Got Milk? For Some Children, the Answer Should Be “No!”

“For some children, the possible adverse health effects of cow’s milk outweigh the benefits, despite what the dairy industry would have us believe,” asserts Stanford University pediatrician John D. Mark, MD.

In his new book, Your Sick Child, part of the Own Your Health series about combining alternative and conventional medicine, Dr. Mark refers to research showing that cow’s milk and dairy products, due to their saturated fat content, can increase inflammation in the airways and other parts of the body. “This inflammation may exacerbate asthma, ear infections, upper respiratory infections and colds,” explains Dr. Mark, an expert on the lung diseases of children. “I regularly try an elimination diet of cow’s milk, cheese and butter from my patients’ diets, and often there is a dramatic improvements in their respiratory problems.”

What about calcium and strong bones? “There are other and often more nutritional ways to get calcium, vitamins and protein, including green leafy vegetables, nuts, calcium-fortified juices, cereals, beans, sesame seeds, almonds, figs, seaweeds, and fortified soymilks,” says Dr. Mark. “We are the only species that drinks milk from another species, and the only species to drink milk at all after infancy. Many children – and adults as well – have trouble digesting cow’s milk. Many children are simply not biologically meant to drink it.”


Filed under asthma, children's health, colds and flu, ear infections, Health

5 responses to “Got Milk? For Some Children, the Answer Should Be “No!”

  1. Leon

    I cannot get away from milk because I like it in cornbread, and in my cereal. Other times I like it in my tea.


  2. I like dairy (milk & cheese) occasionally, too. But it is also good to be aware of its potential inflammatory effects on the body. Everything in moderation!


  3. D.

    Thank you for this! It’s refreshing to see information about milk that is in the interest of people’s well-being and not the dairy industry’s. It’s ridiculous that we have actually been conditioned to believe we will be unhealthy without milk, even though the opposite is true.


  4. lactatingbookworm

    I’ve just discovered my baby is dairy intolerant…i’m still breastfeeding and waiting to see the specialist. This was a very informative article. I will see my GP to see if I should try a calcium fortified soy formula in lieu of milk


  5. lactating bookworm,

    Try to find a soy milk formula with low sugar – and no high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

    Are you sure it is the milk the baby is allergic to – or something you are eating?

    All the best for you and your child!

    Alexa Fleckenstein M.D.


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