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Overconsumption of dairy 

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When healthy eating is brought up milk and dairy are often considered one of the most important components, and for good reason considering all the essential vitamins and nutrients found in milk. Calcium is one of the most well known ones, but according to Dr. Noreen Iftikhar from the healthline newsletter milk also contains magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, iron, selenium, and vitamins: A, E, K, B-12, and B- 6. Milk has also been shown to improve weight and bone density in children, and reduce fractures. Also research has found that pregnant women who had diets rich in milk and dairy had babies with slightly better bone growth and mass. Definitely worth some notoriety when it comes to healthy foods, but like all things just because a little bit is good for you doesn’t mean that a lot is better for you.

Some studies have linked drinking milk to the flair-ups/ worsening of certain preexisting skin conditions like acne, eczema, and rosacea. It is also thought that dairy might be a cause of adult acne. They believe it may be due to the carbohydrates and whey proteins found in milk. Another aspect to consider about dairy is the fact approximately 65% of the world has a decreased ability to digest lactose rich foods. For these people there can be many negative side effects to ingesting dairy products that include but are not limited to gas, bloating, cramps, diarrhea, and constipation. And for a very small number of people hypersensitive to dairy this can lead to anaphylaxis, bloody stool and trouble breathing.

Something to consider is that dairy is rich in cholesterol and saturated fat. Since most milk consumed (in the US) is from cattle and cows milk is full of protein and fat to help calves grow big and strong. This can mean excessive eating of dairy can predispose people to chronic inflammation and cardiovascular problems. Also just because milk is rich in calcium doesn’t mean much if you don’t have vitamin D to accompany it, otherwise the calcium can’t be absorbed. And while more research is necessary to be conclusive it is speculated that the drinking of 3 or more glasses of milk a day can lead to more fractures, not less, in women because women have less bone density then men and are already predisposed to osteoporosis and other bone weakening disorders.

The take away from this information is that milk can be a nice treat for the body, but is not necessarily needed to live healthy. A really good way to strengthen bone systems instead of overconsumption of dairy would be to limit sodium consumption and get plenty of exercise and activity a day. And other sources or calcium can be found in spinach and kale or certain legumes.

Works cited:

  1. Ifikar MD, Noreen. “Is Milk Bad for You? Here’s What the Research Says.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 2018, www.healthline.com/health/is-milk-bad-for-you#milk-alternatives.
  2. “Side Effects of Too Much Dairy Intake.” OrganicPowerFoods.com, 8 July 2017, organicpowerfoods.com/health-topics/side-effects-of-too-much-dairy-intake.
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