The Great Dairy Myth

Calcium from milk products ... ?

Ensuring we get enough calcium for strong bones has become an obsession. Unfortunately dairy products are promoted as a good solution. But studies reveal - the claims are unfounded and actually misleading.


The problem with milk products is they are 'foreign' to the human body - causing the small intestine to malfunction. That means we don't absorb nutrients in sufficient quantities. Plus the nutrients we do need are lost from the body.


There is significant evidence yogurt, cheese and milk products actually leach nutrients out of the body ... leading to calcium deficiency, bone density loss and over time - osteoporosis.*


The very thing we are trying to avoid!



Here at the Institute we have spent years scrutinising the medical literature on links between foods and disease.

Five reasons for the Dairy Myth

1. Calcium from dairy? Says who? Who makes these claims?

What are their qualifications? Their motivations? Our research says three groups of people:

a. Dairy corporations and food manufacturers whose only motive is to sell product

b. Professional marketers who cherry-pick research results from studies to suit their slogans

c. Nutritionists whose advice springs from outdated information . . . now superseded by the latest knowledge of human disease.


2. Three serves of dairy a day? . . . Why so much?

Let’s put some regular logic over this . . . three serves a day equals twenty one serves a week … every week for the year … every year of our lives? That’s a lot. . . . But doesn’t that make dairy a rather poor source of calcium?

By comparison - to get enough iron, we only need 2 - 3 serves of red meat a week. Hmmm.


3. One billion Chinese can't be wrong

The traditional Chinese diet served hundreds of millions of people for centuries - with no dairy products whatsoever. So … before the influence of the West bought dairy foods into China in the 1980s - did the Chinese routinely fall down with osteoporotic broken hips and spontaneous fractures – such as those increasingly seen in the West?

Not at all. In fact the Chinese became collectively sicker after dairy foods were introduced:

      • From one of the lowest rates in the world the incidence of osteoporotic hip fracture in mainland China increased by 34% from 1988 to 1992 (Lau, 2009)
      • From a previously dairy-free society - suddenly one in five Chinese citizens (two hundred million) are estimated to be suffering a cardio-vascular disorder. It is the leading cause of mortality and now accounts for 41% of all deaths[i].
      • Another study of China notes that diabetes prevalence has increased so fast that one third of all diabetics in the world are Chinese[ii].


4. Eating dairy food: 'No benefit' to bones

A comprehensive review of 58 studies of the effect of calcium from dairy foods and supplements found no benefit to bone health:

‘… neither increased consumption of dairy products, specifically, nor total dietary calcium consumption has shown even a modestly consistent benefit for child or young adult bone health.

It also found nutrition guidelines which promote increased dairy consumption to improve bone health are based on ‘scant evidence’[iii].



5. The Clincher

Paleolithic man - two million years ago as hunter-gatherers had no access to milk or its derivatives. Paleo people were dairy-free. They were also disease-free according to fossil evidence.


In fact - human fossil evidence has demonstrated there was no osteoporosis or bone disease until dairy foods and grains were introduced into the diet - in the Neolithic era ~ ten thousand years ago.


The take away:

  • We don’t need dairy to get enough calcium, and

  • There is striking evidence that consumption of dairy foods contributes to bone density loss  (References)


The message here is clear. Don’t buy into the Great Dairy Myth. We all want strong bones right into our 90s and beyond. Substitute milk products now.

Forget the ‘recommended daily serves’ of dairy food - and bin Vitamin D supplements. Then go through your fridge and trash the milk, cream cheese dips, yoghurt snacks, ice cream, ricotta, cheddar and brie. Also you’ll noticeably improve your stomach bloating or diarrhoea – and many of our members notice welcome weight loss … bonus!

Instead, get some proper calcium ... buy some canned fish like salmon and sardines with bones, lots more leafy greens, oranges and fresh figs. Then take up some weight-bearing exercise (walking, running or yoga) and soak up some sunshine.


*References from the medical journals.


[i] Hu SS,Kong LZ,Gao RL,Zhu ML,Wang W,Wang YJ,Wu ZS,Chen WW,Liu MB;Editorial Board.Outline of the report on cardiovasculardiseasein China, 2010. Biomed Environ Sci.2012 Jun;25(3):251-6.

[ii] Weng J, Pozzilli P. DiabetesMetabolism Research and Reviews - Chinese Diabetes Society Special Issue: a small but encouraging step toward the successful control ofdiabetesinChina. Diabetes Metab Res Rev.2014 Jul 9.

[iii] Lanou AJ,Berkow SE,Barnard ND, Calcium, dairy products, and bone health in children and young adults: a reevaluation of the evidence. Pediatrics.2005 Mar;115(3):736-43.