5 Pros and Cons of Drinking Cow’s Milk

Cow’s milk has been used by many people for long. It is known for its goodness it serves to the human body. Well, certain researches also point towards its harmful effects.

Milk is considered a whole food and provides 18 out of 22 nutrients to the body. (1) It provides the body with iron, selenium, vitamin B-6, vitamin E, vitamin K, niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin.

There are various health benefits and side effects related to drinking milk and also a few other options for those who cannot tolerate cow’s milk easily.

Pros of Drinking Cow’s Milk

1. Controls Appetite

Drinking dairy may help curb appetite and thereby initiate weight loss. A study found that dairy helped people feel full and also reduced fat intake. (2)

A few studies also show full-fat dairy intake is associated with low body weight. (3)

2. Helps In Bone Development

Milk is known to improve weight and bone density in children and also reduce the risk of fractures.

Pregnant females who eat a healthy diet including plenty of dairy-rich and calcium-rich food have children with better bone growth and mass. (4)

3. Improves Bone and Dental Health

A cup of milk is enough to give 30 percent of the daily requirement of calcium to adults. (5) It also gives potassium and magnesium, all of which are important minerals for bone and teeth health.

Most of the milk has vitamin D as well. A cup of fortified milk contains 15 percent of daily amount of the D vitamin.

Vitamin D plays numerous roles in the body including the promotion of calcium absorption and bone mineralization.

4. Prevents Diabetes

A few studies have found that drinking milk can prevent type2 diabetes. (6)

Diabetes is linked with high blood sugar levels and can further increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.

5. Improves Heart Health

The fat present in milk helps raise the HDL (good) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol prevents the risk of heart disease and stroke. (7) Being a good source of potassium it regulates blood pressure.

The cows that are grass-fed make milk that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linolenic acid. (8) Both these are fats that help protect the heart and blood vessels.

Cons of Drinking Cow’s Milk

1. Acne

Dairy may trigger adult acne. Few studies have linked acne to skim and low-fat milk consumption. (9) It might be due to the influence of milk on certain hormones including insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1.

2. Milk Can Lead To Other Skin Conditions

According to a clinical review, certain foods including milk can worsen eczema. (10)

The effect of dairy on rosacea has both positive and negative results. More research is needed to be done on the same.

3. Allergies

It is estimated by some experts that up to 5 percent of children have milk allergy that can lead to the development of skin reactions such as eczema and gut symptoms such as colic, constipation, and diarrhea. (11)

It can also lead to serious reactions that include anaphylaxis, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, and bloody stool.

4. Cancers

Excess of calcium in milk or any other food would increase the risk of prostate cancer. (12)

A case-controlled study also showed that the intake of milk sugars could be linked with a higher risk of ovarian cancer (13)

5. Lactose Intolerance

Lactose present in cow’s milk is higher than any other animal milk.

About 65 -70 percent of the world’s population has some form of lactose intolerance. (14) Though, most of these people can add dairy in small amounts in the diet.

Those with severe lactose intolerance have to keep away from any kind of dairy product.

Alternative To Cow’s Milk

Plant or nut-based milk can prove to be a good alternative for those with lactose intolerance. The different types of alternative to cow’s milk include:

  • Soy milk
  • Almond milk
  • Hemp milk
  • Oat milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Rice milk
  • Cashew milk
  • Quinoa milk

Option for infants and toddlers include:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Hypoallergenic formulas
  • Soy-based milk
  • Amino acid formulas

Milk is a nutrient packed drink that is easily available. Choosing organic milk from the cow’s that are free from growth hormones is the best option, unless you are intolerant to lactose.

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