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The Dangers Of Dairy

BY DR. AMY MYERS      APRIL 10, 2013 
All those “Got Milk?” ads from the last decade or so would have us believe that dairy is a cornerstone of a healthy diet, providing essential nutrients, fortifying our bones, and knocking out osteoporosis left and right. But… is this true? Is consuming dairy necessary or even healthy for most people?

The truth is, dairy can lead to countless health issues and, for many, can cause more harm than good, here’s why. 
It’s highly inflammatory. 
Dairy is one of the most inflammatory foods in our modern diet, second only to gluten. It causes inflammation in a large percentage of the population, resulting in digestive issues such as bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea, as well as other symptoms including acne, and a stronger presentation of autistic behaviors. 
What is it about dairy that causes an inflammatory response? Is everyone with a dairy sensitivity lactose intolerant? There are two components of dairy that tend to cause issues for people: (1) the sugar and (2) the proteins. 
People who are lactose intolerant don’t produce the lactase enzyme, which is required to break down lactose, a sugar found in milk, causing digestive issues whenever they consume dairy products. People who do produce the lactase enzyme but still react poorly to milk are responding to the two proteins found in milk, casein and whey. Casein is a protein with a very similar molecular structure to gluten and 50% of people who are gluten intolerant are casein intolerant as well.
It’s acid-forming. 
Our bodies like to maintain a neutral pH balance: not too much acidity, not too much alkalinity. Milk, like most animal products, is an acid forming food, meaning whenever you consume dairy, your body must compensate for the increased acidity in order to restore a neutral pH balance.
It does this by pulling from the alkaline “reserves” it keeps on hand in the form of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, that are stored in your bones. Pulling from these reserves weakens your bones, leaving them more susceptible to fractures and breaks, meaning milk might not be such a great preventative tool against osteoporosis as we’re told. In fact, research has shown that countries with the highest rate of dairy consumption also have the highest rate of osteoporosis.


It’s often full of hormones and antibiotics
Many times when people drink milk they’re consuming far more than just milk. American dairy farmers have long been injecting cows with a genetically engineered bovine growth hormone called rBGH to increase milk production. This forced increase in milk production often leads to an udder infection in cows called mastitis, which is then treated with courses of antibiotics, which can make their way into your dairy products.
All of these concerns about the health benefits and safety of dairy can lead to even more questions. Is all dairy bad, are alternative sources of dairy any better? Where will I get my calcium if not from dairy? Let’s take a look at these: 
What about goat’s milk and sheep’s milk?
Some people who choose to eliminate cow’s milk from their diet still enjoy goat’s or sheep’s milk, as they find it much easier to tolerate. Although these have a similar lactose content to cow’s milk (meaning if you are lactose intolerant, they will not be any easier to digest) they do have a different type of casein protein, which makes them easier for casein-sensitive people to handle.
Casein exists in two variants, A1 beta-casein and A2 beta-casein, which are differentiated only by a single amino acid in their protein chains. A2 is considered the original beta-casein because A1 only appeared a few thousand years ago after a mutation occurred in European cow herds, and people react poorly to the A1 beta-casein. Goat’s milk and sheep’s milk lack the A1 beta-casein, which is what makes them more tolerable, but because the A1 and A2 proteins are so similar, these milks can still cause problems for some.
What about organic or raw milk?
If you aren’t casein sensitive, and still want to consume cow’s milk, a healthier and less-chemical laden route to go can be organic or raw milk. These kinds of milk typically come from cows that have not been injected with rGBH and have not been treated with antibiotics, which eliminates the concern that these chemicals will find their way into your milk.
Raw milk, although contentiously debated, does have many health benefits that pasteurized milk lacks. The pasteurizing process, which is intended to kill harmful bacteria, kills many of the helpful enzymes that occur naturally in milk as well. In fact, one of the enzymes present in raw milk that is missing in pasteurized milk is the lactase enzyme, meaning people who are lactose intolerant are actually able to drink raw milk because it contains the enzyme needed to break down lactose their body is unable to produce.
What should you do if you think you’re sensitive to dairy? 
Ultimately the decision of whether or not to consume dairy rests with you. Try eliminating 100% of dairy from your diet for 30 days and pay attention to how your body reacts. Then try reintroducing dairy in its different forms and sources and notice how you respond.
If you do decide to eliminate dairy, fear not, there are plenty of other natural sources of calcium you can incorporate into your diet!
10 Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium
  1. Almonds
  2. Kale
  3. Oranges
  4. Collard Greens
  5. Broccoli
  6. Figs
  7. Spinach
  8. Enriched rice, almond, hemp and coconut milks
  9. Sesame seeds
  10. Tofu


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Acid Alkaline Imbalance

    Over acidity, which can become a dangerous condition that weakens all body systems, is very common today. It gives rise to an internal environment conducive to disease, as opposed to a pH balanced environment which allows normal body function necessary for the body to resist disease. A healthy body maintains adequate alkaline reserves to meet emergency demands. When excess acids must be neutralized our alkaline reserves are depleted leaving the body in a weakened condition. A pH balanced diet, according to many experts, is a vital key to health maintenance.

    The concept of acid alkaline imbalance as the cause of disease is not new. In 1933 a New York doctor named William Howard Hay published a ground-breaking book, A New Health Era in which he maintains that all disease is caused by autotoxication (or “self-poisoning”) due to acid accumulation in the body:

        Now we depart from health in just the proportion to which we have allowed our alkalies to be dissipated by introduction of acid-forming food in too great amount… It may seem strange to say that all disease is the same thing, no matter what its myriad modes of expression, but it is verily so.—William Howard Hay, M.D.

    More recently, in his remarkable book Alkalize or Die (see recommended reading), Dr. Theodore A. Baroody says essentially the same thing:

        The countless names of illnesses do not really matter. What does matter is that they all come from the same root cause…too much tissue acid waste in the body!—Theodore A. Baroody, N.D., D.C., Ph.D. 


    Understanding pH
    pH (potential of hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. It is measured on a scale of 0 to 14—the lower the pH the more acidic the solution, the higher the pH the more alkaline (or base) the solution. When a solution is neither acid nor alkaline it has a pH of 7 which is neutral.

    Water is the most abundant compound in the human body, comprising 70% of the body. The body has an acid-alkaline (or acid-base) ratio called the pH which is a balance between positively charges ions (acid-forming) and negatively charged ions (alkaline-forming.) The body continually strives to balance pH. When this balance is compromised many problems can occur.

    It is important to understand that we are not talking about stomach acid or the pH of the stomach. We are talking about the pH of the body’s fluids and tissues which is an entirely different matter.

    Test Your Body’s Acidity or Alkalinity with pH Strips:

    It is recommended that you test your pH levels to determine if your body’s pH needs immediate attention. By using pH test strips, you can determine your pH factor quickly and easily in the privacy of your own home. If your urinary pH fluctuates between 6.0 to 6.5 in the morning and between 6.5 and 7.0 in the evening, your body is functioning within a healthy range. If your saliva stays between 6.5 and 7.5 all day, your body is functioning within a healthy range. The best time to test your pH is about one hour before a meal and two hours after a meal. Test your pH two days a week.

    Most people who suffer from unbalanced pH are acidic. This condition forces the body to borrow minerals—including calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium—from vital organs and bones to buffer (neutralize) the acid and safely remove it from the body. Because of this strain, the body can suffer severe and prolonged damage due to high acidity—a condition that may go undetected for years.

    Mild acidosis can cause such problems as:

        Cardiovascular damage, including the constriction of blood vessels and the reduction of oxygen.
        Weight gain, obesity and diabetes.
        Bladder and kidney conditions, including kidney stones.
        Immune deficiency.
        Acceleration of free radical damage, possibly contributing to cancerous mutations.
        Hormone concerns.
        Premature aging.
        Osteoporosis; weak, brittle bones, hip fractures and bone spurs.
        Joint pain, aching muscles and lactic acid buildup.
        Low energy and chronic fatigue.
        Slow digestion and elimination.
        Yeast/fungal overgrowth.

        pH and Bone Loss:
          A recent seven-year study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, on 9,000 women showed that those who have chronic acidosis are at greater risk for bone loss than those who have normal pH levels. The scientists who carried out this experiment believe that many of the hip fractures prevalent among middle-aged women are connected to high acidity caused by a diet rich in animal foods and low in vegetables. This is because the body borrows calcium from the bones in order to balance pH. — American Journal of Clinical Nutrition


    Urine pH

    Urine testing may indicate how well your body is excreting acids and assimilating minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. These minerals function as “buffers.” Buffers are substances that help maintain and balance the body against the introduction of too much acidity or too much alkalinity. Even with the proper amounts of buffers, acid or alkaline levels can become extreme. When the body ingests or produces too many of these acids or alkalis, it must excrete the excess. The urine is the perfect way for the body to remove any excess acids or alkaline substances that cannot be buffered. If the average urine pH is below 6.5 the body’s buffering system is overwhelmed, a state of “autotoxication” exists, and attention should be given to lowering acid levels.

    Saliva pH

    The results of saliva testing may indicate the activity of digestive enzymes in the body. These enzymes are primarily manufactured by the stomach, liver and pancreas. While the saliva also utilizes buffers just like the urine, it relies on this process to a much lesser degree. If the saliva pH is too low (below 6.5), the body may be producing too many acids or may be overwhelmed by acids because it has lost the ability to adequately remove them through the urine. If the saliva pH is too high (over 6.8), the body may suffer greatly, e.g. excess gas, constipation and production of yeast, mold and fungus. Some people will have acidic pH readings from both urine and saliva—this is referred to as “double acid.”

    Restoring pH Balance in the Body

    Your body is able to assimilate minerals and nutrients properly only when its pH is balanced. It is therefore possible for you to be taking healthy nutrients and yet be unable to absorb or use them. If you are not getting the results you expected from your nutritional or herbal program, look for an acid alkaline imbalance. Even the right herbal program may not work if your body’s pH is out of balance.

    Change Your pH Balance from Acidic to Alkaline

    By far the most common imbalance seen in our society is over acidity. If your urine and/or saliva test below 6.5 pH start with steps 1 through 5 below and continue adding steps until desired results are achieved. Be sure to monitor your progress with easy-to-use pH test strips:
    pH Balance Supplements for Overly-Acidic

        Enzymes are essential: Take 1-2 capsules of either Food Enzymes or Proactazyme Plus with every meal. For even better and quicker results, also take 1-2 capsules of High Potency Protease and Nature’s Noni between meals on an empty stomach.
        Easily absorbable magnesium is needed: Take 2 Magnesium Complex with each meal which provides highly absorbable magnesium to help build necessary buffers. Magnesium is often lost in urine as a consequence of too much acid in the body.
        Alkaline minerals are essential: Take 1 ounce of either Ionic Minerals or Mineral Chi Tonic once daily.
        Alkalize with Green Food: Take 1 teaspoon of Liquid Chlorophyll in water up to eight times daily.
        Absorbable Calcium: If your urine is 5.8-7.2, take Calcium Plus Vitamin D and Magnesium (the amino acid chelated form, not the carbonate form) daily to support your bones. If pH is 5.0-6.5, use Sea Calcium (pH 10.)
        If your pH is still too acidic, add the following:
        Vitamin D3 helps hold calcium in the body. Taking NSP’s Vitamin D3 and Omega 3 will help the body buffer acids. Take 1-2 of each daily.
        Cleanse as needed: Take a psyllium hulls supplement such as Psyllium Hulls Combination or Psyllium Hulls Capsules at bedtime to maintain regular bowel movements. Use CleanStart or Chinese Tiao He Cleanse twice a year for liver, bowel and kidney detoxification.
        Strengthen urinary and lymphatic systems’ ability to excrete acids: Take Kidney Drainage and Lymphatic Drainage daily in water.

        Quality is Critical: I recommend only Nature’s Sunshine Products. NSP has formulated premium-quality products for 40 years. Our experience has been that substituting lesser quality products will compromise pH balancing results!

        The food chart below briefly summarizes this information for some of the more common foods. A healthy diet should consist of 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid-forming foods.

    What Causes Me to be Acidic?
    The reason acidosis is more common in our society is mostly due to the typical American diet, which is far too high in acid-producing animal products like meat, eggs and dairy, and far too low in alkaline-producing foods like fresh vegetables. Additionally, we eat acid-producing processed foods like white flour and sugar and drink acid-producing beverages like coffee and soft drinks. We use too many drugs, which are acid-forming; and we use artificial chemical sweetners like NutraSweet, Equal, or aspartame, which are extremely acid-forming. One of the best things we can do to correct an overly-acid body is to clean up the diet and lifestyle. Refer to the recommended reading for specific help with diet and lifestyle.

    pH Balance Supplements for Overly-Alkaline
    Alkalinity is relatively rare, but if your urine and/or saliva consistently test above 7.0 pH, start with steps 1, 2 and 3 below and continue adding steps until the desired results are achieved. Be sure to monitor your progress with easy-to-use pH test strips. You will notice that some of these steps are the same as those recommended above for an overly acidic condition. This is because these steps have a buffering effect, or in other words they are balancing, tending to bring the pH back toward normal no matter which direction it has gone:

        Enzymes are essential: Take 1-2 capsules of Food Enzymes or Proactazyme Plus with every meal. Also take 1-2 capsules of High Potency Protease and Nature’s Noni between meals on an empty stomach.
        Support urinary and lymphatic systems’ ability to excrete toxins: Take Kidney Drainage and Lymphatic Drainage in water according to directions. Then use Lymphomax and Urinary Maintenance to maintain.
        Correct calcium is needed: Use NSP’s Liquid Calcium.
        Vitamin C: Use Timed-Release Vitamin C. Use 3,000 mg or more, to maximum bowel tolerance. (If diarrhea occurs, reduce intake.)
        Flax Seed Oil: Use 1 capsules of Flax Seed Oil 3 times a day or 2 tablespoons of Liquid Flax Seed Oil daily.
        Cleanse as needed: Take a psyllium hulls supplement such as Psyllium Hulls Combination or Psyllium Hulls Capsules at bedtime to maintain regular bowel movements. Use CleanStart or Chinese Tiao He Cleanse twice a year for liver, bowel and kidney detoxification.

pH Balance Chart


Note that a food’s acid or alkaline-forming tendency in the body has nothing to do with the actual pH of the food itself. For example, lemons are very acidic, however the end-products they produce after digestion and assimilation are very alkaline so lemons are alkaline-forming in the body. Likewise, meat will test alkaline before digestion but it leaves very acidic residue in the body so, like nearly all animal products, meat is very acid-forming.