Tuesday, May 04, 2010

"Dairy: 6 Reasons You Should Avoid It At All Costs" - Mark Hyman MD

This video (and accompanying article) must have gone viral because it keeps landing in my mailbox. I'm not familiar with Dr. Mark Hyman but I agree with him on at least one point: We're better off without the dairy.

I'm not sure why he says in one breath that "calcium may raise cancer risk" and in another breath "calcium supplements ... may reduce the risk of colon cancer." Why he says that "men may not want to take calcium supplements" but "supplements of calcium may be reasonable for women" although "studies of calcium supplementation have shown no benefit in reducing fracture risk."

I don't think he presents a clear picture. In my mind:
  • Dairy foods are not necessary and may be harmful.
  • Calcium supplements are not necessary and may be harmful.
It's true, neither dairy foods nor calcium supplements have been shown to reduce bone fractures. And as I've posted about here and here, a 2001 Harvard review of the body of evidence at that time on dairy intake and prostate cancer found:
"[Consumption of dairy products] is one of the most consistent dietary predictors for prostate cancer in the published literature."
Hyman didn't mention the pus. He should have mentioned the pus. Robert Cohen mentions the pus. Boy, does he. There's pus in milk. Lots of it. That alone would have me ditching the dairy.


Anonymous said...

An article about Mark Hyman, plus response and counter-response:




virginia said...

I tried not to think of pus, as the grits slid down my throat.

Pus popped into my mind as I popped off the yogurt lid.

Pus - yuck.

Bix said...

Well that was a lively exchange (Salon articles). Thank you for those links.

Dr. Hyman's overlapping roles as businessman and medical professional are problematic for me. I like some of the ideas he discusses, e.g. Systems Medicine. But his promotion of himself and his business makes me wary.

For instance... I like some of Dr. Weil's ideas. Then he started promoting himself like a brand, a Dr. Weil brand. He started selling supplements. He promotes other products. I think it's difficult to allow new information to change your ideas when your brand, your income, is based on those older ideas.

Ame said...

From what I have found pus in milk is due to cows having a udder infection called mastitis (see here and here . In all instances the mums were ill and thus passing pus to their infants via breast milk.

Now if you drink conventional milk you may have pus in it (although it is regulated - it's not something I would want to drink either).

However, if you drink milk from pasture raised cows who are not over milked - you will not have pus in the milk. Nor, will you have all the other "bonuses" from CAFO's milk like growth hormones, antibiotics, etc. See Jo Robinson's blurb about the benefits and differences between pasture raised and CAFO's.

Angela and Melinda said...

In Hyman's remarks about calcium, all I can figure is that in #4, he's referring to any food-sourced calcium (including dairy), and then in #5, he refers specifically to calcium supplements. If that's not the reason for the seeming contradiction, then he must be selling calcium supplements!

Bix said...

Calcium, especially supplements because they deliver it in concentrated form, may be harmful in high doses because it decreases the amount of active vitamin D in the body.

How that works...
When calcium levels are high relative to other minerals, the body makes less 1,25 D (the active form of vitamin D). Active vitamin D is suppressed by reduced parathyroid hormone production. Active vitamin D is suppressed because one of its jobs is to siphon calcium from bones and retain more from kidneys and absorb more from intestines (you don't want to do all that when calcium is high). Low levels of active vitamin D have been linked to prostate cancer. It's probably not a good idea, especially for men, to take supplements of calcium, especially in isolation or in high doses.