Milk is NOT the best defence against osteoporosis.
It has been observed that high protein intakes result in calcium loss through our urine. The animal protein found in products such as milk exaggerates this effect. But how do we go from eating animal protein to losing calcium in our urine? It all has to do with our pH balance. The human body must remain within a very narrow margin of pH to function normally. When we eat too much protein, and animal protein in particular, our blood becomes more acidic. To level out our blood pH our body goes in search of the best alkalizer - and finds phosphate. Where is phosphate stored in the human body? As calcium phosphate in our bones. The body pulls the calcium phosphate out of the bones into the blood, separates the phosphate which then returns the blood to normal pH levels, and disposes of the calcium in the urine. High protein causes calcium to be withdrawn from the body's main calcium reservoir, our bones, which become more and more fragile as more and more calcium is extracted.
There is a correlation between dairy consumption and osteoporosis rates, but not in the direction dairy farmers are telling us.
The incidence of osteoporosis has a direct correlation with animal protein intake: the more protein that is consumed in a country, the more common and severe the osteoporosis in its population. Those countries with the highest consumption of dairy products (the United States, Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) also have the most osteoporosis.
Want an example? The Inuit of northern Canada consume the most calcium of any group in the world (more than 2000 mg per day from fish bones) and the most protein (250-400 grams per day). The Inuit also have one of the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world.
“I would like to emphasize that the calcium-losing effect of protein on the human body is not an area of controversy in scientific circles. The many studies performed during the past 55 years consistently show that the most important dietary change that we can make if we want to create a positive calcium balance that will keep our bones solid is to decrease the amount of proteins we eat each day. The important change is not to increase the amount of calcium we take in.”
-Dr. John McDougall
Watch an excerpt from Forks Over Knives on the topic of osteoporosis and dairy consumption here and watch the film in its entirety on Netflix.
I have written two articles on the subject which you can read here:
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And peruse my site for more interesting articles and resources!
Thanks for stopping by and spread the word: MILK DOES NOT PREVENT OSTEOPOROSIS!