Trouble with Milk?

Some people who have trouble digesting milk have lactose intolerance, a condition in which the body is deficient in lactase, the enzyme necessary to digest lactose milk sugar. When lactose isn’t broken down, it passes into the large intestine, causing gas, diarrhea, and other unpleasant symptoms. These issues can often be avoided by consuming lactose-free dairy products, or by taking a Lactaid digestive enzyme.

Dairy allergies, on the other hand, are an immune response to a protein found in dairy products, rather than an enzyme deficiency, and they are much more common. If you have an allergy to cow’s milk, eating dairy products—even if they’re lactose-free—will continue to cause health problems, including diarrhea and abdominal cramping. But symptoms aren’t limited to digestive distress. Dairy allergies can also cause skin rashes, nasal congestion, joint aches, asthma, and earaches.

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Let Go of ‘Milk for Strong Bones’

Ask the Nutritionist

by Melissa Diane Smith

Give dairy a pass and focus on lesser-known food strategies for bone health

Q: I eat and drink a lot of milk products mostly because I want to be sure I get enough calcium for healthy bones. Unfortunately, I have asthma and a lot of digestive distress, and I’ve been wondering whether dairy is part of the problem. If I find I’m reacting to dairy products and feel better not eating them, how can I get enough calcium to protect my bone health? —Janet K., Toledo, Ohio

Food Strategies for Strong BonesA: The idea that we have to consume a lot of cow’s milk for strong bones is deeply ingrained in our society, but it’s based mostly on a successful PR strategy by the dairy industry rather than scientific fact. Believe it or not, anthropologists know that people in hunter-gatherer societies who didn’t consume milk had much stronger, healthier bones than people from agrarian societies who did.

It’s true that milk is high in calcium, and 99 percent of the calcium found in the average adult body resides in our bones. But the long-held belief that we need plenty of calcium to prevent osteoporosis—a disease characterized by porous and fragile bones—isn’t as accurate as you’d think. Numerous studies have found no association between high calcium intake and lower fracture risk.

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Take Advantage of Big Discounts on ‘Going Against GMOs’ in May!

by Melissa Diane Smith, author of Going Against GMOs

May 2016 Book SpecialLimited-time specials on the book on Amazon.com on select days during March Against Monsanto month

On May 21, 2016, hundreds of thousands of concerned individuals will gather across 38 countries and 428 cities to join in an international peaceful protest against the Monsanto company as a part of the March Against Monsanto grassroots campaign. The event is a terrific vehicle for physically and vocally expressing public disgust and anger over the corporate takeover of our food by Monsanto and other chemical corporations and for raising awareness of the dangers surrounding Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds and cancer-linked herbicide Roundup.

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