Is it Good to Consume Milk? Discover the Benefits and Risks

Milk is one of the main natural sources of calcium and the only one for the baby. This element is essential, among other functions, for the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth.

We have always heard that the consumption of milk is essential to grow and maintain healthy bones and teeth, as well as all structures containing calcium. Nevertheless,  the consumption of milk and its derivatives are associated with serious health problems.

Rest assured, there are not only risks. Indeed,  consuming this food also brings a number of benefits that we will have the opportunity to detail in this article.

This food is part of the human diet in most civilizations  and for thousands of years. More specifically, human consumption began about 11,000 years ago with the domestication of livestock.

Regarding human consumption, cow, sheep, goat and buffalo milk are mainly used. There are also people who prefer to consume donkey and camel milk .

In these animal milks intended for human consumption,  a home or industrial heat treatment is generally carried out. These processes also cause slight variations in the composition of the food.

What are the benefits of milk consumption?

Milk  is one of the main natural sources of calcium and the only one for the baby. In addition, calcium is essential for the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth.

But, in addition,  this food provides us with other very valuable elements. That’s why it is one of the most complete foods available.

Indeed, milk  is the raw material for the preparation of many dairy products  such as butter, cheese, yogurt, cream or curd. Since the most consumed milk in the world is that of cow, we focus here on this one to study its composition:

  • Water:  This is the main component. This represents 80-87%
  • Carbohydrates: Lactose makes up almost all the milk sugar. This component is one of the main causes of the risk of consuming milk
  • Proteins:  they have  a high biological value  and possess a large amount of essential amino acids. They represent 3 to 4% of the milk
  • Lipids: they constitute between 3 and 6% of the milk, although this percentage varies enormously according to the diet of the animal as well as the breed. 90% of lipids are in the form of triglycerides
  • Vitamins:  Among all the vitamins, vitamin A and D, as well as riboflavin (B2), cyanocobalamin and thiamine stand out
  • Minerals:  the mineral content is very rich. These are usually in the form of salts. For example, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iodine, sodium, chlorine, magnesium and zinc

Risks related to milk consumption:

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article,  milk consumption also involves a number of risks  that are important to consider. Among them we can mention:

1. Lactose intolerance:

1 in 2 people suffer from lactose intolerance  which, as we know, is  the main milk sugar. However, most people do not know that they are intolerant to this substance and continue to consume this food.

It is estimated that 70% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. Intolerance is therefore not an illness, but a normal state.

This happens because between the ages of 2 and 4,  our body starts to stop synthesizing the lactase enzyme  that is responsible for digesting lactose.

If we continue to consume milk, the lactose that is not digested remains in the intestine,  where it is fermented by the  colon bacteria. This leads to gas, pain and sometimes diarrhea.

2. Poor calcium absorption:

When we consume animal protein,  the pH of the blood  becomes acidic. In response, the body  removes some of the calcium we have in the bones to neutralize this acidity. Indeed, it has been shown that the consumption of dairy products or foods containing calcium is not a protective factor against the risk of fractures.

Milk does contain essential nutrients, but to obtain them we do not need to consume them. In fact, these are the best vegetable foods for ingesting calcium,  for example.

3. Increased risk of allergies and asthma:

Cow’s milk has three times more protein than human milk  and some of these are very difficult to digest by the body.

In some individuals, these dense proteins (such as casein) bind to the lymphatic vessels of the intestine and impede  the absorption of nutrients. As a result,  it can cause immune problems, allergies and asthma .

Consume milk: conclusion:

Finally, it is important to know if we are lactose intolerant or not to avoid complications related to milk consumption. Consuming this food without excess and without suffering intolerance is beneficial for the body. However, do not overdo it.