Milk is seen, almost universally, by the average American as a health food. Those seeking muscle building and fat loss usually have nothing but great things to say about milk. And for good reason. It has valuable anabolic properties. But milk may be an issue for some. As it relates to hormones, it may present some issues for some women, men and children.
The modern dairy cow has been converted to a full time milk factory. It is not often talked about, but modern industrialized dairy cattle continue to produce milk throughout their pregnancy. In America and Japan, commercial dairy cows are kept pregnant so they can be milked 10 months a year. This milk goes directly into the food supply and contains varying amounts of bovine estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are then directly absorbed by consumers.
In our polluted environment estrogen is everywhere. It is in our water supply. Canned foods have estrogen properties in the linings. Only in America when a male reaches his mid 50s, he will have more estrogen in his body then his female partner. Men can not release the excessive estrogen that women can. BPH indicates higher levels of estrogen. With extra estrogen the male body will begin to exhibit female characteristics. He might expect breast enlargement, shrunken testicles, loss of body hair, low sperm count, and erectile dysfunction.
Consuming hormone free milk becomes a hormone overload. Cheese and dairy products are loaded 59 different active hormones. Hormones from the cow naturally and hormones injected by the farmers. These hormones mess up the consumer hormone balance and likely cause weight gain, acne, fertility issues, less muscle tone, flabby fat, facial hair in women, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and endometriosis, early puberty. By milking pregnant cows, dairies produce a product with elevated estrogen levels and that doesn't do a body good. In the China study, dairy consumption is directly linked to breast and prostate cancers.
One shopper noted, "Once I went grocery shopping and the cashier had me confused. Was he a man or a woman? It was hard to determine his sex. The youth had soft skin and had a high voice. I knew he had high levels of estrogen, probably from dairy consumption. He also was obese and was growing man boobs. I wanted to tell the guy to stop consuming dairy."
Fat cells produce an enzyme called ramatasks which converts testosterone into estrogen. The cashier was getting estrogen from his fat cells and from his dairy consumption. This is a double whammy.
The purpose of cow’s milk is to turn a 65-pound calf into a 700-pound cow as rapidly as possible. Cow’s milk is baby calf growth fluid. Everything in that white liquid – the hormones, the lipids, the proteins, the sodium, the growth factors like IGF-I – are all there to start that calf growing into a great big cow.
The primary purpose of cow milk is to make calves grow rapid in body size. The primary purpose of human breast milk is to develop the babies brain. Feeding cow milk to babies causes consequences in body size and brain development.
Trying to lose weight trying to shed fat and create a leaner body, it is fundamentally irrational to be ingesting substances designed to make a mammalian body bigger and fatter. No matter how it is transformed or disguised, cow’s milk is the lactation secretion of a large bovine animal that just had a baby. Thanks to modern dairy science that has genetically modified the cows, she is already pregnant with her next calf.
Dairy products weren't widely available in Japan until after WWII, when it imported American cows and dairy techniques. A new law, enacted in 1954, mandated that school children drink 200 milliliters of milk at every school lunch. Then the rate of prostate cancer increased 25-fold in this new generation of Japanese men. These men have lower testosterone levels. With a lower birth rate, the nation's population is declining.
Like all mother’s milk especially pregnant mothers it is brimming with estrogens. These estrogens are active in a very revealing study. Researchers in Japan gave men, women and young boys two large glasses of milk and then collected their urine every 15 minutes. Shortly after drinking the milk, potent, active, female hormones – estrone, estradiol, estriol, pregnanediol were flowing throughout their bodies and into the urine. Within minutes of drinking the milk, levels of testosterone in the men and boys plunged.
The researchers concluded, “The present data on men and children indicate that estrogens in milk were absorbed, and gonadotropin secretion was suppressed, followed by a decrease in testosterone secretion. Sexual maturation of pre-pubertal children could be affected by the ordinary intake of cow milk.”
Young girls going through puberty at age 7, 8 and 9 years of age are saddled with all the psychological damage and increased cancer risk that comes from becoming sexually mature before age 10. Before we blame pesticides and plasticizers, should we not consider these potent, mammalian estrogens we are pouring through our childrens’ bodies, day after day from infancy, in all the milk, cheese, ice cream and yogurt they avidly eat?
Pro-milk forces have made the phytoestrogens in soy the target of suspicion for possible estrogenic effects – when, in reality the phytoestrogens’ effects are minimal, and actually protective against breast cancer. The overblown concerns over soy have skillfully diverted the conversation away from the powerful feminizing hormonal effects of the clearly active bovine estrogens abounding in dairy products.
Dairy drinking women get so many breast lumps contributing to the epidemic. The breast is a hormone responsive organ being stimulated daily with potent bovine estrogens along with IGF-1, the most potent growth promoting hormone in the body. It is well known that when dairy consuming women do get breast cancer, it is more aggressive and lethal. The hormones and growth factors destined for baby calves are hijacked by humans with dreadful results.
The female breast is not the only target of bovine estrogens. The uterus is also a hormone responsive muscle and, as every pregnant woman knows, it grows more muscle tissue in response to estrogens. Could bombarding the uterine muscles with potent estrogens from pregnant cows, year after year, prompt the growth of muscle tumors called fibroids (myomas) that lead to heavy menstrual bleeding, anemia, and finally, to so many hysterectomies? Given the prevalence of fibroids in the dairy-consuming countries, many scientists and clinicians have reached that very conclusion.
The male breast responds to estrogens as well. Estrogens certainly aren’t kind to the prostate gland in men, as there is clear evidence that the estrogens and IGF-1 make prostate tissue unstable and set men up for aggressive prostate cancer.
A February 2010 article in the journal Pediatric International showed a potentially disturbing issue related to milk and its impact on the hormonal system. The researchers of this study wanted to see what impact these hormones were having on men and women so they enlisted seven men, five women, and six pre-pubertal children. The adult male and child participants in the study drank the equivalent of 2 8oz glasses of milk and had their urine and blood tested before drinking the milk and at multiple time points after milk intake.
The adult women in the study drank the same amount of milk (2 8oz servings) daily for 21 days beginning on the start of their menses. They were then followed for two more consecutive menstrual cycles to determine if female ovulation was impacted.
The results of the study were worrisome especially for children. The adult male participants had significantly increased blood levels of all female hormones including estrogen and progesterone as well as a sharp decline in serum testosterone.
All the adults in the study, as well as the children, had increased levels of estrogen and progesterone and a suppression of their body’s own hormonal regulation of these same hormones.
According to the researchers, the levels of hormones could be especially problematic for children by delaying sexual maturation in young boys and increasing it in young girls. In addition, as discussed by the researchers, adults could theoretically see increased risk for hormone sensitive cancers including breast and prostate cancer.
The lowered testosterone seen in men in this study raises a counterargument to the common belief that milk helps increase testosterone and improve body composition.
In one study, the researchers concluded that children's sexual maturation could be affected "by ordinary intake of cow milk."
The reason that milk produced in America and Japan has more sex hormones than Mongolian milk is simple. The free-range cows kept by Mongolian nomads get pregnant naturally and are milked for five or six months after they give birth. In Japan and the United States, the typical dairy cow is milked for 10 months a year, which is only possible because she is impregnated by artificial insemination while still secreting milk from her previous pregnancy. Milk from pregnant cows contains far higher hormone levels than milk from nonpregnant ones—five times the estrogen during the first two months of pregnancy, according to one study, and a whopping 33 times as much estrogen as the cow gets closer to term.
As it turns out, the difference in hormone levels between Mongolian and American milk may indeed be significant enough to affect cancer rates. For example, a 2007 study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology found that rats fed commercial milk developed mammary tumors more often than those fed traditional milk. Other studies suggest a possible link between milk hormones and ovarian and uterine cancers: Davasaambuu found that rats fed on commercial milk had uteruses that were significantly heavier than those of rats on a dairy-free diet. A similar study published in 2010 in the journal Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine showed that a diet of traditional milk also affected rat uteruses, but not as much as a diet of commercial milk, which resulted in uteruses about 25 percent heavier on average.
At a 2006 symposium on milk, hormones, and human health in Boston, Davasaambuu and Sato suggested that dairy companies add a new category of premium milk to their offerings: Milk produced exclusively from non-pregnant cows.
Health researchers are also interested in how hormones in commercial milk might affect development. In research published in 2007, Davasaambuu found that the blood-hormone levels of Mongolian third graders jumped after a month of being fed commercial American milk. A 2010 Japanese study saw similar results in children and adults—men's testosterone levels decreased after they began drinking commercial milk. "Sexual maturation of prepubertal children could be affected by the ordinary intake of cow milk," the researchers concluded.
The integrative medical community has had questions about milk intake for sometime. Milk is no longer processed the same way it once was. Selective breeding of dairy cattle, the use of drugs and hormones to generate greater milk yield per cow, issues with pasteurization and others have altered the quality of milk and raise questions about how healthy it really is for human consumption.NEXT Dietary Estrogen and Male Fertility