So were all those Got Milk? ads in the '90s lying to you? Well ... sort of. The calcium and vitamin D in cow's milk is good — but it’s the D-galactose, a natural sugar found in milk — that doesn't seem to be doing anyone any favors. While calcium is trying to aid in strengthening of bones as one ages, the interference of D-galactose, in all its evilness, is winning the battle and actually weakening bones.
But brittle bones and early death aren’t the only problems that have been linked to cow's milk; there are other ailments, illnesses, and diseases that have also been attributed to a high intake of milk, too.
Because this also just so happens to be World Vegan Month, here are seven ways milk is actually kinda bad for you. Think before you dunk...
IT CAN CAUSE OVARIAN CANCER
A 2004 study out of Sweden found that women who drank more than one glass of milk a day ran a higher risk of getting ovarian cancer. The study of 600,000 women who were followed for 13.5 years found that higher consumption of milk actually doubled women’s chances of getting the disease.
...AND POSSIBLY PROSTATE CANCER, TOO
There have actually been more than a few studies that have linked milk consumption to prostate cancer.The first major crop of studies came in the 1970s, like one survey conducted in Italy, which found that frequent milk drinking was shown to increase a man’s risk for prostate cancer by 2.5 times. Then, in 2000, a Harvard’s Physicians’ Health Study which followed over 20,000 men for 11 years, found that an intake of 2.5 servings of dairy a day could up a man’s risk of prostate cancer by 34 percent.
IT'S NOT DOING YOUR ACNE ANY FAVORS
Anyone who has dealt with acne knows that trying to get it under control isn’t easy. From prescribed meds, both topical and oral, to changes in diet and stress management, acne, especially for teenagers, is hell on earth. But a study that lasted some 50 years found that cutting milk out of your life can really help in getting skin smoother and acne-free. The results of the multi-decade study was that the high glycemic index in milk not only made acne worse, but even caused it to exist in the first place.
IT'S NOT SO GREAT FOR your PLANET
Milk production requires to major things: cows — and land and food for the cows. Milking cows not only leads to the release of methane in the air, but, as Cornell University found, for each calorie of milk that's produced, it takes about 14 calories of fossil-fuel energy to produce it. That makes for one hell of a negative impact on the environment.
IT CAN CAUSE MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
Researchers in Germany and Canada have found an undeniable link between cow’s milk and MS, because milk proteins tend to be targeted by the immune cells of those who have multiple sclerosis. Other studies have found that "cow’s milk mimic part of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, the part of myelin thought to initiate the autoimmune reaction in MS.” However, despite these findings, scientists warn that it’s still not totally “conclusive,” but it would be wise for those with MS to cut back on their milk and dairy intake.
IT CAN CAUSE CONSTIPATION
When it comes to keeping constipation at bay, doctors recommend an adult shouldn't have more than one glass of milk a day. Despite the fact that dairy has the opposite effect on those who are lactose intolerant, in people who can consume milk fairly well, dairy actually binds them, creating an, um, uncomfortable situation.
IT CAN CAUSE TYPE-1 DIABETES
For years, cow’s milk has been linked to triggering Type 1 diabetes because of the insulin in milk. Although the exact reason for this link is still up for debate, a 2012 Finnish study found that children had a lower risk of Type 1 diabetes when their milk was free of cow insulin.
The takeaway? When it comes to cow's milk, moderation is key. (As is, maybe, soymilk.)