The Times of India
Tuesday 11 April 2000
By Pritish Nandy
(Edited and formatted for American
Ayurveda actually lists milk as one
of the �five white poisons�. She has stirred a hornet's nest with her
campaign against milk. Even hardcore veggies have attacked Menaka Gandhi
and religious leaders have openly come out to contradict her. Curiously,
on her side now is global research and modern science, of which she has
been a long-term critic. They are the ones who are defending her now.
You have come out very strongly
against milk. Why are you so hostile to it?
There are three reasons.
health is compromised by milk
to cows and
Would you like to explain why you
think milk is unhealthy?
There is this belief that milk is a
complete food and an important source of protein, iron and calcium.
Milk has no iron, however it also
blocks its absorption.
The ability of the body to absorb
calcium from milk is barely 32%. Whereas the body can absorb, 65% from
cabbage and 69% from cauliflower.
Milk has less protein than most
vegetables. Even if we assume it contains more protein, it would be
useless for human beings. Because human beings require only 4 to 5 percent
of their daily calorie intake in proteins and the daily consumption of
Indian bread (Chapattis) and potatoes would give more protein than the
requirements. So milk is not the best food in the world as it has been
touted for generations?
Milk is very difficult to digest
particularly for Asian and African. Why do I not eat plastic? The reason
is; I have no enzyme to digest it. We do not have lactose in our body and
so we cannot digest lactose. If we cannot digest milk, how do we get any
of its ingredients?
Apart from this, milk has something
called the IGF-1. All cancer studies show that when IGF-1 rises in the
body one gets cancer. All the IGF-1 in milk stays in the body, making you
prone to cancer. It is also a very strong cause of asthma decease. In
fact, doctors recommend asthma patients to avoid milk and milk products.
The problem with doctors in India is
that they learn no nutrition in medical colleges. So they have a limited
knowledge of food. Their knowledge of nutrition comes from the same source
as yours and mine: Grandmothers and teachers. Add to this the confusion
caused by our local religious leaders, particularly the ones who espouse
What is specifically wrong in milk?
What is specifically harmful?
The calcium contained in milk
actually becomes a health hazard as undigested portions of it are
deposited in the urinary system and become kidney stones. Another
condition that milk aggravates rather than alleviates is osteoporosis or
bone loss. Studies have shown that it is excess protein rather than
lack of calcium that causes osteoporosis. So the more milk you drink,
the more you are prone to osteoporosis. Countries like Sweden that have
the highest milk consumption also have the highest incidence of
Another misconception is that milk
helps ulcers. Ulcers are caused by the corrosion of the stomach lining.
When you drink milk it gives you immediate pain relief. But that is only
temporary. Milk actually causes acidity and further destroys the stomach
Also, ulcer patients who are treated
with dairy products are found to be 2 to 6 times more prone to heart
attacks. This seems only logical because milk is designed to be the food
on which a calf increases its body weight 4 times over in one month! It is
so naturally high in fat that it leads to obesity, the cause of all modern
disease. Ayurveda actually lists milk as one of the five white poisons.