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Milk May Not Do Your Body Good

Many of you have tried a dairy-free diet either for ethical reasons or because it upsets your stomach. Although the message from the dairy industry is that milk does a body good, 60 percent of adults can't digest dairy. It's not that they're allergic, meaning their immune system is affected; it's that their stomachs can't digest the lactose, the sugar found in milk. The enzyme lactase is needed to break it down, and for most of us, that enzyme stops being produced when we're between 2 and 5 years old. Without the enzyme to break down the lactose, the undigested milk sugars end up in our colons and ferment, causing cramps, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

If you have no trouble digesting milk products, you're actually in the minority. That's why scientists don't like the term lactose intolerance, because it gives the impression that it's a disease. Lactose tolerance is actually a genetic mutation. It may have to do with the fact that thousands of years ago, depending on where people lived, milk was a source of food, calcium, and vitamin D. So people kept drinking cow's milk even after they stopped nursing (breast milk also contains lactose), and their bodies continued to produce the lactase enzyme to break it down. That's why there's a connection between your nationality and your sensitivity to milk. Those of European, Irish, Dutch, and Scandinavian decent are usually more tolerant of milk, while Native Americans, Asians, and those of African and Caribbean decent are more sensitive.

Tell me, where do you stand when it comes to sensitivity to milk?

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Join The Conversation
northen123 northen123 7 years
Lactose intolerance is just one of the bad things about milk. There's also the fact that it depletes, rather than contributes to, calcium in the body due to its reaction with the body. Plus all the pus and antibiotics you'll normally find in store-bought milk. I am, if course, just going by various things that I have read. Each article and conclusion from research says different things.
superfoxml superfoxml 7 years
very lactose intolerant here. don't eat dairy in any form, but thankfully i don't miss it- tons of soy/rice/hemp/coconut options that taste wonderful.
prencesschris prencesschris 7 years
im lactose intolerance & have been since 6th grade. i can eat yogurt with no problems, but any other dairy product is a no go for me. no ice cream for muah, i would be deathly ill if i did.
Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 7 years
FINALLY SOMEONE LISTENED TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DIARY = DEATH! *Unless it's from PURELY grass-fed/finished beef!!!
Allytta Allytta 7 years
no sensitivity here, milk is a cult product where i'm from (north europe)
notinthemood notinthemood 7 years
Can't do dairy, personally... yogurt hasn't given me as much of a problem, but ice cream and fatty dairy products are ridiculous.
onthebus onthebus 7 years
I don't drink cow's milk because it grosses me out. I do eat dairy products though, and I have no problem digesting that stuff.
tamaradulva tamaradulva 7 years
Only drink calcium-enriched fruit juices. Don't like milk. it could be lactose tolerance, but I never liked the mouthfeel of most dairy products to begin with.
Bella14Stella Bella14Stella 7 years
I only drink raw milk from pastured cows because a lot of people can't handle all the antibiotics and growth hormones given to dairy cows on commercial, filthy, farms. Oh, plus pasteurization destroys any benefits from the milk.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I became more lactose intolerant as I got older and now, I pretty much avoid milk because it gives me really bad gas. I can eat yogurt no problem, though.
dd-sugar dd-sugar 7 years
Well it gets even more fun when you get older. Most readers here are younger. When you hit middle age, especially women I think, have more food intolerances. I started making my own yogurt in the 70s and now I could take it or leave it. I do consume whey protein powder but eat a lot less less food than I use to. Haven't gained weight but I'm a big veggie eater and I get daily exercise. I do take a daily probiotic, but some days, even that doesn't help. We all have our off days!
Briandiesel Briandiesel 7 years
Very interesting- I love milk but yeah, usually makes me feel a little ick
Advah Advah 7 years
I've never liked cow milk, it actually made me sick as a kid - but I'm fine with cheese and could drink cream with a spoon (I sometimes do that with apple pie heheh). I usually try to limit my intake to cheese though, otherwise I get nauseous pretty easily from other dairy products.
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
What about babies that weren't breastfed? Could some of this have to do with lack of breastfeeding? Does formula contain any kind of lactose?
MariahGem MariahGem 7 years
I am intensely "lactose intolerant". Sometimes I can get away with a sandwich with cheese, but something like real ice cream or cheesecake will land me in pain for the rest of the night! I've taken things like Lactaid for most of my life, but more recently my mother and I have been taking this Digestive Advantage stuff that you take in the morning rather than before a meal. It's a probiotic, and it seems to help. But sometimes I can't help thinking, is my body trying to tell me I shouldn't be eating this stuff, rather than finding a way around it?
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
I think I'd die with out cheese :) I come from a mixed backround. Hungarian/(German/Austrian) and Mexican/Native American. My Euro side has no problem with dairy products. Heck, we live off of them. Some of my uncles from my Mex side don't have problems either, but there are those in my familia that are lactose intolerant. But I personally don't really drink milk with the exception of cereal, with dessert sweets or mixed with cocoa powder. I can't stand the taste of milk. I generally stick to fat free milk. My father likes the "good milk", the full fat one. Ick.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
I have no problems with milk.
2muchtv 2muchtv 7 years
I'm South Asian (why the heck are we grouped with the rest of Asia?, we have a culture of continuing to drink milk, that's THE reason a cow is sacred), so milk is a constant. I personally hate the white stuff, but growing up I downed it like medicine, and still do. My parents were worried about my body ceasing to produce lactase, which is the sole reason I drink milk. Blech.
MLH1 MLH1 7 years
Intolorant. But I love almond milk, and soy ice cream!
kristints kristints 7 years
I find it interesting that nationality makes a difference because I am 100% tolerant of all dairy products and I'm of Scandinavian descent (on my mom's side) and German, Irish, and Scottish descent (on my dad's side) yet my dad is not tolerant of dairy and my mom and half siblings are.
elle-dub elle-dub 7 years
Kia, I'm the same as you. I don't tolerate dairy at all unless it is in a raw form. I didn't realize this until college when I had to visit an organic dairy farmer. He finally talked me in to trying some and promised it wouldn't upset my stomach. Sure enough, he was right. I still can only do small portions, but it was definitely an interesting discovery.
LilLucyT21 LilLucyT21 7 years
Lactose and wheat intolerance for me, have to avoid it also as it causes painful escema!
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