Today on the BBC news the issue of many children being allergic to cows milk was discussed. I actually know something about that so thought I'd share it with you. You see, I have an autistic son and he is allergic to casein. For those of you who don't know it's the protein found in dairy products. Many people suffer from symptoms which are milk related but suggesting they remove cows milk from their diet is often met with shock, horror and disbelief. After all dairy products make up a large proportion of most western diets.
However, cows milk was only ever designed for calves and even they are weaned off it. Humans are the only mammals which continue to drink milk and what you buy in the shop isn't the same as what comes directly from the cow. I don't know if you are aware of it but cows actually have four stomachs.
Their digestive system is much different from ours and their milk quite simply isn't designed for people. Apart from the fact it most likely contains chemicals, growth hormones, allergenic proteins, antibiotics, bacteria, viruses, pus and blood, the casein content is considerably higher than that of human milk. After all, a calf will grow to roughly 1000 lbs in 2 years compared to 40 lbs for a human infant. It is estimated that the casein content is about 20 times higher which explains why we cannot digest the proteins very well. The result is allergic reactions and high mucous levels in our bowels and noses.
You may not consider everything you just read to be crucial information about cows milk. But don't be surprised if you find yourself recalling and using this very information in the next few days. Apparently when we are very young our lack of stomach acid means the milk we drink is alkaline forming which is good for us as it encourages probiotic bacteria - the good friendly ones we need for optimum health. However, as we get older and our gastric juices begin to flow they turn the milk into acid which provides a very hospitable pH medium for pathogens.
Unfortunately for us milk also contains antibiotics. These as you probably know kill off ALL bacteria which means if we consume milk or dairy products on a regular basis the probiotic bacteria normally found in the intestinal tract cannot colonise. That's bad news and cows milk has been associated with major serious illnesses as well as eczema, allergies, colds, colitis, colic and earache in young children.
Prior to developing autism, my son who drank cows milk after I stopped breast feeding had many bouts of earache and was given numerous prescriptions for antibiotics. Now, older and wiser I realise he should also have been given probiotics to restore the vital friendly bacteria which the antibiotics inevitably destroyed. Please remember that antibiotics KILL ALL BACTERIA and the good, friendly ones need replacing if you aspire to good health. Milk has also been implicated in heart disease which is a major killer in today's society and the milk you buy in the supermarket has been processed before you get it. Pasteurisation is the process of heating and cooling milk down very quickly to destroy harmful micro-organisms. Any milk which has not been pasteurised has to carry a warning label.
Another process which some milk undertakes is homogenisation. This involves breaking up the fat globules into very small particles so they remain suspended in the milk instead of rising to the top to form a creamy layer. The problem is that not only does it reduce the taste but the fat particles become so small they can easily be absorbed by the body and clog up the arteries.
However, the discussion today was more to do with the high incidence of eczema in babies and young children and the need to make doctors more aware of the possibility of cows milk being the cause. It was said that simply removing the offending drink was enough to reduce and often eliminate the distressing symptoms for many sufferers. My son was advised to cut out dairy altogether. Obviously that includes cheese and butter as they have a lot of milk in them. I was told to give him either sheep, goat or rice milk but not soya. The reason for this is that soya absorbs aluminium during its growth phase.
Autism is partly a brain disorder and aluminium is a known neuro-toxin so it is something which should be avoided. I drink soya milk though and find it very pleasant. I also like oat milk. When you look at the facts it is understandable that milk could well be implicated in many increasingly common health complaints. However, as the dairy industry is such a profitable business I doubt very much many people will be encouraged to remove it from their diets.
Also, we are told that milk is a great source of calcium and it is if we can actually absorb it but as we drink so much of it why do so many of us get osteoporosis? Just something to think about.
For information on the World's First Probiotic Super Food certified Organic to Food Grade Standards seewww.probioticsforhealth.com Jean Shaw is the author of I'm Not Naughty - I'm Autistic and Autism, Amalgam and Me www.jeanshaw.com