Study Reveals Why Dairy Products are a Bad Idea

on Oct6
by Dr. Vikki Petersen | Print the article |

Mourning the Loss of Ice Cream, Cheese, etc…

I have had to confront in recent years that my beloved cheese and ice cream was not my friend. So for those of you who feel that life without your favorite dairy product is too extreme to even contemplate, you have my understanding. However, the truth is the truth and I am here to share that with you to the best of my understanding. Similar to gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance is very common and affects the digestive tract/body in an unhealthy fashion.

When I speak of the digestive tract being affected, one assumes that I mean there will be a digestive response to the consumption of dairy. Not always – in fact, not even usually. Similar to gluten, dairy products cause inflammation to the digestive tract that can in turn create many symptoms throughout the body, not just the digestive tract as many would presume.

This Study Tells the Tale

I wanted to share a study with you that validates something we have seen clinically for years. It’s from the British Society for Immunology, Vol 147: pp 449-455, titled “Mucosal reactivity to cow’s milk protein in celiac disease”. In this study the authors were trying to discover if cow’s milk could be problematic in creating intestinal inflammation in those who also suffered from celiac disease.

The test subjects were known celiacs who were considered in remission from celiac disease. In other words they were following their diet and their intestines appeared healthy.  Also included were healthy controls.

Milk Caused the Same Damage as Gluten!

Both gluten and cow’s milk were challenged. As expected 18 out of 20 [90%] of the celiac patients reacted with intestinal inflammation when gluten was introduced. But in addition, 10 out of 20 [50%] of the same patients reacted the same way with the introduction of cow’s milk. [Note: both the protein casein and lactalbumin were challenged in the dairy category].

Cow’s milk caused the immune system to respond in the same way as it does when it is confronted with gluten. This is exactly what we have thought and something that our new cross-reactive tests are validating.

I know this blog is going to generate questions regarding other dairy products, milk from other mammals, etc. So let me answer those now: Currently our feeling is that the milk from any mammal (other than from your mother when you’re a baby!) is a poor idea. It should be noted that approximately 75%, some say much higher, of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. These statistics embrace countries and cultures from around the world. That is too high a percentage to ignore.

As I mentioned, we here at HealthNOW’s Clinical Nutrition department have seen the problems with dairy products clinically in our patients for many years. In the past two years we have gotten stricter in dairy avoidance (no butter or yogurt), only to find that our patients improve faster when complete elimination occurs.

Try a Diary Free Challenge… Just Try!

I know, I can see your frown and hear you starting to whine. I understand…truly I do.  Consider this – try a 30 day complete elimination of all dairy products (all mammal sources) and see how you feel. Then eat some and notice what your body does. Remember that the reaction doesn’t have to be digestive in nature.

I’m here to help you so please keep in touch and let me know how you do. Our destination clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally. We would be delighted to help you improve your health!

p.s. Some of my favorite dairy-free alternatives are:

Daiya cheese – tapioca and arrowroot, coconut ice cream (Bliss) and coconut yogurt.

In the meantime I will continue to write and speak and blog and video. As a matter a fact you can view a recent video I taped on the topic here.

To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of the eBook  “Gluten Intolerance – What you don’t know may be killing you!”

Permission is granted to re-post this article in its entirety with credit to Dr Vikki Petersen & HealthNOW Medical Center and a clickable link back to this page. Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN is founder of HealthNOW Medical Center and the author of “The Gluten Effect” and eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What you don’t know may be killing you”.  She has been featured in national magazines, international medical journals and is a frequent headlined speaker.

The Author

6 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Rachael


    Was this study done with processed homogenized milk or raw milk? And what breed of cows did the milk come from? I’ve read that raw milk coming from older breeds such as Guernsey, Asian, or African breeds (A2 cows) is actually very good for human consumption. What are your thoughts on that? Could it be that pasteurization is what makes the milk the most harmful, or could it be that the cows with the genetic mutation have made the milk harmful?


    06 Oct
  2. 2

    Hello Rachael,

    I believe the milk was homogenized, not raw. I couldn’t tell you the breed of cows as it wasn’t mentioned. I know the research that you are referring to regarding breeds of cows and there are certainly components of what we feed and ‘do’ to our cows that make milk even more harmful. However, when it comes down to it, milk from a particular mammal is for HER offspring. That is the design and it seems unlikely that humans consuming the milk of another mammal will ever be a healthful idea.

    I know that we are pretty ‘attached’ to our dairy products but time and time again patients find that they feel much better when they eliminate dairy products from their diet.

    Dr Vikki

    06 Oct
  3. Heidi


    I think that this study would leaving some confounding evidence that would not necessary support saying all dairy is bad for everyone. There IS a difference between raw grass fed organic cows and the typical dairy farm.

    As a lactation consultant, I have seen first hand the beauty is how species specific milk can nourish a baby the way it was intended. I think raw grass fed, fresh milk is like liquid gold for your body. That is my opinion though and that comes from the notion that I don’t subscribe to the whole evolution theory that is being emphasized through all of the paleo diet stuff. There is a difference in those who study genealogy and also applying it to thinking people are millions of years old verses 6000 yrs old. It is one of those things that depends on what camp you belong too. I belong to the camp of creationism and that god provided us this beautiful food chain and that if the animal is healthy and treated fairly, the milk can be nourishing. Should it be all you and again processed cheese in the store is not what I am talking about.

    I think the paleo people that say you can’t drink milk from another species, are like saying don’t eat meat from another species. It is all about of our food chain…this is god’s design. Then again, if you don’t believe in god, it would change this viewpoint. It doesn’t work for everyone but I think milk can be nourishing for you.

    06 Oct
  4. Disa


    Hi :) When you say dairy (milk, casein…) do you also mean Hydrolised Whey Protein (lactose- and gluten free) ? I’ve cut out all dairy but i drink protein shakes after workouts and in the morning, could that be causing symptoms ?

    06 Oct
  5. Hossein


    I am from Iran. I had arthritis for many years and my doctor said I should drink much milk and eat other dairy products. But I got worse more and more. Then a friend gave me a Video that some doctors believed that milk and dairy cause many problems with bones such as arthritis. I decided to put away consuming milk and all of dairy products. And now after four months my problems have disappeared. I offer you to leave all animal products. Meats, eggs and milk are the main cause of diseases.

    06 Oct
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