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Book Review: “Don’t Drink Your Milk!“ by Frank A. Oski

Another doctor recognized problems caused by milk and provided short descriptions for 32 of the many studies he had analyzed.

Book Illustration "Do not Drink Your MILK" by Prof. Dr. med. Frank Aram Oski (MD), USA© CC-by-sa 2.0, Catalina Sparleanu, PhD, Foundation Diet and Health Switzerland

Conclusion

I have to admit that I find the book "Milk Better Not!", by Maria Rollinger more comprehensive and better suited for Europe. A link to my review of this book can be found here. Nevertheless, this book by Prof. Dr. Frank Aram Oski (1932-1996) informs you about other important aspects on this subject. As a pediatrician and hematologist, he headed the Pediatrics Department of the State University of New York and later at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

With all of his works and experiences, Dr. Oski became THE voice regarding diseases, nutrition and hygiene of children in the U.S.

But that wasn’t all, he was also an expert on the diet of adults. He published this book shortly before his untimely death from prostate cancer. His insight regarding milk came too late for him but his research is amazingly extensive.

He calls it “frightening facts about the world's most overrated nutrient.” I have therefore also linked the listed scientific works with the summary (abstract) as much possible at the end of this review.

1. Summary

This book explains why cow's milk is unhealthy and why many people may not know why. Any milk from another species is not healthy. The author, however, does not mention the important issue of the numerous "growthhormones" contained in cow's milk.

Although milk is originally a natural product, it is more harmful than you think. Milk produced by domesticated mammals has a totally different composition than human breast milk.

Iron deficiency in children with high milk consumption was an indication of problems with cow's milk. At that time cow's milk was still used as a supplementary food.

Comparison of minerals in human milk to cow's milk (mg/dl)

The iron content of cow's milk (a value of 60 µg/dl) is substantially less than in breast milk (74 µg/dl).

Cow's milk used as a substitute, was mainly supplanting better nutrition, for example, vegetables. Today we know there are much better diets that do not contain cow’s milk.

Vegetables (such as spinach, chard or mangold) contain at least twice as much iron and up to 30 times more than in milk. Vegetables also often contain more calcium if you consider the important net intake figure.

Comparison of minerals in human milk to cow's milk (mg/dl)
Element Human Cow's milk
Ca (Calcium) 30 120
P (Phosphorus) 14 94
K (Potassium) 51 150
Na (Sodium) 15 45
Cl (Chlorine) 41 106
Mg (Magnesium) 4 12
S (Sulfur) 14 33
Table from the book "Milk and Dairy Products in the Diet of Humans", Prof. Dr. Edmund Renner, 3rd edition 1977, p. 152 and 156.

Vegan.de said the following (May 31, 2002): Dr. Renner is considered milk pope and has conducted diverse studies on alleged osteoporosis prevention through cow's milk.

This is followed by the study results from International Dairy Journal 1991/1 / p. 77-82. Next is a damning indictment such as this study at the Justus Liebig University Giessen. I have converted the mg/l into mg/dl, so they are comparable in the usual way, i.e. mg/100g and fake nothing.

According to Prof. Renner human milk contains 2 g/l of trace elements and cow's milk 7.3 g/l. A calf needs that much. Any substances of which we eat too much has a negative effect.

Prof. Dr. Ooski M.D., who was quite a prominent scientist, first explains why milk and dairy products have become our staple diet. He gives examples of the influence of the dairy industry and dairy lobby, and points out what kind of “big business” it is, and makes mention of the massively influenced policy agenda. He provides facts and figures. A more critical attitude towards milk came about slowly because diseases that were caused by milk consumption were eventually discovered:

Lactose intolerance

He begins with lactose intolerance. This applies to most people, considering the world as a whole.

There are two ethnic groups in Nigeria for example and 99% of the people belonging to those groups showed lactose intolerance after the age of three.

But northern Europeans, their emigrants, and the mixed population of southern Europe rarely suffered from lactose intolerance.

This also applies to some non-European groups, such as in Africa or India. For a person who tolerates milk well, lactose intolerance is irrelevant, but all other disadvantages also apply to these individuals.

Milk allergies

In the next part of the book Dr. Oski writes about milk allergies and these have nothing to do with lactose intolerance.

Nasal congestion, asthma attacks, respiratory infections, uneven skin changes, vomiting or diarrhea are all symptoms of cow's milk allergy, where there is no other explanation for it.

Such allergy cases are switched to soy products. However, some children react to soy with allergies as well. Since most mothers believe cow's milk is essential for their child, doctors perhaps don’t dare to suggest an alternative.

Especially milk, corn and sugar from sugar cane are potential causes of gastrointestinal problems, respiratory diseases, skin rashes, and fatigue and attention disorders.

But one must always carefully ascertain no other reasons exist for these symptoms. Unfortunately, people suffer too often from unrecognized food allergies. You should always check first if milk is the cause of any symptom.

Redaction comment

Food allergies, and especially milk, are often not IgE-dependent. Gluten intolerance (celiac disease) is also one of the immunological, non-IgE-caused food intolerances. Antibodies in the blood rarely indicate more besides the fact that the person has been consuming more of that food item.

Cardiovascular disease

In the chapter “Can Fat Be Fatal?” the author points out that one million people die in the U.S. each year from cardiovascular disease. This is half of the causes of death in the United States.

High blood cholesterol levels can be reduced by not consuming animal substances such as eggs, dairy products and meat.

To reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, stroke and heart attack, fat would have to come from plant-based products.

The author describes how only by the 1950s (after the Korean War) research found that these disease processes (pathogenesis) began in childhood if the person eats as per the traditional style in the West.

Redaction comment

Before the problem of fat was researched in more detail, the unfortunate claim that there is too much fat in the Western diet was being circulated.

This brought on other health problems, such as diabetes. The important realization came much later that one does not have to curb one’s intake of fat, but change the biological quality of the fat consumed.

Finally, it was recognized that vegetable fats and especially vegetable proteins instead of animal proteins lead to a healthier life. The importance of certain fatty acids was recognized but now that is being overdone too...

If you don’t want to continue being a chess piece of the food industry, you should at least read the book review on "The China Study" or the book by Prof. Dr. T. Colin Campbell. But why we became so gullible is described in the book review on "Salt Sugar Fat".

Breast and prostate cancer

Next Prof. Dr. Frank A. Oski M.D. takes up the link between high milk and dairy product consumption and cancer, especially colon cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. He gleaned this information from numerous scientific studies, which are also separately listed in the appendix. Next is a listing of known books on the subject. After that he provides alternatives.

The consequences for babies who either don’t receive breast milk at all or aren’t breastfed long enough

As a pediatrician, he writes about the consequences for babies who either don’t receive breast milk at all or aren’t breastfed long enough. He also explains the possible consequences of the health of these children later in their lives.

Breastfed babies are particularly well protected against gastrointestinal infections and respiratory disease if they receive breast milk only for the first year. During this time and during pregnancy the mother should not consume any dairy products.

Even Prof. Dr. Edmund Renner, who is also active as a proponent for the dairy industry had to concede the following in his standard work (see above):

In premature births, there are significant changes in the content of the milk, especially in regards to Cu, Mn, Si and Al, usually with increased values (Unanyan 1967). (p. 157)

On page 162 on infant feeding he says: Especially for newborn nutrition, however, a reduced mineral content of milk is considered necessary, as in the first month of life, the increased mineral intake would represent a burden on renal function (Abe 1969, Droese u. Stolley 1972, Kagan et al. 1956, Nichols u. Danford 1966, Yamauchi u. Tsugo 1970).

Breast milk is constantly adapted to the needs of the child and it is not just the colostrum that is important for infants to thrive.

But what if a mother cannot give her baby her own breast milk?

Prof. Dr. Frank A. Oski M.D. says that today's replacements are worlds better than before, but recommends when possible to give a foster mother’s milk. Then the author explains how a mother should proceed concerning supplementary nutrition. He also takes up weaning. After that, he explains how adults and the elderly should behave regarding milk and dairy products.

Osteoporosis

In the next chapter Dr. Oski takes up the question of calcium. Calcium is important for humans. The dairy industry tells us we should meet our calcium needs with milk and dairy products.

However, enough calcium can be obtained from vegetables that in many cases contain even more usable calcium. It is easier for the human body to get calcium from vegetables, fish, nuts, etc., rather than milk.

Many people suffer from osteoporosis because of the high calcium content in milk.

Americans consume 807 mg of calcium just from dairy products, such as cheese, and especially older women often suffer from osteoporosis. Meanwhile, Taiwanese with 13 mg of calcium or people in Ghana with only 8 mg have much less incidence of osteoporosis and have better teeth.

Redaction comment

If these above mentioned people were started on a traditional Western diet, their children would have a tendency to show similar rates of susceptibility to osteoporosis as we do.

The author lists good sources of calcium such as vegetables (peppers 229 mg / 100g, kale 175, and spinach 150); almonds (264 mg / 100g) and fish (sardine 382 mg / 100g). But these are exceptions, and only the better bioavailability and the high pH of vegetables and fruits make the difference.

Acne

The next section deals with the harmful substances contained in dairy products. This starts with bacteria (e.g., EHEC and Staphylococcus aureus, sometimes as a result of mastitis) that in spite of heating remain and continue to multiply. In addition, dairy products contain harmful pesticides and the hormone progesterone from pregnant cows.

Progesterone in milk can cause acne (baby acne, toddler acne, or infantile acne). If you cut out milk, flare-ups gradually disappear.

It has been proven that the hormone progesterone, a progestin, can cause acne. More on that later in this article. However, after milk is fully eliminated from the diet, acne disappears after some time.

Today cows are artificially prematurely impregnated so that the milk flow stops. That is why you will also find more Progesterone in milk products.

But even babies can suffer from acne, which is called neonatal acne or acne infantum. Depending on the eating behavior of the mother this may occur in the womb. Today neonatal acne occurs in about 20 percent of newborns.

Face of an infant with infant acne, right posture normal and with osteoporosis.© CC-by-sa 2.0, Catalina Sparleanu, PhD, Foundation Diet and Health Switzerland

In the chapter “Beware of the Cow,” the author addresses a strong correlation made between diseases and milk consumption. But scientists, who advocate milk, doubt such correlations for understandable reasons. Since Prof. Dr. Oski M.D. is careful in his wording, he writes only about “very disturbing theories.”

Multiple sclerosis, leukemia, juvenile idiopathic arthritis

On multiple sclerosis (MS), for example, he mentions numerous large studies, which attempted to link this disease with different causes. The only thing common in all these investigations is the relation to milk consumption. If you look at individual studies, it does not stand out because other causes were also considered. Given the power of the dairy lobby, that is not enough for an official warning. The very rare amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is also linked to milk consumption.

It is established that leukemia can be caused in monkeys which consume cow's milk. As a note, most of the diseases chimpanzees may get, also occur in humans.

He further covers the relationships between milk and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). But Wikipedia still mentions “unknown cause” for this child rheumatism. This, in spite of the great successes by pediatrician Dr. J. Dan Baggett M.D. and other pediatricians who achieved successes in terms of healing by getting their patients fully off all dairy products.

A strong correlation between milk and anti-social behavior and crime can be observed in adolescents. Such young people drink up to ten times more milk than other teens. The scientists suspect a type of protein poisoning or too little nuts (for the brain). Dr. Oski also briefly shows how milk destroys teeth when used as a sleep aid to put kids to bed.

Next, the author takes up specifics about milk advertising that even the industry-friendly Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had to call false, misleading and deceptive.

Some of these blatant lies were, “Everyone needs milk” and “Milk drinkers make better lovers.”

The FTC even had to intervene against their own clientele and today it is only “Milk has something for everyone” because bad ingredients are perfectly okay.

He further covers how the media lives off of this industry while being under constant observation (Argus).

Tension-Fatigue Syndrome

The next chapter, “Milk and the Tension-Fatigue Syndrome,” takes up various diseases caused by milk, which are described by other doctors. This includes, for example, anxiety disorders and depression. Psychiatrist Dr. HL Newbold often sees this as a result of cow's milk allergy.

The elimination of products containing milk components stopped the disorders and vice versa.

Dr. William G. Crook M.D. found food allergy as the cause in 41 of 45 children with hyperactivity or learning disabilities.

The dairy industry slowly begins to see that cow's milk is not the ideal product they’ve made it out to be. Plant-based milk imitations would be much healthier as they are found almost everywhere today.

Breast milk is very important for brain development and overall development of an infant. Therefore, mothers should not consume any dairy products during lactation. Early consumption of cow's milk increases the risk of diabetes.

Because you may experience serious problems later, you should abstain from all foods containing cow's milk products.

He explains the different types of milk with advantages and disadvantages including “filled milk” and milk imitations. He provides numerous examples of production methods and details on the composition of milk. He also goes into what is currently prevalent and shows ratios to previous drinking habits.

"Milk better not" - book review

Cover of "Milch besser nicht" by Maria Rollinger.© Courtesy of Maria Rollinger

Here is the link to the book review on "Milk Better Not!", by Maria Rollinger. I consider it the best book on the subject of milk and health hazards caused by milk. She lists more than 50 scientific papers, which she evaluated for her book.

Especially in the US, there are quite a number of doctors and medical professors who have written books on this subject. Each of these books takes up a slightly different aspect. I have discussed books with a scientific background or great practical knowledge of doctors. You can already find the basic arguments of the authors in the conclusion or summary.

An exception is my book review on "MILK The Deadly Poison" by Robert Cohen because he exposed the scandal on the approval of artificial hormones in the United States. I put forward my reservations about that book in the conclusion. Even a chiropractor detailed extraordinary experiences with patients who consume milk or dairy products. See book review "NO MILK" by Dr. Daniel A. Twogood.

Parts of the book content can be found at Google Books. An interesting comparison of the statements made by scientists that are advocates of the dairy industry and independent scientists, who come to very different conclusions because of the resulting illnesses and ailments, can be found at procorn.org. You have the choice...

Contents

  1. "Milk Is a Natural" (Page 7)
  2. Paying Premium for a Quart of Intestinal Gas! (Page 11)
  3. Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk (Page 21)
  4. Can Fat Be Fatal? (Page 33)
  5. The Alternatives –Two Sides To The Story (Page 43)
  6. The Calcium Scare (Page 53)
  7. Do You Really Want a Résumé of the Cow's Lunch? (Page 57)
  8. "Beware of the Cow" (Page 65)
  9. "Milk Has Something for Everybody" (Page 73)
  10. Milk and the Tension-Fatigue Syndrome (Page 79)
  11. "What to Do Instead" (Page 83)

Research Appendix (Page 95)
References and Suggested Readings (Page 118)
About the Author (Page 126)

About the author

After completing medical studies in 1958, FRANK A. OSKI (1932-1996) specialized in Pediatrics. In 1963, he was appointed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics of the State University of New York. In 1985, he attained the position of Director of Pediatrics of the John Hopkins University School of Medicine and he was elected as Physician-in-Chief for the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Dr. Oski has published 290 works and written 19 books. It includes standard works such as "The Whole Pediatrician Catalog or Principles and Practice of Pediatrics". He was a very respected and experienced scientist and founder of contemporary pediatrics. As a co-author, he worked from 1976 to 1991 for The Yearbook of Pediatrics. His great work is only partially described here.

For his knowledge and work Dr. Oski received, for example the E. Mead Johnson Award 1972 for exceptional work in the research of children's diseases, the Joseph W. St. Geme, Jr. Leadership Award in 1990 for “pediatric leadership,” and the same year the Ross Award for Pediatric Education (Ross Teaching Award) from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Distinguished Graduate Award from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Maryland Pediatrician of the Year. In 1991 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of science by the State University of New York.

The differences in approach are distinctly visible when you compare the various books that criticize milk. Some may advocate against milk for ethical reasons, in other words animal welfare or environmental concerns regarding the destruction of forests for the growing of corn, grain and soy for the cows. Or “Milking the Public,” which shows the close ties with the major policy-makers and the public health system. However, “cheap” “me-too-books” exist as well, which merely regurgitate familiar material and classify as immitation products.

Photo of the book title "GOT MILKED?".© CC-by-sa 2.0, Alissa Hamilton
Cover of "MILK The Deadly Poison" by Robert Cohen.© CC-by-sa 2.0, Robert Cohen
Book title from "Milking the Public", Political Scandals of the Dairy Lobby from LBJ to Jimmy Carter© CC-by-sa 2.0, Michael McMenamin, Walter McNamara
Book title of "Milk is not the same as milk!" by Judith Mudrak-Wasem.© CC-by-sa 2.0, Judith Mudrak-Wasem
Book title of "Milk Allergy", An Underestimated Danger by Dr. med. Renata Collier.© CC-by-sa 2.0, Dr. med. Renata Collier

2. Book Review

Dr. Frank A. Oski begins by describing how his daughter came home from school one time in tears because she had responded to the following three questions with "No", but “Yes” was considered correct for the third question:

  1. Do you think that a rabbit can make a mitten?
  2. Can a fish hop like a rabbit?
  3. Should all boys and girls drink milk?

It’s kind of obvious from these questions what industry has a hand in it and how subtly it affects people.

To refuse milk is practically considered un-American

To refuse milk is practically considered un-American, and the teacher was of the opinion that this father was a “lunatic” of a doctor. This was because he advised against cow's milk, at least for children. Dr. Oski understood the reaction in principle because unenlightened people can only have this attitude given the intense and compelling marketing and political pressure.

This attitude, seeing milk as particularly valuable, also comes from mothers, because aggressive milk and dairy products advertising has been going on for generations.

Meyers encyclopedia, 4th Edition, 1885-1892 describes the more natural milk production from that time.

A cow used to give a good 3 liters of milk a day, now it’s up to 50 liters.

It also says: Algäuer cows remain rich in milk often up to the age of 16 years... Today, they are lucky if they reach one third of that age.

2.1."Milk Is a Natural," p. 7

The advertisement suggests “Did you have your milk?,” “Milk is natural,” “Milk is the perfect food,” “Everyone needs milk” or even "Milk drinkers make better lovers!”. See also below.

Picture by Jan Vermeer (1632-1676) "Maid with milk jug" ca. 1660. Holland was in bloom.© Public Domain, 9AHrwZ3Av6Zhjg, Wikipedia
The oil painting The Milkmaid, ca. 1660 by Jan Vermeer (Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam) proves the existence of milk in rich families in the economic heyday of Holland in the 17th century.

One seventh of expenditures on food are for dairy products. This is the first rank by food category. Americans consume on average 187 kg (375 pounds) of milk products a year per person. 18 million cows in the United States provide “big business.”

Politically, one in seven congressmen in the U.S. receives money from the dairy industry to support their elections. Politicians then shape the laws, for example, high purchase prices and purchase guarantees.

Finally, more and more doctors question if cow’s milk really is that healthy.

Concerns about cow's milk

People with negative health experiences from dairy products do too.

Even more amazing: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published criticism. Even President Richard Nixon realized that milk is not necessarily healthy. This realization was shared also by John Connally, who was involved in a bribery scandal concerning milk prices in Texas in 1975.

Then milk consumption finally began to be linked to iron deficiency in infants and children. There were examples of cramps and diarrhea in connection with milk and various types of allergies. Early indications confirmed that atherosclerosis and heart attacks are associated with milk consumption as well.

There were so many concerns about cow's milk among pediatricians that the Committee of Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published the article "Should Milk Drinking by Children Be Discouraged?" The statement is not a clear yes or no.

Milk comprises sugar, fat and protein with plenty of water, which in turn contains minerals, vitamins and hormones. Each of the three main components is questioned and the problems concerning them are recognized in the professional world today.

Mammals drink their mother's milk until they reach triple their birth weight. A human child reaches that after about a year.

Man is not sufficiently aware that the various mammals such as goats, elephants, cows, camels, yaks, wolves or walruses produce milk of a very different composition.

2.2. Paying Premium for a Quart of Intestinal Gas!, p. 11

Lactose is a disaccharide comprising D-galactose and D-glucose. Lactose is found only in milk. All mammals except seals, sea lions and walruses produce milk with lactose as a sugar component. The ratio of lactose: breast milk 7g /100g, cow's milk 4.8g /100g.

We cannot absorb lactose. Therefore, the body of an infant produces the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose. If this enzyme is lacking or there is too little of it, then the lactose enters the colon where bacteria break it down. This produces a lot of gas.

In most people, the production of lactase decreases slowly after lactation and stops around the age of four years. Only some ethnic groups, such as most northern Europeans were given the ability to properly digest milk and dairy products to a certain extent later as well through a mutation. These people have also spread to other continents.

The majority of the world’s population is lactose intolerant and suffers from the consumption of milk and dairy products.

Lactose intolerance

Wikipedia: In case of defective lactase activity, undigested lactose reaches into the colon where it is absorbed and fermented by intestinal bacteria. As part of the fermentation lactate (lactic acid) and the gases methane (CH4) and hydrogen (H2) are formed. These gases cause among other things bloating...

Moreover, the osmotically active lactic acid causes a water influx into the bowel (osmotic diarrhea, osmosis). The result is diarrhea.

The absence of the lactase enzyme, however, does not always go hand in hand with these symptoms. Here we speak of hypolactasia or more precisely of lactose maldigestion. Breakdown products of the bacteria then cause other symptoms.

Lactose intolerance leads to bloating, and even intermittent cramps in the lower abdomen accompanied by diarrhea. See box.

Ignorant physicians diagnose Irritable bowel syndrome or call it “normal” burping in babies. Prior to 1965, science assumed that lactose intolerance was an abnormality caused by a disease!

Only in 1965, studies conducted at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that 15% of the white population and 70% of the population of African origin could not digest lactose properly. After that more research was done and discovered that lactose-tolerant individuals are in the minority in the world’s population.

Prof. Dr. Frank A. Oski M.D. provides a table of 17 groups of people and gives the proportions of lactose intolerant people. Lactose intolerance is particularly small with Danes at 2%, followed by Swiss with 7%, followed by white Americans. At the other end 90% of Bantus are lactose intolerant. Thais and Philippines and Chinese people do not exist in the table. Japanese and Taiwanese are listed at 85%.

Dr. Norman Kretchmer, former director of the Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health, studied lactose intolerance in Nigeria. He found that in two ethnic groups with strong dairy consumption, namely the Hausa and Fulani in the north, only 20% of persons examined showed lactose intolerance. But in other ethnic groups, for example, among the Yoruba and Ibo 99% of the people were classified as lactose intolerant.

Dr. Oski describes the frustrations it caused when the US brought milk powder to developing countries as well-intentioned aid. The dairy industry in the US had a big problem; specifically how to get rid of the large amount of milk powder. This way they could sell it to the state.

The people of South America finally used the milk powder to plaster (or stucco) their huts... they had enough of the digestive problems caused by milk powder.

Despite studies available on lactose intolerance, milk is still being administered in numerous school programs even in places like Baltimore with a large percentage of Americans of African origin.

However, bacteria have reduced the majority of lactose in yogurts and cheeses, so that such products are not usually as problematic.

Approximately 10% of white children in the US suffer from chronic recurrent abdominal pain in childhood, which usually disappear immediately if these children do not consume milk and dairy products.

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