Dairy Products Avoidance

Whether through allergy, lactose intolerance, hormone contamination or infectious agents, the consumption of dairy products has contributed to chronic health problems in both children and adults. In some individuals, avoiding dairy products may contribute significantly to both short and long term health improvements and a sense of well being.

A trial period of strict avoidance and observation of symptom reduction would confirm the importance of avoiding dairy products. The continued use of dairy products along with supplemental lactase – a milk sugar digesting enzyme – could help distinguish between a simple lactose intolerance problem and other consequences of milk consumption.


The dairy industry owns the psychological exclusive rights to calcium in foods found in super markets. Few food manufacturers would dare to compete with the dairy message which infers that no other foods contain the calcium contained in milk, and without milk and dairy products you’re certain to one day end up with bone-crippling osteoporosis.

The dairy industry and milk processors invest hundreds of millions of dollars each year to guarantee that Americans will continue to drink milk and eat dairy products, investing their money to continually let Americans know that milk tastes good and the intake of milk and dairy products must be continued to insure good health. Milk mustaches are stylish.

Common knowledge of osteoporosis is based upon false assumptions. American women have been drinking an average of two pounds of milk or eating the equivalent milk in dairy products per day for their entire lives. Doctors recommend calcium intake for increasing and maintaining bone strength and bone density which they call bone mass. According to this regimen recommended by doctors and milk industry executives, women’s bone mass would approach that of pre-historic dinosaurs. This line of reasoning should be equally extinct.

Milk and dairy products contain only small amounts of magnesium. Without the presence of magnesium, the body only absorbs 25% of the available dairy calcium content. The excess remaining calcium can cause problems: calcium builds up the mortar on arterial walls which becomes atherosclerotic plaques; calcium is converted by the kidneys into painful stones that can block the urinary tracts; excess calcium contributes to arthritis.

Osteoporosis is not a problem that should be associated with lack of calcium intake. Osteoporosis results from calcium loss. The massive amounts of protein in milk result in a 50% or greater loss of calcium in the urine. In other words, by doubling your protein intake there will be a loss of 1-1.5% in skeletal mass per year in postmenopausal women and this, multiplied over 20 years, is considerable. The calcium contained in leafy green vegetables is more easily absorbed than the calcium in milk, and plant proteins do not result in calcium loss the same way as do animal proteins.


Dairy Products Avoidance can help with the following



Post Nasal Drip

Milk, cheeses and other dairy foods tend to promote mucus production, which can trigger or aggravate postnasal drip.


Crohn's Disease

Mycobacterium paratuberculosis (Para-T) RNA (a bacteria causing Johne’s disease in cows) was found in 100% of Crohn’s disease patients, compared with 0% of controls.

This bacteria becomes cultured in milk, and is not destroyed by normal pasteurization. Para-T crosses the species barrier to infect and cause disease in humans. Occasionally, the milk-borne bacteria will begin to grow in the human host, and irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease results. The USDA estimates that 30% of America’s dairy herds contain cows infected with Para-T.


Multiple Sclerosis / Risk

Avoid dairy products containing 1% butterfat or more. This is part of the Swank Diet for Multiple Sclerosis sufferers.


Dermatitis Herpetiformis

A milk-free diet may improve symptoms of dermatitis herpetiformis. The intake of milk products intensified symptoms of DH in two patients despite adherence to a gluten-free diet and a milk and gluten-free diet was effective. [Lancet 1971;2: pp.438-9]




One doctor reports that taking calcium without magnesium is one of the worst things you can do if you have hyperthyroidism because this increases any magnesium deficiency and increases the heart rate and likelihood of arrhythmia. This is one of the reasons why dairy products, which are high in calcium and low in magnesium, need to be restricted until magnesium levels are replenished.




Myasthenia Gravis

See discussion of Myasthenia Gravis and Gluten-free Diet.


Gluten Sensitivity / Celiac Disease

Please see the link between Celiac Disease and Food Allergies.



There has been more than a coincidental link between the use of chlorinated water and the development of atherosclerosis. This proposed link results from the consumption of chlorinated water and cow’s milk. While this will remain controversial until clearly proven or disproven, it would be wise to avoid chlorine exposure and/or drinking cow’s milk, especially in individuals at risk for atherosclerosis and heart disease.


Low Fiber Intake

Consider replacing a significant amount of the dairy products in your diet with high-fiber foods such as those made from fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans or grains.


Sugar Craving

Some people claim that their sugar craving was reduced or eliminated upon discontinuing dairy products.


Chocolate Craving

Some people claim that their chocolate craving was reduced or eliminated upon discontinuing dairy products.


IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Mycobacterium paratuberculosis (Para-T) RNA (a bacteria causing Johne’s disease in cows) was found in 100% of Crohn’s disease patients, compared with 0% of controls.

This bacteria becomes cultured in milk, and is not destroyed by pasteurization. Para-T crosses the species barrier to infect and cause disease in humans. Occasionally, the milk-borne bacteria will begin to grow in the human host, and irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease results. The USDA estimates that 30% of America’s dairy herds contain cows infected with Para-T.


Lactose Intolerance

However, unlike yogurt, the lactose in kefir is all digested by the time it is ingested, and some of the proteins have been broken down too. Kefir, a cultured milk product, contains several major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt: Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species. It also contains beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir, which help control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body by penetrating the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside. Thus the body becomes more efficient in resisting pathogens like E. coli and intestinal parasites.


Increased Intestinal Permeability / Leaky Gut

See the link between Intestinal Permeability and a Gluten-free diet.



A double-blind trial found that chronic constipation among infants and problems associated with it were triggered by intolerance to cows’ milk in two-thirds of the infants studied. Symptoms disappeared in most infants when cows’ milk was removed from their diet. [N Engl J Med 1998;339: pp,1100-4]

Dairy products are also devoid of fiber which is important in maintaining normal bowel movements.

Environment / Toxicity  

Fungus / Mycotoxin Exposure

Don’t eat moldy cheese. If you see mold growing throughout your hard cheese, there’s a good chance that there’s a mycotoxin not far away.



Some people feel they need to avoid milk and other dairy products as these make their mucus thicker and more difficult to expel from the lungs.



If you have chronic sinus problems, eliminate all dairy products from your diet. Many have reported very significant improvement. The full benefit may take 1-2 months of avoidance, so please try to be consistent in avoiding all dairy during this time period.


Colds and Influenza

Dairy products tend to be mucous forming, making the mucous thicker. This makes it more difficult for natural processes to remove it, increasing the susceptibility to infections.


Chronic Inflammation

Please see the link between Chronic Inflammation and Increased Protein.



It has been shown that drugs which artificially stimulate and suppress the endorphin receptors can produce symptoms bordering on psychosis. Gluten molecules are molecularly similar in shape to endorphins and thus can create the same stimulatory/suppression activity. Certain dairy proteins have been shown to have similar qualities.




Osteoporosis / Risk

Harvard University’s landmark Nurses’ Health Study, which followed 78,000 women over a 12-year period, found that the women who consumed the most calcium from dairy foods broke more bones than those who rarely drank milk. Summarizing this study, the Lunar Osteoporosis Update (November 1997) explained: “This increased risk of hip fracture was associated with dairy calcium. If this were any agent other than milk, which has been so aggressively marketed by dairy interests, it undoubtedly would be considered a major risk factor.”

A study published in the January, 2001 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the diets of 1,035 women, particularly focusing on the protein intake from animal and vegetable products. Deborah Sellmeyer, M.D., found that animal protein increases bone loss. In her study, women with a high animal-to-vegetable protein ratio experienced an increased rate of femoral neck bone loss. A high animal-to-vegetable protein ratio was also associated with an increased risk of hip fracture. Dr. Sellmeyer states: “Sulfur-containing amino acids in protein-containing foods are metabolized to sulfuric acid. Animal foods provide predominantly acid precursors. Acidosis stimulates osteoclastic activity and inhibits osteoblast activity.”

Milk has been called “liquid meat”. The average American eats five ounces of animal protein each day in the form of red meat and chicken, at the same time consuming nearly six times that amount (29.2 ounces) per day of milk and dairy products. How ironic it is that the dairy industry continues to promote the cause of bone disease as the cure!

Many foods naturally contain an abundance of calcium. One must wonder why Asians traditionally did not get bone-crippling osteoporosis… that is, until they adopted the “American Diet”, a diet of milk and dairy products.


Rheumatoid Arthritis

Here is a letter received by Robert Cohen, arch enemy of the dairy industry and despised by most dairy farmers. The letter was sent to him in January, 2002 by a long-time dairy farmer and speaks for itself:

You and I have stood on different sides of the fence for a number of years, but I’ve got a story to tell you, and an apology to offer. Catherine (my wife of 21 years) and I both grew up on dairy farms. We’ve been raising Holsteins as long as we can remember. Cath is just 42 years old, but she is crippled with rheumatoid arthritis. There is no record of this disease in her family, but she has been in pain for the past two years, much of it bedridden.

We’ve tried traditional and alternative therapies and medicines, but she only got a little short term relief. We even tried acupuncture. Try finding an acupuncturist in the rural Midwest! It was expensive, and didn’t really work. Catherine’s pain has been unbearable at times.

Despite there being no information on the internet linking dairy consumption to rheumatoid arthritis, and nothing in medical journals (I’ve searched online Medline), we made a resolution together to discontinue drinking our own milk, and not eat cheese or any other dairy product for six months, just to see if there would be some improvement.

I have to tell you this. Catherine feels like she’s been to Lourdes. She’s cured. There is some pain, but most is gone. I’ve had changes too which I’ll discuss some other time. I thank you, and curse you at the same time. Milking cows is my livelihood. I’ve always believed that what I was doing was the right thing. I’m not going to sell my cows and sell my farm. I love the business. I just don’t feel that good about it anymore. You were right about the arthritis. I don’t know about the cancer and heart attacks, but you have given us a miracle that doctors were not able to provide. It did not take us three to six months to learn the truth. It took just three weeks. I’ve ridiculed your work in the past. Please accept my apology.

Your friend,


Since this type of joint pain can be a symptom of food allergy, dietary change may have a profound effect. Dairy products – the most common food allergen, are one likely causative factor.

“In the case of the eight year old female subject, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis was a milk allergy. After avoiding dairy products, all pain was gone in three weeks.” [Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1985, 78]

“In systemic arthritis, like Rheumatoid, the cause is coursing through the blood, and it got there through the diet. When all of the joints are involved, the cause is not physical, but chemical. It’s usually casein. (Eighty percent of milk protein is casein).” [“No Milk”, by Daniel Twogood, D.C.]

“Certain foods trigger the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and eliminating these foods sometimes causes even long-standing symptoms to improve or even remit entirely. It is important to avoid the problem foods completely, as even a small amount can cause symptoms. All dairy products should be avoided: skim or whole cow’s milk, goat’s milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, etc.” [Neal Barnard, M.D. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine]


Dupuytren's Contracture

Damage from xanthine oxidase, which is found in homogenized milk, was discovered in the palmar connective tissue of patients with Dupuytren’s contracture.


Leg Cramps At Night

There is some information suggesting that milk may make leg cramps worse due to an underlying calcium deficiency. Milk does not make a good calcium replacement source because of the amount of phosphorus it contains.

Pregnant women and others who get legs cramps due to low calcium levels should reduce milk intake, because drinking milk does not correct the underlying imbalances in calcium and phosphorus. The most common cause of nocturnal leg cramps is calcium deficiency. Non-phosphate containing calcium supplements should be used if low calcium is suspected. However, some people are helped by taking milk before bed.

One person writes that “Both my son and I have severe nocturnal leg cramps if we eat cheese, milk,,etc. Even the ‘hidden’ lactose added to sweetened sausages has this effect…”

Organ Health  

Diabetes Type II

When milk consumption patterns were examined across various nations, there was a very strong correlation with the incidence of insulin-dependent diabetes. It may be that milk proteins cause an autoimmune reaction in which the body mistakenly attacks its own insulin-producing cells.


Increased Risk of Diabetes ll

When milk consumption patterns were examined across various nations, there was a very strong correlation with the incidence of insulin-dependent diabetes. It may be that milk proteins cause an autoimmune reaction in which the body mistakenly attacks its own insulin-producing cells.


Increased Risk of Breast Cancer

A new study suggests the growth hormones used to increase cows’ milk production can increase the risk of breast cancer for milk-drinkers. Samuel Epstein, a U.S. researcher, presented a report on growth hormones and milk to the World Conference on Breast Cancer in Ottawa. He explained insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) stimulates breast-cell growth, and uncontrolled cell growth can lead to cancer. Epstein says blood tests from breast-cancer patients show high levels of IGF-1.


Increased Risk of Coronary Disease / Heart Attack

Consumption of one to two servings of cheese per day compared with zero servings was associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction, while there was no risk for low-fat milk consumption. [Eur J Clin Nut 2003;57: p.1447]


Adult Acne

Dr. Jerome K. Fisher conducted a clinical study of 1,088 teenage patients over 10 years and reported to the American Dermatological Association that milk was a principal contributor to some patients’ acne. Dr. Fisher found that their acne tapered off as their milk consumption was reduced.

Dr. Fisher noted that dairy products often contain large amounts of butterfat and milk sugar, both of which, he believed, aggravate acne. He also suspected that the hormones produced naturally in the milk of pregnant cows may break down into androgen when consumed, which stimulates the production of sebum, the waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands that clogs pores and creates acne when the pores become infected.

Milk may also contain excessive amounts of iodine, which can irritate pores, bringing on acne flare-ups. Iodine gets into the milk through the use of contaminated milking equipment and medication given to the cows.







May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended
May have adverse consequences



Hypersensitivity caused by exposure to a particular antigen (allergen), resulting in an increased reactivity to that antigen on subsequent exposure, sometimes with harmful immunologic consequences.

Lactose Intolerance

A condition caused by a lack of an enzyme called lactase, which, in turn, causes the body to be unable to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk products. Common symptoms, which begin about 30 minutes to two hours after consuming foods or beverages containing lactose, may include: nausea, cramps, bloating, gas and/or diarrhea. The severity of symptoms varies depending on the amount of lactose consumed and the amount that an individual can tolerate.


Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.


Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.


An enzyme that aids the body in converting lactose to glucose and galactose. It is also necessary for digestion of milk and milk products.


Specific protein catalysts produced by the cells that are crucial in chemical reactions and in building up or synthesizing most compounds in the body. Each enzyme performs a specific function without itself being consumed. For example, the digestive enzyme amylase acts on carbohydrates in foods to break them down.


The body's most abundant mineral. Its primary function is to help build and maintain bones and teeth. Calcium is also important to heart health, nerves, muscles and skin. Calcium helps control blood acid-alkaline balance, plays a role in cell division, muscle growth and iron utilization, activates certain enzymes, and helps transport nutrients through cell membranes. Calcium also forms a cellular cement called ground substance that helps hold cells and tissues together.


A disease in which bone tissue becomes porous and brittle. The disease primarily affects postmenopausal women.


An essential mineral. The chief function of magnesium is to activate certain enzymes, especially those related to carbohydrate metabolism. Another role is to maintain the electrical potential across nerve and muscle membranes. It is essential for proper heartbeat and nerve transmission. Magnesium controls many cellular functions. It is involved in protein formation, DNA production and function and in the storage and release of energy in ATP. Magnesium is closely related to calcium and phosphorus in body function. The average adult body contains approximately one ounce of magnesium. It is the fifth mineral in abundance within the body--behind calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. Although about 70 percent of the body's magnesium is contained in the teeth and bones, its most important functions are carried out by the remainder which is present in the cells of the soft tissues and in the fluid surrounding those cells.


Inflammation of a joint, usually accompanied by pain, swelling, and stiffness, and resulting from infection, trauma, degenerative changes, metabolic disturbances, or other causes. It occurs in various forms, such as bacterial arthritis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, is characterized by a gradual loss of cartilage and often an overgrowth of bone at the joints.


Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.

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