Tag Archive | "dairy"

How Healthy Are Dairy Products?

I’m trying to eat healthier and I’ve read a lot of conflicting information regarding dairy products recently. Of course the dairy industry wants people to believe milk is healthy and provides an excellent source of calcium. Vegans, who are against animal exploitation of any kind, say that milk raises the acidity of your blood which in turn leaches calcium from your bones. Obviously, both groups have their own agendas, so I’m highly skeptical of the sources and studies that they cite to make their arguments. If anyone could link me to a study that is not affiliated with either of these groups, I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

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Why Is America So Obsessed With Calcium?

For years ethical scientist unaffiliated with the dairy industry have said that westerners believe there is such a thing as calcium deficiency disorder. Many research studies not affiliated with the dairy industry says that not all calcium in food is absorbed in the body, especially the calcium in milk. The National Academy of Sciences recommends that people ages 19 to 50 consume a whopping 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day, and that those age 50 or over get 1,200 milligrams per day. In countries such as India, Japan, and Peru where average daily calcium intake is as low as 300 milligrams per day (less than a third of the U.S. recommendation for adults, ages 19 to 50), the incidence of bone fractures is quite low. Yet in countries where dairy is high/common, the rate of osteoporosis highest. One in three British women now suffers from osteoporosis. An estimated 44 million Americans, or 55 percent of the people 50 years of age and older. Several recent reviews and meta-analyses have shown that increasing children’s calcium consumption doesn’t not have an appreciable effect on children’s bones. Almost none of these scientific findings has been reflected in mainstream nutritional advice, which continues to emphasize the need for calcium. The recommendations on calcium are now so high that it is difficult to devise practical diets that meet them. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsou…
It is estimated that only 20-30% of the calcium in the average diet is absorbed from the intestinal tract and taken into the bloodstream. Calcium absorption is dependent upon the calcium needs of the body, the type of food, and the amount of calcium, the type of food, and the amount of calcium ingested.
What about osteoporosis and our need for calcium? Surely if we don’t eat dairy products we’ll become brittle-boned and frail, destined for the dowager’s hump? Mark Hegsted, a retired Harvard professor of nutrition, has said, “To assume that osteoporosis is due to calcium deficiency is like assuming that infection is due to penicillin deficiency.” In fact, the bone loss and deteriorating bone tissue that take place in osteoporosis are due not to calcium deficiency but rather to its resorption: it’s not that our bodies don’t get enough calcium, rather that they excrete too much of what they already have.

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