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Dairy Food Causes All Disease!

by Brian Dunning, Oct 08 2009

A listener forwarded me this rather extraordinary email:

From: The Real Food Channel <>
Subject: The shocking truth about dairy
Date: Thursday, October 1, 2009, 11:59 AM

John McDougall MD routinely reverses and cures serious diseases like diabetes and heart disease simply by helping his patients change their diets.

Well there’s certainly no news in the fact that poor dietary habits can contribute to obesity, diabetes, and some forms of heart disease. No doctor would dispute basic health information like that. But “routinely reverses and cures serious diseases”? Red flags begin waving.

In his experience, the most important thing to remove from your diet is dairy foods.

Really? And is there any correlation between dairy and heart disease? Dairy and diabetes? Sounds like this author paints Dr. McDougall as being a little blinded by his own luminance.

I realize that a lot of people are not going to want to hear this, but the science is overwhelming.

Got to love “A lot of people are not going to want to hear this.” He’s being suppressed for bucking the official establishment. Too bad this kind of rhetoric is so effective on unsuspecting readers.

And the science is overwhelming! Well, if this guy says so, it must be true. But I wonder how he has come to this conclusion, since McDougall has not managed to convince any meaningful percentage of the medical community that outrageous claims are anything other than quackery. This total failure constitutes “overwhelming science”?

The scary thing is that advertising dollars from the milk and cheese industry keeps this simple information from getting to the public.

Ahhh, so it’s all a conspiracy. That puts it into a whole new light of plausibility. I know that my doctor receives his share of Big Milk dollars every month, and he’s always telling my kids and I to drink it. The bastard.

If you want a simple thing you can do to significantly improve your health, take the time to watch this important video.

Ken McCartthy
Founder, The Real Food Network

P.S. Please share Real Food Channel videos with your friends, family and colleagues. That’s how we grow. Thanks.

Amacord, Inc.
14 North Road,
Tivoli, NY 12583,  USA

I wouldn’t post an email like this unless it was obviously bunk. I searched the literature, and found that the preponderance of research supports…ummm… exactly the opposite of what McCartthy is attributing to Dr. McDougall. Here’s from a 2005 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine:

Each serving-per-day increase in total dairy intake was associated with a 9% lower risk for type 2 diabetes… CONCLUSION: Dietary patterns characterized by higher dairy intake, especially low-fat dairy intake, may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in men.

McCartthy’s “overwhelming science” – 0; real science – 1. I could go on, but there are useful things to do in life.

So what is this “The Real Food Channel” anyway? No, it’s not a food channel, surprisingly enough. It’s a nearly blank web site slathered in advertising links, and its only content is videos promoting quackery with titles such as Make Yourself Heart Attack Proof. As far as I can tell, these videos appear to all be pirated from other sources, not created by McCartthy himself. Click any of the links, and you’re sent off to some site selling quack health products: Supplements, books, superfruits, you name it; all promising to endow you with some kind of magical super-health. In short, it’s an affiliate marketing site, making money off of tricking you into buying worthless woo. Always be skeptical…

90 Responses to “Dairy Food Causes All Disease!”

  1. Scott says:

    Brian, have you actually read McDougall’s materials? One of the things that impresses me most about him is how solidly his work is based on research – research described in peer reviewed, mainstream journals.

    Also, when it comes to dairy, let’s use logic for a moment. What is the purpose of cow’s milk? It is to turn a calf into a full blown cow or bull. Even the calves know to stop drinking their mother’s milk after the first year. Humans are the only mammalian species I know of that continue to consume milk after infancy, and it’s not even our own species’ milk!

    Is it any surprise, therefore, that dairy could be linked to disease?

    As for some research linking dairy to disease, here are two articles that might be worth checking out.

    • Max says:

      Brian was careful to criticize McCartthy of The Real Food Channel, not McDougall.

      Does McDougall claim that removing dairy foods from your diet reverses and cures serious diseases like diabetes and heart disease, or did McCartthy lie about it?

    • Maurice says:

      Milk straight from a cow is not the same as the milk you buy in the shop. It has been filtered, pasteurised, skimmed, diluted, and/or sterilised. You can’t really compare shop-milk to cow’s-milk.

      • William P says:

        If you dispute Dr. McDougall on milk, you must take on a lot of other respected researchers. Like Nathan Pritikin, Dr. Roy Walford (UCLA), Dr. Dean Ornish, and many more.

        Milk does have substances that cause problems and disease. Most seriously is saturated fat. Yes, it is produced for on purpose – to feed baby cows.

        But there is money to be made in them thar cows, and better not mess with the Dairy Association. Check out how they have infiltrated ALL schools over the years. They give teachers stipends to write pro-milk “research” papers.

        The old saying – Follow the Money – brings us to the truth again.

    • Dax says:

      A Scopus or a PubMed search (and those are real databases of real scientific, peer reviewed articles) on diary and disease gives me loads of links indicating potential relations with cancer, as both causative and preventive agents! Same for plenty of fruits and vegetables, vitamin supplements, coffee, and pretty much anything we regularly consume. The research is often correct but this does not mean we should ban the use of said nutritional element. The truth is more complex. Diary might be correlated with an increased chance of certain forms of cancer, but it is likewise negatively correlated to obesity, cardiac failure, diabetes, and many other diseases. This is true for many things we consume! The question is what the net benefit or risk is! You cannot eliminate something from your diet just because research has shown it has a negative correlation with some disease. If you would do that you’d better stop eating all-together!

      • Max says:

        In such complex cases, simple common sense heuristics like “everything in moderation” often trump the latest science.

      • tmac57 says:

        You beat me to it Max. Also, there are likely differences in genetic make up that predispose individuals to negative effects of different foods, dairy included, so broad proscriptions concerning diet are likely to be wrong for some, and right for some as well.

      • Dax says:

        Max and you are correct. Broad proscriptions are averages and apply to populations, not necessarily individuals. Nutritional science is still a relatively young field of biology/medicine and it will take a while before we really figure out how everything relates to each other. So, for now, the best advice is to use common sense, try to eat a varying diet, and be active. And, most importantly, do not stop eating something just because research A says that it is correlated to cancer, while research B says it contains beneficial nutrients.

        Anyone remember the recent (1, 2-years ago?) ‘polyacrylamide in starch’ scare? Yes, polyacrylamide is a cumulative neurotoxin and a carcinogen, and, yes, it is formed when heating starchy foods. But the research made it sound like every Irishman has cancer from eating potatoes!*
        Truth is, moderate consumption of starchy foods is not bad for you, at all.

        *) I’m Dutch, we eat potatoes every minute of the day, too, so I wasn’t trying to offend the Irish.

  2. Joanna says:

    Most normal females stop producing milk after a a year or a year and a half after parturition depending on diet and life situation, after which calves must spend several more years eating grass to turn into adults, unless they are on a feedlot getting a corn diet to speed up the process. Milk is arguably bad for the female producing it in terms of effect on the body, but other than that, it’s designed to provide easily digestible nutrition, because babies, they do not have digestive tracts advanced enough to handle anything more complicated.

    Yay for animal science!

    My adult kitty drinks other species’ milk with apparently great gusto, but then, he also eats cockroaches.

    • Max says:

      “Milk is arguably bad for the female producing it in terms of effect on the body”

      As I recall, breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer.

      • Joanna says:

        I was just referring to the very high energy demand of lactating. I’m not denying it can have beneficial effects later, but wihle doing it, it is very exhausting and requires a very energy-rich diet. Sorry for the confusion.

      • gwen says:

        I breast fed all of my children for over a year each. I don’t recall it as being particularly exhausting.

  3. rustle says:

    I’ve heard the arguments that make the case that drinking milk from another species doesn’t make sense. By that logic, eating meat from other species should be equally as ridiculous, shouldn’t it? Or eating eggs? And calves don’t stop drinking milk simply because they “know” to stop. Its not like calves have the option. There’s a number of reasons having nothing to do with superior cow intellect that show why they move on, only one of which is to make way for new calves.
    There is evidence on both sides of the argument, but the fact that calves stop drinking milk doesn’t qualify as such.

    • Max says:

      “By that logic, eating meat from other species should be equally as ridiculous, shouldn’t it? Or eating eggs?”

      Lots of species eat meat and eggs from other species. Few species (only humans?) drink milk of other species.

      “And calves don’t stop drinking milk simply because they ‘know’ to stop.”

      Maybe that’s why mammals evolved lactose intolerance.

      • Kim says:

        “Maybe that’s why mammals evolved lactose intolerance.”

        Mammals didn’t evolve lactose intolerance. If they had they would not be able to nurse/suckle as infants.
        Intolerance is normally developed during life. When a mammal is weaned and no longer consumes milk the body decreases production of the enzyme needed to properly digest the lactose.

      • Max says:

        Weaning induces decreased production of lactase, or vice-versa?

      • LKL says:

        Probably the former. Most infant mammals are forcibly weaned by their mothers as they develop teeth, rather than weaning themselves because milk suddenly starts giving them the runs.

        Humans are different; since dairying evolved in human cultures, the continuation of lactase production into adulthood has evolved genetically several times. The ability to digest lactose into adulthood has been spreading throughout the human population quite rapidly in several dairying populations for the last few thousand years.

      • Max says:

        Then how did lactose intolerance evolve? How does it increase survival other than by inducing weaning?

      • LKL says:

        adult lactose intolerance is the ancestral state in mammals. It was there to start with. Best guess is that the loss of function evolved the same way the loss of any organ or system evolves – use it or lose it. There’s no need for the body to waste energy making proteins (lactase) that it’s not using. It’s got to be a pretty negligible use of calories to make this protein, but it’s a pretty consistent pattern in evolution that even tiny bits of waste are selected against over the course of millions and millions of years. Heck, even bacteria turn off digestive enzymes when the substrate isn’t around.

      • rustle says:

        “Lots of species eat meat and eggs from other species. Few species (only humans?) drink milk of other species.”

        To me, that means that humans have the ability to derive sustenance from another species that lower species lack, not that other species’ have divined some advanced injury to themselves if they do the same.

  4. Rob says:

    Humans take the baby food and what happens to the baby, see below:

    Few people realize that cows have to be subjected to yearly pregnancies so that the milk, cheese and cream that form a substantial part of the diet of the lacto-vegetarians and meat eaters may be produced. Many imagine that the cow is only relieved of her surplus milk after her calf has been satisfied, but hardly any cows in the dairy herds are allowed to suckle their calves for more than three days if at all. “Dairy calves are now nearly always reared by hand so that the milk which the cow provides can be sold.” “Separating the calf from the mother shortly after birth undoubtedly inflicts anguish on both. Cattle are highly intelligent, and attachment between the calf and the mother is particularly strong.” The calves, the inevitable byproduct of these continuous pregnancies, have five possible fates:—

    They may go to the slaughter almost immediately—probably to provide the veal for veal and ham pies. The rennet used to make most commercial cheeses has to be taken from the stomach of a newly born calf.

    They may be much more unfortunate for they may go to a white veal unit to spend the whole of their lives shut up in narrow Wooden crates. After the first few weeks they have no room even to turn around. They are fed on a special liquid diet designed to promote maximum growth in the minimum time and to keep their flesh “fashionably white.” They are denied the roughage that their special digestive systems as ruminants require so they are often reduced to eating their own hair and nibbling their crates. They are given no bedding because their craving for solid food would make them eat it. The old practice of “bleeding” to whiten the flesh is now illegal but their iron take is kept to the minimum necessary for survival lest the meat should be tinged with red. Many emerge from their crates at the end of their fourteen weeks of existence suffering from stomach ulcers and abscesses, and with legs too shaky to support them as they are driven into the slaughter-house lorry.

    Calves from beef herds often have a comparatively tolerable fate, being allowed to suckle, run with their dams and graze in the fields until the time comes for the fattening pens and the slaughter-house, but the surplus calves from the dairy herbs are often sent to market when a week old (or less) and bought for rearing in intensive beef units. “Friesian calves are ideal for extremely intensive systems.” Fed for twelve weeks on a largely cereal diet, they are encouraged to overeat and are kept closely confined so that the minimum proportion of the food is used up for their bodily functions. “There is a danger of poisoning due to overeating.”

    In these days of artificial insemination few calves are reared as bulls. A calf selected for such a fate may be allowed to suckle for a period. He will be carefully reared to produce the physique of a good sire with maximum fertility. Not that his physical powers, superb though they may be, will have much significance in the life designed for him. From ten to twelve months of age he may serve cows weekly, spending the rest of his time in solitary confinement. More likely these days he will be required to serve canvas “cows” and rubber tubes. The Ministry of Agriculture pamphlet on the care of bulls advocates an exercising yard attached to his shed with walls of a type he can see through for “boredom can produce viciousness” an admission this that animals have a mental and emotion life! Aged bulls are often castrated before they are shut up to fatten for the butcher.

    If female the calves may be deemed suitable to rear as dairy cows. Dairy calves are removed as soon after birth as possible so that “the cow may settle down again in the herd,” i.e. she is granted the minimum time to get over the strain of her frustrated pregnancy so that her milk as soon as possible can go to produce the all important profit. Fed on milk substitutes the calves development is encouraged so that at eighteen to twenty-four months they can begin the cycle of continuous pregnancies. To quote from the “New Scientist,” January 13th, 1972, “The modern dairy cow leads a hell of life. Each year she hopefully produces a calf which means that for nine months of the year she is pregnant. And for nine months of each year she is milked twice a day. For six months she is both pregnant and lactating.”
    Details of the ailments she can succumb to while meeting these demands make horrifying reading and so do the descriptions of the remedies used (see the various farming journals). Giving birth is often a prolonged and painful business for the cow to be rewarded only by separation from her baby. Cows often cry out and search for their calves for days after they are taken away. When after years of exploitation her milk yield drops then she is sent to the slaughter-house immediately. Worn out cow’s meat is not popular in this country so they are commonly sent abroad for slaughter.

    Comparatively lucky are the cows and calves that can live out their lives and suffer their butchering near to the place of their birth. For most there are long wearisome journeys, rough handling and standing in market places before being taken to slaughter-houses or new farms. The modern slaughter-houses are often miles from the farms on which the animals are reared, and it is not deemed “economic” to feed animals that are going to be slaughtered. The “humane” killers lessen the pain of the death blows but not the terror of the waiting and the violence of the handling that must precede their use.

    And all this to produce food for humans that is not necessary! Human babies should have their mother’s milk, and children and adults the solid food appropriate to their dentition and digestive systems. These can easily be selected from richly varied plant sources.

    • I’m not going to dispute anything here, except the line:

      “Cattle are highly intelligent,…”

      In my experience, the only thing dumber than cows are chickens.

      Mmmmm, cows and chickens, when’s lunch?

      • Noadi says:

        You forgot sheep. It’s an anecdote but recently one of my aunt’s sheep killed itself by running head first into a tree breaking her neck after being startled by a person walking near the pasture. That is not an intelligent creature.

      • kabol says:

        In my experience, the only thing dumber than cows are chickens.

        well – dumber still could be a drunk person at last call who’s interested in ‘companionship’ ?

      • True!

        I did forget the human mating call, “I’m so wasted! I’m so wasted!”

      • Rob says:

        I agree that the term “highly intelligent” can confuse the issue, especially if you try to lump cows or chickens with the reasoning ability of humans. Apples and oranges anyone? Both are vegetarian.. :)
        As Darwin said intelligence in other species is one of degree, not kind. Anyway, I don’t believe that intelligence should be our ruler of whether another life preference to not suffering deserves respect. According to your moral values, it would seem to be OK to stick pins into the eyes of a mentally handicapped human merely because they cannot tie their own shoes or may get scared easy and run into a tree, as Naodi said, and hurt them unintentionally. My measure is:
        1) Do they suffer?
        2) If they suffer, do they have a preference to not suffer?
        3) If they prefer not to suffer why do we choose to ignore that preference?

        I think if you explore those questions you can come up with interesting answers

      • MilkMoustache says:

        Point proven, Rob. Cattle are “highly intelligent” as a matter of degree…as compared to what, I’m still at a loss. Sheep maybe?

        1. Yes, I’m sure they suffer. All sentient beings experience suffering.

        2. Is this really a question? Really? Okay, I’m sure if they had the cognitive ability to form an opinion on the subject (they don’t) they would choose not to suffer. If you mean do they instinctively avoid suffering…then yes…yes they do.

        3. I don’t know who “we” is but I will happily choose to ignore their “preferences”. You see like the lion happily gnawing on some poor suffering wildebeest’s innards, I enjoy meat…and milk for that matter.The top of the food chain is a good place to be.

        I respect your choice to respect the cow’s preference not to suffer; I hope you respect my choice to have a big juicy steak and a glass of milk.

        …Sorry if I come off a little harsh, but your whole “meat is murder” sermon painted the picture of a proselytizing troll in my mind…scary stuff.

    • Rob,

      These are interesting considerations for a discussion of the ethics of animal liberation or animal rights, but how are they germane to this thread?

      Sure, there may be lots reasons to reduce or eliminate certain kinds of foods from our diet – I’ve sworn off snail darters and condor eggs entirely – but the question here concerns the (in)credibility of particular claims about the effects of milk on human health.

      Or are you proposing that we allow those extraordinary medical claims to stand because they might persuade people to move toward a particular (vegan? animal liberationist?) political end you have in mind? In that case, I can only tell you to be careful whom you choose as an ally: the lack of credibility is contagious.

      • Joe says:

        I’m not in PETA, but his reply affected me. It’s certainly a reason to not eat beef/veal from this process. I found it interesting, if not germane to the discussion.

      • Rob says:

        Nope, no alterior motive. Just trying to join in the discussion and participate. Some meat eaters are open to thinking about their actions that contribute to suffering of other sentient creatures and some are not. I enjoy hearing people’s reactions either way on both sides of the issue. People should change for the right reasons, I’m just saying that the suffering of an infant animal because we’ve decided we have a right to its baby food raises ethical questions.

      • Dax says:

        Uhm, often those cows are kept in pseudo-pregnant state through artificial means.

  5. GL says:

    Thanks to the Internet, I think we are all familiar with the stories of one species adopting the abandoned young of another, including nursing them.

    • Let’s also not forget the many other examples of one kind of animal systematically exploiting the secretions of another, as with ants and aphids (a.k.a. “ant cows”).

      • Rob says:

        Are ants and aphids held to the same ethical standard as humans? I don’t think so. As “highly intelligent” beings, it would seem that we have a greater ability to delve into these topics of what might be right and wrong. Which is why we have courts of law and prisons for committing acts that in the animal realm have no consequences. I wouldn’t hold a lion responsible for killing and eating an antelope, or for killing and eating its own young when times are tough, but a human is held to a higher standard of ethical examination. Therefore ants are off the hook as far as moral reasoning is concerned, at least in my book. I don’t agree with it, but I’ve heard a lot of religious people argue that your reasoning that we should model ourselves under nature’s laws is why atheism falls short of religious moral teachings.

      • I was responding only to those who were suggesting that one species consuming the secretions of another is something peculiar to humans, hence artificial, hence “unnatural” . . . hence wrong.

  6. pjohnson says:


    It’s hard to know even where to begin. Try looking at things reasonably and come to a conclusion instead of beginning with the end in mind,…
    If you are a strict vegan, just say so, and live and let live.

    But here’s a few things,
    Cattle are highly intelligent??? never been to a ranch or worked with cattle obviously, on the whole are a very low intelligence domestic herd animal. Actually probably dumber than chickens (but smarter than sheep!)

    Veal? What? who raises veal calves anymore??

    Bulls are agressive and dangerous, always, you can’t tame a bull. They don’t just get bored or mean from mistreatment. They are separated to control when cows are pregnant to avoid births in the dead of winter or late fall. Oh, and did I mention agressive, they fight each other and will take after anyone that enters their immediate area.

    Separating calves from cows at 1 week to go to a beef herd, How do you suppose that works? one cow one calf is how it goes, in you scenario who provides milk for the 1 week old calf?? Are herds of beef cattle with lactating cows without calves common in your country?

    Not feeding cattle before slaughter? Yeah that makes sense, that’s just what we want, loss of weight (and value) right before slaughter and sale.

    and, violence of handling. Ranches, Feedlots and slaughterhouses do everything possible to handle the cattle as humanely as possible in order to keep them calm.

    Birth for cattle prolonged and painful??? Certainly pain would be involved as in any birth, but actually mostly completed quickly and on their own.

    How about you go to one of these cattle operations someday and actually talk to a rancher.

    • Cthandhs says:

      Thanks for the common sense post. Ranching is a much-maligned profession, but I, for one, *like eating meat*. It is delicious and packed with energy. There is a reason primates will preferentially choose meat over vegetables. Also, lattes FTW.

      • Rob says:

        Yes, from what I’ve read and it makes sense to me, is that when calories were scarce it made sense to gorge on high calories fats and sugars to store for when these calories were scarce. Our bodies developed to release hormones to give us rewards when we ate these high calorie meals to encourage it. Today those signals are usurped by fast food, candy and other junk food companies even thought it is clear to our rational minds that food is no longer scarce. But this is not an argument to eat more ice-cream or ding dongs.

        Please leave FTW off of your posts, it confuses those who do not know what it means and reveals you as arrogant and childish to those who do.

      • Cthandhs says:

        Wow! What a way to sum up your argument. I am wrong, and arrogant and childish. You sure know a lot about me!

        Like most humans, the flesh of dead animals is an important part of my diet. I don’t have any empathy for those animals. They are animals. They are not humans. If I had a pet cow, I would not want to eat *that* cow, but I would still enjoy a nice extra-rare fillet mignon. You are correct in saying that people can survive without eating meat. I, however, do not want to and I have a sufficient socio-economic status at this point, that I do not have to.

        Not only do I joyously eat the flesh of these dead animals that have suffered and perished for my lunch, I don’t feel bad about it. I even have the hubris to believe that I am an ethical and good person.

        There is no science behind your assertions. Just because you think omnivore-ism is unethical doesn’t mean it is wrong for everyone else.

        Now I’m going to enjoy a donut and a latte, FTW (by the way, that’s For The Win, for those of you not invested in current internet lingo). So, you can see, I am arrogant, but hardly childish :P

      • Rob says:

        I don’t know you, but FTW reveals a kind of tea bagging mentality, if you’ve ever played Halo :). It’s a way to make a point and then rub people’s noses in it as if it is the last word on the subject.

        Feel free to eat your meat, it always feels good to be a part of the majority. I was just raising some issues that some people might like to consider, please exclude yourself… On the issue of pets vs. cows, I do find it interesting the cognitive dissonance that occurs between animals we know and animals we don’t know. I think the Asian cultures that eat dog are more intellectually honest and consistent than cultures that put them down for the practice. Animals born with invisible labels that mark them as food, test tubes, and even friends and family members. Along with excruciating acts of suffering done to cows, pigs and chickens everyday that a person would be prosecuted for inflicting on a dog or a cat. Yes, very interesting indeed…

      • MilkMoustache says:


        I’ve been reading your posts and when I came to your name calling here (childish and arrogant, FTW!), the word projection stormed through my mind…why could that be. Maybe one of those intelligent cow’s could explain it to me.

    • Noadi says:

      Not all bulls are aggressive, it really depends on the breed. Some have been selectively bred to reduce aggression.

      In general though, bulls are dangerous animals which is why most are castrated very young. Steer can be incredibly friendly and good natured.

    • Rob says:

      I think if you look at the research, you would see that animals locked in cages and separated from socializing and reacting with each other and their environment in normal ways will develop psychological issues like aggression and repetitive actions that show stress. You can see this in rodent and primate studies. I find it interesting that you disregard animal intelligence, but then humans use animals in studies like these to learn more about intelligence in respect to humans.

      Animals wouldn’t loose much weight during transport in comparison to the inconvenience it would cause to have to feed or water a truck full of unruly cows or pigs. They also do not bother to give them sweaters or heating when transferred hundreds of miles by truck in the cold. Look it up.

      As far as violence in handling, it is well known that people who kill animals for a living are poorly paid and forced to work at speeds that lead to injuries to humans on the line, never mind what happens to the animal. I think you should come to the realization that the average vegetarian is much better informed about what happens to animals than the average meat eater for obvious reasons. I could recommend some good books for you if you would like to learn more, but I’m sure it’s a case of “what I don’t know won’t hurt me”.

      You sound very combative and angry about a simple post on a blog. I think it might be worth it to you to examine your reactions to this issue on a deeper level.

      I’ll be happy to go to a ranch or beef processing facility in the PA area, if you can recommend one. Let them know that my only stipulation is that I will show up on a random day with a camera crew.

    • Rob says:

      You have never seen veak served in a restaurant? how about Foie Gras?

      • Cthandhs says:

        Also, I love Foie Gras. It is delicious, and my revenge against geese.

      • Rob says:

        You forgot to put “FTW” :)

      • MilkMoustache says:

        Damn geese…they deserve to suffer. On a slightly different note, I’m beginning to wonder what Rack of Rob would taste like (grin). Calm down, Rob, I joke. Eating a person would be immoral…and you’re probably bony and cabbage tasting anyway.

  7. Larry Coon says:

    Brian is just in denial, because he’s bracing for the day — and that day will come — when it is proven with overwhelming science that beer leads to all disease. While Brian (let alone “science”) doesn’t want to hear this, the way to cure all disease will be to eliminate beer from your diet completely.

    Folks, I have personally witnessed Brian have a nutty* over being served a 16 oz beer instead of the 25 oz beer he asked for. Can you imagine the day when he’s asked to eliminate ALL beer from his diet. Food servers & bartenders: for your own safety, when that day comes, do NOT go to work.

    * Okay, what REALLY happened is that Brian merely expressed concern to the waiter that the guy who picked up the round not be overcharged. But I’m sure he was having a nutty on the inside…

    • In defense of Brian – and more importantly, of beer – I would point out that regular ingestion of beer is absolutely necessary to the continued operational health of one’s brain. How so, you might ask. Well, it’s all very Darwinian. You see, the primary ingredient in beer is alcohol, and those who’ve suffered near-beer would state it’s the only pertinent ingredient in beer. Alas, alcohol kills brain cells. This we know with certainty. But, it doesn’t kill ALL brain cells as long as the amounts ingested are kept to a healthy moderation, say, no more than a case per day (24 12oz beers per American measure).

      So, how can it be good that alcohol doesn’t kill all one’s brain cells? Here’s the delicious Darwinian aspect. Just as predators and disease kill off the weakest members of a given prey population, thereby strengthening the prey herd’s overall strength and vitality, the alcohol in all the beer one ingests (in moderation, as defined above) kills *off only the weakest of one’s brain cells* thereby strengthening the overall health and operational efficacy of one’s brain. It’s all very simple.

      The science on this is overwhelming.

    • Todd says:

      Beer leads to all disease? That’s just crazy talk. If beer does lead to all disease than I have met my executioner and gladly invited him into my house. In convenient 16 ounce recyclable bottles.

      • Der hunh? Who claims beers leads to all disease? Ohhh… you’ve gone over your limit, haven’t you? Shot right past Darwinian processes and crossed the beneficient cell kill line?

    • kabol says:

      …beer leads to all disease.


  8. Bill says:

    I *love* the off-hand line about “…and the science is overwhelming.”

    This is what we’ve come to for woo-peddling. Apparently, the folks behind these messages feel that they only have to mention ‘science’ in order to convince the rubes that their claims are legitimate.

    This is identical to the approach of the cable-TV commercial for one of the ‘male enhancement’ products that’s running right now. That ad contains a bunch of vague statements like “Wouldn’t you want to try this if there’s even a CHANCE that it might work? Aren’t you curious? Could we sell this many pills if it DIDN’T work?”

    All of these statements are carefully crafted to avoid making any actual claim, so they avoid any action by the FDA or FTC. But, buried in the silliness, is one single line that nonchalantly adds “Plus, there’s all this science behind it.”

    Huh??? “…all this science”??? Details, please. I’d LOVE to hear the details.

    Same with this claim and their statement that “…the science is overwhelming.”

  9. LKL says:

    I’m an ovo-lacto-vegetarian, so milk and dairy products are the main source of fat in my diet. If I were to develop diabetes, I can see how eliminating that source of fat would mitigate the many of the *symptoms* of the disease, if not *cure* it. For someone who’s an omnivore, though, I don’t see how eliminating dairy but not other sources of fat calories would make much of a difference.

    • gwen says:

      It is not the fat in your milk that would be the problem for a diabetic, it is the milk sugar. The fat breaks down into sugar at a much slower rate, the milk sugar is quickly available.

      • LKL says:

        calories consumed in any form contribute to body fat, and body fat contributes to diabetes.

      • MilkMoustache says:

        Please, People! The fat in the milk lowers the glycemic impact of the milk (it doesn’t raise your blood sugar as much). It actually prevents potential damage that could be caused by the high carbohydrate (sugar) content of the milk. Yes, it has more calories…but it’s the spiking blood sugar levels that lead to insulin resistance and damage your pancreas. For a diabetic (and probably everyone) whole milk is much better than skim milk…all calories being equal.

  10. SeanG says:

    I’m from Wisconsin. You can pry my cheese from my cold dead hands :P

  11. I read this and ate my muesli without milk this morning. Now I have a severe case of cotton mouth.

    • Rob says:

      Harvard University’s landmark Nurses Health Study, which followed In one study, funded by the National Dairy Council, a group of postmenopausal women were given three 8-ounce glasses of skim milk every day for two years, and their bones were compared to those of a control group of women not given the milk. The dairy group consumed 1,400 mg of calcium per day and lost bone at twice the rate of the control group. According to the researchers, “this may have been due to the average 30 percent increase in protein intake during milk supplementation. … The adverse effect of increases in protein intake on calcium balance has been reported from several laboratories, including our own” (they then cite 10 other studies). Says McDougall, “Needless to say, this finding did not reach the six o’clock news.” This is one study that the dairy industry won’t be repeating any time soon.
      After looking at 34 published studies in 16 countries, researchers at Yale University found that the countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis—including the United States, Sweden, and Finland—were those in which people consumed the most meat, milk, and other animal foods. This study also showed that African-Americans, who consume, on average, more than 1,000 mg of calcium per day, are nine times more likely to experience hip fractures than are South African blacks, whose daily calcium intake is only about 196 mg. Says McDougall, “On a nation-by-nation basis, people who consume the most calcium have the weakest bones and the highest rates of osteoporosis. … Only in thoseplaces where calcium and protein are eaten in relatively high quantities does a deficiency of bone calcium exist, due to an excess of animal protein.”

      78,000 women over a 12-year period, found that the women who consumed the most calcium from dairy foods broke more bones than those who rarely drank milk. Summarizing this study, the Lunar Osteoporosis Update (November 1997) explained: “This increased risk of hip fracture was associated with dairy calcium. … If this were any agent other than milk, which has been so aggressively marketed by dairy interests, it undoubtedly would be considered a major risk factor.”

      National Institutes of Health study at the University of California, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2001), found that “women who ate most of their protein from animal sources had three times the rate of bone loss and 3.7 times the rate of hip fractures as women who ate most of their protein from vegetable sources.” Even though the researchers adjusted “for everything we could think of that might otherwise explain the relationship … it didn’t change the results.” The study’s conclusion: “[A]n increase in vegetable protein intake and a decrease in animal protein intake may decrease bone loss and the risk of hip fracture.”

      • Dax says:

        Strange, they do not actually list the references on their site. Strangely enough, when I did some searching I stumbled upon articles favouring diary derived calcium intake as a means to increase bone density in adolescents and to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. For example:


        Al-Haggar, M., Yahia, N. & Ghanem, H. 2006, “High dairy calcium intake in pubertal girls: Relation to weight gain and bone mineral status”, Journal of Medical Sciences, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 631-635.
        Alvarez-León, E.E., Román-Viñas, B. & Serra-Majem, L. 2006, “Dairy products and health: a review of the epidemiological evidence.”, The British journal of nutrition, vol. 96 Suppl 1, pp. S94-99.
        Brown, S. 2007, “A stronger case for calcium and vitamin D in fracture prevention”, Menopause International, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 138-139.
        Burckhardt, P. 2007, “Calcium supplementation in the menopause – Unnecessary, advisable, or necessary?”, Therapeutische Umschau, vol. 64, no. 5, pp. 259-263.
        Esterle, L., Sabatier, J.-., Guillon-Metz, F., Walrant-Debray, O., Guaydier-Souquières, G., Jehan, F. & Garabédian, M. 2009, “Milk, rather than other foods, is associated with vertebral bone mass and circulating IGF-1 in female adolescents”, Osteoporosis International, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 567-575.
        Farrin, N., Ostadrahimi, A.R., Mahboob, S.A., Kolahi, S. & Ghavami, M. 2008, “Dietary intake and serum bone related chemistry and their correlations in postmenopausal Iranian women”, Saudi medical journal, vol. 29, no. 11, pp. 1643-1648.
        Garabédian, M. 2006, “Dairy products and osteoporosis: Do we have to care ever since childhood?”, Sciences des Aliments, vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 501-507.
        Larson, N.I., Neumark-Sztainer, D., Harnack, L., Wall, M., Story, M. & Eisenberg, M.E. 2009, “Calcium and Dairy Intake: Longitudinal Trends during the Transition to Young Adulthood and Correlates of Calcium Intake”, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, vol. 41, no. 4, pp. 254-260.
        MacDonald, H.B. 2008, “Dairy nutrition: What we knew then to what we know now”, International Dairy Journal, vol. 18, no. 7, pp. 774-777.
        Manios, Y., Moschonis, G., Panagiotakos, D.B., Farajian, P., Trovas, G. & Lyritis, G.P. 2009, “Changes in biochemical indices of bone metabolism in post-menopausal women following a dietary intervention with fortified dairy products”, Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 156-165.
        Šatalić, Z., Barić, I.C. & Keser, I. 2008, “Dairy consumption and other dietary risk factors for osteoporosis in Croatian young women”, Mljekarstvo, vol. 58, no. 4, pp. 327-339.
        Varenna, M., Binelli, L., Casari, S., Zucchi, F. & Sinigaglia, L. 2007, “Effects of dietary calcium intake on body weight and prevalence of osteoporosis in early postmenopausal women”, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 86, no. 3, pp. 639-644.

        The biggest negative link is that of smoking and obesity.

      • Max says:

        Professor Walter Willett is the chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
        Here’s their bottom line on calcium and milk.

        “While calcium and dairy can lower the risk of osteoporosis and colon cancer, high intake can increase the risk of prostate cancer and possibly ovarian cancer…
        Limit milk and dairy foods to no more than one to two servings per day. More won’t necessarily do your bones any good — and less is fine, as long as you get enough calcium from other sources.”

        It’s not quackery.

      • Dax says:

        No, but what is quackery is the claim that the intake of dairy products actually cause or are at least severely and negatively correlates with osteoporosis, like what the commenter before me claimed with his link to that dreadful website

        Some of the papers I cited above point out that dairy is an especially good source of calcium due to the Vitamin D and the fats (still go for skimmed / low fat) these products contain in relative abundance. Vitamin D is fat-soluble and thus needs the fat to be absorbed into the body. Now, here’s the kicker: Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium.

        And there are the numerous studies showing that dairy protein helps with the repair of exercise induced stress fractures (i.e. reduces recovery time after high impact exercise) and that dairy intake is positively correlated to healthier body weight.

        So all I’m saying is that milk doesn’t “suck” as some people are eager to believe (people like to blame some specific ingredient in our modern diet, whether it is dairy or HFCS), but again, in moderation.

      • gwen says:

        As an African American female Registered Nurse, I can tell you that African American elderly women have the LOWEST incidence of hip fractures. I very RARELY see an elderly African American woman with a hip fracture, unless they have some other health problem to contribute to it (such as lupus or asthma requiring long term steroid use). I am VERY suspicious of your ‘science’.

      • Rob says:

        It lists the studies and which periodicals they were published in and the year they were published. The book “The China Study” also covers loss of calcium due to over consumption of dairy if you need more detail…

      • MilkMoustache says:

        You’re referencing a site called “milksucks” as an authority site on why milk is bad for you? ….hmmm…no agenda there, I’m sure.

  12. kabol says:

    i haven’t read the article, but was there a distinction between full-fat and non-fat dairy foods?

    i’m not a doctor nor a scientist, but i can certainly see where full-fat dairy could be problematic when trying to lose weight and/or lower cholesterol / blood pressure.

  13. MadScientist says:

    Who do the woosters give their food woo-woo groups names like “Real Food Channel” or “Food First”? Do they think it makes them look credible? I doubt they even have to try that hard; some people will believe anything (except perhaps the truth).

  14. MadScientist says:

    [OT] Any update on what;s happening with The Skeptologists, Brian?

  15. Joseph Martinez says:

    [Edited out. Please don't copy & paste an entire book. We welcome your comment if you want to post a link to a blog or something.]

    • Max says:

      Copy-pasting this much content is bad etiquette and probably violates copyright law. Next time, just post the links and excerpts please.

      “There is good evidence that up until 9,000 years ago in the Middle East 1 and 7,000 years ago in Northern Europe 2, no human being on the planet consumed non human milk or dairy products.”

      That’s still a heck of a lot longer than other products. Like 9 times longer than coffee.

      • Richard Smith says:

        That’s still a heck of a lot longer than other products. Like 9 times longer than coffee.

        Plus, specious claims in support of dairy can be made with the exact same argument:

        There is good evidence that up until 9,000 years ago in the Middle East 1 and 7,000 years ago in Northern Europe 2, no human being on the planet consumed non human milk or dairy products. The average human lifespan at the time was less than half of what it is today. QED.

  16. Vie says:

    The individuals debating the “real” nutritional value, disease curing potential, or health risks of dairy products are missing the point. It’s one of the major stumbling blocks that critical thinking and skepticism hit.
    Skeptics say “oh well that’s nonsense! I have a study that says so!”
    Quack says “Well I have another study who says otherwise, and plus a fat befuddled housewife who swears not eating cheese cured her irregularity.”
    Skeptic says “Well your scientist has no scientific credentials… irregularity is not diabetes.”
    Quack says “Organizations that give credentials are part of the conspiracy to ‘dupe’ the American public.”
    Skeptic says “But… I have studies.”
    The point is that people inclined to believe quacks are not particularly inclined to listen to scientific realities about quackery. Citing studies doesn’t appeal to them, because the quacks (who are proposing much simpler more welcoming ideas) cite studies too. Validity of the studies aren’t relevant, because if they were, quackery wouldn’t be a problem.
    The heart of the argument, the best place to attack it, is the proposed notion of a conspiracy. No one here can prove that milk can’t cure diabetes. Even doctors can be said to be agents of the ubiquitous “man”.
    It can, however, be established that conspiracies aren’t probable, practical, or reasonable. If it were clearly shown that no conspiracy could have occurred, then serious doubts about the rest of the argument could follow.

    • Richard Smith says:

      It can, however, be established that conspiracies aren’t probable, practical, or reasonable. If it were clearly shown that no conspiracy could have occurred, then serious doubts about the rest of the argument could follow.

      It can be established, but usually only to those who aren’t already invested in such theories. Otherwise, logical arguments against conspiracies will probably meet the same brick wall as those scientific realities, with the added accusations that the logical arguer is either naive, ignorant, or part of the conspiracy. Them rubber duckies just will not sink.

    • Max says:

      Well said. It’s an issue of credibility.
      It’s not enough to establish that the scientific consensus does not support the quacks’ claims. We also have to explain why it’s more credible.

  17. gr8googlymoogly says:

    Funny – looks like milk is someone’s ‘sacred cow’.

  18. Jeanette says:

    WTF?!!!!? Why did Brian completely ignore (I know, because I’m the person who forwarded the newsletter to him) the 43-minute video link that was the actual topic of this ( newsletter? The deletion means, by default, that all the resulting brouhaha -ha ha, was completely irrelevant, not to mention irreverent. Here it is: ~~

    “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.” —
    Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    • EnquiringMind says:

      Thanks for the link. Dr. Veith did one of the best lecture presentations on the impacts of consumption of dairy milk, with many citations of peer reviewed studies published in mainstream medical journals. It is called “Udderly Amazing” LINK and of a five in the series called “Life At It’s Best”

  19. Dave Porter says:

    I did read an article back in 1992 regarding the age that humans should be allowed to consume cow’s milk. The article did an excellent proof of how giving cow’s milk too soon was one probable source of diabetes in humans. This was due to the shape of one of the proteins in cow’s milk having a similar shape to insulin in developing children. The human body then starts to regard a person’s own insulin as a foreign body and starts destroying it. Since I was taking my 11 month old daughter to the doctor the next day I wanted his opinion on the subject. When I went back on line the next day to print off the article it had been removed from the website. I described the contents of the article and asked my doctor what he thought was going, on and he told me the American Dairy Council (ADC) did have some sway on when it was recommended to let kids drink milk. The article had said not to before @ 18 months and my doctor agreed with the reasoning, but told me the ADC had threatened a lawsuit against the medical community for interference in distributing a “safe” product.He had to tell people it was OK for 1 yr old’s to consume milk, even though it put some at risk of developing diabetes. And he told me doctors do not get a cut of the milk money. There may be some hidden “truths” in this matter, but like most issues, there may be other factors involved we don’t get to know about.

  20. I hear a nice dose of rat poison is a cure for stupidity.

  21. LKL says:

    A *nice* dose of rat poison (aka warfarin, aka coumadin) keeps lots of people alive these days who would otherwise be dropping dead of clots in their heart, lungs, or brain (or suffering incredible pain from clots in various other places). It’s the *overdose* of rat poison that’s the cure for stupidity, genius, and everything in between.

  22. Jeshua says:

    It seems obvious that when it comes to diet the key is BALANCE, not whether or not you should consume this food or that. Of course, it goes without saying that more “artificial” foods such as ice cream, cookies, etc. and deep-fried foods are not good for you, but an occasional Twinkie will not kill anyone. The real problem is when people eat too much meat, dairy and so-called junk food. I know many people, especially men, who proudly proclaim how much they hate fruits and vegetables. I don’t care how many studies you cite, i don’t believe that’s the basis for a healthy diet.

    On a side note, livestock production as it is usually practiced is undeniably not good for the environment. I’m a vegetarian not opposed to meat consumption, but i think the quality of meat and the methods of meat production definitely need to be improved.

  23. dtrg says:

    “..the science is overwhelming”

    I so love when these types of emails say things like that. Like websites about muscle enhancers that say things like its SCIENCE!!!!!!! lol. If it says science it must be telling the truth.

  24. GoneWithTheWind says:

    Diabetes is genetic. You get it from your parents not from your diet. However it is a disease that requires you to eat some foods in preference to others and to even eliminate some foods from your diet. This simple fact has allowed many to assume that if we just all ate a “good” diet we would never get diabetes. Well, it isn’t true. If you do not have then genetic predisposition for diabetes eating a piece of cake or drinking a soft drink isn’t going to give it to you. Also the relationship between being obese and diabetes is not what it seems. In fact it is probable that the very same predisposition to get diabetes causes you to be obese. Obesity is a genetic problem as well. Most obese people can literally starve themselves and barely be able to reduce their weight. Diets generally do not work and your body holds onto the fat because it is programmed to do so through evolution. Fat people survived famines and our human history is one of famines. Everyone should eat a good diet but don’t be fooled into thinking a bad diet causes diabetes or that a good diet “prevents” it. Although I will agree that if you have diabetes, diagnosed or not, a diabetic diet will help you put off the symptoms for awhile.

  25. Sandra Dattoli says:

    You are both wrong. The doctor is right about dairy, but not right about raw dairy–raw milk is healing and especially, raw goat milk is particularly therapeutic.

    As for the author of this piece saying the medical establishment is not in agreement. LOL! What planet have you been living on, Sir. The medical establishment only knows how to drug, poison, or cut out something in you. You must be joking if you think they have the answer to our health.

    Both of you need to get some more real facts.

  26. Laura says:

    Dr. Mcdougall has a really important message and he’s right about many things. People would have far fewer heart attacks, obesity, high blood pressure if they followed his diet. I do, pretty much. My last lipid panel was excellent!
    BUT, I agree he has a quack aspect! He posts stories about his diet helping various diseases like lupus. Playing to people who are sick and love to believe a simple thing like a diet will help them. His claims go way beyond what’s backed by research. He gives biased information, ignoring possible health problems with his diet, minimizing the risk of various vitamin deficiencies. He dismisses information that doesn’t fit his preconceptions, like need for omega-3 fats or choline or extra dietary protein perhaps sparing people from some of the loss of muscle with age.
    He’s a propagandist in a good cause.