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March 13, 2010

Bursting the Milk/Osteoporosis Connection

By Suzana Megles

I think men know by now that while women are more likely to suffer osteoporosis breaks as we grow older, men are at risk too. Should we all be drinking more milk? For me the answer is a resounding no.


This week I was happy to read that some long held beliefs are biting the dust.
This one is in regard to the fallacy that milk in the diet is crucial in combating
osteoporosis. I rarely see a doctor, because I just don't feel the need. But if and
when I do, and the doctor in question will tell me that I should be drinking milk
for my osteopenia symptoms, I will know that this doctor is not the doctor for me.
Obviously, he has not caught up with the wonderful findings of preventative health
care doctors such as Dr. Frank Lipman, M.D., founder and director of the Eleven
Eleven Wellness Center in NYC. (I am going to send this post to the Doctors TV
show. They had touted drinking milk for osteoporosis.)

Only admitting that milk is a source of whey proten, Dr. Lipman reports that
there doesn't seem to be much to endorse a product which is basically the food
for calves. Many people even have problems digesting cow's milk. And he also
notes that dairy sometimes has detrimental effects to one's health. In this
regard he says: "I cannot tell you how many patients I have seen over the years
whose chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, chronic sinusitis
and allergies cleared up when they stopped eating dairy." As a result, he often
removes dairy from his new patients' diet from the get go with good effect.

Of course, he recognizes the need for calcium in the diet, but rather than
relying on dairy, he advises us to eat dark green leafy vegetables, sea
vegetables, canned salmon or sardines, sesame seeds and nuts. If you are a
vegan, I'm sure that flax seeds or flax seed oil will substitute well for the salmon
and sardines. I myself take flax seed supplements and often sprinkle ground-
up flax seed on my oatmeal or make muffins with it. Since I just bought some
Steel Cut Oats which is new to me, I'll be sure to add the flax seed to it.

For healthy bones, he also advises frequent exercise and to supplement with
at least 2,000 IUs of vitamin D. He also suggests getting your vitamin levels
checked. One problem with that - how many alternative doctors are around to
do this? Another problem which I hope will become a non-problem-- Senator
John McCain has introduced a new bill which will threaten access to dietary
and health supplements which many of us depend on. I can't believe that I
once thought he was presidential material.

I hope his foolish idea never leaves the ground because, if passed, it would
repeal key protections in the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education
Act. We don't need to give the FDA new sweeping powers to regulate supplements
when they can't even seem to do a good job in approving and regulating drugs
which often cause serious side effects. Also, if passed, this act would likely
mean drastically fewer suplements available and higher prices.

In my opinion-- of the times when we don't need government regulations this is
such a time. His idea seems to me to be totally reckless and uncalled for. Many
of us have been using supplements and vitamins for many years - without any
need or help from government. We have been saving the public precious tax
dollars because Medicare doesn't pay for our alternative health care newsletter
subscriptions or for the vitamins and supplements we purchase on our own.

For people who view this doctor's insights and recommendations as suspect, I
think he gives dairy consumers a way to test his hypothesis. He wrote: "Try this
test and see how you feel. Remove dairy for 2-3 weeks and see how you feel.
(Lent is a great time to do this.) Most people feel better when they remove it and
worse when they re-introduce it. If you don't seem to have a problem with dairy,
then I suggest using only small amounts of organic dairy products -- preferably
fermented products like unsweetened yogurt and kefir, and preferably raw if
possible (hard to get in most states).

I found this test refreshing as it might help some people with their health
problems. What have we to lose? Only perhaps being wedded to an erroneous
teaching re the importance of dairy in one's diet.

Authors Bio:
I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since

I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the past 30 years and I thank God every day that I am. I am most disturbed at how little the Catholic Church and Christian churches generally give to concern re animal suffering in their ministry. I wrote to 350 bishops in 2001 and only 10-13 responded. I feel that the very least they can do is to instruct that the priests give one sermon a year on compassion to animals. I am still waiting for that sermon. I also belong to Catholic Concern for Animals - founded in England in 1929. (They are on the internet) I recently sent a sample copy of their bi-monthly publication called the ARK to the 8 Catholic bishops of Ohio. Only ONE kindly responded. Somehow we have to reach the Christian teaching magisterium. There is next to nothing re animal concerns and compassion for them. They basically believe that animals are the lesser of God's creation and that gives us the right to do anything we want to them. Way wrong. We need to change their mindsets. The animals are God's first and He expects us to treat them compassionately.