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    Ditch Dairy Now: The Surprising Science

    enJune 10, 2024

    Podcast Summary

    • Dairy intake recommendationsThe evidence does not support the universal recommendation for all adults to consume three servings of dairy a day, and the focus should be on optimal amounts for the population in today's context of high prevalence of chronic diseases.

      The evidence does not support the recommendation for all adults to consume three servings of dairy a day, including milk. The recommendations for minimum food intake, such as the USDA's, originate from an era when deficiencies were a major concern. However, in today's context of high prevalence of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, the focus should be on optimal amounts for the population. Roopa Health simplifies the process of accessing and ordering lab tests, allowing functional medicine practitioners to get to the root causes of their patients' health concerns. Additionally, AG1's bioavailable pre and probiotics support a healthy gut microbiome, contributing to more efficient nutrient absorption.

    • Milk and healthThe recommendation of three glasses of milk a day is not based on science but on food politics and financial interests, and focusing on overall diet quality is more important than fixating on calcium.

      The recommendation of three glasses of milk a day as part of a healthy diet is not based on science but rather on food politics and the financial interests of the dairy industry. Milk is not necessary for survival, and its impact on health depends on what foods it replaces in one's diet. Long-term studies show that adding more calcium does not lead to building more bones, and milk provides essential nutrients for populations with nutrient deficiencies. However, removing milk from the diet of children in developed countries or those with borderline nutritional status could cause harm. The focus should be on improving overall diet quality rather than fixating on specific nutrients like calcium.

    • Milk and Bone HealthCountries with lower calcium intakes have lower fracture rates, calcium balance is crucial, and foods like kale, sardines, nuts, seeds, chia seeds, and macadamia nuts provide ample calcium. Limiting calcium loss from factors like caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and high protein intake, and consuming vitamin C can contribute to better bone health.

      The belief that consuming large amounts of milk as a child is necessary for strong bones and calcium reserves throughout life may be a myth. While calcium is essential for bone health, the amount required for optimal bone health is likely much less than the traditional view in the United States. Countries with lower calcium intakes, such as the UK and some populations in South America, have lower rates of fractures. Calcium balance, or the amount absorbed versus excreted, is also crucial. Foods like kale, sardines, nuts, seeds, and chia seeds provide ample calcium, and limiting calcium loss from factors like caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and high protein intake can contribute to better bone health. Macadamia nuts, in particular, are a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, low in carbohydrates, and have numerous health benefits. Vitamin C, another essential nutrient, plays a critical role in immune system functioning, collagen production, and healthy aging, and Symbiotic's liposomal vitamin C is a high-quality, transparently-sourced option. Lastly, cows, like humans, can maintain strong bones without excessive milk consumption, as they obtain calcium from their diet, primarily grass.

    • Milk consumption during childhood and adolescenceMilk consumption during childhood and adolescence may increase the risk for fractures in adulthood due to accelerated growth and increased height, but it's not inherently bad and other sources of calcium are recommended for adults

      Milk consumption during childhood and adolescence may increase the risk for fractures in adulthood. This is because milk accelerates growth, leading to increased height, which in turn increases the risk of falls and fractures. However, it's important to note that this is a population average, as individuals may grow only an inch or so more by consuming extra milk. Furthermore, the increased height is a risk factor for other health issues, such as cancer. Milk is not inherently bad, but the current data does not support the idea that increased calcium intake through milk or supplements reduces the risk of fractures in adulthood. In fact, there may be potential risks, such as increased cancer risk, especially with high levels of dairy consumption. The purpose of milk is to help animals grow quickly, but this may not be beneficial for long-term health, especially with modern industrial farming practices that result in milk containing even more growth-promoting hormones. Therefore, it's recommended that adults obtain calcium from various sources and not rely solely on milk to prevent osteoporosis. The current government guidelines suggesting 3 servings of dairy a day, including milk, may not be evidence-based and may need to be reconsidered.

    • Dairy ConsumptionDespite cultural significance and potential benefits of traditional fermented dairy, overconsumption of modern dairy, particularly sugar-sweetened varieties, may lead to health issues such as fractures, certain cancers, and digestive problems for lactose intolerant individuals. Consume dairy in moderation or avoid it altogether for optimal health.

      While milk and dairy products have been part of many cultures and can be delicious, the overconsumption of dairy, particularly sugar-sweetened varieties, is not supported by evidence. Traditional fermented dairy like yogurt may have benefits due to its fermented nature and potential positive impact on the gut microbiome. However, modern dairy production methods and the use of antibiotics, growth hormones, and unnatural diets for cows have resulted in significant changes to the dairy we consume today. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by renowned nutrition scientists at Harvard debunked common myths about dairy's health benefits and found that for adults, the more milk consumed, the higher the fracture rate. Dairy consumption may also increase the risk of certain cancers and contribute to digestive issues for those who are lactose intolerant. For most people, dairy should not be a staple food and should be consumed in moderation or avoided altogether if following a high-quality diet.

    • Dairy Consumption and HealthStudies suggest an inverse correlation between dairy intake and diabetes, but the type and quality matter, as raw milk and high-quality dairy may protect against diabetes, while modern dairy practices can negatively impact health and the environment.

      The relationship between dairy consumption, particularly butter, and health conditions like heart disease and diabetes may not be as clear-cut as once believed. A study by Doctor Darius Mozaffarian found an inverse correlation between dairy intake and diabetes, suggesting that it may even protect against the condition. However, the type and quality of dairy matter. For instance, raw milk versus homogenized milk can have profoundly different effects on cholesterol levels. Dairy can also cause various health issues like eczema, allergies, asthma, and hormonal dysregulation due to its over 60 different hormones. The modern dairy industry has significantly changed how we produce and consume dairy, with practices like pasteurization, homogenization, and the use of antibiotics and growth hormones, which can negatively impact our health and the environment. The recent paper "Milk and Health" by renowned nutrition scientists David Ludwig and Walter Willett debunked common myths about dairy's benefits for bone health and growth, and highlighted potential risks like increased cancer risk. Overall, it's essential to be aware of the nuances surrounding dairy consumption and consider the quality and sources of the dairy we consume.

    • Dairy health issuesConventional dairy consumption can lead to allergies, autoimmunity, increased risk of fractures, and potential adverse effects on cancer, heart disease, and digestion. Opt for grass-fed or regenerative sources for better nutritional quality and fewer potential health risks.

      Conventional dairy consumption can lead to various health issues including allergies, autoimmunity, increased risk of fractures, and potential adverse effects on cancer, heart disease, and digestion. The science does not support the belief that dairy is nature's perfect food or that it helps prevent fractures. In fact, the more milk one consumes, the higher the risk of fractures and certain types of cancer. Additionally, the homogenization and pasteurization processes used in modern dairy production can negatively impact cholesterol levels and overall nutritional quality. Dairy is also a common food sensitivity, particularly for those who are lactose intolerant, and removing it from the diet can lead to significant health improvements. When choosing to consume dairy, opt for grass-fed or regenerative sources to ensure better nutritional quality and fewer potential health risks.

    • Dairy optionsConsider organic grass-fed ghee for those with dairy allergies or intolerances, opt for A2 casein dairy from heirloom cows or goat/sheep dairy, and look for ethical animal treatment certifications when buying dairy.

      When it comes to dairy, not all types are created equal. Organic grass-fed ghee, which is an Indian form of butter, is a good option for those with dairy allergies or intolerances due to its higher nutritional value and smoke point. However, cow's milk, particularly from conventionally raised cows, can be inflammatory and cause issues such as eczema, allergies, gut problems, and acne. A2 casein, found in heirloom cows and goat or sheep dairy products, is better tolerated and has less inflammatory potential. When buying dairy, look for certifications ensuring ethical animal treatment, and consider switching to goat or sheep dairy as a healthier alternative. Avoid processed dairy products and those with added sugars. Remember, everyone's body reacts differently to dairy, so listen to your body and make adjustments accordingly.

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