doctor to look for anal fissures, it is time to change what they drink.

    1. And you want to do it before they get made fun of for their first pimple or end up with acne scars or begging to not go to school or before you have to spend money to bring them to a dermatologist or other extra expenses versus just changing what they drink.

    2. Deb,

      1. In regards your previous comment, I did not take any offence. But thanks anyway for your consideration.

      2. I am not arguing you should cease consuming oatmilk. To each their own.
      I am instead arguing (a) there is no need to cease milk consumption on scientific/medical grounds – unless you are allergic to cows milk (b) cows milk is nutritionally superior than plant alternatives (c) oats milk should not be used as a replacement for cows milk in infants, (d) Dr Greger’s reporting of dairy nutrition is biased, selective and thereby unreliable. The underlying, barely-concealed premise is that milk production is animal exploitation, and thereby (on ethical grounds) should not be consumed by humans. I doubt the many millions of dairy cows in the world would agree. Given they are unlikely to prefer mass extinction. That aside, Dr Greger cherry-picks nutritional information which coincides with the aforementioned premise, filtering out the studies which contradict it.
      Linking cows milk with constipation and anal-fissures (as if milk is the only contributing factor) is just another example of this repetitious milk-bashing.
      Some children have milk-protein allergy, and this may contribute to constipation. But they are a minority (about 2-3%). There may also be malabsorption of calcium and fat, but the formula can be adjusted to counteract this.

      Constipation in infants is far more complex than Dr Greger’s superficial scapegoating of milk. The excessive consumption of milk (perhaps even breast milk?), sweet drinks and/or processed foods – come at the expense of fibre. The lack of fibre is a major cause of constipation. Moreover, in one large study which compared breast milk with formula milk, the latter caused more constipation. However, it had no influence on anal fissures. (see below). Just another one of the nuances you dont get from Nutritionfacts.

      The following study of 404 infants found ‘no difference in prevalence of anal fissure among infants who are breast-fed, formula-fed and mixed-fed’.

      ‘Constipation in infants can be caused by calcium and fat malabsorption from the formula [7] or due to CMA [3–5]. The addition of the high concentrations of *sn-*2 palmitic acid, prebiotic oligosaccharides and partially hydrolyzed whey protein resulted in a strong tendency for softer stools in constipated infants [8]. Thus, the formula-fed infants tend to be more constipated than the breast-fed infants and hence should have higher prevalence of anal fissures. However, from our study, there were no differences in the prevalence of anal fissure among infants who are breast-fed, cow infant formula-fed and mixed-fed. The prevalence of anal fissure in healthy infants of the three types of feedings in our study ranged from 6% to 11%.’

      ‘In conclusion, there are no differences in the prevalence of anal fissures among normal infants who are exclusively breast-fed, formula-fed and mixed-fed’.

      https://academic.oup.com/tropej/article/57/6/499/1736609

      I refer also to my previous post on this subject:

      …when an infant is constipated decrease sweet drinks prior to meals, decrease processed foods, increase water and fibre (fresh fruit and vegetables, unprocessed cereals, wholemeal bread, prune juice), and in children aged over 18 months limit milk consumption to 500 ml per day (so as to avoid a mono-milk diet to the exclusion of fibre-rich foods), impose regular toilet breaks, change toilet environment, and/or have medical check up for anal fissures, thyroid deficiency, colonic nerve endings. In children over the age of 6 months ensure the diet is rich in iron (meat, iron-enriched cereals), especially if the child is consuming a lot of milk.

  10. The internet isn’t shiny new anymore so people are aware of trolling via huge carpet bombing posts that become a huge distraction due to the sheer volume of already addressed falsehoods.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK215837/

    If a baby is having any fundamental problems then seeing a doctor is an immediate priority.

    Most modern industrialized places recommend formula and specifically NOT cows milk if human milk is unavailable, but human milk is strongly recommended.

    1. Jack,

      I posted this earlier elsewhere, but when my daughter was an infant (29 years ago), I was advised to avoid cow’s milk, and to use formula instead if I felt she needed more than breast milk, until at least age one. The reason was to avoid her developing an allergy to cow’s milk.

      Yet when I looked at the ingredients in the formulas on grocery store shelves, they were all based on cow’s milk. Needless to say, that made no sense to me. So I didn’t feed her formula or cow’s milk till age 1. I know she drank water, and probably some juice.

      So, have you looked at the ingredients in formula recently? Have they changed, so that they are no longer based on cow’s milk? Back in the day, there were few alternatives to cow’s milk based formula; at least, I didn’t see any.

      1. Dr J

        my understanding is that the reasons for using formula instead of straight cow’s milk (when breast milk is unavailable) are much more extensive and important than risking development of an allergic reaction to dairy. In the context of infant health and development, the latter concern is so trivial as to be largely irrelevant.

  11. Since this is a science-based site, anyone interested in what the science says about cow milk might want to read “Whitewash” by Joseph Keon.
    https://www.amazon.com/Whitewash-Disturbing-Truth-About-Health/dp/0865716765

    Here is the composition of human Mother’s milk: “Mature human milk contains 3%–5% fat, 0.8%–0.9% protein, 6.9%–7.2% carbohydrate calculated as lactose, and 0.2% mineral constituents expressed as ash. ”
    Note that, depending on whether you drink whole or low fat cow milk, the fat content, by % fat as opposed to by weight which is how it is sold, is 30% or more fat. Human Mother’s milk is 3-5% fat. A huge difference. Whale Mother’s milk (whales are mammals and nurse their young) is 40% fat.
    Mammalian milks are not interchangeable: The Denver Zoo discovered this when they gave cow milk to their baby polar bears abandoned by their mother. The bears failed to thrive.
    The only babies who should be drinking cow lactations are calves – and even they do not continue to drink cow lactation after weaning. Cow milk – or any other mammalian milk – is insufficient for human beings.

    1. Ruth, the oft-made claim that cows milk is only for calves is simply not true. European/African humans altered their DNA to digest cows milk many thousands of years ago. That is, genetically our DNA has been adapted to consume cow’s milk.

      *”Over a long run, it’s modest; but over short periods of time, it’s extremely high selection” for the lactose tolerant, says Thomas.*

      *Scientists may never discover the reason why adult lactose tolerance evolved so quickly. Other researchers have suggested that fresh milk provided a more pure fluid alternative to contaminated water sources in arid environments; that milk fat gave people a fertility advantage; or that milk drinking might have been associated with social prestige. Cordain argues that milk gave humans an advantage against malaria in Africa and Southern Europe, and rickets in Northern Europe.*

      *”Whatever constellation of factors was involved, they’re going to be different in different regions,” says Thomas. “But the selection pressure might have been equally strong in East Africa and Northern Europe, for example.”*

      *It’s hard to tell how prevalent lactose tolerance has been over time. But so far scientists have found evidence of adult lactase persistence in ancient skeletons in Northern Europe, Scandinavia, southern France and elsewhere. Thomas and his colleague Oddný Sverrisdóttir of Uppsala University in Sweden recently discovered lactase persistence in Spanish remains from about 5,000 years ago*

      https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/12/27/168144785/an-evolutionary-whodunit-how-did-humans-develop-lactose-tolerance

  12. I’m trying to figure out what that little girl in the pic is supposed to be doing. That basket-looking thing in back of her sure doesn’t look like a toilet tank. So, where is she sitting with what looks like her underpants pulled down (uh-oh, we got a porno pic here?)? Unless maybe it’s a kiddie potty. Is she supposed to be reading a newspaper?

    Back when I lived in NYC I happened to be near the Waldorf Astoria and needed to go to the loo. Fast. When I got into one of the stalls I heard some loud guttural sounds coming from the next booth. Sounds like “Ahhhhh….!” I wondered what kind of a female could be so gross and disgusting.

    When I later walked to the sink to wash my hands I noticed several urinals in the room. OH MY GOD, I had gone into the men’s room! I hurriedly dried by hands and got the hell out of there before the loud-noised one came out of his stall. :-O

    1. YR,

      You made me laugh.

      I think most of us have at least walked a few steps into the opposite gender’s bathroom by mistake.

      When I was in college, I worked for my State one Summer and was invited into the male’s bathroom to see maggots for the first and only time in my life.

      1. It looks like she has a road atlas to me.

        Maybe a magazine, but the cover reminds me of a road atlas.

        Could be a calendar, I guess.

        What I don’t see are little kiddie characters teaching her how to use the potty.

        The absence of primary colors and geometric shapes and faces seems different, but I believe they are training her to learn to look for something to read while she is waiting for the go. To quote Charmin.

  13. I cut out dairy a couple years ago, and a life-long battle with post-nasal drip (such that I’d often have to wake up to avoid “drowning” in my sleep) and chronic bronchitis went away after 4 days. I’d been bottle-fed rather than breast-fed, so I assume I developed the allergy at that tender age. But I’ve long wondered how cow protein gets into one’s bloodstream.  Aren’t the proteins digested in the stomach?  Aren’t the large proteins at least broken into smaller peptide segments there?  How can any remaining peptides from cow’s milk protein get into the bloodstream?  Does it require a leaky gut, and is the latter caused by inflammation in the gut from an immune reaction to those very same peptides?

    1. The key is the protein in the milk. That is casein and there are 13 of them. All of them are a form of glue that becomes water insoluble mucus in us. Not all of the mucus goes to the stomach. Being a slimy glue, a lot of it stays in the oral cavity and also coats the throat, esophagus and the bronchioles. When an infant lies on his or her side, it migrates/leaches up the eustachian tube into the middle ear where it evolves into an ear infection. That’s why ear infections which were almost non-existent before dairy consumption now affect nearly every child who is a dairy consumer.

      I consider it a doctor’s duty to inform parents about this since it has been known since 1938. This information was published in medical text books of the time. Then it wasn’t. A cover-up must have taken place at the behest of the dairy industry.

      1. John,

        There are 4 subsets of casein proteins. For a really good molecular overview please see: https://www.intechopen.com/books/milk-proteins-from-structure-to-biological-properties-and-health-aspects/casein-proteins-structural-and-functional-aspects

        I think it’s interesting to note that even to 2016, the date of this publication, there are still some unknown molecular aspects of the milk protein.

        Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

      2. John, there is nothing to cover up.

        Not only do milk proteins provide essential amino acids, they are also used as a micronutrient carrier. Including, vitamins, fatty acids, sugars and minerals. ( https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123740397000131). This additionally increases the nutritional benefit of milk and milk-based products.

        Kwashiorkor is the (mass) starvation of children in third world countries.
        It occurs when infants of disadvantaged and uneducated people are weaned and unwittingly placed on a low protein/high carb diet. In the west it occurs when educated but uninformed parents replace cows milk with plant-based milk alternatives. That is, using the same perverse logic you have just demonstrated. And how do doctors save the lives of these starving children? By gradually introducing your ‘toxic’ cows milk proteins into their diet. That is, milk proteins are the ‘medicine’ which saves their lives. It goes without saying, this treatment is completely unrelated to any conspiratorial influence ‘Big Dairy’ has on treating physicians. Which is where Tom will attempt to ferry you when (inconveniently) the science no longer supports his position.

        In a variety of customised ratios milk proteins are also the base of milk formulas used in cross-species hand-rearing and animal rescue, including endangered native species. Again, this is unrelated to rescuers being tricked by Big Dairy into using milk proteins. Rather, out in the field, these same proteins save lives.

        In regards ear infections. A little perspective. About 2% of babies are allergic to cows milk. It is a serious problem for them. However, most (80% of 2%) will have outgrown it by aged 3-5. Moreover, it is not just milk.
        Other triggers include eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat. Indeed, children who switch from cows to soy formula often experience a similar immune response. A possible solution is extensively hydrolyzed formula (EHF) protein or amino acid (AAF) elemental milk formulas.

    2. Yes leaky gut is correct. A leaky gut is the cause of all inflammation – which is caused from disbiosis. The walls are corrected/ strengthened with certain beneficial bacterial.

    3. Allergens do not need to gain entry to the blood stream to elicit an allergic reaction. Simply coming in contact with skin and mucous membranes is enough.

  14. Not sure whether you are aware of A2 milk. A1 and A2 are proteins found in cows milk in different ratio (a muataion at some point apprently explains why not all cows have the same ratio. Some nreeds, and slective breeding can produce cows that only have the A2 protein. This is wieldy researched, originally in New Zealand as it was suspected there was a link between cows milk and a number of diseases. It seems that poepl with leaky gut especially, have more problems with the A1 protein, which breaks down to the beta Casomorphin peptide. This peptide can be damaging for some people at a number of levels. Google it if you like.
    So called A2 milk us now available in a number if countries (new Zealand, Australia, China) and is rapidly gaining market share, especially s the basis for milk formula products. In fact ,it is really popular in China (imported from New Zealand).
    I don’t drink milk (gave me problems as a kid) but have followed the research closely, and it makes a lot of sense. I understand A2 milk is now also introduced into the US

    On a side note, almost as interesting as the research it self, is the power play that we saw with the large dairy corporates Fonterra and other established dairy corporates here in New Zealand tried to rubbish the claims, went to court to stop it, and told their farmers not to worry about selective breeding. The A2 milk corporation now is much bigger than the largest dairy producer Fonterrra, and Fonterra has now decided to venture with A2 milk…..

  15. I am curious if the “ass milk” listed in the second to last sentence of the transcript version refers to donkey milk or if, perhaps, it is a typo.

    1. Donkeys are asses but there are other types of asses. However. it may just be a translation from another language. Donkey is basically just a slang term for ass and ass is the technically correct.term.

  16. I am so grateful to have heard about this problem with constipation. ok, I am not a spring chicken but from now on, I will slowly stop all my dairy and see how my bowels behave?

    On another note, I have had Endometriosis for 25 years beginning in my late teens. As the years went by I got worse and worse and every 2-3 years needed to have them removed until the next time when I couldnt take the excruciating pain no more, so 25 years of pain and no doctor would examine these growths and analyse what they were made of, they didnt want to know nor listen to my own findings. Now I understand why not. Pain teaches us a lot and gives us the experience others will only read about.
    I dont hold this experience as a secret any longer rather I tell it as I experienced it… and that is – consuming dairy products that are not organic but are rather grown with a cocktail of toxins facilitated the most painful endometriosis growths/ polyps I carried for decades.

    I would like to add that after the 8th operation of removing kilos of growths, I finally became wiser! I left hospital and changed my diet to only organic produce and since then I never had an issue with Endometriosis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This