According to a recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists have found through analysis that one single glass of milk can contain a delightful (or not) medley of up to 20 different kinds of painkillers, antibiotics and growth hormones (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021...). These medicinal residues, found in samples of cow, goat, and human breast milk, are from a variety of chemicals used to treat animal and human illness.
This research revealed that cow, goat, and human breast milk tested for traces of numerous anti-inflammatory drugs such as niflumic acid, mefenamic acid, flunixin, ibuprofen, diclofenac and ketoprofen -- all of which are commonly used painkillers for animals and humans.
Traces of other drugs, such as lipid regulators, anti-epileptics, beta-blockers, antibiotics and various hormones (such as ethinylestradiol and estrone) were found as well.
A total of 20 pharmacologically active substances were found in the various types of milk in the study. The highest quantities of drug residues and hormones were found in cow's milk. Researchers used an extremely sensitive testing method, called Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, in order to ensure the testing was successful and accurate.
According to an online article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...), the milk tested also contained the hormone 17-beta-estradiol, a form of the sex hormone oestrogen.
This hormone was detected at three millionths of a gram in every kilogram of milk, while the highest dose of niflumic acid was less than one millionth of a gram per kilogram of milk. The scientists running the test, led by Dr Evaristo Ballesteros from the University of Jaen in Spain, said their testing method could also be used to check the safety of other types of food.
The amount of these drugs found in milk may have be minute; however, the research results make it entirely too clear how prevalent man-made substances, drugs, and chemicals really are in our food chain.
Researchers believe that the growth-promoting hormones and drugs are all given to cattle and cows at some point, or are often present within contaminated cattle feed.
But wait, there's more. Suffice it to say, everything you know about cow's milk and dairy in general is most likely part of a dairy industry myth. In general, cow's milk is a tainted bodily fluid from diseased animals that contains a wide range of dangerous and disease-causing substances. Here are some further reasons to avoid it altogether.
It can cause and worsen cancerAll cow's milk (both regular and "organic") has 59 active hormones, countless allergens, lots of fat (unless it is skim) and cholesterol. Most cow's milk also has perceptible quantities of herbicides, pesticides, dioxins up to 200 times the safe levels of dioxins, up to 53 powerful antibiotics, blood, pus, feces, bacteria and viruses (http://www.rense.com/general26/trut...). This milk can potentially have traces of anything the cow ate or was exposed to during its lifespan, including such things as residue from radioactive materials.
Of those 59 mentioned hormones, one is a powerful growth hormone called Insulin- like Growth Factor ONE (IGF-1). This hormone is essentially a "fuel cell" for any cancer. In fact, it has been proven that IGF-1 is the key factor in the growth and proliferation of every breast cancer; the medical world has clearly stated that IGF-1 is not only a key factor in the rapid growth and increase of prostate and colon cancers, but is suspect to promote and worsen ALL cancers, including those that are existing.
This is especially significant considering nearly 40% of women between the ages 40 and 50 have existing cancer in their breasts. The naturally-occurring hormone is identical in humans and cows, and every 12 ounce glass of milk doubles the amount of this hormone in your body. IGF-1 is linked not only to rising cancer rates, but the growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
IGF-1 is a normal part of all milk -- and while newborns are supposed to grow quickly, what makes the 50% of obese American consumers (or any adult consumer in general) think they need substances that cause MORE growth? If the residual hormones in milk aren't enough to scare you away from milk, surely the amount of other drugs, man-made chemicals, and dioxins are.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 90% of the dioxins entering the human body come from dairy products and meat. Considering dioxins are some of the most toxic chemicals known to science, and the EPA has published a report confirming they are cancer hazards to humans, should we really be purposely ingesting substances known to contain them?
It isn't a good source of calcium?Contrary to popular belief, commercially sold milk is not the best way to get calcium. According to (notmilk.com), American women have been consuming an average of 2 pounds of milk per day throughout the course of their lives, yet 30 million American women have osteoporosis. Ingesting dairy products and drinking milk does not prevent bone loss; in fact, bone loss is expedited by consuming an excess of protein, and milk has often been labeled "liquid meat."
After all, where do the cows get calcium for their big bones? You guessed it... from plants! The calcium they consume from plants has a large amount of magnesium, which is necessary for the body to absorb and actually use the calcium properly.
The calcium in cow's milk, and in dairy products in general, is basically useless because it has insufficient magnesium content. Those nations with the highest amount of milk and dairy consumption also have the highest rates of osteoporosis. Proof? How about a controlled study of 78,000 nurses over a period of 12 years? (http://www.notmilk.com/deb/030799.html) In this Harvard study, women that were consuming greater amounts of dairy foods had significantly increased risks of hip fractures, while there was no recorded increase in fracture risk observed for the same levels of calcium from nondairy sources.
The text of the anti-dairy advertising campaign from the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) specifically reads, "Don't count on milk to beat osteoporosis." The ad mentions the Harvard nurse study and how it proved drinking a few glasses of milk per day did not reduce fractures at all. PCRM's ad campaign is based upon two studies, one published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, and the other in the American Journal of Public Health. The campaign from PCRM refreshingly counteracts the infamous dairy industry "GOT MILK" ad nonsense.
Giving up dairy products, in other words, does not increase one's chances of suffering from a lack of calcium. What it does do is decrease the amount of synthetic chemicals, drugs, and harmful hormones being consumed. Good non-dairy sources of calcium include leafy green vegetables, orange and apple juice, beans, rice milk, tempeh, and calcium/magnesium supplements.
Website for maintaining calcium levels through vegan sources: http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/calciu...
Sources used and further reading:
1. Feskanich, D., Willett W.C., Stampfer M. J., & Colditz G.A. Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study. American Journal for Publich Health, First published June 1997; 87: 992-997 Accessed online July 7, 2011 at http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cg...
2. Cumming R.G., Klineberg R.J.Case-Control Study of Risk Factors for Hip Fractures in the Elderly. Am. J. Epidemiol. (1994) 139(5): 493-503 Accessed online July 7, 2011 at http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/conte...