Foundation Diet and Health
Diet and Health
QR Code
The best perspective for your health

Book Review "Milk, better not!" by Maria Rollinger

Best book about milk and dairy products that includes scientific studies and draws convincing conclusions about calcium and allergens.

Book Review "Milk Better Not" by Maria Rollinger, best book about dairy products.© CC-by 2.0, Catalina Sparleanu, PhD, Foundation Diet and Health Switzerland


The information in this book is based on scientific research. It provides readers with an entirely different view of milk (and dairy products). It's true that every food has its advantages and disadvantages, and that the disadvantages become apparent when larger amounts are consumed.

But the disadvantages of milk are so numerous and serious that some scientists refer to it as the most important food that you should avoid. This is why so many books have been written that are critical of milk.

Milch besser nicht! (Milk, better not!) is the best and most comprehensive critical book on milk and dairy products I've ever seen.

We are so heavily influenced by the industry, politics (lobbying), medicine, and the media that I probably shouldn't put the conclusions at the beginning. If you doubt the veracity of the statements below, please read through the collection of about 50 scientific papers provided by Maria Rollinger — the content and links are in English.

I can only recommend that you read this book because—despite my long and detailed book review—there is much evidence and proof that I could not include in my text. The summary here only shows the relationship between consumption and health. This and other topics relevant to milk appear in the discussion after the conclusion and summary.

  1. The high calcium content of milk is not good for us, and when we consume more dairy products, our risk of osteoporosis increases. See also the image and text below.

  2. According to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), there is a clear correlation between the consumption of dairy products and the frequency of breast cancer (correlation).

    Dairy and breast cancer

    A comparison between West Germany and the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) shows the same. According to Harvard Medical School in the United States and other studies, milk (and dairy products) also cause an increase of ovarian cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. This is probably due to the large number of "growthhormones" present in milk and dairy products. Since milk severely neutralizes stomach acids, the gastric mucosal barrier (mucin) does not function or becomes weak. And thus "growthhormones" can enter the bloodstream.

  3. Cardiovascular diseases also occur because of the high cholesterol content of dairy products. The cholesterol levels of milk is sometimes higher than that of meat.

  4. Concerning Parkinson's disease, studies at Harvard University have shown that consuming dairy products several times a day can lead to an increased risk for Parkinson's disease in men, but not in women. The results of this study were confirmed multiple times between 2002 and 2007, primarily by Chen.

  5. In the case of autism, there is usually a functional disorder of the intestine. This leads to the release of larger protein particles (peptides) into the bloodstream before they are fully digested and has adverse effects. A diet free of dairy and gluten (GFDF diet) can bring significant improvement.

  6. The author criticizes the medical system for the fact that patients with acne (acne vulgaris) and eczema (atopic dermatitis) are treated for months or years with cortisone and the like without any great success. It is only when they take the time to research that they learn how they can easily avoid allergens. Then they usually experience long-term success or are even cured. The main allergen is most often milk.

    GFCF diet

    But in my opinion, you should also switch to a gluten-free casein-free diet (GFCF diet). If you strictly adhere to this diet, you will see results in just two weeks. Having a medical examination that includes skin and blood tests to identify allergens can bring results if the steps mentioned above do not work.

  7. Even in the case of rheumatoid arthritis, histamines have been found in the inflamed areas of affected joints. People who suffer from this condition develop antibodies against certain foods, often milk proteins.

  8. ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) are also linked to diet. The author writes that anyone who has ever watched a child who is playing quietly and then goes berserk half an hour after eating a chocolate bar knows what we are talking about.

    She goes on to say that we shouldn't be surprised that so many children who eat primarily pasta, pizza, bread, hot dogs, chocolate milk, candy bars, pudding, and ice cream, develop these kinds of diseases. After all, all of these foods contain gluten and milk proteins. She then recommends valuable books on the subject.

  9. Exorphins are protein fragments that resemble opiates and have the same effect: they make people happy and addicted, are calming, and reduce pain. These exorphins that can make you happy are found, most notably, in grains (gluten) and in milk. Digestion converts βα1-casein into the strongest-acting opioid β-casomorphin 7. Casomorphins then get into the bloodstream and into the brain.

    Lifestyle diseases such as (ADD) in children, depression in adults (major depressive disorder), autism, schizophrenia, type 1 diabetes mellitus (infants given cow's milk too soon), and heart disease can be caused by milk consumption.

  10. Milk protein is made up of about 80 % casein protein and 20 % whey protein. Apart from protein in eggs (egg allergy), milk proteins are the most frequent cause of true food allergies, particularly in the case of young children.

While the above is true for all people, the following is only an issue if lactose intolerance is present. For the large majority of people who are lactose intolerant, lactose can cause mild to severe digestive problems that can have a variety of harmful effects. This book also covers other very rare diseases that for genetic reasons can result from milk consumption.

Swissmilk commercials

Swiss Milk Advertising. An example of how the dairy industry lies to us.© CC-by 2.0, Swiss Milk

The cooperative association of Swiss Milk Producers (SMP) has used and uses a cow with the name Lovely in its Swissmilk commercials. Doing tricks on skis and skateboards, this Freiberg dairy cow gives the impression that milk builds especially strong bones. However, the Swiss Federal Office for Health (Bundesamt für gesundheit, BAG) intervened, and in 2001 the Supreme Court of Switzerland held that the slogans "Milk builds strong bones" and "Milk gives you strong bones" as well as the message that the calcium in milk prevents osteoporosis may no longer be used in Switzerland. Art. 19 para. 1 lit. c LMV, art. 10 ECHR, Art. 27 BV, Art. 18 LMG.

Since the visual statement wasn’t banned, the advertisement simply continued to run without the slogan. I believe that this is deception at the highest level because even Swissmilk must know that if a cow falls down in a milking stall, it will probably break some bones and then "must" be killed. For several years, I owned 75 cows (for manure for organic bananas) and my own milk processing and marketing business. Here is a picture as an example of how the dairy industry lies to us. When I made an inquiry by phone, I was told that I was in no way allowed to use the image and was threatened with court action. Here it is as documentation.

In the past, slow fermentation in the rye or wheat caused the gluten to disappear, but today we grow grains that have the highest gluten content possible. It is the same with milk and dairy products.

It is only as a result of the great increase in milk consumption that illnesses are appearing that we didn't have or didn't have to this extent in times without any or with a lower milk consumption.

With milk, it often takes a long time for an illness to manifest, and the connections between milk proteins, lactose, and health problems are therefore not immediately obvious.

According to the book No milk by Dr. Daniel A. Twogood, the list above should be extended to include chronic neck pain, back pain, and/or headaches. Read the compelling book review. The author speaks about the experience he gained from working with over 3,000 cases.

1. Summary

Maria Rolliger goes back to the origins of humanity (human evolution) and then to the time when humans domesticated cattle and therefore cows. This was about 8,000 years ago.

History of milk production

At first, cattle were used mainly as draft animals and for meat. For about 3,500 years, they have also been used for their milk so that butter could be made. Cheese was only produced much later, and in about the year 1850, those in the higher levels of society began to drink milk.

Through breeding and using hormones and antibiotics, we have about tripled the weight of cows. As early as the Middle Ages, the milk yield for butter production was able to be increased from 300 to 600 liters per cow per year (p. 27). Today, the capacity of a cow is between 8'000 and 18'000 liters per year. Cows get inseminated just a few weeks after they give birth to a calf so that after the lactation period of about 310 days, they can have another calf as soon as possible and again produce milk.

Concentrated feed (fodder) instead of grass is the motto. We are shown the meat breeds that are allowed to graze freely, because they don’t have to give milk. However, there are exceptions, in particular, in the Alps in the summer.

Today, milk contains so much fat that a calf cannot drink it without getting sick.

But either way, calves are given substitute milk, which is called commercial milk replacer. The calf is not even allowed to suckle directly from the mother’s udder in order to get the very important colostrum (beestings, bisnings, or first milk).

Increasing industrialization of the dairy industry began after World War II and consisted of a large variety of processes, which Maria Rollinger explains in very understandable terms. This industrialization is also reflected in animal husbandry of cows and calves, which the author also describes.

It was not until about 1950 that milk production and processing (dairy industry, dairy farming, and creameries) began to multiply, which ended up making milk and dairy products become a central part of our diet (nutrition).

This development of dairy products becoming a main food item goes hand in hand with a huge increase in lifestyle diseases. The author avoids directly linking these though because too many other developments have taken place simultaneously.

Milk and dairy products contain a wide range of substances, which act very differently in each individual person—and that's the problem. As a result, the possible consequences of consuming dairy products are unfortunately quite varied. The book and the information presented here are therefore sometimes challenging to understand.

Reasons for diseases that are mainly caused by poor nutrition

She specifically deals with the reasons for diseases that are mainly caused by poor nutrition. She shows the path of absorption (food intake into the blood), processing by organs (e.g., in the small intestine), effects in the target area, and the resulting health problems.

She also compares countries that have only recently started to consume milk. Japan, for instance, which has the same stressful environment, but a completely different diet (nutrition). The differences include the fact that Japan has a very low rate of osteoporosis (brittle bones).

Osteoporosis is only a major problem in countries with a high consumption of milk and dairy products.

The author also explains the reasons for this and why Japanese people living in the United States have the same problems that we do after they have switched to the Western diet. She also shows how the dairy industry is even able to persuade lactose-intolerant people to consume dairy products.

She emphasizes why people who are lactose intolerant suffer even more than people who descended from northern Europeans. Thanks to a previous mutation, northern Europeans can tolerate milk quite well. But even they are not protected from the diseases listed above.

However, these processes are not the only factors involved in the milk disaster.

Products that have the potential to be healthy such as kefir, yogurt, quark, and cheese today not only go through a much more complicated process of denaturation, but they also contain additives, such as skim milk powder.

The author states that we really no longer even associate the white milk we drink with the animal it comes from and therefore no longer recognize it as a body fluid from an entirely different species.

It is very difficult to completely cut out milk and dairy products, but it is worth it—no matter whether you are sick or healthy. Look around and you will see how many people are already suffering at a relatively young age from unnecessary lifestyle diseases.

Two more book reviews show other reasons why this is the case. These book reviews are on the China Study and on Salt, Sugar, and Fat. And the book MILK The Deadly Poison takes up the problem of milk as well, providing a slightly different perspective. The links will bring you to the book reviews.

2. Book review

In the preface, Ulrike Martin Plonka, research assistant for Milk, better Not!, points out that the dairy industry is increasingly working to open up new markets in traditionally dairy-free countries. However, in these countries the people are usually lactose intolerant. The opening of new markets is carried out under the guise of development assistance (development cooperation and aid) with the support of governments. Yet these people will suffer even greater health disadvantages in the future than we will.

The best formula for infants

Ulrike Martin Plonka explains that the best formula for infants (baby food), (a topic not discussed in the book) is to nurse as long as possible, and that one should try to manage without using milk from other animals if possible.

It is astounding that milk consumption critics are often portrayed as untrustworthy, when the history of milk, the statistics, knowledge of current production methods, and ultimately the studies conducted by renowned scientists tell a different story.

The most important message and question

I quote here the most important message and question so that you can become familiar with the author's rigorous and fluid style.

Despite the propaganda of fit and sprightly people who are always ready to perform, we feel increasingly less healthy. Our life expectancy is increasing, so they say. But what good is a statistically long life, when a sudden heart attack can kill a 53-year-old or a 45-year-old gets breast cancer. Parkinson's disease, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease are occurring at increasingly young ages, and tumor diseases are beginning to affect more and more people of all ages.

Why is it that an increasing number of children are developing diabetes, asthma attacks, middle ear infections, and skin rashes, that attention deficient disorder (ADD) is something we encounter on a regular basis, and that intestinal problems, circulatory disorders, osteoporosis in women and in men, eczema, allergies, and food intolerances not only make childrens' but also adults' lives a misery?

Could it be that milk, the modern all-purpose food, has a part in this development? That it is not as healthy as is suggested by advertising, the food industry, and nutritional science?

In the introduction, Maria Rollinger clears up a misunderstanding regarding the importance and use of milk in biblical times. She explains the meaning of the Promised Land, where milk and honey flows as described in the Torah and in the Bible (Exodus 3:7–8 and Genesis 13:14f) about 3,300 years ago. Because milk was not drunk until the late nineteenth century, but was instead processed into butter and cheese (p. 18).

Butter production and the yield of a cow

While butter and concentrated butter (clarified butter) are simple to make, it was not until the ancient Greeks and Romans that good cheese was successfully produced. Vegetable fat could be obtained only as oil. Fat from milk could be acquired without having to kill an animal, but beef tallow or lard from pigs was only able to be obtained by slaughtering the animal. For nomads, butter was therefore clearly the ideal fat (p. 19). Note: Fish and plant-based fats and oils (edible fats, cooking oil) came into use much later.

Redaction comment

However, halloumi is thought to have been known in ancient Egypt and Arab countries. Halloumi (or hallumi, challúmi) is made according to an ancient Egyptian, or more specifically Arab method of cheese-making. Today, we know halloumi as a specialty in Mediterranean countries. It was originally made from mouflon’s milk, but today this semihard cheese—with its distinctive bell-shape appearance—is made from cow’s milk, goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, or a combination of these. Since halloumi has a high melting point, it retains its shape when it is grilled or fried.

You now need 21 liters of milk to make a kilogram of butter. In earlier times, two or three times that much was required given the lower fat content of the milk. Calves have been raised on milk replacers only since the twentieth century. In the Middle Ages, a cow yielded 600 liters of milk and of that about 250 liters had to be set aside for the calf (dairy farming).

At that time, however, the yield of a cow was only about 0.3 to 0.9 liters and very rarely up to 2 liters a day. The lactation period was 100 to 240 days. Even today, a cow can only give milk for a certain period of time after the birth of her calf. Today, however, the lactation period is usually 305 days (dairy cattle).

Redaction comment

Wikipedia (German edition) on the lactation period: Since 1937, cows have been injected with BST from cattle carcasses in order to achieve an increase in milk yield. Even higher yields have been achieved in the United States, where since 1994 cows have been injected with genetically recombined, artificial "bovinesomatropin" (rBST), called Posilac, from Monsanto.

"Monsanto sold Posilac and all rights to Elanco Animal Health, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly in August 2008. Posilac has not been approved in Canada or Europe."

"Inflammation of the cow’s udder can occur as a side effect, creating a pus which is excreted into the milk. As a countermeasure, an increased use of antibiotics is recommended. As a result, hormone ingredients and antibiotics are also present in the cow's milk."

For a discussion on milk and our lack of full adaptation to it, it is important to know that humans have only had domesticated animals, such as goats and sheep, for the last 12'000 years. And it was only 8'000 years ago that people in the Middle East domesticated cattle. Even more to the point, drinking milk, instead of processing almost all of it into butter or cheese, is a development which only began during the Industrial Revolution.

Prof. Dr. Norbert Benecke - Der Mensch und seine Haustiere (Humans and their pets)

The cow did not descend from the aurochs, which went extinct in 1626, as is commonly believed. Through comparisons of mitochondrial gene sequences, Prof. Dr. Norbert Benecke found that our current cattle have practically no genes from the aurochs, but that cattle descended directly from the urus.

Please also see his book "Der Mensch und seine Haustiere" (Humans and their pets) and an article from 2006 in the NZZ (New Journal for Zurich), which mentions Dr. Ruth Bollongino. For about a thousand years, the wild aurochs lived alongside the domesticated taurine cattle in Europe.

In particular, cows, who are female and more docile, were used as draft animals. They pulled the plow and sometimes still do so today. In addition, all of the animals mentioned above were also suppliers of meat (animal slaughter).

Redaction comment

Ms. Rollinger also includes dogs here (p. 29). About a thousand years before cattle, we had cats as pets. But even earlier than that, more than 30,000 years ago, we domesticated and/or bred dogs. The domestic pig came about 9,000 years ago. We call the above animals and other farm animals livestock. Humans domesticated the horse (equus = genus) at least 7,000 years ago and the donkey at least 6,000 years ago. Camels and dromedaries have been used by people for about 5,000 years. Camels were milk suppliers before the cow.

By the way, lactose is milk sugar and lactase is the enzyme that breaks down lactose.

Using data from the different time periods, the author informs us that we have been consuming “white milk” products in abundance only since the end of World War II. We have been drawing the wrong conclusions from the biblical vision of milk and honey.

The daily consumption of dairy products is not traditional

As we shall see, a life that includes the daily consumption of dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese, quark, yogurt, and milk chocolate is neither an established custom nor traditional and is most likely unhealthy as milk was used well into the nineteenth century almost exclusively for butter and cheese production.

It was not until the beginning of the industrialization era that people began to drink milk. At first, this was only in the better circles of society (see utopia).

With the rarely used terms alactasia and alactasiast, the author refers to the medical conditions of lactose intolerance, hypolactasia, milk sugar intolerance, lactase deficiency, and lactose malabsorption syndrome and also uses them to illustrate important ethnological factors. Lactase deficiency (lack of lactase enzyme) is the normal case worldwide for all mammals following infancy, thus also for humans.

2.1. History, p.23

Only once you trace the origins of Homo sapiens (humans), will you be able to understand just how new the modern habit of drinking milk is, explains Maria Rollinger. She further states that researchers have established that we have the typical characteristics of herbivores.

We lived on a diet based primarily on plants

This was based on the development of the teeth of primitive human fossils and on physiological conditions, such as our body's inability to produce vitamin C itself.

Carnivores (meat eaters), however, have short straight digestive tubes so that damaging decayed protein, the animal protein, can be eliminated as quickly as possible (p. 23).

Our typical long small intestine with intestinal villi is also a clear indication. In humans, the small intestine is longer and the colon (large intestine) is shorter than in other primates. Note: In addition, our intestines have folds and microvilli, which increase the surface area enormously.

Redaction comment

Evolutionary developmental biology, called evo-devo, or more recently also including the study of the environment called eco-evo-devo, gives us an understanding of the very long periods of time it takes, for example, to adapt a digestive tract to a different type of diet.

Since the 1980s, evo-devo has also included the processes in epigenetics. The term was coined by British researcher Conrad Hal Waddington in 1942 and is discussed in the book "The Epigenetics of Birds" (1952). This concept was previously not accepted because of the Weismann-Barrier Theory. Only since the 1990s, have we begun to realize its importance and impact.

As can be seen in other primates, we lived on a diet based primarily on plants with the occasional addition of animal products. The basis of our diet was mainly tubers, roots, and greens, (leafy vegetables and plants) such as rushes (juncus) and sedges (Cyperaceae), seeds, nuts, fruits, and berries. Our oldest diet probably also included beetles, snails, insects, bivalves, and eggs from a wide variety of bird species, and occasionally fish and the meat of small animals.

We have limited ability to detoxify ammonia (urea cycle) and in the long run can tolerate a maximum amount of 30 percent protein in our diet.

Animal food from larger animals was only consumed starting in the Upper Paleolithic period, parallel to the global development of the hunter-gatherer cultures.

However, even then the proportion of plant foods was always about 70 percent, says the author.

Human evolution

Human genealogical tree as shown by Friedemann Schrenk in "Die Frühzeit des Menschen".© Public Domain, Bwd, Wikipedia
(Prof.) Friedemann Schrenk, Die Frühzeit des Menschen. Der Weg zu Homo sapiens (The early days of humankind. The path to becoming Homo sapiens) C. H. Beck, 1997 and 2003, p. 122.

The Upper Paleolithic period began about 40,000 years ago and lasted until about 9700 BCE. At the same time, the migration of Homo sapiens to Europe began. The Neanderthals, who immigrated 130 thousand years ago, predominated at first. Both came from the Homo (2.5 to 1.5 million years ago). See also Homo rudolfensis, whose existence was ascertained only in 2012 (several discoveries) and who were, according to Wikipedia, predominantly herbivores.

There were special developments at various times and places, for example, a diet consisting mainly of large hunted animals in the last part of the Paleolithic period. This brought whole societies to the brink of ruin (p. 24).

How unbalanced diets became common as a result of excess production and specialization

About 12,000 years ago, animal husbandry and cultivation of land (agriculture) began during the time of the Neolithic revolution as people began to settle (sedentism), and unbalanced diets became common as a result of excess production and specialization. Archaeological research indicates this undesirable development. Note: This change occurred over thousands of years in different areas, and not all at the same time.

All types of grain and dairy products must be regarded as relatively new foods in the human diet as they were introduced during the Neolithic Revolution. Today, these have become our staple foods (p. 26).

It is therefore not surprising that many people suffer from intolerance to milk or certain grains (see also food intolerance).

Redaction comment

Grains with gluten, a mixture of proteins, can cause gluten sensitivity or even celiac disease (coeliac disease). Gluten intolerance is also called gluten sensitive, gluten-induced enteropathy, intestinal infantilism, and nontropical sprue or Heubner-Herter disease. It is a chronic disease of the small intestine due to a hypersensitivity to components of gluten, which are found in some grains.


Tag Cloud
 milk   dairy   cheese   lactose   food   protein   production   acid   industry   whey   consumption   cows   calcium   proteins   butter   diseases   diet   disease   fat   yogurt   foods   casein   animals   galactose   meat   breast   countries   bacteria   cancer   process