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Pierce Pioneer

Teething on other animals’ teats

When the milk runs dry, it's time to say goodbye

Kaitlyn Turner, Staff Writer

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Today’s society is full of milk drinkers. They drink it in a glass, they eat it with their cereal, and they put it in dairy products like cheese and ice cream; among other things. Unless one is lactose intolerant or just really hates milk, most people never pause to think, “Should we really be consuming this?”

Although it’s very difficult to argue that milk products aren’t tasty, contrary to common belief, they aren’t that good for people.

Sure, the government may say that one needs 1-2 servings of dairy per day to help maintain a healthy diet, or one’s doctor might lecture them on the importance of calcium and what happens when one doesn’t drink milk. The government gets a lot of money out of big agricultural companies, and the same type of companies are what sponsor a doctor’s limited dietary education.

Calcium is essential to the human body. This vital nutrient plays a key role in muscle contraction, one’s nervous system, and even the release of hormones. If the human body doesn’t consume enough calcium, it transfers calcium that was in the bones to cells that need it, therefore resulting in weakened bones.

What most people aren’t taught is that the calcium that is found in milk and milk products is very difficult for the body to digest, because the only milk that humans were designed to drink is mother’s milk, and even that is only during infancy.

In fact, milk acidifies the body’s pH level, and to correct it, the body uses calcium, which is a great acid neutralizer. All this extra calcium is drawn from one’s bones. So, instead of providing more calcium, milk actually drains what stores one’s body does have.

Since people should drink milk at a very young age, the human pancreas produces lactase, a lactose-digesting enzyme, up until the age of two. But, after that, there’s nothing to protect one’s body from the harm that dairy can cause it.

Human bodies aren’t made to drink the milk of any other animal, and humans are, in fact, the only animals that do it. One’s body’s inability to process this “foreign” milk often shows itself in the form of an intolerance or allergy to casein or lactose, two of milk’s proteins. Technically, all human bodies are lactose-intolerant, but this intolerance shows more in some people than others.

Another downside to dairy is that it’s insulin promoting, meaning that it can contribute to weight-gain and insulin control problems.

These are only some of the many health problems that have in some way been linked to dairy. Others include Crohn’s Disease, osteoporosis and other bone problems, and even cancer.

A much healthier and easily digestible way to get the calcium that one’s body needs is to consume spinach, kale, or other leafy greens, among other things. Not only are these foods high in calcium, but they also have many other great nutrients, and are much easier for the body to digest.

Although milk and it’s products may be tasty, it’s worthwhile to at least consider cutting it out of one’s diet, or at least reducing one’s intake of them. Although it might not have the most visible effects, taking dairy out of one’s diet can do wonderful things for one’s health.

 

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The student news site of Pierce College in Lakewood, Washington.
Teething on other animals’ teats