Of all species on the planet, humans are the only ones that drink milk after the infant stage of life. We are also the only mammals that consume the milk of other species. While mother’s milk is unequivocally what nature has planned for the growth of our babies, a misconception somewhere down the line in human history took place. That misconception is that cow’s milk (which most infant formulas are also made from) is similar to human breast milk.
Even more, most people believe that their health would be jeopardized if they don’t consume cow’s milk or other dairy products. Unfortunately, dairy marketers have brainwashed us into believing that cow’s milk is nature’s most wholesome food.
The dietary guidelines of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have also projected dairy to be an essential part of our daily food intake. With powerful politicians in Washington, DC, receiving campaign contributions from the National Dairy Council, dairy products will continue to be advertised as a necessary part of the American diet. This is unfortunate as studies are showing that cow’s milk and other dairy products are linked to autism and brain damage.
What is Autism and How Does it Relate to Brain Damage?
Autism, also known as autism spectrum disorder, refers to several conditions that are challenged with social skills, repetitive and strange behaviors, lack of empathy, verbal and non-verbal communication, eye contact, and idiosyncrasies. The term spectrum covers a wide range of challenges, as well as strengths, possessed by each person with autism. Three main categories of autism include autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder.
Studies show that autism and pediatric traumatic brain damage injury share similar symptoms. Some of the same biologic mechanisms that cause these symptoms are also shared. Most prominent for both disorders include sensory processing disruption, learning difficulties, seizures, and gastrointestinal health problems. Research also proves that symptoms of autism and brain trauma are improved when dairy milk is removed from the diet.
What Does Dairy Milk do to the Brain and Body?
Raw dairy milk is made of 38 percent solid matter called protein. Of that protein, casein makes up 80 percent and whey fills in the other 20 percent. While casein is always a part of milk products you buy from local supermarkets, the whey is usually strained out. The difference between casein and whey are how they’re digested. The body also responds differently to each. In fact, studies show that casein is detrimental to the brain and the body.
Milk Attacks the Body & Brain in Autistic Children
A study found high levels of IgA, IgG, and IgM antigen specific antibodies for casein in autistic children. In other words, the body was fighting against casein as if it was a harmful invader. Once dairy milk was eliminated from their diets, marked improvement in behavioral symptoms were noticed in just 8 weeks. A study published in Nutritional Neuroscience noted that a casein-free diet significantly improves brain function in children with autistic syndromes.
Milk Damages Brain Cells in Adults
In adults, brain damage is linked to cow’s milk. Research indicates that individuals who drink two or more cups of milk per day lose 40 percent of brain cells in the midbrain substantia nigra of the brain, a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease. To be fair, the study didn’t determine if milk was contaminated with pesticides. However, it did show residues of heptachlor (an insecticide) in 90 percent of the brains.
Casein Triggers Addiction in the Brain
Casein contains natural morphine-line substances known as casomorphins which act like opiates as they enter the bloodstream. Just minutes after drinking dairy milk, this protein begins to break down and releases casomorphins that attach to opiate receptors in the brain. Like the opiate drug heroin, casomorphins trigger an addictive response.
Casein Decreases Cognitive Processing Speeds
Additionally, the digestive system is also at risk due to casein’s slow digestion rate as the body has a difficult time breaking down casein. Common symptoms of dairy sensitivity due to casein include gastrointestinal inflammation, digestive discomfort, and delayed digestion after consuming dairy milk. The gut-brain axis contributes to decreased cognitive processing speed was linked to dairy milk.
How do I Get Calcium if I don’t Drink Dairy Milk?
Even though studies show that dairy milk is linked to brain damage, there is still a concern about getting adequate calcium. After all, calcium is important for building strong bones, thereby reducing the risk for osteoporosis and colon cancer.
However, dairy milk isn’t the best way to obtain calcium. Not only does it provide calcium, but too much saturated fat and retinol can paradoxically weaken the bones. If you’re eating a whole foods diet that contain plant-based calcium, you won’t need to worry about calcium intake. Vegans who don’t consume any dairy or meat were shown to have no adverse effect on bone mineral density. This is because diets high in protein and sodium causes more calcium to be lost through urine. I’m not saying you need to go vegan, but I point this out to show you that you can get enough calcium from plant-based sources.
12 Calcium Sources Other than Dairy Milk
Some plant-based sources for calcium include the following:
- Kefir, 1 cup = 488 mg.
- Sardines, 3.5 ounce can = 351 mg.
- Mustard spinach, 1 cup cooked = 284 mg.
- Spinach, 1 cup cooked = 245 mg.
- Turnip greens, 1 cup cooked = 197 mg.
- Okra, 1 cup cooked = 123.2 mg.
- Califia Farms® almond milk, 1 cup = 120 mg.
- Kale, 1 cup cooked = 93.6 mg.
- Watercress, 2 cups raw = 91 mg.
- Almonds, 1 ounce (22 kernals) = 75.1 mg.
- Chinese cabbage, 1 cup raw = 73.5 mg.
- Broccoli, 1 cup cooked = 62.4 mg.
What is the Difference Between Dairy Milk and Human Milk?
While cow’s milk contains many of the same components as human milk, the nutritional properties are not the same. The two milks have completely different compositions in both protein and fatty acids. Dairy milk has double the amount of protein, higher levels of saturated fats, and significantly lower amounts of essential fatty acids or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).
There is a reason for this nutrition profile difference. Higher protein and saturated fats help cows to physically grow rapidly as they are supposed to be seven times heavier than the average human. Plus, their brain weight is three times smaller than humans and therefore need high PUFA that allows the human infant brain to grow rapidly which is important for the human brain. After all, it is the most advanced of any other earthly species. In a nutshell, cow’s milk is meant for rapid fat growth while human milk is meant for brain growth.
Additionally, cow’s milk has 20 times more casein than human milk. This places a huge burden on the human digestive tract as it coagulates and forms dense curds that are adapted for the cow’s four tiered digestive tract. On the other hand, human milk has 60 to 80 percent more whey than cow’s milk which is much easier for digestion. However, cow’s milk doesn’t provide much in the way of nutrition because pasteurization and homogenization destroys most of it.
Stop Drinking Dairy Milk to Protect Your Brain Health
If you want to protect your brain health and body, stop drinking dairy milk. Its major protein source, casein, has been found to be hazardous to health. Because it acts like a harmful invader to the body, consuming just two cups has been shown to reduce brain cells by 40 percent. Studies have also shown that dairy milk is detrimental to children with autism. When it is removed from the diet, symptoms are improved. If you’re concerned about getting calcium, you may want to opt for the many plant-based sources mentioned earlier in this article. Your brain is one of the most important organs in your body, so take care of it.