It is difficult for adults to digest milk proteins.  The Amino acid balance of caseine, the principle protein of milk is not ideal for adults.  Babies are equipped with rennin, a special enzyme for the digestion of caseine, and adults who lack this enzyme, often suffer from allergies to milk protein.  Human milk has little caseine and much lactalbumin, while cow’s milk presents the opposite picture.  And of course, lactalbumin is the best protein for human growth.  Caseine in less valuable for human growth, and less easily digested, the resulting incompletely digested protein fragments being available to cause allergies.  Babies who are denied mother’s milk are truly in a poverty program.  The word “unfair” applies to them.

     Only 60% of caseine can be retained by the body.  It would seem wise to deliver protein to the underdeveloped areas in some other form than milk solids.  The form often selected by United States officials.  Legumes and grains would be more helpful.  Milk protein intolerance can apparently damage the mucosa of the gastrointestinal track and produce enzyme deficiency and mucosal damage.  There has been some discussion in recent years that n addition to the fat, milk protein along with other food allergies may also promote the development of atherosclerosis.  American Heart Journal  February 1971  A high protein diet can actually be dangerous to the body, as it can increase the need for vitamin b-12, trigger loss of calcium from bone, and can actually break down some protein tissues.

     Heated milk protein has been postulated to be one of the causes of the sudden steep rise in coronary heart disease which began about one or two years after the widespread introduction of pasteurized milk in 1922.  Milk fat correlates less well than milk protein with the increase in coronary heart disease.


     Milk drinking has been associated with mental symptoms.  Warm milk at bedtime has been improperly used to induce sleep.  While food at bedtime may help the person to drowsy, the resulting sleep does not bring the refreshing rest that sleep on an empty stomach brings, and the person feels tired in the morning.  Since L-tryptophane, a substance high in meat and milk, causes drowsiness and sleep as successfully as do drugs.  Those who take milk or meat late at night are likely to sleep the sleep of the drugged.  Milk taken for lunch often causes afternoon drowsiness.  Sleeping when milk is in the stomach is likely to cause hiatus hernia symptoms or heartburn.


     The use of dairy products with their high leucine content causes a profound fall in blood glucose concentration in many individuals, some having such low blood sugar levels that cerebral damage occurs.  convulsive seizures are known to be associated with a diet high in leucine, probably because of the reactive hypoglycemia induced by leucine.  A case to illustrated this condition is that of a 10-month-old black female who was otherwise healthy, until she was found unconscious and taken to the hospital.  A week later she had a second such episode, but this time it was observed to follow a convulsive seizure.  for sixteen weeks she suffered many convulsive seizures, both in the fasting state and following meals.  When milk was entirely with drawn from her diet for three months, she had but one mild convulsive seizure.  When milk was reintroduced on a trial basis, she had two seizures the first day and several more subsequently.  The seizures were associated with severe low blood sugar levels, the laboratory reports were always below 50 when checked after meals containing milk.  Jewish Hospital Bulletin, March, 1969



     As a principle food, the vitamin-mineral balance of milk is not ideal for children or adults.  There is too much sodium, too little vitamin C, and too little iron.  Under some conditions, milk interferes with the absorption of iron.  it is believed to bind zinc in a way that reduces its utilization by the body.  Zinc is an important substance in the nutrition of man.  Milk is low in zinc.  Nuts, dry legumes, and whole grains contain up to 10 times more zinc than milk.  any degree of lactose intolerance can be expected to enhance the problem of low zinc content in the milk.

     The mineral balance of milk is not the only matter to cause concern, but the total number of waste product non-metabolizable dietary components, especially electrolytes which are spoken of as the “renal solute load” can be greatly increased by milk.  Electrolytes taken in excess of the needs of the body, and the nitrogenous compounds which result from the digestion and metabolism of protein can put quite a load on the kidneys.  The matter becomes especially important when there is a low appetite for water, and in infants and elderly people with a low fluid intake. This group is often being fed calorically concentrated diets, particularly if there is an abnormally high loss of water either through the kidneys, the skin, or the bowels, as in fever, elevated environmental temperature, diarrhea, or in the use of medicinal diuretics, or in the case of hyperventilation.  over concentrated formulas for infants and children are risky, and may permanently injure the kidneys or cause death.  Formulas prepared from improperly diluted evaporated milk or various powdered milk formulas or supplements that may be added represent a hazard to infants who have functionally immature kidneys.


     Vitamin D (which is added to commercial milk) in too great a quantity causes loss of magnesium from heart muscle.  Some authorities believe that magnesium loss is what precipitates heart attacks.  Rats fed five time the usual magnesium in the diet are protected from the heart attacks they could get from excess vitamin D.  Adding potentially toxic substances such as vitamin D is not wise.  The American academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 400 units of vitamin D from all sources be consumed daily.  Hardening of bones, renal calcification,, and severe mental retardation in off-spring have all been reported from a high vitamin D intake.  Food Nutrition and Diet Therapy


     Babies who have diarrhea, hair loss, weight loss, and who develop bright red lesions in the diaper area, spreading to the limbs, face, and bodily orifices may be suffering from zinc deficiency.  Human milk contains a protein which assists in the absorption of zinc in newborns.  All kinds of nuts and seeds are relatively good sources of zinc.  Dairy milk is a poor source of both zinc, and iron.  Further, a high calcium intake, especially in the presence of phycit acid, depresses the absorption of zinc.  Since milk is both a poor source of zinc and a high source of calcium, it would be wise to avoid milk and to give foods that contain a good zinc level to babies having these symptoms.  Since refined foods also generally contain low levels of zinc, these articles should also be avoided as a general rule.

     The use of milk increases the need for vitamin A, and probably also iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B-12.  The objective in nutrition is to obtain the most safe, reasonable, and economical foods in their most natural possible state, prepared in a simple yet tasty way, and served in a pleasant and nice manner.

A. & C. Thrash