Milk Vs. Calcium: What's the real story?
We are constantly being bombarded by fact-averse messages from the "mainstream media." Some of these are quite harmful. Perhaps the most glaring example is the "Milk does a body good" campaign. It's blatantly false advertising, and it results in epidemic level misery that is preventable.
Consider the fact that cow's milk is the main source of saturated fat in the American diet. In other words, people who look like cows almost certainly got that way from drinking cow's milk. A single glass of this stuff has the same amount of fat as 5 strips of bacon. How in the heck is that doing anybody's body good?
What about lowfat or nonfat milk? You must ask yourself what they did to the milk to make it that way.
There is something to be said for buying organic non-homogenized milk and removing the cream from the top. That's a safe way to get low-fat milk. But it's still cow's milk, and therein lies the problem. Before I explain why cow's milk should be no more than an occasional treat, I'll expose a disease-causing myth about milk.
The myth is that cow's milk is a great source of calcium.
The calcium in cow's milk is bound in such a way that only about 30% of it can be absorbed by humans. So right there, you can drop the advertised 300 grams of milk in a cup of milk to about 100 grams. You need at least 1,000 grams to get your minimum calcium allotment per day (the actual figure is probably much higher, depending on the acidity of your diet and many other factors). So this "great source" gives you maybe your daily calcium allotment if you drink 10 glasses per day, don't eat corn syrup, don't eat refined sugars, and have an alkaline diet.
That's pretty optimistic. To make it a bit more realistic, let's assume you need 50% more calcium. So 15 glasses of milk per day. That's one cup shy of a gallon.
We're still being very optimistic here. To absorb the calcium, you need the right amounts of vitamin D and magnesium. Well, vitamin D enriched milk solves part of that problem. But you'll probably need to up your intake to an entire gallon plus take a magnesium supplement to get the calcium from that milk.
Whoops, there's that optimism again. You also need a potassium supplement. This is getting expensive, but it's worth it, right?
No, actually, you're worse off than when you began. The reason is that milk causes a net calcium drain due to its effect on the body's pH balance. The acidity imbalance resulting from drinking milk means your body robs its calcium stores to restore balance. The more milk you drink, the more calcium you lose from your bones.
You just spent about seven bucks to drink a liquid that only 5% of the world's population can completely tolerate (and a much larger percentage gets very ill from drinking cow's milk), only to find it has created a substantial depletion of your body's calcium stores. Plus now you've got embarrassing gas and some colon issues going on. Sweet.
So if milk is not the "calcium source" that does a body good, how do you get your calcium?
The best sources are not even dairy, though cheese (high in fat), milk-based protein powders (think of them as milk without the side effects), and yogurt can help you reach your needed calcium intake. Provided your body can handle the lactose. Note also that by "yogurt" we do not mean the 98% of "yogurt" products that are candy with some yogurt tossed in. We mean actual yogurt with no sugar or fruit added.
Cow's milk is very different from human breast milk. That fact should be ringing alarm bells for all cow's milk consumers.
Goat's milk is much closer, so if you really insist on milk then use goat's milk. It is expensive and not exactly the best-tasting stuff.
Your best sources are the dark green plants known as "brassicas," which include broccoli (stems are very high in vitamin C, leaves are loaded with calcium and other nutrients), kale, and bok choy. Dark greens, in general, are excellent sources of the nutrients you need. You can amp up the calcium level by growing your own in a raised bed that you fertilize with compost (buried at the start of the season) coffee grounds, and egg shells. The coffee grounds are high in nitrogen but acidic. The egg shells bring the pH back in balance and add calcium.
For those of you who want convenient sources of minerals like calcium, we offer supplement tablets of calcium and other minerals with convenient and secure ordering.
The articles on this site are authoritative, because:
Where an article is not bylined with a specific author's name, it was written by Mark Lamendola (see photos on home page and elsewhere on this site). Mark is a 4th degree blackbelt, has not been sick since 1971, and has not missed a workout since 1977. Just an example of how Mark knows what he's talking about: In his early 50s, Mark demonstrated a biceps curl using half his body weight. That's a Jack LaLanne level stunt. Few people can even come close. If you want to know how to build a strong, beautiful body, read the articles here.
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