Dairy Bovine CowCredit: Pixabay

Okay, I just have to put this out there for the record, “I Love to drink milk!” The silky-smooth creamy texture dances on my tongue. As it goes down, my eyes roll back, the ends of my lips lift upward and slightly open to let out the sound of ahhhh. Most of the time, I prefer it ice cold, occasionally over ice. Sometimes I like it at room temperature or slightly warmer just before going to bed. Oh yes milk; the nectar of the Gods!

 Meanwhile, back in the real world, proponents of the blessed juice make claims of the nutritional value and health benefits. We all know that it has protein, calcium, and vitamins, but did you know dairy products can help those who are physically active by delivering more energy to muscle areas? Did you know milk also assists those trying to lose weight? Did you know it may be used as a means of delivering antibodies for better health to some targeted groups?

Ice Cold MilkCredit: Pixabay

 Should I drink Milk and Eat Dairy Products?

  - Added Protein
Dr. Peter Lemon[1] writes that those that are physically active, may have additional protein needs. Active individuals should pursue a diet with adequate energy and high-quality protein foods such as dairy products among other types of foods. He notes that humans synthesize about 50% of amino acids that make up protein. Therefore, the quality of protein becomes more important to reach maximum value. These foods are called complete protein foods. For years, body builders have relied on complete protein foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Dr. Lemon writes, “Although it is also possible to obtain sufficient indispensable amino acids from a diet that excludes complete protein foods entirely by combining grains, vegetables and fruits, this requires some knowledge of which foods to combine.”

   - Weight Loss
J.-A. Gilbert, et al.[2] noted in their research published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2011 that certain women who consume calcium via milk experience diminished appetites. The study showed that consumption of protein and calcium from dairy products decreased the desire for larger amounts of food at the next meal. Of course, one of the problems of weight loss is that it increases the desire to eat more food.

 Other health benefits were identified by Haug, Høstmark, and Harstad[3] in their 2007 report, Bovine Milk in Human Nutrition – A Review. They note that it has many helpful nutrients and that moderate milk fat intake has no adverse health effects. Additionally, the study showed that whole moo juice slows the gastric emptying time which has possible benefits for glycaemic and appetite regulation.

   - Functional Effects in Humans
A comprehensive review of recent studies and discoveries is found in Visioli and Strat’s[4] article published in 2014 in the American Society for Nutrition, Advances in Nutrition entitled, Milk, Dairy Products, and Their Functional Effects in Humans: A Narrative Review of Recent Evidence. Visioli and Strat address it’s role in human health on a variety of topics including: Effects on body weight, diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol concentrations, cardiovascular health, cognitive function, chemoprevention, among other topics. They conclude by recapping milk and dairy products as beneficial in all stages of life, more noticeably in childhood and adolescences, but there are particular advantages later in life too. Of course, all when consumed as part of a balanced diet.

 Claims That Moo Juice is Bad for Human Consumption

On the other spectrum of the calcium-rich drink scale, proponents of soy milk and almond milk make the case that bovine juice kills. There is a lot of research that claims excessive bovine juice and dairy products are bad for human consumption because it contains saturated fatty acids that may contribute to heart diseases, weight gain and obesity.

Other reports include the notion that drinking the white goodness causes early puberty; that 10,000 years ago our ancestors did not need the creamy white liquid for strong bones and teeth (I submit that they did not have fast food either). One study suggests that “exposure” to milk prior to four months old may cause type 1 diabetes, heart disease, schizophrenia, and autism.

 I am not a medical doctor, nor a research PHD, but it seems for every report of how bad it is for a body, there are more studies that contend the vast benefits of milk and dairy consumption. My conclusion, science just does not know. My concern is that in 100 years, what studies will be published about how bad synthetically engineered imitation moo juice is for the human body?

 Largely due to negative reports over the past decade, bovine juice consumption in the United States has steadily declined. Choi[5] reports in her article, Milk Industry Fights Back Against 'Anti-Dairy Proponents', that Market researcher Euromonitor International claims sales have declined by 12 percent since 2009. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirms the decline of 33 percent in consumption. In 1970 we consumed an average of 21.8 gallons per person per year to 2012 where we consumed an average of 14.5 gallons a year.

 Bunker Hill

Society is made up of all types of people and thought influencers. For those that are lactose intolerant, milk is an enemy, understandably so. We have dairymen who make a living on the products they produce. Animal rights activist that feel cattle are miss treated, and that calcium-rich drink that everybody loves should not be harvested. And we have alternative beverage producers that compete for shelf space. Each promotes their view of the world as though it was the only right answer.

 When I was a kid we used to play a game of Bunker Hill. We would each try to climb a mound of dirt and remove (by force) the other guy standing on top, and then assume his place. We would then defend our kingship by keeping others below us. In this war of words and opinions designed to influence mankind into making the “right” decision, which by the way, the right decision puts money in the arguers pocket, it is truly hard to tell the one single best answer.

 As for me, I am ashamed to admit that I have tried the manufactured “pretend” synthetically engineered moo juice products and found that I not only disliked them, but they did not provide me with the satisfaction I get from drinking the real stuff. So in my house, we say, “Pass the bovine milk please!” I will drink to our collective good health.