Lactose Intolerant? We all know that advertisers would have us believe that milk is a great source of calcium. We also know that we need calcium for strong bones. It would then seem logical that we need milk in order to have strong bones. Let’s look a little deeper than the superficial marketing ploys and find out if this is true. If we just look at basic nutrition and chemistry, it is a well-accepted fact that in order to absorb calcium to it’s fullest, we need magnesium. Milk is essentially devoid of magnesium. Granted, milk is very high in calcium, however it does not matter how much calcium we ingest, if we cannot absorb it, it is of little use. Studies have shown that the higher the intake of dairy in a society, the greater the risk of osteoporosis. You would think that the opposite would be true, but it is not. One explanation might be that animal proteins, including milk, contain the amino acids methianine and cistine. These amino acids attract calcium and bind to it, making it unavailable for absorption. If there is not enough calcium floating around, the body is forced to give up calcium from the bones in order to satisfy the needs. The gut must be slightly acidic in order for calcium to be absorbed. This creates a problem if you plan on getting your calcium from antacid pills. The antacid pills neutralize stomach acid, which is what they are intended to do, but in the process your “acid gut” is no longer acidic, so it makes calcium absorption very difficult. A side note to this is that if you neutralize stomach acid your body tries to make more stomach acid in order to help digest your food, which makes the problem worse. Now you take more antacid and the cycle starts all over again. (Often times acid indigestion is caused by a hiatal hernia. A trained chiropractor or other healthcare professional should be able to correct that problem with what is called a soft tissue adjustment.) All nutrients, including calcium, must be in a chemical form called “cis” molecules. If a nutrient is artificially manufactured or heated above 118 degrees F. it will most likely be in a “trans” form, which is the opposite of “cis”. It looks just like the “cis” form, only it is backwards in its shape. The body can only use “cis” molecules, “trans” molecules can clog up the places in your intestine where the nutrients are absorbed and prevent the good “cis” molecules from getting in. Most calcium supplements, as well as milk and other dairy products are heated and much of the calcium and other nutrients are rendered useless. Milk is heated, or pasteurized, in order to kill off the bad bacteria and other harmful substances. In the process, much of the good bacteria and nutrients are also destroyed. In fact, if you were to feed a baby cow pasteurized cow’s milk, it would not develop normally and become sickly. This is an animal that is designed to drink its mother’s milk. When the heating occurs it makes the milk a toxin, even to a baby cow. Why Lactose Intolerant? Cow’ s milk also contains other problem components, such as lactose and casein. In order to digest lactose, you need an enzyme called lactase. As humans, especially past the age of 3, we do not produce lactase; thus we cannot digest lactose, meaning lactose intolerant. Some experts argue that below the age of 3 we do produce lactase, but few believe that after the age of 3 anyone produces lactase. In regards to casein, we need an enzyme called rennin to digest this protein. We do not produce rennin; thus we cannot digest casein properly. Some obvious symptoms of undigested lactose and rennin are gas, loose stools, sinus problems, fatigue, bloating and weight gain. The American Pediatric Association now states that we should never give cow’s milk to a child under the age of 1-year-old; their digestive system cannot handle it. Still another issue is the hormones found in dairy, both naturally occurring and injected by the dairy farmers. The one hormone that stands out is bovine growth hormone. This hormone is designed to help baby cows grow into adult cows. The problem is we are not cows! The bovine growth hormone causes the cow to produce another hormone called insulin-like growth factor. Interestingly enough, this is the only hormone ever discovered that is identical in every way in two species, cows and humans. Which means it will work exactly the same way in cows and humans. When you consume dairy products, you ingest insulin-like growth factor, which increases the growth of cells, especially the cells in the mammary glands. The research now strongly suggests that this increase in growth of mammary gland cells is a major contributing factor in breast cancer. All this and we have not even mentioned the mucus that dairy produces which will clog up your lungs, colon, sinuses and if you are of the female persuasion, even your reproductive organs. It is loaded with saturated fat; in fact one glass of 2% milk has as much saturated fat as nine strips of bacon. Don’t even think of replacing butter with margarine, it is loaded with hydrogenated oil which is one of the leading causes of heart disease, even worse than the butter. Now that you understand that there is essentially no benefit to consuming dairy, you ask “So, what can I eat?” The choices of non-dairy foods are actually almost as varied as dairy choices. There is rice milk, coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk, sesame milk, rice and soy cheeses, frozen rice and soy desserts, soy yogurt, butter replacements that are not made with hydrogenated oils, tofu sour cream and the list goes on. One word of warning is be careful with some non-dairy cheeses, many contain casein which is a dairy product. Many regular cheeses as well as non-dairy cheeses contain rennet. Rennet is used to coagulate milk into cheese and it is obtained from scraping the stomachs of baby calves. Look for the word Vegan on the package, which means it contains no animal products. In my book I have numerous recipes showing you how to make your own milks at home, as well as some great ideas for cheese replacement recipes. With very little effort you can easily eliminate dairy from your diet and add years of quality to your life. Moooove over milk! To set up an appointment please call my office at 770-427-7387 or you can send us a message in the live chat.