9 Facts on Drinking Milk From a Nondrinker

Tidbit #4 Digestibility and Lactose Intolerance: The inability to digestion cow’s milk and other dairy products is known as lactose intolerance. It’s also possible to have a dairy allergy brought on by the protein, casein, in cow’s milk. During infancy we produce lactase, the enzyme necessary to break down milk sugar (lactose), in breast milk. Breast milk also contains lactase, further breaking down the milk to support healthy digestion for infants. Some people stop producing it into adolescence. This leaves them unable to digest lactose and causes a wide range of symptoms, including but not limited to bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.
Sufferers of lactose intolerance are likely to choose nut and soy milk replacements and avoid cow’s milk altogether. The company Lactaid makes lactose-free milk and over-the-counter pills to alleviate the side effects of lactose intolerance before and after consumption. These products are a stop-gap to consume foods the body cannot and will not digest if one is lactose intolerant. Removing dairy from diet is the best solution to treat intolerance, rather than covering symptoms with medications and milk fortified with an enzyme the body does not naturally produce in intolerant people. Goat milk and cheeses are rumored to have lower levels of lactose and tolerated by some people who cannot digest cow’s milk, but note it’s not much less: 4.1 percent versus 4.7 percent.
Tidbit #5: Dietary Choices: Diet choice is also a contributing factor to whether or not someone consumes milk and its byproducts. A vegan diet can be motivated by the ethical and humane treatment of animals, and sometimes it’s simply the belief in a more healthful, plant-based lifestyle. The Paleo diet discourages dairy consumption, while the Weston A. Price Foundation promotes processes like traditional fermenting and souring methods to pre-digest casein and break down lactose. And then there are people like me who simply cannot drink milk without their stomach turning and an instant gag reflex. These groups, including myself, lean toward the milk alternatives which have their own set of health benefits and detriments.

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1 Comment
  1. Michelle K says:

    Note that while you didn’t find any instances of raw milk sicknesses or death, if you search journalism databases like LexisNexis, AP, BBC newswire, your results would have pulled sicknesses resulting from raw milk. Here are two examples:
    Lumping sickness/death together in your article allows the reader to assume neither have occurred due to raw milk consumption. That is inaccurate.