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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why does the Government Lie?

My grandmother warned me about what I'm about to say, as it could get me into trouble, but I'm not afraid of the government. I did a science fair project in third grade regarding the dangers of milk consumption and, well, let's just say I didn't win.

Most Americans assume, from governmental advertisements, that milk can provide so many healthy things for the body. It can be healthy for your bones and a great contribution to a long and healthy lifestyle, containing both protein and calcium. For example, Elaine Magee on WebMD talks about the food pyramid and the six leading reasons why milk is good for the body. Magee states, "getting calcium from food, rather than supplements, seems to do your bones good" and, "some dairy items have impressive levels of two things many of us need more of: calcium and protein." Claiming that milk is essential for bone growth as well as a good source of calcium and protein, Magee defends the claims based on the nutrition information listed on the sides of the containers. Unfortunately, the nutritional information does not explain how the body absorbs the nutrience supplied and also does not look at all the research done about each product.

As I have grown up learning the food pyramid idea I understand that they are easy to believe, however this is not the real affect milk has on the body. To explain some of what I mean I will quote from a blogger on Yahoo! who was answering the question "Is cow milk really unhealthy?". They said:
Cows milk has three times the calcium as does human breast milk. No matter, neither are very usable because in order to be absorbed and used their MUST be an equal quantity of MAGNESIUM (as exists in the greens that cows eat to get all the calcium they need for their big bones). Milk has only enough magnesium to absorb around 11% (33mg per cup) of calcium.
Essentially this blogger is saying that, along with about 17 other reasons why milk is bad for the body, the idea that milk is a great source of calcium is a falsity. So, all the calcium that Americans think they are consuming really isn't being consumed? No, it's not being consumed. Milk is not a good source of calcium because there is not an equal amount of magnesium to help the body absorb the vitamins.

I'm sorry to deliver such bad news as I realize that many people enjoy their milk. I grew up sans cow's milk and soy milk as my body is intolerant of both, but I pull myself out of my tiny digression to point out more evidence that might upset milk drinkers.

There have been multiple studies done by many top research universities that show a direct correlation between the consumption of milk and osteoporosis, and the correlation is a positive milk intake means a greater likelihood of getting osteoporosis. This editorial, written by Bruce Friedrich, talks about how the calcium is really "absorbed" into the body.

Friedrich proves that not only is milk not good, but Yale and Harvard research facilities have not advocated the consumption of milk at all either, rather, to get calcium from vegetable proteins instead of animal proteins is best. But, the question remains, how are Americans supposed to strengthen their bones. Although calcium is important for a healthy lifestyle, it is not important to prevent bone depletion, leading up to and causing osteoporosis.

1-Vitamin D is important, and if you're like me and don't want to go out in the sun for fear of sun burn/sun poisoning/skin disease/skin cancer, then a good source is simply a daily vitamin that has vitamin D in it.
2-Stop eating so much meat. Although I still eat some meat, I am originally from Texas (the beef people), I limit my meat consumption and replace it with vegetable protein and nut protein. Broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, asparagus, almonds and cashews are all great sources of protein, fill you up and keep you moving throughout the day.
3-This point is kind of all encompassing... Don't drink alcohol. Don't smoke anything. Exercise regularly. Strong muscles equals strong bones, so don't do anything to lose muscle if you can help it.

This is one of the many reasons why we shouldn't drink milk, it just can't help a body grow.

Also, side note, thank you to the posts and I hope I didn't disappoint you too much although I'm sure you all were expecting something like this.


  1. This is so funny, because I had two best friends in high school, one of which is a coke fiend (she has to have a can of coke at least every other day, she says), and another who was a strong advocate of bone structure, and the latter was always getting on the former for fear of "the Big 'O'". I'm forwarding that link to them. I'm pretty sure they'd find it interesting to look at, even though milk usually wasn't mentioned in their debates.

  2. This was very interesting. I grew up drinking milk and taking in other dairy products, but now that I've read your post and thought about it, I've come to the realization that my bones aren't that strong. It really is funny because I tend to drink a lot of milk. I have horrible joints and I'm only 22. I've never heard any of this research before, but I thought it was very enlightening, and as for the government I think they know a lot more than what they tell us.

  3. It is very interesting to think that people who drink milk solely because they think it is good for them are not taking other precautionary measures because they feel as though the milk is doing enough. Although I agree with you (and STRONGLY despise milk myself) I think that it is weird that the government would lie to us about this. Why don't they want their citizens to reach their full potential health wise? Perhaps they view it as an opportunity to make money?