During Dairy Month, Some Facts on Milk and Lactose Intolerance

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
6/24/2010 6:42 AM   :  94 comments   :  13,040 Views

For 73 years, farming communities all over our country have recognized the dairy farmer during the month of June. Dairy month began back in 1937 when grocer organizations sponsored National Dairy Month, which became June Dairy Month in 1939. Fluid milk is used to manufacture cheese, yogurt, butter and ice cream as well as dry or condensed milk and whey products and powders.

There are about 60,000 dairy farms in the United States with 99 percent of them being family owned and operated or producer cooperative farms. According to the American Dairy Association, dairy is the number one agricultural business in nine states across our Nation. As demand for fluid milk continues to grow slowly, there may be a new reason to try dairy in celebration of Dairy Month.

I have previously shared that the members of my family are big milk drinkers and that there are a variety of reasons why milk plays an important role in a healthy diet. Some people select non-dairy plant-based options from rice or soy because of dairy intolerance issues. A recent study suggests that totally avoiding dairy may be unnecessary for everyone. The enzyme lactase in the gut breaks down the milk sugar known as lactose. When there isn't enough enzyme for the level of lactose ingested, bacteria in the gut feed on the milk sugar that remains which produces gas. This results in abdominal distention and increased flatulence to release the gas and for some people these symptoms cause undesirable responses and discomfort. The study questions if other factors could be involved for some people. Abdominal discomfort could be related to mysterious gastrointestinal issues such as irritable bowel syndrome or from simple over consumption for the enzyme available. When people experience gastrointestinal discomforts after consuming milk, they are quick to figure lactose intolerance is the problem and that totally eliminating milk is necessary. Instead of completely avoiding milk and dairy because of a few unpleasant episodes, it may be possible to evaluate if smaller portion sizes are tolerated which will provide much needed nutrients while limiting discomfort and negative body responses. One nutritional scientist from Purdue University suggests drinking a quarter cup serving of milk as a starting point to see how your body handles it and moving up from there while avoiding consumption of more than one cup at any one time. She found this practice allowed many people to find the right serving size that their body can tolerate.

I have family members that have lactose intolerance and experience almost immediate diarrhea after drinking and digesting milk. They use Lactaid products to help them meet their milk needs. I have another friend that found on her own that smaller serving sizes didn't cause abdominal discomfort and she only had trouble when she drank a large glass of milk at one time. The new Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 considers fat free or low-fat fluid milk and milk products a necessary nutrient-dense food choice in a healthy diet. Their evidence-based research found that our diets typically only provide 75 percent of the calcium and 42 percent of the vitamin D we need in 52 percent of the recommended milk intake and support the inclusion of milk for people of all ages. Since dairy is the number one source for the key nutrients calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin D in the American diet, perhaps June is the time to give a small serving of milk another try.

If you have trouble tolerating milk, at what age did you notice the problem? Have you ever considered or tried small serving sizes as an option?


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Comments

  • 94
    I am lactose intolerant, something I discovered about 10 years ago. Through my own research and trial and error, I learned a few things.
    1) Hard cheeses don't contain lactose. Soft cheeses usually do. Goat's milk and sheep's milk cheeses are very good.
    2) For me, cultured milk products such as yogurt and kefir help replace the missing enzyme, allowing me small amounts of regular dairy.
    3) For me, it makes a difference whether the dairy is consumed on a full or empty stomach.
    4) Whenever I can, I go for organic or BGH-free milk. Reducing BGH helps a lot with menstrual cramps and other female troubles. I don't know how much effect it has on lactose intolerance, but I wouldn't be surprised to find a connection. Besides, I just really don't want to put into my body a substance that is intended to help cows gain weight. - 4/23/2012   11:08:38 AM
  • BAKER287
    93
    I used to think lactose intolerance was in my husband's head. About 25 years ago, without thinking I used yogurt in cole slaw dressing. He suffered terrible agony. He has been dairy free except the occasional piece of cheddar cheese for all these years.

    Broccoli, onions and spinach are high in calcium. Bananas and oranges, almonds, soybeans, chickpeas and lets not forget ginger.

    It is possible to buy almond and soy milk. It wasn't years ago. But it was possible to eat his calcium, potassium and spend more time outside (for vitamin D)

    I love dairy. I eat and drink lots. I also drink soy and almond milk. Either way, it is what is good for your body. - 4/15/2012   7:36:47 AM
  • 92
    When I left Michigan 17 years ago, I had issues with dairy, especially sour cream. It took me 3 or 4 years to realize I didn't have an issue in California. I was eating pizza, sour cream dips and having milk/cream in lattes and over cereal. But every time I'd go back to visit family in Michigan. Pain, discomfort, and gas.
    Unexplained, but its every year. For 17 years. Same thing.
    So I now eat sour cream, cottage cheese, ANY cheese, and milk in California anytime I want. And I still have problems when I go back to Michigan, so I try to limit my intake there.
    - 4/15/2012   1:57:16 AM
  • 91
    I used to drink fluid cow's milk on a regular basis, but it leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. I would frequently add vanilla to heated milk or chocolate powder to mask the taste. There is a wide variety of foods with calcium such as yogurt and cheese as alternative and with vegetable and nut sources. My blood calcuim levels have remained consitent in spite of my cutback of drinking dairy milk. - 4/14/2012   5:45:29 PM
  • 90
    I love milk. Always have since I was a kid. But I started noticing a connection between my migraines and drinking milk. I would drink a glass. Just milk and not more than a few mins later my head would be screaming. Bad. After awhile. I would notice how after I ate cereal my stomach would just feel blah. So I started lessening my milk intake. And literally not drinking milk "straight" so to speak. My tummy got better. Headaches went away. It's a trigger food for me. Now I drink nonfat milk but add it to something-so I can get my milk. It's hard cutting out or limiting dairy but I feel I have to in order to avoid some food issues. - 4/14/2012   1:19:19 PM
  • 89
    There's a lot of research that shows MORE calcium deficiencies in ppl who drink more cow's milk than in ppl who don't. I HATE it that Spark pushes milk when the main ones saying it's healthy are the ones SELLING it! - 7/26/2010   10:45:08 AM
  • 88
    I noticed a little trouble at 12-13, but my real troubles started at 18. I love dairy and have a hard time avoiding it, so I "dealt" with my problem as best I could. Pills didn't help, serving size didn't help; I could eat a yogurt a day for about two weeks then it would suddenly start making me sick. I generally couldn't make heads or tails of it!

    However, working out regularly and changing my diet about two months ago has actually improved my ability to properly digest dairy products without the gross side effects. I highly doubt workouts increases the enzymes needed... I just can't explain it!

    I do agree that SP should have a dairy-free meal plan option. When I joined SP, I was deep in my no-dairy commitment due to the pain and discomfort. Also, I recommend to a lot of readers to take the suggestions and blogs at face value and not be so offended by content. A blog regarding Dairy Month most likely will not be discussing vegan options. Look next time for the 'Life Without Dairy' blog. - 7/6/2010   1:31:50 PM
  • 87
    My lactose intolerance seems to go in cycles. Right now I can drink fluid milk for only a couple of days before I get symptoms; yogurt and cheese aren't problems. In the past I've had problems with all dairy products. At that point I stay off of dairy for a couple of weeks, then slowly add it back in. This has been going on for more than 20 years now. The Lactaid products help, but they are expensive and unavailable when I'm on vacation or traveling. - 6/30/2010   12:28:51 PM
  • 86
    This article reads like a free advertisement for the dairy industry. Lactose intolerance exists on a continuum, and I don't think it's fair for the author to encourage people who experience such high levels of discomfort to keep consuming the thing that makes them sick. I am at the lower end of this tolerance spectrum. I barely have the milk in my mouth before I start cramping.

    Please don't tell me that this is all in my head when it's something I've experienced since I was a kid, before I had ever heard the term "lactose intolerance." I have found ways around my discomfort to ensure that I'm getting the calcium I need -- vegetables, supplements, and yogurt with live cultures are all viable options for me. Continuing to drink cow's milk is not the answer for everyone who has this apparently imaginary problem. - 6/29/2010   9:59:01 AM
  • 85
    I have a few problems with dairy products. I can tolerant a little milk on cereal but if I try to drink a whole glass of milk then I will end up with a major problems with gas and diarrhea. As far as yogurt, cheese, and ice cream they don't normally bother me. - 6/29/2010   1:11:56 AM
  • 84
    Liquid milk = "ick" for me. Never touch the stuff, pasteurized it is unfit for human consumption. I do confess to eating yogurt and whey protein powder though. My trouble is dairy FAT - it took me 30 years to figure that out - my body rejects dairy fat and will try to get rid of it as quickly as possible - along with anything else I have eaten with it. Not a pretty sight. I'm surprised this is so little mentioned. - 6/28/2010   11:02:30 PM
  • 83
    I think you should do what is right for your body. I know that my weight loss is increased when I have dairy. I am a person that certain dairy products react with my system. I can drink milk with my coffee or cereal, but it has to be in small portions at a time. Or on a flip basis, milk one day yogurt and cheese the next. Milk and yogurt on the same day and I have issues. I listen to my body and go with it.

    Dairy protein is a big part of what your body needs and it affects my weight loss. I think you need to know what goes on with your system and do what is working for your body. If soy makes you happy, then take the soy route. - 6/28/2010   7:00:05 AM
  • 82
    OMG, SERIOUSLY???? ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?????

    "Perceived lactose intolerance" sheesh, woman, live in my body or near me when I consume dairy and you'll know how "perceived" it is. There have been MANY studies done with people in cultures that do not use dairy and they can't digest it well ... it's not part of their ancestry. It's not "perceived" at all ... and no one should have to spend $3.00 a day on pills (which is a relatively new thing to even have the Lactaid pills) just to have a glass of milk.


    There are also numerous studies about people who don't consume dairy at all and have all the strong muscles, bones, the health and longevity, from eating other calcium-rich foods like broccoli, vegetables, etc. and do weight bearing exercises.


    You've bought into the dairy industry lobbying, which is full of misinformation so that people think they have to consume cows and cow products.

    This is the same industry that doesn't talk about how inhumanely they treat their animals, how poorly they are fed, all the crap they inject into them ...


    Get your facts straight!!!!

    - 6/27/2010   12:25:27 PM
  • 81
    I don't really drink cow's milk anymore. I prefer soy, rice and almond "milk." I had an intolerance to lactose as a kid so I never really drank milk growing up. Every once in a while I'll buy some from the farmer's market for baking. I'm surprised that demand for milk is "growing" as the article says since I thought the trend was towards soy and other milks. - 6/27/2010   10:00:51 AM
  • 80
    Why is Spark People so intent on making sure we all drink milk?

    There are many studies that show it is not needed and bad for you. Yet, SP has such a pro-milk stance they have now published a blog that tells people who experience GI problems after ingesting milk to consume smaller amounts instead of giving milk up.

    The vegans on SP have asked many times for a dairy free option on the meal planner. They always point out that many non-vegans who are lactose intolerant could also benefit from dairy free meal plans. The request has always been denied. The reason given is that SP's meal plans aren't very good anyway.

    I can't help but wonder if this blog is intended to take away the argument that lactose intolerant people could benefit from a dairy free option on the meal planner. - 6/27/2010   9:07:47 AM
  • 79
    The degree to which entries published on the Daily Spark push drinking milk is beginning to give me a nagging suspicion that there's an issue with sponsorship here that isn't being disclosed or some other relationship with the dairy industry without full disclosure.

    Otherwise, I can't see any good reason that so much time and space would be spent on pitching this one particular food compared to so many other foods that have at least as much, if not far far more, science-based evidence that they contribute a lot to a healthy diet. - 6/27/2010   1:27:53 AM
  • 78
    Oh! I couldn't RESIST a comment. If you are talking about store bought, pasteurized milk, then you are talking about a DEAD food anyhow. It has been boiled thaen refurbished with vitamins. It has to be pasteurized to kill the bacteria, puss and feces that fall into the milk from the dirty conditions that cows usually live in.
    Raw, fresh milk, on the other hand, is living, clean and fresh. But, I also feel that there are MANY other ways to get those nutrients (ie calcium) into your diet. - 6/27/2010   1:07:53 AM
  • 77
    Wow. I did NOT expect a blog about milk to be quite so controversial. Personally, I don't drink milk, as I always get a nauseous, heavy feeling after drinking it. But I am totally fine with other dairy products - I can eat large amounts, even, without any problems. In the end, I do what works for my body as should we all.

    As a scientist by training, I am more offended by some of the comments posted to this blog than the blog itself. I understand that some research studies are funded by companies with an agenda and that the results may be suspect. And this is something that I vehemently disagree with. But I find it offensive to automatically jump to that conclusion just because you don't agree with its findings. Another poster is right - would you jump to this conclusion if you agreed with a study's findings? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is plenty of scientific research funded by organizations trying to debunk previous findings or popular beliefs or to support new ideas - and the data generated by those studies may be equally suspect.

    I also find it offensive that so many posters have jumped all over Tanya in such an unkind way. She did not say that all of you who are legitimately lactose intolerant have it all in your head. She was simply offering the findings of a scientific study (right or not) with that regard. Sure, some of the additional information could be more complete or better researched. But can't posters simply say that or provide the missing information without being so unkind about it?

    I'm not saying I know the true answer here. I don't. But it would be nice to have respectful debate from all the posters. - 6/27/2010   12:29:27 AM
  • 76
    I don't drink not because I am lactose intolerant but because milk is garbage, it is food for baby cow not people,. A plant based diet is more healthy. so don't make others something they are not and quit judging the eating habits of others - 6/27/2010   12:27:16 AM
  • 75
    Well drink milk or don't drink milk. But don't tell me that your going to be unhealthy because you don't drink milk and dairy is not the only food that has calcium in it. All fruits and veggies have all the Nutrients you need you just have to eat them.

    There are many people who are lactose intolerent to milk, And your saying that they are just "perceived" intolerance . Being sick to your stomach, time in the bathroom and can't move after you drink milk is very real deal that you can't just igonre.

    So drink your milk if you want to but don't say its unhealthy if you don't drink it and stop acting like no one is intolerance to milk. - 6/26/2010   9:48:36 PM
  • 74
    One of our three offspring is extremely lactose intolerant. He loves milk and drinks sweet acidophilous milk which is getting harder and harder to find. Before he eats any cheese or ice cream he always takes the Dairy Digestive aids. - 6/26/2010   9:02:52 PM
  • 73
    Interesting timing! Just last night I was absolutely miserable because of a dairy product I ate. It is not my imagination, but I have found I usually can tolerate dairy products on a full stomach, but NEVER on an empty stomach!
    - 6/26/2010   9:00:45 PM
  • 72
    I don't like animal milks and see no need to consume them. I am just fine with my soy milk (or other plant "milks" on occasion). I don't need the cholesterol and I don't like the use of animals for human consumption. - 6/26/2010   6:38:54 PM
  • 71
    Based on this article, I am one of the few people who really is lactose intolerant - all my life. I like icecream and cheese, but after the problems I sustained, I for one am glad to see alternative sources. I don't knock others for what they do, and I appreciate the same. - 6/26/2010   5:04:45 PM
  • 70
    My youngest daughter (now age 38) was allergic to milk with the first bottle of milk she had as a newborn (instant diarrhea) and had to have soy milk. Milk was avoided for her but as a small child we learned she could eat cheese with no problems and later on yougrt and other diary products as long as she didn't overindulge. She doesn't drink whole milk now by choice.

    Drinking whole milk tends to bloat me but I can drink skim and 2% milk with no problems.

    I - 6/26/2010   2:37:51 PM
  • 69
    My daughter who is 9 now, was diagnosed with milk intolerance 2 years ago. For the longest time before her diagnosis we would have bouts of tummy and digestive troubles that kept her home from school. She would be in so much pain, that sometimes in her sleep, she would be crying and holding her tummy! It started out as a small thing that gradualy grew in size.

    Finally the doctor suggested cutting dairy from her life and see what happens. Within two weeks we had no problems. For my daughter this was hard. She would cry when she couldn't have the things that everyone else was eating. We tried all of the alternatives to ice cream, cheese, etc. Some she loved, most she hated.

    I kept up my research on the subject and was intigued by something I read over and over again: that some people can tolerate small amounts of dairy products and will be just fine.

    I am happy to say we gave it a try. She can now have some cheese each day, yogurt with certain exceptions, and the occasional hot chocolate from Staerbucks (she hates it with soy milk). The only thing we have not tried yet is drinking milk or ice cream. We have some of those great alternatives to those that she loves, so we'll stick with those for the time being.

    I am hoping over time that by adding small amounts that she can tolerate, will lead her to being able to consume more over the years.

    People should listen to their bodies in all things. Don't doubt yourself or let others tell you what to do. Your beliefs and my beliefs may not be the same. You, nor I, were put on this planet to judge others. Tolerance and respect for other people's personal choices will make this world a lot better of a place. - 6/26/2010   11:51:00 AM
  • 68
    I grew up drinking milk, no soda in our house unless it was a holiday , however i never liked milk, so after i grew up and left home i stopped drinking it. And now yes it gives me a stomach ache when i do so i don't. I think i will try this method and try a small glass and see what happens. - 6/26/2010   11:46:04 AM
  • 67
    This was recently raised up in one of my teams. I shared that I do not have lactose intolerance, as I have a sensitivity to the protein found in milk. There is a difference. I got this from Wikepedia: Milk allergy is a food allergy, an adverse immune reaction to a food protein that is normally harmless to the non-allergic individual. Lactose intolerance is a non-allergic food sensitivity, and comes from a lack of production of the enzyme lactase, required to digest the predominant sugar in milk. Adverse effects of lactose intolerance occur at much higher milk consumption than adverse effects of milk allergy. Lactose intolerance is considered the normal state for most adults on a worldwide scale and is not typically considered to be a disease condition.

    The thing is milk allergy rarely is talked about and lactose intolerance is always discussed. I hope that by sharing this people will be more aware that not all issues are lactose intolerance. Milk and milk products do not always so "a body good." - 6/26/2010   12:53:02 AM
  • 66
    I'm sure that some lactose intolerance issues are perceived. However, I have a serious dairy allergy that was discovered a couple days after I was born. My esophagus closed up and I was hospitalized with an asthma attack. 27 years later, I still suffer from that type of reaction if I have dairy products and have to be very careful. I've tried Lactaid and similar products, but they don't help, and I think the reason why is that an allergy to dairy products and lactose intolerance are two different things. - 6/25/2010   11:39:28 PM
  • 65
    I realized that I was lactose intolerant when I was in my 40's. I'm now 62 years old. I am not found w/c Lactaid pills when I am out to eat, travelling, etc. I keep them in the house , too, of course. With them, I can digest dairy products well. My first encounter with the symptoms was almost unbearable and I do not wish to experience that feeling again: therefore,I do not ingest dairy without a Lactaid pill or a similar generic brand. - 6/25/2010   10:36:10 PM
  • 64
    It bothers me when people use the argument that we shouldn't drink cow's milk because no other animal drinks the milk from another species or after infancy. There is also no other animal that uses electricity, drives a car, cooks its food, farms its food (at least on a large scale), sends their offspring to college, or wears clothing because of a social stigma. Guess we should live in the dark, walk everywhere, eat raw food that we hunt and gather, forget education and go naked. Just because another animal does it doesn't mean we should, and vice versa.

    If you don't want to drink milk, fine. I'm going to continue to drink mine as long as my body will let me. And as one poster pointed out, it's true that it is because of a genetic mutation that most of us are able to digest lactose after childhood. Maybe it's because humans have adapted to a world where dairy is regularly consumed. Which also explains why some ethnic groups have higher rates of lactose intolerance. It is also true that lactase production decreases as we age, which is why you may develop lactose intolerance later in life.

    For those of you still reading my comments, I say kudos to Tanya. She is trying to help people who enjoy dairy but are avoiding it because they believe they have lactose intolerance. If you're like my mother, there's no question - even just one bite of ice cream without taking her Lactaid pills sends her to the bathroom. But if it's not that way for you, give the small portions a try. Stop being offended that Tanya has suggested that it may be possible that you do in fact produce lactase, just not enough to handle a lot of milk at once. She's not trying to say that it's all just in your head. And for those of you who are anti-dairy, why do you even bother reading blogs like this? If you're going to question the funding of every scientific study that disagrees with your beliefs, I hope you're doing the same for the studies that say what you want to hear too, because everybody has an agenda. Ok I'm done with my rant now. - 6/25/2010   9:43:48 PM
  • 63
    I learned in my Anthropology course that humans are genetically designed to develop an intolerance to milk after the age of 4, when most children are done breast feeding. The people living in Europe had dairy cows and began incorporating dairy into their diets, causing their digestion systems to adapt to digesting more dairy products. So people who can drink milk without problems are people who have DEVELOPED a tolerance to milk, not the other way around. That is why people of African American descent, Asians, Indians, and the like commonly have lactose intolerance, and why Caucasians are more commonly able to consume dairy. So if you can't handle milk, please don't feel bad! - 6/25/2010   8:53:13 PM
  • 62
    When are people going to begin to understand that cow's milk is designed for baby cows. No other species on the planet consumes the mammary secretions of another animal nor does any other species consume its mother's milk beyond infancy.

    There is no need to consume the excessive protein, saturated animal fat, and cholesterol that milk products contain, especially when so many delicious and more healthful alternatives are available. There are very tasty milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir, cream, sour cream, and ice cream alternatives made from rice, soy, hemp, taro root, oats, almonds, and my favorite—coconut milk. So whether you're lactose intolerant, allergic to dairy, or just want to reduce your risk of getting so many of the life-damaging diseases associated with dairy consumption, "Dairy Month" is a great time to start exploring some of those alternatives. - 6/25/2010   7:07:36 PM
  • LIVINGONMYTERMS
    61
    I like my milk, I will continue to drink my milk. . However I do highly agree with Cellosong. I did not know that babies could be born lactose intolerant until my nephew had a child -like 3 weeks ago. In my opinion if it doesn't come from an animal source then it is not milk! Soy, Almond, and rice do not contain lactose (milk sugar) and therefore should not be included or even in the same catagory as milk. But they are great alternatives for those who are lactose intolerant or chose not to consume dairy or meat products, and I agree that is a good thing to ensure good nutrition - 6/25/2010   3:30:27 PM
  • 60
    It would have been nice of this article to mention that lactase production after infancy is actually a genetic defect, because it shouldn't be necessary to metabolize milk after infancy. No other mammals consume milk, there are plenty of plant-based sources of calcium and protein, and research is showing that vitamin D is actually more important to bone health than calcium. Like fast food, just because we CAN consume diary doesn't mean we SHOULD. - 6/25/2010   2:56:38 PM
  • 59
    I think the bottom line of it is that cow milk is great nutriotion....for baby cows. Cow milk isn't really that great for humans, especially when you consider all of the hormones and antibiotics that you're ingesting when you drink milk from a commercial dairy farm.

    Human milk is great nutrition for baby humans, and is actually quite necessary for developing a competent immune system because of the colostrum a baby will receive in his/her milk during the early weeks of life. The other nutrients you get from milk can be ingested in much safer ways thatn drinking milk that's produced to feed young babies of an entirely different species. - 6/25/2010   1:57:26 PM
  • 58
    I have to say that I am a bit disappointed in this blog entry, although at the end it talks about some people who are lactose intolerant as a whole I felt a bit insulted by the conclusions drawn. As someone who is seriously intolerant I have to fight against people in my own family who think that I am being fussy. I really am not. And I don't experience just a little bit of discomfort. I have to spend the rest of the day in the bathroom if I eat just a little bit of non-lactose-free dairy and I feel shaky and weak for another 24 hours. It impacts on my ability to eat out, have you ANY idea of the type of products that contain lactose? I suggest you look at the labels next time you go to the store!

    I was formally diagnosed in my early teens after missing LOADS of schooldays but looking back at my medical history and my eating even as a toddler my mum thinks I've been lactose intolerant my whole life only it went undiagnosed.

    I do eat lactose free products, products that have exploded onto the market in the last 5 years, and I am thankful because I LOVE dairy and hate the soy products. - 6/25/2010   1:37:52 PM
  • DENI_ZEN
    57
    No, no milk intolerance of any kind here. - 6/25/2010   1:06:20 PM
  • 56
    Wow, people have really strong opinions on this topic!

    I have to agree with those who say they are disappointed in this article. The study seems to have been done through a Barcelona (Spain) hospital. It still makes me wonder who funded that study. Whether or not IBS might sometimes be misdiagnosed as lactose intolerance, I think it's inappropriate for the media (the link to the article in Tanya's blog) to report that people - who consider themselves to be lactose intolerant - should try to add dairy back into their diets! And how insulting to state that those who suffer from intolerance are only PERCEIVING that they are intolerant? C'mon...

    For the record, I drink milk and eat most dairy (though I don't care for yogurt). But my oldest daughter discovered (on her own, when she was about 12) that she is somewhat lactose intolerant. She has never liked cheese (though she used to eat pizza), and she drinks only soy milk. She will occasionally indulge in a small scoop of ice cream, but usually pays for it the next day with gas, cramps, and diahrea. She does eat yogurt (no more than 1 cup per day), which seems to have no effect on her.

    It would not surprise me that people have different tolerance levels to dairy products. After all, there are different levels of tolerance to nut allergies. And, though not everyone is allergic to bee stings, there are some people who whom it is certain death without an epipen. 'Nuff said. - 6/25/2010   12:46:22 PM
  • 55
    I'm sure that there are people who have mistakenly diagnosed themselves as lactose intolerant, but the author seems to take the bias in the other direction. I can get the same nutrition from other foods without having the problems that milk gave me or going to a lot of trouble to reintroduce milk to my diet (and probably have it go bad in my fridge during the process). I'm lucky that I can eat some cheese and eat most yogurt. My brother is not so lucky - some soy yogurts are made with small quantities of cow's milk and even that amount will make him sick immediately. Its great that your whole family likes milk and can drink it and eat milk products, but many of us have made other equally valid choices. - 6/25/2010   12:12:51 PM
  • 54
    I don't like the taste of milk, and in fact, the only milk I drink is the nonfat version in my Starbucks drinks. LOL..

    But this article made me think of something else. I've been slowly trying to convince my husband that it is the PORTION SIZES that are causing him intestinal distress (in almost everything that he eats). When you think about it, a natural reaction might be, "Um, DUH!" ;)

    It's amazing how out of touch I grew to be with appropriate portion sizes. I was baffled about the 6 oz orange juice at restaurants. When at home I'd make an "orange juice float" with ice cream and orange juice in a 32 oz "cup". Sheesh. - 6/25/2010   11:43:02 AM
  • 53
    I avoided milk for many years because my tummy could not tolerate the affects. I could eat cheese though. A couple years ago a friend suggested 2% and I now have it everyday with my Cheerios. Occasionally I will try silk or almond milk but prefer the taste of 2%. - 6/25/2010   11:41:08 AM
  • 52
    I don't drink milk, not because I'm intolerant, I have just never liked the taste of it; it gags me! However, I don't have any problem using it as a recipe ingredient. I get my calcium from other sources, such as cheese and yogurt, and because I have osteopenia from cancer treatment, I take a calcium supplement and D3 on the advice of my oncologist. - 6/25/2010   11:37:08 AM
  • 51
    When growing up, I had horrible stomach aches that my adoptive parents didn't understand or accept. In my 20s, a doctor told me to try eliminating dairy products, and having my parents' hard-headed attitude, didn't listen until one day I drank a quart of milk and it immediately went straight through me. I was a huge consumer of dairy and loved cheese. After child-bearing, I had constant respiratory issues amongst other things. An allergist told me to use lactose free items but the Asthmatic Bronchitis persisted. Then he stated I had a dairy allergy. As time goes on, my symptoms get worse, so now when consuming ANY dairy, first symptom is migraine, and then my tried-and-true Asthmatic Bronchitis sends me to After Hours for a nebulizer if my own inhaler doesn't work. I am now 53 and do very well with all dairy substitutes. Any dairy not only causes the above symptoms but small amounts cause gas and even bowel intolerance. No dairy here, thanks. - 6/25/2010   11:32:57 AM
  • 50
    About 10 years ago my ears started plugging really bad. My grandma told me that it was probably due to milk. I completely cut all milk and milk products from my diet and the ear plugging stopped. I started reintroducing it back and until now, I have been fine. Just the last couple months, I have been noticing that my ears are plugging up regularly again... and I RARELY EVER drink milk. Maybe once a week I will have some chocolate milk as a recovery drink from a hard workout, or a little on my oatmeal, maybe once a week. I'm thinking I will have to go back to soy again! Someone else told me the plugging could be due to allergies!? ...not sure, but I know if I cut milk, the plugging stops! - 6/25/2010   11:24:06 AM
  • PJAKOPO1
    49
    I don't feel that the author of this blog has done sufficient research on lactose intolerance. Until the age of 25, I was a HUGE consumer of dairy products, but suddenly started getting so sick that I would call in sick to work and went to the doctor. After talking to a G.I. specialist, a dietitian AND having a colonoscopy and several other tests done, I was told that I was lactose intolerant, plain and simple. There is nothing perceived about it. The dietitian gave me a strict plan to follow, and told me that some people are able to use Lactaid pills and reintroduce small amounts of dairy into their diet, but this has not been the case with me. Even having small amounts of dairy cooked into my foods will give me horrible cramps and the doctors have told me to avoid dairy altogether unless I want to suffer through it every time I eat. The dietitian gave me LOTs of suggestions for alternative ways to get the necessary nutrients that might be lacking in my diet from not ingesting dairy, but there is no way the author of this blog has done adequate scientific research about lactose intolerance, its causes, differing levels of severity, or how best to treat it. - 6/25/2010   11:06:03 AM
  • 48
    Oh boy, do I seriously disagree with this blog. Particularly the last part at the end with MILK being the the number one source of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. For Calcium - Yogurt (yes I realize is dairy but different than milk as you wrote), followed by sardines, sesame seeds and goat's milk precede cow's milk on the amount of calcium list. Milk doesn't even make the list as high in potassium - swiss chard followed by a whole bunch of vegetables and beans tops that list. Phosphorus I'm not sure about, but for sure the best source for vitamin D is THE SUN, followed by salmon, sardines and shrimp THEN cow's milk. So the campaign to make milk this ultra healthy food that you can't live without continues. I used to drink way too much milk. Now I even drink one glass and I immediately puff up. Dairy creates mucus in the body. It's processed just like any other "milk" and all the nutrients it so "conveniently" provides are all available in fruits and veggies which are way healthier and don't have a high fat content, naturally. Sorry, but this blog is disappointing in the facts it offers. And does it make sense to pop a pill in order to eat something that you know your body doesn't like and rejects??? Not to me. And interesting story to me would be the lives of the 99% of these family owned dairy farms and how they make ends meet and get the milk to the table. - 6/25/2010   10:29:38 AM
  • 47
    just a point on the calves being taken away from the dairy cows. They are still fed milk. They just do not get it straight from the cow to avoid the calf introducing bacteria to the udders (which is important for those drinking raw milk). And while I do not deny that there are people out there that just dont care, but generally speaking, a happy cow gives more and better quality milk so it is counterproductive to abuse the animals. - 6/25/2010   10:05:44 AM
  • 46
    Dairy cows have been bred through the years so that now they produce way more milk than the calf needs. Drinking milk does not harm the animals in any way. - 6/25/2010   9:51:14 AM
  • 45
    I agree with SELSTER13. Do people realize what happens when milk is flash heated to 1000 Fahrenheit? It may kill the so called bacteria but also anything living in the milk. Couldn't that be a reason that so many people are lactose intolerant? I will continue to drink milk but not much unless it's raw milk. The jury is still out for me regarding the baby calf thing. There are studies related to human milk consumption that make milk something that does a body good. The cow is an ancient domesticated animal for good reason. Our modern practices of pasteurization may need a critical look. - 6/25/2010   9:21:55 AM

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