How can dairy affect the body
Written by Bunmi. Monday, February 6th, 2012
What are the negative aspects of Casein and Dairy foods?
Dairy is one of the most popular products in the market place today.From the moment we are born we are fed the most natural of products, that being milk.We are constantly being educated from an early age about the importance of dairy in our every day diets.Our education tells us the importance of regular consumption in order to gain the body’s much needed calcium; which in turn provides stronger, healthier bones or even better teeth.However as with many food products there can be a negative aspect to dairy.More and more people now a days are being born with or developing Lactose intolerance or Dairy allergies.For some ethnic backgrounds (In the UK 75% of Africans and 90% of Asians) have issues with dairy (generally lactose intolerance) are paramount.This however can also affect ethnic groups too.“In humans, the body produces less lactase after the age of two.However in white Western Europeans, lactase can be produced into adult life, which allows lactose to be broken down properly.”(www.theallergysite.co.uk)
Lactose intolerance is generally caused by a shortage of lactase.Lactase is an enzyme needed to break down lactose so that it can be absorbed in the blood stream.If a person doesn’t have enough lactase then lactose is not absorbed properly in the gut which can then cause a number of symptoms. (See below for symptoms)
Symptoms of Allergy or Intolerance
- ·Nausea & Vomiting
- ·Weight loss
- ·IBS, Stomach Cramps
- ·Migraines, Rashes
- ·Depression and Anxiety
- ·Ulcers and Hyperactivity (in children)
- ·Bloating and Wind
Lactose intolerance can be caused by a number of things. Digestive diseases or injuries to the small intestine (See Diagram A) can sometimes cause lactose intolerance as this will generally reduce the amount of lactase produced.In some cases lactose intolerance is inherited in the gene.
Milk from mammals such as cows, goats, sheep and humans contain lactose.This means that milk from none of these places is suitable for people with lactose intolerance.The only way for a person to reduce the symptoms they receive from their lactose intolerance is to reduce and where possible eliminate the lactose in the body.This means the reduction in foods such as milk, cheese, butter, ice cream and even things like cakes and biscuits.Despite this, the market place now offers an array of alternative calcium rich products.Examples of these are as follows: – Soya milk, Lactose free milk (still contains casein), Rice milk, Oat milk and Almond milk to name just a few.Some of these options are also suitable alternatives for babies and young children (Particularly soya and lactose free milk).
Allergy to cow’s milk is mostly common in childhood and affects up to 2 – 7% of babies under one years old.“This allergy is mostly common in babies with atopic dermatitis.” (www.foodallergiesabout.com) Reactions can occur by milk passing through the mothers’ breast which has come through dairy products she has eaten.Other methods of reaction are through feeding a baby with cow’s milk products.By the age of three most children do grow out of the milk allergy though some children will take this allergy into adulthood.
An allergy to cows’ milk is caused by a reaction to two main allergens in milk called Casein and Whey.‘Casein is the curd that forms when milk sours and Whey is the watery part that is left when the curd is removed.’ (www.ei-resource.org).
People can be allergic to either whey or casein or both and an allergic reaction can be triggered by small amounts of these two allergens in people who are sensitive.Treatments such as pasteurisation changes whey, therefore people who are sensitive to whey may not react to pasteurised milk.However casein cannot be modified through heat treatment/pasteurisation, therefore casein is unchangeable in milk.“The pasteurisation process is a destructive process that changes the physical structure of the fragile proteins in milk (especially casein) and converts them into proteins that the body was never designed to handle – and that can actually be harmful.Additionally the pasteurisation process virtually eliminates the good bacteria normally present in milk and radically reduces the micronutrient and vitamin content of healthy food.”(Dr Mercol www.mercola.com, 2008).This therefore means that someone who is allergic to casein will more than likely react to milk and dairy products.In such situations this will also mean that milk from other mammals such as goats/sheep, hydrolysed milk and soya formulas are sometimes used as a substitute for babies at risk of developing cows milk allergy.However because goat and sheep milk is similar to cows milk, this does mean that someone with a cows milk allergy may also react to these other alternatives.
Despite the education on the need for dairy products in the diet, it is clear that milk products are not suitable for everyone.Whether a person has inherited, become intolerant in later life of even allergic at birth it is clear that it is crucial for a person to understand their body and the way that it reacts to dairy.There are pros and cons to dairy but as with anything, it is essential that if eliminated from the diet, the body must still receive a substitute in order to gain the nutrients required in the body.There are a range of food products both natural and manmade that can provide this alternative.The market place is pulsating with these today.