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Episode 473
The Doctor's Farmacy

Why You Should Stop Eating Most Dairy

Open the Podcasts app and search for The Doctor’s Farmacy. If you’re viewing this site on your phone, you can just tap on the

Tap the subscribe button and new shows will be added to your library.

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We’ve been told over and over again that dairy is a great source of calcium; that milk makes healthy bones and we should drink it daily. I’m here to tell you that this is not true. Cow’s milk from conventionally raised cattle contains dozens of reproductive hormones, allergenic proteins, antibiotics, chemicals, inflammatory compounds, and growth factors, some of which are known to promote cancer. While humans are the only species that continue to drink milk after weaning, we have no biological requirement for this food. Moreover, the milk we drink today is not what our grandparents drank.

In this episode of my new Masterclass series, I am interviewed by my good friend and podcast host, Dhru Purohit, about why we should avoid almost all dairy. We also discuss some of the popular myths about dairy, the types of dairy that are okay to eat, and much more.

This episode is brought to you by Rupa Health and Paleovalley.

Rupa Health is a place for Functional Medicine practitioners to access more than 2,000 specialty lab tests from over 20 labs like DUTCH, Vibrant America, Genova, Great Plains, and more. Check out a free live demo with a Q&A or create an account here.

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I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD

Guest

 
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

 
Dhru Purohit

Dhru Purohit is a podcast host, serial entrepreneur, and investor in the health and wellness industry. His podcast, Dhru Purohit Podcast, is a top 50 global health podcast with over 30+ million unique downloads. His interviews focus on the inner workings of the brain and the body and feature the brightest minds in wellness, medicine, and mindset.

Transcript Note: Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Speaker 3:
Coming up on this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Bottom line, make sure you immediately quit all industrial dairy. And if you want any dairy, sheep and goat pasture raised is okay, try it out. See how you feel.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Hey everybody. It’s doctor Mark and welcome to a new series on The Doctor’s Farmacy called Masterclass, where we dive deep into popular health topics, including inflammation, autoimmune disease, brain health, sleep, food, and so much more. And today I’m joined by my guest host, my good friend, my business partner, and host of the Dhru Purohit Podcast, Dhru Purohit himself. And we are going to be talking about the truth about dairy. Is dairy and milk nature’s perfect food? Well, you’re going to find out and you’re going to find out why we should avoid almost all dairy all the time. Welcome Dhru.

Dhru Purohit:
Mark, pleasure to be here. Let’s jump right in. What are the top three reasons why you say that we should avoid most dairy and most has an asterisk. We’re going to come back to that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Exactly. We’re going to go come back to most. It’s pretty simple, Dhru, industrial dairy, modern dairy from modern cows raised in factory farms, we call CAFOs is bad for human health, is bad for the animals and is terrible for the environment and climate. So basically it’s not an interest perfect food, unless you are a calf. And then it’s okay.

Dhru Purohit:
So, okay. What do you mean by industrial dairy? A lot of people wouldn’t know what that means. They buy the milk from the grocery store and there’s these beautiful pastures and these cows that are out in the wild. So what is industrial dairy and why more importantly is it so bad for us?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Okay, so I’m going to take you all the way all back. So historically humans just never drank milk. I mean, were you going to milk a saber toothed tiger or a buffalo? Probably not. Right. So we just never consumed it until the advent of modern agriculture. And we’re the only species period that consume milk after weaning. So what we eat now as milk is quite different. And what we drink is quite different than the dairy, even 100 years ago or 500 years ago, because that was all from weird heirloom looking cows, which had a very different form of casein, which wasn’t inflammatory called AQ casein. It wasn’t fed antibiotics. It wasn’t grown in CAFOs or confined animal feeding operations under horrible conditions and fed all kinds of horrible things, including ground up animal parts, skittles, and corn, and all things that are not as natural diet and they give them antibiotics, which gets in the milk.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And they give them growth factors, literally growth hormones to stimulate the production of milk estrogens and so forth like DES, which is actually banned in humans because it caused all kinds of cervical cancer and fetal abnormalities and women who took it, it was supposed to be sort of helping prevent miscarriages but it didn’t do that. They still give that to cows. So when you’re also having convention like even organic milk, they’re often milking them when they’re pregnant. So you get all this flood of hormones, you get inflammatory casein, you get animals that are living in horrible conditions, fed all kinds of weird stuff. And so basically it’s not the dairy it used to be. So while maybe you could tolerate dairy if you’re having it from some heirloom cow raised on grass and not fed all this weird stuff and antibiotics and hormones might be okay. And I think we kind of have to kick a big broad look at the whole history of dairy production and see how much it’s changed in the last 50 years and how dangerous that is for us, for the animals in the planet.

Dhru Purohit:
So you’ve talked about how our dairy has changed, but how does the dairy that is not grown in these great conditions and not produced in these great conditions, what impact and what mechanisms does it hijack in our body to create the whole list of the things that you mentioned in the opening?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So first I want to say, look, this is not my opinion. There’s a recent paper that was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the most prestigious medical journal in the world by doctors David Ludwig and Walter Willett, two of the most renowned and nutrition scientist at Harvard. And it was called Milk and Health. And in that they looked at over 100 studies on dairy and they basically blew apart all the myths that we’ve held so dearly to, all the myths that have been actually promulgated by the Dairy Council and the dairy industry and our own government. Remember those got milk ads, right? Got milks, is going to bill of strong bones. It’s going to do all these wonderful things to your body. And it was propaganda. In fact, the federal trade commissioner or the FCC, I think the Federal Communications Commission outlawed those ads because they were like, “Got proof?” And they were like, “No, there’s no proof.” In fact, the opposite is true.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so all the things we believe that it’s important for building strong bones and growing tall and strong, well may help you grow tall and strong, but that’s not necessarily a good thing, that it helps you with your nutrition in so many different ways, it is just a fallacy. So it’s not good for weight loss. It’s not good for your bones. It’s not bad for your heart. It may cause cancer. It causes allergies, auto immunity, a whole host of problems that come from consuming conventional dairy. And we really have to come to grips with the fact that the science just is not there for humans consuming dairy. I mean, zero is fine. If you want to consume dairy, then we’ll talk about what kinds to consume because there are ways to consume dairy that are probably okay but for most of it, it should not be a staple food.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s not nature’s perfect food. It’s not something that actually helped prevent fractures. In fact, in the review paper that they did, basically they found that for looking at 100,000 people, particularly adults, that they follow them and the more milk they drank, the more fractures they had. So for every glass of milk they drank, they had a 9% increase in fracture rate. So not only did it not prevent fractures but it increased fracture. And it also has adverse consequences around cancer, may increase prostate cancer, may increase endometrial cancer, uterine cancer. It affects people’s digestion widely because it actually increases lactose intake and probably 75% of the world is lactose intolerant. What about heart disease and the saturated fat and milk? Well, it turns out that there’s no correlation and there was a paper review over six million person years of data by doctor Dariush Mozaffarian from Tufts was published a few years ago, called Is Butter Back. I think it was called Is Butter Back.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And it looked at all the data on heart disease and both butter and heart disease and diabetes. And what they found was fascinating. There was actually an inverse correlation. Correlation is not causation. So we have to understand that but there was an inverse correlation, meaning the more dare you drank, the less diabetes you had in terms of fat and looking at saturated fat. So it may actually not be causing any diabetes. It may protect against diabetes and it also can cause no change in the risk of heart disease. So there was zero effect on heart disease. So we think butter is bad for your heart. Turns out it may not be. And of course it’s very individual but when you look at the data, you go, wait a minute. All the things we believe are just not true.

Dhru Purohit:
So in some senses, dairy is not exactly what they told us in terms of it being very likely linked to many of the things that you talked about earlier. And in other cases, having a certain amount of dairy could be beneficial.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yes. Well, we don’t know for sure. And the question is what dairy and I think what culture where’s the dairy from, and we’re going to get into some interesting stories about dairy and how all dairy is not the same. Dairy is not dairy is not dairy, but there are some interesting correlations with diabetes and dairy, the more dairy fat you have in your blood, the more you’re likely to be healthy and less risk you have of diabetes.

Dhru Purohit:
So that could be the most protective or food is information benefit from dairy is a saturated fat. Is that what you’re talking about?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. Maybe, it may be. Saturated fat seem to correlate with a positive benefit, which is contradicting everything we sort of we thought we knew. And the other fascinating thing is that we eat dairy now in a homogenized pasteurized form, which is unlike we ever did before historically. And pasteurization is good because it reduces the risk of infection and terrible things you can get from raw milk, but the homogenization process actually changes the informational quality of the food. So if you look at consuming the identical amount of dairy from raw milk versus homogenized milk, or unhomogenized milk, let’s say there’s homogenized milk, there are profoundly different effects on your cholesterol. The homogenized milk is terrible whereas the unhomogenized milk is actually good for your lipids. So it’s very subtle but there are a lot of nuances around how to think about when you’re choosing dairy, or if you want to eat dairy, which dairy to eat so you’re not actually causing harm to your body.

Dhru Purohit:
Why do so many functional medicine doctors, including yourself include dairy on the elimination diet list? When they’re giving a patient a challenge test to say, “Hey, do this for 30 days, take out these foods.” Usually top number one and two is going to be gluten and dairy. Why is it included on that?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I mean, we know from the literature that dairy can cause eczema and allergies and asthma and irritable bowel and all kinds of problems, sinus infections. We know that increases menstrual difficulties and hormonal dysregulation. It’s got over 60 different hormones in milk. It may increase insulin. It could cause all kinds of issues. When I see patients, we do food sensitivity testing. We do allergy testing, and I’ve also seen what happens when you take these foods away like dairy from the diet, we see profound changes in people’s health. So acne goes away, which is hugely caused by dairy. People’s digestive problems go away. Their eczema goes away. Their asthma goes away. Their sinus problems goes away. Their congestion goes away. A lot of clinical benefit you get from removing dairy. It’s other than gluten, the most common food sensitivity.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And it may not be a true allergy but it just may be a sensitivity that it’s triggering immune response that creates all these side effects. So if you’re trying to sort of see how your body is without all the inflammatory triggers, getting it rid of dairy is key and getting rid of gluten is key. And the retina then there’s sort of secondary list, eggs or grains or beans or corn or soy or nuts or seeds or nightshades. Those are sort of down the list of the elimination diet, but dairy and gluten are king and queen on the elimination diet.

Dhru Purohit:
And people can Google that and we’ll have some links on your website for elimination diet. And the whole idea is not that you avoid these foods forever, but you do it for a period of time, see how your health changes and then slowly reintroduce them to see if these foods fit you or don’t fit you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Exactly.

Dhru Purohit:
Are there broad strokes, some things that you look at on ethnicity, genetic background, where you give people big picture guidance when it comes to dairy, does any of that stuff matter?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Sure. I mean, like I said earlier, about 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant and we actually can do genetic testing. And we do that in our practice all the time and check through a cheek swab, whether they or not someone has the gene for lactose intolerance, that doesn’t mean they’re going to have lactose intolerance. It means they’re predisposed to lactose intolerance. And then often because of stress and life and antibiotics and leaky gut and all the things we’ve talked about on this podcast, you’ll see patients who start to develop real lactose intolerance. And that means they can’t digest the milk sugar, the enzymes aren’t there, they get bloating, distension, gas. So if people have any of those symptoms, there is the first thing to go.

Dhru Purohit:
Let’s talk about [crosstalk 00:11:44].

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And by the way the populations that are more at risk are African Americans, Asians, pretty much indigenous people, anybody who’s not Scandinavian, essentially.

Dhru Purohit:
Let’s talk about your personal story with dairy. Do you consume dairy and what was your journey in history with dairy?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, if I consume regular industrial, modern dairy, it will give me terrible digestive issues, congestion, runny nose and I’ll get pimples. So that is for sure. I’ve tried and dusted it so many times. However, it doesn’t mean all dairy does that. And the reason, so I cut it out was because of my own symptoms, which I realized it was causing inflammation in my body. I didn’t want that. But when you start to understand food is information, then you understand that not all dairy is the same. So is industrial dairy the same as that from an heirloom cow? Is dairy that’s raw the same as pasteurized, homogenized? Is goat and sheep dairy different? How is it different? Is all goat and sheep dairy okay or only some versions of it okay. So you start to get in the nuances of the information and food. And I’ll just sort of share a story of a recent trip to Sardinia where they’re shepherds and they basically have goats and sheep and…

Dhru Purohit:
And Sardinia’s a blue zone.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. Sardinia’s a blue zone where people live to be very old and it has the longest lived males in the entire world. Well, over 100 is 20 times, many centenarians as they’re on the United States and their diet is predominantly cheese. Okay. And a lot of cheese. And they have this interesting approach to raising goats and sheep, which is they graze them in the wild and they’re eating all kinds of different plants, all kinds of different bushes, wild foods. And they know to feed them different plants at different times of the year before they’re going to milk them for making cheese. They don’t make a ton of milk by the way. So they have a lot of goats and sheep because they’re not pump full of hormones. So you’re getting small amounts but they make this most extraordinary cheese that turns out to have all these special phytochemicals because the goats and sheep are eating the plants.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The plants contain these medicinal compounds we call phytochemicals or phytonutrients, they get into the milk, milk gets into the cheese and that gets into you. So you’re not only what you’re eating, you’re what you’re eating has eaten. And that’s so important to understand. And so the dairy that I eat when I was in Sardinia did not bother me at all. I didn’t get any gas, didn’t get any pimples, I didn’t get congestion. I didn’t have any of those side effects. And it’s not just that it has all these phytochemicals, but it also was raw when it was made into cheese. And also it is completely free of antibiotics, hormones. And it’s got A2 casein, which is the form of casein that tends not to cause inflammation, digestive issues and other problems. And it tastes good.

Dhru Purohit:
So now that we know that industrial dairy isn’t optimal and really should be mostly avoided for folks, the next question that a lot of people have is that what about the calcium and the vitamin D that I was getting from the grocery store that was added to the milk or that I was getting from milk?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, first of all, vitamin D is not naturally in milk. It’s added to milk as a way to deal with rickets. And that was a good public health intervention but definitely it’s not the place you should be getting your vitamin D. Calcium it turns out may not necessarily be a good thing to consume in large quantities, because calcium is your body’s bandaid. And when there’s inflammation, the calcium gets laid down as plaque in your arteries as calcifications and all kinds of other harmful effects and come from having too much calcium. Turns out that the calcium that we eat is only part of the story of osteoporosis. It’s not necessarily the total amount. It’s how much you take in versus how much you excrete. So if you look at countries, for example, in Africa, very little osteoporosis and very low calcium consumption. So they might have three, 400 milligrams a day of calcium as opposed to what the government here recommends, which is 1,000 to 1500 milligrams.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So why don’t they have osteoporosis? Well, they’re not doing all the things that cause them to leak out calcium from their kidneys. For example, if you’re drinking coffee, if you’re having a lot of sugar, if you’re having alcohol, if you’re drinking sodas, particularly dark sodas, like colas have phosphoric acid, which just leaches out your bones. They’re maybe not as much stress. So there’s a lot of factors that drive bone loss. You want to stop those things and you don’t maybe need as much calcium.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And the second is that turns out in all the large studies that calcium replacement hasn’t really been a factor in preventing osteoporosis and bone fractures. That actually is the vitamin D that makes the most difference. So I’m much more focused on vitamin D which helps with calcium absorption and utilization and make sure people’s levels are between 50 to 75. What’s interesting to note is a recent paper it came out about COVID that if your vitamin D level was over 15 nanogram per deciliter, your risk of death from COVID was zero. There’s no treatment that does that. No drug, no vaccine, nothing. So it’s important to have your vitamin D at the right level. But calcium is definitely not something we should be thinking about getting from milk.

Dhru Purohit:
Now you mentioned coffee and I just want to have a caveat. It’s not that you don’t drink coffee, excess coffee consumption could support the leaching of calcium from your body. But you, for example, you have some coffee, is that right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. If you have a cup in the morning, it’s fine. But if you’re drinking coffee all day or having tons of caffeine, it’s going to cause a problem.

Dhru Purohit:
So let’s break that down a little bit more. How are you getting your vitamin D and is it primarily through supplementation? Are you also relying on certain foods? And then also talk about calcium as well too, for the moderate, healthy quality of calcium that you need inside of your diet? Where are you getting both of those from?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So first of all, dairy calcium may not be the best utilized and actually may not allow you to actually absorb it as well as plant-based calciums. For example, chia seeds, sesame seeds. Chia seeds, for a serving of chia seeds, you get as much calcium as a glass of milk without all the problems and you get omega threes and you get fiber and you get protein, you get all kinds of other benefits. Same thing with Sesame seeds. Tahini, which is roundup sesame seeds is probably one of the best source of calcium. You can get it from greens like arugula, which is very high in calcium. Or even if you like to have canned fish like sardines or salmon, if you have the bones, sometimes you can get without the bones, but you get with the bones and you eat the bones, you’re going to get a calcium. So that’s really important.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
As far as vitamin D goes, I mean, if you’re living below Atlanta, in terms of the latitude that you live in and you’re out in the sun 20 minutes naked from 10:00 AM, till 2:00 PM every day, you might not need vitamin D. But unless that’s you, you probably do need vitamin D and that’s most of us, and we’re very low in vitamin D. So about 80 to 90% are either deficient or insufficient in vitamin D and you should really get it from a supplement. And there are many of them out there but vitamin D three, between two to 5,000 a day is safe and effective in keeping your vitamin levels up. And everybody’s a little different. Some people need more, you need less, depending on their genetics, but really that’s a good range. And it’s important to just check your levels so that you see that you’re not too low or too high.

Dhru Purohit:
For the high quality dairy and limited amounts that you are consuming. What type of dairy specifically are you having and how do you have it?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, I don’t have dairy that often but when I do it’s generally sheep or goat cheese. And I don’t really drink milk, but sheep or goat cheese from grass fed or kind of pasture raised goat and sheeps are great. And you have to be careful. So what are they feeding them? And is it just hay or are they foraging out in the wild and eating all kinds of plants? So I try to get things that I know are having more exposure to a wide variety of plants with different phytochemicals that will end up in the milk. The work of doctor Fred Provenza is fascinating in this area. He’s someone we’ve had on the podcast a few times, and he’s a scientist from Utah State University who’s spend his whole life studying the behavior of goats and animals and what they forage on and the plants they eat and what that does to them, what that does to their health and to the milk and to the quality and the phytochemicals is fascinating.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So this isn’t just some abstract idea. There’s tremendous work being done in this by Fred Provenza and Stephan van Vliet, who was at Duke. And now he’s going to be at Utah State and has got a lot more funding to look at the ways in which, what the animals eat determines the quality of the milk and meat and how there are phytochemicals that are in meaningful levels sometimes even greater than the plants that are concentrated in the animal products. So we didn’t think of getting our phytochemicals which means phyto means plant from animals, but actually we can.

Dhru Purohit:
Now talk to us about the raw and raw milk, regardless of whether it’s cows, sheeps, goats, or anything else that might be out there. A lot of people see that word and they get afraid. And I think the government has done a lot, well intentioned again, to make people very scared about consuming any kind of raw milk products, whether that be straight milk or potentially cheeses. How worried or not worried should people be when it comes to consuming a type of raw milk in their diet?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I mean, it depends how it’s all taken care of and where the animals are raised and how they’re raised and the cleanliness. But there is a risk of infection. Things like brucellosis, campylobacter, cryptosporidium, [inaudible 00:21:13] hysteria salmonella. These are various bugs that can occur in milk that can make people pretty sick. So I think raw milk can be obtained in America but it’s highly regulated and you have to get it off the grid. And some people just swear by it, but I think there is a risk to it. So I think be careful, know where you’re getting it from and make sure that you’re smart about it.

Dhru Purohit:
Is it kind of like raw fish? I mean, so many people have sushi and there’s so many sushi restaurants around there. Of course you can still get sick from having raw fish. Is it like that, that you just have to be smart, make sure you go to a trusted place?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. I mean, the fish has to be prepared a certain way, they have to be freezing at first and then thawing it. There’s all kinds of tricks to get rid of the parasites and stuff in the fish. I think the same thing is true, but if it’s a really good place, if there’s really good cleanliness in the milk production system, feces aren’t coming into contact with the milk. If there’s making sure they check the animals for infection, making sure that there’s no tuberculosis in the animal, making sure that there’s not kind of unsanitary conditions in the milk crossing plan or cross contamination from workers, a lot of sort of food safety and hygiene that’s required if you’re going to make sure you’re safe while you’re drinking raw milk.

Dhru Purohit:
Do you have a case study of a patient or somebody in your practice that dairy and removing dairy from their diet was a key component of them restoring their health? I know you have yours, you shared yours a little earlier. Is there anybody that you can think of where dairy seemed to be something that was very influential in terms of them restoring some of their function?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, I mean, actually this was even before I was a functional medicine doctor when I was an ER doctor and I just remember this patient I had come in, who was a little kid who was a toddler, probably three years old, two, three years old, and just one ear infection after the other, one sinus infection after the other. And I interviewed the mother and I said, “Well, what’s the story here? This going on since birth? Did it happen a particular time? When did it start to occur?” Says, “Well, when I stop breastfeeding and I introduced milk in his diet.” I’m like, “That’s interesting.” So getting these kids off of dairy often gets rid of sinus infections, ear infections, the congestion that causes in these kids. So I think that’s a sort of a really simple case.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I’ve had people with cystic acne. I’ve had people with all kinds of inflammatory skin issues like eczema, psoriasis. So really when you start to look at it, the common inflammatory diseases that people suffer from in terms of respiratory illnesses, in terms of asthma, in terms of eczema, and those are hugely responsive to elimination of dairy and other patients. I remember severe irritable bowel syndrome, you get rid of dairy and they’re good. So it depends on this case and the patient. I mean, some times that may be more subtle. There may be other factors that you don’t maybe see have a reaction but is the 60 hormones in milk causing some type of hormonal response that’s increasing your risk of cancer such as prostate or uterine cancer.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So I’m very cautious about having people consume a lot of dairy, but I’m okay with people trying, especially European cheaper goat dairy, which you can get in most stores like Manchego cheese is sheep cheese from Spain, not that expensive. So you can get some of the products that are available on the market now from Europe and other places where it’s either raw or you know how they’ve been doing this for thousands of years in the same way and the shepherds are taking the ghost of sheep up in the mountains. That’s okay.

Dhru Purohit:
So one of the challenges in the United States is that we have a lot of our dairy consumption that is associated with sugar consumption because it’s very rarely that just people are having straight up a glass of milk. It’s often milk and cereal, which are sugary cereals. It’s often in the form of ice creams and different creams that are out there, or they’re adding milk to their coffee. So talk about the combination of sugar and dairy together and just any kind of thoughts you want to share about that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Sure. I mean, well, acne is a huge problem. It affects so many people. I know you struggle with that and you got rid of it by cutting out dairy.

Dhru Purohit:
I did. Absolutely.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And sugar is the other driver of acne. So that combo sugar and dairy, it’s pretty bad for your microbiome. It tends to cause disruptions that lead to inflammation and acne, it can cause more dysbiosis or used over growth. So it can create a lot more problems if you’re combining sugar. And what’s really concerning me is that the government says that we should be having threes servings of milk a day for adults, and two servings for kids. There’s just no data to support that. It’s not my opinion. It’s not some crazy idea that came up out of the hat. This is based on extensive literature reviews in major journals like The New England Journal of Medicine by top scientists.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And the reason that those guidelines are in there is because the Dairy Council is essentially promoting with the government, the use of dairy and it’s hugely influential. So unfortunately the whole idea that it’s nature’s perfect food, that it’s a great sports drink, that it helps you lose weight, that it’s better for your bones, that it’s important for kids to grow is just pure nonsense. I mean, I’m so six foot three. I never drank milk as a kid. I mean, I hated milk. I don’t know why, but I just didn’t like, it tastes like snot to me. So I just didn’t drink it. My mother would force me to have milk. So the only she could get me was have coffee and sugar and milk together.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But I really think that we have to be very careful about assuming that the propaganda that we hear from the government is true and do our own homework and check out this article, just Google milk and health Walter Willett. There’s also an article on medium by doctor Ludwig that we can link to that’s quite good that is actually about exactly this topic. And I think you should sort of look at that and link to it in the show notes, but it’s sort of more, less academic, more consumer friendly description of the summary of the findings, but it’ll open your eyes pretty big.

Dhru Purohit:
Now there’s been a lot of education on dairy. You’ve been a big part of that over the last decade or more. And dairy sales have gone down in terms of total amounts of sales by millions and millions of dollars. And a lot of that is the education. And some of that is also dairy alternatives. Now dairy alternatives have their own story that we have to be mindful of. When it comes to dairy alternatives and plant milks like almond milks and other options that are out there, oat milks, where can they be beneficial? And where do we also have to be mindful about their consumption?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I mean, I think there are problems because almonds, for example, require huge amounts of water. Many of these are not necessarily grown in ways that are regenerative or restore the soil in the earth. Often they’re mixed with sugar and thickeners that are not necessarily good for you. So you have to be very careful about where you’re getting your product from, what’s in it. Some of the thickeners like the kerogen is terrible for a leaky gut and causes disruption in your gut and leads to all kinds of secondary inflammatory problems. So I think there’s a real importance to understanding how we can choose the right alternatives. But again, you don’t have to think about having to have milk. It’s not like if you get rid of dairy, it means you have to replace it with something else. Like parents go, “Well, if I don’t feed my kids dairy, what am I going to give them? Soy milk or almond milk.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No, you don’t have to give them any of that. Just give them food. I mean, kids in Japan don’t have milk, kids in most of the world don’t have milk. They just have food, whatever they eat. Like it’s not special kids’ food, it’s not some kind of dairy alternative. It’s just food. Now there’s foods for example that have a lot of calcium like soy, which tofu has a lot of calcium in it that can really help. But we need to sort of break out of this whole idea that we should be consuming dairy every day for our health because it just it’s false. And especially for kids, it can be quite problematic.

Dhru Purohit:
And if people are going to look for plant milks that they want to use in making a smoothie or they want to add to their coffee, what are the big picture things that they should be looking for when it comes to a brand that they choose?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, it should try to be organic or regenerative, which is hard to find. Although organic’s easier too. It shouldn’t be having any added sugars. Three, It shouldn’t have these weird thickeners like kerogen [inaudible 00:29:46] and other things which can be really damaging to the gut. And four, you probably want to pick things that are more ecologically friendly. Almond milk is great, but it’s also a challenge in terms of the amount of water that’s used. And most of the almonds are grown and California, and it’s a big environmental issue. So a little bit of soy milk can be okay. Although I would be careful with that because when you have concentrated soy milk, it can create hormonal disruption. You can use coconut milk, you can use fact macadamia milk, cashew milk, hemp milk. There’s a lot of milk. You can even make your own. And in my cookbook, Food: What the Heck Should I Cook?? There’s a bunch of recipes for how to make your own nut milks at home.

Dhru Purohit:
Yeah. One simple hack for people, even though it is very simple to make these milks, you can make seed milks so you can take things like sesame seed butter and if you throw that in a blender, turn it on high, blend it really quickly with some water, that’s a little hack to create your own milks at home. I personally, I tend to go for unsweetened almond milk. There’s some good brands that are at Whole Foods that you can find that are out there, because it’s hard to find unsweetened milks in general. So it’s a little easier to find almonds.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
My favorite is Milkadamia.

Dhru Purohit:
Milkadamia, right. That’s a macadamia nut milk that’s out there. You might have to dig a little bit, but again, we don’t have to replace the dairy in our diet with milk but it is nice to have some plant milks to make smoothie out of or to add to your coffee. So great recommendations that over there. If somebody was going to be in a situation where they had dairy and they know that they typically don’t do well with dairy or the things that they could take supplements or anything else to mitigate the impact of dairy on their body.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, people get confused because the effects of lactose, which is essentially digestive, where you drink milk and you get bloating distinction, gas fermentation, and you just feel like you got a food baby, that’s from lactose intolerance, which is an enzyme deficiency. So you can actually take a replacement enzyme with your meal if you tend to get that and you want to have dairy or you’re going to maybe accidentally ingest dairy. So that’s available and it’s called lactase, there’s lactate, there’s lactate milk. So you can actually buy these products in the drugstore. They’re available. That’s different than the effects of casein, which is the protein in milk.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So that often causes more systemic inflammation, more allergies, auto immunity, cancer and acne, and all sorts of other issues that are from A1 casein. So you really want to focus on A2 casein. Now you can go a2milk.com and there’s a website where you can find sources of even cow milk that are from heirloom cows or for example, Guernsey or Jersey cows tend to have less or very little of the A1 casein, mostly A2 casein. So it’s really available to you. Plus you can source sheep and goat milk or cheese, which has A2 casein and typically people can tolerate that better.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So I encourage people to shift over to sheep and goat milk when they can or sheep and goat yogurt or sheep and goat cheese, because it tends to be less inflammatory. It tends to be better tolerated, it tends to even be easier to digest than traditional milk, even with lactose intolerance. But you really want to sort of understand that there’s really three big areas for milk. One is lactose. One is casein and what kind of casein, now the third of the hormones in milk. So what kind of environment was the animal raised? And were they milked while they were pregnant? Were they given extra growth hormones? What was going on? So all those hormones, those 60 different hormones, they can cause cancer. They can cause various kinds of disruptions and metabolism. It increases insulin production in the body. So you want to be very careful about these three categories, lactose casein and hormones, and make sure you’re minimizing the effects from lactose, minimizing the A1 casein and minimizing all the hormones.

Dhru Purohit:
So just like you went to Italy and you spent time in Sardinia with the centenarians and the blue zone that was over there, I spent some time with the hunter gatherer tribe in Kenya called the Samburu who are cousins of the maasai. And what was interesting to me is that for about 800 years is estimated, they primarily have lived off of two things.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Milk and meat.

Dhru Purohit:
Milk and blood, actually, not even meat. They very rarely, meat is on special occasions. It’s birthday. They actually puncture the jugular vein of the cow. They don’t kill it. I was there when I saw it happen. They weren’t doing it for me but they were just doing it in their normal life. And it’s often when milk is low or grass is low and they’re not producing enough milk. And it’s one way to preserve their cows and to be there. And the rest of the time they drink dairy, like when it’s grassy season, they drink dairy. But again, the dairy is from these, I mean, these cows are [crosstalk 00:34:35].

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Funny looking cows.

Dhru Purohit:
They’re funny looking cows. They’re not native to Africa specifically but they have been those cows that have been there for at least a good 300, 400, 500, 600, 800 years. So I guess they are relatively native and they seem to be in pretty good health and shape. So it’s not that dairy is all bad for everybody but their microbiome has evolved over the last few hundred years to do well with that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
There’s also quite a different product like a maasai and for example, add many, many spices to the milk and the meat and the spices turns out helps to mitigate any harmful effects from oxidation or the issues you can get with meat or milk. So it’s really quite interesting when you start to add the spice in like in Morocco, they add like over 20 spices to the meat issues. They don’t have the same issues with cancer or other potentially harmful effects of meat. And I think it’s just really interesting to see how we increase phytonutrient content, how we cook it, the method it’s cooked, what we cook it with, spices not spices, whether you grill or not grill, those all affect the health effects.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And if you sort of look at how do we include a product like dairy, it’s better include ones that are coming with their own phytochemicals from eating wild plants, and also consume them with various kind of spices. For example, Chi is something that you make in India a lot, right? And that’s totally dairy with tons of spices.

Dhru Purohit:
And traditionally would have ginger, lemon grass, a ton of different things that are inside there. Now we’ve removed all the medicinal components and we’ve added more sugar. And so everybody in India has gotten fatter and fatter and fatter, no insult to my people but it’s just the truth of the situation.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right. Exactly.

Dhru Purohit:
Bottom line, the reason I wanted to bring that up is that there could be some examples as you mention, where dairy could be a fit but one thing that we know is modern industrialized dairy cannot be the base of our diet. In addition to that, Mark, take us through a little bit of a recap of what you talked about in today’s masterclass while we pass it off to the conclusion of this episode.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So I think we’ve all been brainwashed to think that milk is nature’s perfect food and is if you’re or calf, as I said earlier but not if you’re human. There’s no biological requirement for milk. There’s no need to drink milk at all. Zero. It may have not only a lack of health benefits but a lot of potential harms, including increased fracture risks, not reduction and increase in cancer risk and increase in digestive problems, and increase in all kinds of allergic and autoimmune issues, eczema, sinus, acne, allergies, and worse, auto immunity. For example, type one diabetes has been linked to dairy. So it’s also not interest perfect food in terms of sports as a sports drink in terms of weight loss that has completely been debunked on the Dairy Council has funded many, many studies looking at how it’s a sports drink or a weight loss drink.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And it depends how you study it and how this data is looked at. But doctor Ludwig and others have looked at dairy and other companies that are food industry companies funding research, and they find that when a food industry company funds research, it’s eight to 50 times more likely to show a positive outcome for that product. So if you’re having independent science study dairy and sports and weight loss, they don’t find anything. But of course, if the Dairy Council studies it, of course they find something just like when Coca-Cola studies soda and whether it causes obesity, of course they don’t find it’s linked to obesity. But of course we know it is, similar thing. So I think it’s really important to be vigilant about the messaging around dairy, particularly from our government. It’s very confusing. Why would our government, why would the dietary guidelines which are done by top scientists and nutrition around the country?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Why would they be promoting dairy? Well, it’s all political, it’s all money. And it’s not based on science. And I think that the review from doctor Ludwig was quite and will, it was quite compelling. And I had a friend to mine who was a scientist really steeped in this area who was actually in conversations with the dietary guidelines committee and said, “Look, the data just isn’t there to support this.” And they’re like, “Yeah, yeah, we know, but we kind of have to include.” It’s like, whoa it’s just not kosher. And so I think with that said, industrial, modern dairy from hosing cows that are hybridized have A1 casein are pump full of hormones, pump full of antibiotics. They’re raised in ways that are harmful for the animals, harmful for the planet climate environment and ultimately harmful for humans.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
With that said, it’s okay if you want to have sheep or goat dairy that’s pasture raised, that’s eating a variety of wild plants. That’s not fit pump full of hormones and antibiotics, but that can be part of your diet. Will I make it a staple. Maybe, I mean, the Sardinians seem to have cheese as a staple. They have a staple in their diet and they have it every day and it has these phytochemicals. So it actually might be really beneficial. You can’t get much vegetables for example, in the winter, you can eat your cheese and get the phytochemicals because the cheese is preserving it over the winter. So there may be benefits to eating sheep and goat dairy.

Dhru Purohit:
And their gut bacteria is probably a lot more robust. They’re outside, they’re farming, they’re walking in the hill, they have a lot more activity. So there’s many things that are going on that relates to that. Well, Mark, it’s just another reminder of how we all need to become the CEO of our own health. We need to step into the CEO position of our health and get our own information, hire and fire our own team, pick the right doctors, find the right people to support us, find the right information and make our own decisions because if we don’t look out for ourselves, nobody else will.

Dhru Purohit:
So I think it’s a perfect place to pass it off to you to conclude. And I’ll just say one more item, both you and I have seen the benefits firsthand from removing dairy from our diet, industrialized dairy, your skin looks great. I hope my skin looks pretty good right now. And I would want that for everybody else. So definitely at least try doing an elimination diet, something that’s in your book, The PE Diet, you talk about an elimination diet inside of there.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
10 Day Reset. Yeah.

Dhru Purohit:
People could also do 10 Day Reset, 10-Day Detox Diet. And they could see for themselves after 30 days of removing dairy, gluten, sugar, how they actually feel.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. So bottom line, make sure you immediately quit all industrial dairy. And if you want a dairy, sheep and goat pasture raised is okay, try it out, see how you feel. So thank you everybody for listening to this week’s Masterclass. If you love this episode, share with your friends and family. If you’re having any skeptics about the benefits of dairy, well, you might want to pass it on to them and subscribe to every year podcast. Leave a comment about how your life has been affected by stopping dairy. And we’ll see you next time on The Doctor’s Farmacy.
Speaker 3:
Hi everyone. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. Just a reminder that this podcast is for educational purposes only. This podcast is not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. If you’re looking for help in your journey, seek out a qualified medical practitioner. If you’re looking for a functional medicine practitioner, you can visit ifm.org and search their Find A Practitioner database. It’s important that you have someone in your corner who’s trained, who’s a licensed healthcare practitioner and can help you make changes, especially when it comes to your health.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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