Milk as a Calcium Source                                        

© 2005 Katherine Poehlmann, Ph.D.


The “Got Milk?” campaign is propelled by the Dairy Association, which pays celebrities to pose in a milk mustache and say milk is good for you. Milk is species-specific. That is, unless you are a calf, you should not be drinking cow’s milk. After childhood, there is no need for milk as a principal source of calcium. Instead, adults should get calcium from salmon, soy, nuts, tofu, kelp, tempeh, olives, yogurt, vegetables (especially spinach and kale), and assorted dairy products in moderation. Vitamin D is typically added to milk to enhance calcium absorption, but this is no substitute for natural Vitamin D, obtained simply by exposure to sunlight.

Ironically, drinking Pasteurized milk does not increase calcium but depletes it. A 12-year Nurses’ Health Study showed that of 80,000 women, those who drank two or more glasses of milk per day were 45% more likely to suffer hip fractures than women who drank one glass or less. Far from being the “perfect food”, excessive consumption of milk can lead to serious health problems such as iron deficiency anemia, allergies, heart disease, gastrointestinal bleeding, arteriosclerosis, sinusitis, and many others.

Those who enjoy drinking milk should consider consuming nonfat milk, since milk containing any fat is typically homogenized. This process releases an enzyme that attacks the arteries, causing pits. The so-called “bad” cholesterol tries to patch these pits and help avoid internal bleeding. Heavy milk drinkers will have arteries covered by cholesterol patches and plaque.  If this buildup is too thick, the artery becomes too constricted to sustain blood flow, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke. Avoid skim milk since it lacks the fat and enzymes necessary for proper calcium absorption.



Dr. Poehlmann is the author of Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Infection Connection, available at and major bookstores, or click here to order now.


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