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Don't Drink Your Milk.

Few beliefs are so deeply ingrained in our society's culture as the myth of milk. Yet, as viewed by the author, no single food in our diet has the possibility of causing more health problems.

Being against cow's milk is equated with being un-American, says Dr. Oski. He credits the power of advertising and propaganda with the ability to create much worship among the population.

No doubt, phrases such as "Milk is a natural," "Milk is the perfect food," and "Everybody needs milk" have become an integral part of common "knowledge." Milk has also succeeded in dominating the food market, accounting for a total of one dollar of every seven spent for food.

"But at last, a growing number of physicians, private citizens and even the Federal Trade Commission are beginning to reexamine these long-standing and deeply ingrained beliefs in the virtue of milk," Dr. Oski believes.

The drinking of milk, the author contends, has been linked with iron-deficiency anemia in infants and children. It has also been implicated in the cause of cramps and diarrhea among much of the world's population, and the cause of multiple forms of allergy as well. Dr. Oski also believes that milk plays a central role in the origins of atherosclerosis and heart disease.

Dr. Oski is considered a distinguished scientist in the field of pediatrics, having achieved recognition by winning several awards for research. As Physician-in-Chief at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Oski has been in an advantageous position to confirm his assertions.

As a medical writer, Dr. Oski has had a publishing career that has been confined to professional journals and textbooks. This foray into exposing the dangers of milk products represents a singular effort in which he confronts a powerful dairy lobby and a wide network of special interests.

The author is adamant in exposing what he considers one of the largest threats to human health. He has also been able to force the prestigious American Academy of Pediatrics to acknowledge "possible dangers" of milk in the American diet in answer to his direct question: "Should milk drinking by children be discouraged?" The answer so far has been a qualified "maybe."

The author points out that the milk of mammalian species varies considerably in its composition. The milk of goats, elephants, cows, camels, wolves and walruses show marked differences in the content of fats, protein, sugar and minerals. Each type of milk is different from human milk.

In the animal world, Oski says, animals are breast-fed until they have tripled their birth weight (comparable to one year in the human infants). In no mammalian species, except for the human (and the domestic cat) is milk continued after the weaning period. Cow's milk is for calves, Dr. Oski notes, and so is each other animal's milk for its own kind. Throughout Asia, Africa, and South America, the author says, cow's milk is considered unfit for human consumption.

Don't Drink Your Milk presents an abundance of case histories that buttress the contention: underlying many disorders is the allergic qualities of cow's milk when ingested by humans.

One case recounts the experience of a woman who suffered gastrointestinal problems. After being referred from one specialist to another with no relief, she landed on the couch of a psychiatrist who blamed the problem on her concern for her son's failures in business. Not until an intuitive doctor implicated "lactose intolerance" did the patient experience relief. When she gave up all dairy products, in a short time, Dr. Oski says, the condition cleared up.

Dr. Oski lists a study that ascribes lactose deficiency to people of many racial and ethnic extractions: Filipinos (90 percent), Greek Cypriots (85 percent), Arabs (78 percent), Ashkenazi Jews (78 percent), American blacks (70 percent), and Japanese (85 percent). The indications are that many people are unknowingly lactose intolerant and suffer seemingly unrelated ailments caused by the drinking of milk and the use of dairy products.

When American generosity sent millions of pounds of powdered milk to underdeveloped countries, the natives reconstituted the powder and water to liquid milk. Soon after, the population was struck by widespread outbreaks of cramps and diarrhea. Many recipients believed the "gift" was meant to poison them. Others said the water used to dilute the milk powder was polluted. Proper boiling precautions were not taken.

Dr. Oski's attempt to make the public aware of the potential hazards posed by dairy products has brought him into constant criticism by the industry's National Dairy Council in Chicago. The milk industry continues to defend its product, having been given much benefit of any doubt by newspapers and magazines that consistently voice the virtues of dairy products in the diet.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Vegetus Publications
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 22, 1992
Previous Article:The Food Pharmacy Guide to Good Eating.
Next Article:Women and Their Fathers.

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