cows and milk

Is Dairy Really Good for You? – Part 2

Last week, I released part 1 of the dairy dark side series.  Today is part 2.  I probably shouldn’t use the word “series,” because there’re only 2 parts.  But it sounds studious, doesn’t it?

Anywho…last week we talked lactose intolerance, leaky gut, inflammation, and saturated fat.  You can read part 1 here.

This week, we’ll hit on the last few concerns you should have when it comes to consuming dairy.  (Or maybe you have none and are here to learn…good on you!)

Cheese – The Addiction is Real!

I’m not kidding…if I could get paid every time someone tells me they could never give up cheese, I’d at least have $100…or more 😝

In all seriousness, as a vegan, I hear this a lot.  I also hear it from my clients when we talk giving up dairy.  A 2015 study showed cheese, like sugar, is an addictive substance.  This is why you crave cheese.  Mystery solved!

Like sugar, cheese is addictive because it enacts on receptors in the brain.  Our feel-good receptors.  You can read about sugar and the brain here.  Dairy has 2 primary proteins: casein and whey.  Milk has casein but it also has whey.  And cheese is mainly casein.

When casein breaks down in the body, it creates a substance called casomorphines.  These are morphine-like substances that enact on the brain.  They make you feel good.  This is why you want more and more cheese.

Now, you can give it up.  I’ve never known anyone to die without having cheese.  It’s one of those things you have to consume in moderation or learn to live without.

Acne & Mucous

Milk consumption is linked to acne and mucous as well.  If someone comes to see me and they complain of acne, we’ll remove milk.  It’s just a start though.

Acne comes from lack of nutrients (zinc, selenium, vitamin A, etc).  But primarily, it comes from hormone imbalance.  Most cows are injected with a growth hormone to increase their milk production.  This causes other issues but the focus is acne.  These hormones are coming into your body and altering your hormone patterns.

A way around this is to ensure you’re getting a good quality milk.  Like from a gentle farmer that doesn’t use growth hormones in their cows.

While milk doesn’t directly cause mucous, the consumption of milk into the body does.  Confusing, right?  You can Google mucous and milk.  You’ll find several articles refuting the fact that milk causes mucous.

It doesn’t…but it does.  Remember, we talked about leaky gut?  And how certain foods can cause a reaction in the body?  Dairy is one of these foods.  And clogged sinuses and increase mucous production are signs your body doesn’t like a food you’re consuming.

So, if you notice milk causes mucous…it’s another reason to steer clear.

Fermented Dairy

Now, there is some information to suggest that fermented dairy is good for you.  Fermented dairy would be yogurt, cheese, sour cream, kefir, etc.

The information is there. Studies do show that consuming fermented dairy has health benefits.  This is because of the added good bacteria during the fermentation process. The good bacteria feed the gut flora and repair the intestinal lining to reduce leaky gut.

HOWEVER, and that’s a big however, you still have the downfalls to dairy.  Remember inflammation, triggering of IGF-I, leaky gut, and others. In my opinion, the bad outweighs the good and you can get good bacteria from sauerkraut, kimchi, miso soup, or a good probiotic.

You can read more about probiotics here.

A2 Milk

A2 milk is milk from a specific breed of cows.  It’s promoted to have less inflammatory makers.  And that it’s easier to digest.

The science is out here.  In reference to inflammation, A2 has a different amino acid at marker 67 in the amino acid chain.  The claim is this different amino acid doesn’t promote IGF-1 (an inflammatory marker) in the body.  And because it’s supposedly easier to digest, it’s going to create less inflammation in the digestive tract.

But, the science is out on this one.  There are no good quality studies to back up these claims or refute them.  I like to err on the side of caution though.  If I do have a client that drinks milk, I’ll usually have them switch to A2 milk.  Just in case…


Like anything else, I’m not here to tell you what to do.  But I am a big proponent of education and knowledge.  The more you know about a topic, the better decisions you can make in reference to your health.

In the comments below, let me know your thoughts on dairy.

Sunny Brigham, MS, CNS

I'm Sunny! I'm a board-certified clinical nutritionist with an MS in Clinical Nutrition. I help individuals reduce fatigue, eliminate bloat, and lose weight by healing the digestive tract and balancing hormones. I provide individual and group nutrition consultations nationwide. Grab my metabolism boosting guide!

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