Dispelling the Cow’s Milk Myth: Rethinking our Kids’ Fave ‘Health’ Drink

17 Jun

Unprocessed vegan milks instead?!

According to the American Diabetes Association, 1 in every 400 children and adolescents have diabetes in the United States.  A majority of these children have type 1 diabetes, an insulin-dependent autoimmune disorder.  Diabetes Care, the American Diabetes Society peer reviewed scientific journal, has published studies that show the significant relationship between type 1 diabetes and cow’s milk consumption, and yet, cow’s milk is still seen as our children’s  favorite health drink both at home and at school.

In 1991, Dahl-Jorgensen K., Joner G. and Hanssen K.F. showed the “Relationship between cow’s milk consumption and incidence of IDDM in childhood.” Many countries were included in the study.  Japan showed the lowest consumption of cow’s milk and the lowest incidence of type 1 diabetes, while Finland had the highest of both.  France, Israel, Canada, U.S.A., Netherlands, New Zealand, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Sweden’s consumption of cow’s milk and incidence of type 1 diabetes were somewhere in between Japan and Finland.  In 1997, Hammond-McKibben D. and Dosch H. M. s calculated the risk of the consumption of cow’s milk on the development of type 1 diabetes in their study “Cow’s milk, bovine serum albumin, and IDDM: can we settle the controversies.”  What they found was that the relationship between cow’s milk and type 1 diabetes is 200% greater than the relationship between smoking and lung cancer and 900% more than high blood pressure and cholesterol and heart disease.  Both of these studies were published in Diabetes Care.

Many other studies have shown that dairy consumption is also related to the increase in other autoimmune disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis.  Just last week at the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting, it was reported that children’s type 1 diabetes has increased by 23% from 2001 to 2009.  As guardians of future generations, we need dispel the myth that cow’s milk is our children’s healthiest drink.

2 Responses to “Dispelling the Cow’s Milk Myth: Rethinking our Kids’ Fave ‘Health’ Drink”

  1. Columba Lisa Smith June 17, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    My son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last August. No one, so far as I know, knows what causes type 1, which is an entirely different disease from type 2. Case in point, we had given up drinking milk when my son was about four years old. He was diagnosed with type 1 just before his 14th birthday, so he hadn\’t been drinking milk for the 10 years prior. But who knows? I will check that out. It is speculated that type 1 occurs when the immune system is triggered by a severe flu virus, three to four years prior to diagnosis. That fit the pattern with my son. The confused immune system gradually kills off the pancreatic cells that produce insulin, hence the need for insulin. We are trying various herbs and supplements to balance the immune and support the pancreas, etc. We\’ve been very careful with diet for years before diagnosis, and remain careful. Thanks for writing about this – interesting idea.

    • Mama In The Kitchen June 17, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

      Hi Columba,
      Thank you for your comment.
      This post was actually homework for my plant based nutrition course at eCornell with Dr. T. Colin Campbell (of The China Study) based on his lectures. The second study I mention shows a chart with the risk evaluations of heart disease and cholesterol, smoking and lung cancer and milk and type 1 diabetes: 300%, 1000% and 1200% respectively.
      Dr. Campbell also talks about changes in genes and what happens for next generations.
      Please let me know what you find. I would be very interested. Thank you for stopping by.
      P.S. We also learned that a type 1 diabetic on a plant based diet can decrease their medication by 40%. Is this true for your son? All the best.

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