We are the only mammal that drinks milk beyond infancy and additionally the only mammal that drinks another mammal’s milk. Dairy and cow’s milk products are inflammation producing and should be avoided by older children and adults.
Human breast milk is necessary for proper infant development and immune system development. An infant is not able to produce all the enzymes necessary to digest food, but is able to consume breast milk. As the digestive and immune systems develop, the baby can be weaned from nursing. (Length of time for nursing, and baby formula can be discussed at a later time.) It is recommended by some for babies beyond nursing and toddlers to drink cow’s milk to maintain a healthy fat intake for brain and nervous system development. It is also believed that goat’s milk and sheep milk are closer in digestibility to human milk and thus better for a baby, and an adult for that matter.
As a toddler’s digestive system develops it becomes less likely to be able to digest milk. In this manner, all adults are lactose intolerant/sensitive to some extent. Did you ever feel bloated or congested after drinking milk or eating dairy products? That is your body not responding well to dairy. Consumption of dairy produces mucus, which is an immune response due to the milk’s inflammatory nature.
Additionally, pasteurization of the milk denatures the protein in milk rendering the protein mostly useless to our bodies. Milk that is not certified organic is usually filled with hormones used in raising the cows, which can have an adverse affect on our health. Another health issue with milk is that it is fortified with vitamins, which like other fortified processed foods, the quality of those nutrients are not always at a level that our bodies can use them.
Yogurt is one dairy product, due to its fermentation process, that has more health benefits than negatives. The active bacterial cultures in yogurt, which are killed in milk’s pasteurization process, are beneficial for a healthy flora in the digestive tract.
In conclusion, most dairy products should be avoided by most people due to their inflammatory nature, except for infants who need them for the fat content. Yogurt and fermented products like kefir can be beneficial. If you are going to eat cheese, harder cheeses without food coloring are best