4 Serious Health Conditions That Science Confirms Can Be Triggered By Milk - Save Our Bones

We've been told since childhood that drinking cow’s milk is necessary for good health. It's supposed to help build strong teeth and bones. You probably remember the long-running commercial that promoted milk because “it does a body good.”

Fortunately, Savers know that nothing could be further from the truth.

Cow's milk may be good for calves, but it is detrimental to humans. Drinking milk causes calcium loss in two ways: the animal protein in milk promotes calcium excretion in the urine, and its high phosphorus content binds to calcium, preventing its absorption.

And while the hormones naturally present in milk help a calf grow healthy and strong, these same hormones can cause serious imbalances in humans. And last but not least, since milk is acidifying, it increases fracture risk.

Beyond these risks, however, science confirms milk can trigger four serious health conditions. Today we'll examine how drinking cow's milk can lead to these four undesirable health conditions.

Why Drinking Milk Is Never A Good Idea

Modern medicine, which does not focus on nutrition, ignores the evidence of the damage milk can do to our bodies, recommending it routinely as a “healthy” food for growing children.

As adults, many people find they can no longer digest milk because they are “lactose intolerant.” In fact, the majority of the population cannot properly digest milk. To read more on this fascinating topic, please read this previous article, where you’ll find the scientific studies that back up the above statement:

Because most people cannot digest milk, they experience an inflammatory response. And, as Savers know, drinking milk also harms your bones. At the Save Institute, we recommend replacing cow’s milk with alkalizing almond milk.


The majority of people cannot properly digest milk, and experience inflammation when they drink it. Because milk is known to harm bones, we would all do well to avoid ingesting it at any age.

Milk Can Trigger Multiple Sclerosis

A large scientific study conducted in 27 countries among 29 populations found a strong correlation between cow's milk consumption and the development of multiple sclerosis (MS).1

MS is a central nervous system disease in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheath, the covering that protects nerve fibers and allows them to communicate with the brain and spinal cord. Once these fibers are exposed, the nerves deteriorate. Symptoms vary depending on the individual and which nerves are affected.

According to conventional medicine, there is no known cause or cure for MS. Yet the study found a significant link between cow's milk and the clinical appearance of MS.

A later study on the role of diet in treating MS suggests people with this illness should avoid milk because of “molecular mimicry”: that is, the proteins in milk mimic those innate to the body, disrupting the body's communication pathways. In susceptible individuals, this autoimmune interference would cause the body to reject its own protective sheath.2


Multiple sclerosis is a progressive disease caused by the deterioration of the myelin sheath that protects nerve fibers. Without this protective covering, communication with the brain and central nervous system breaks down.

A global research study found a significant correlation between cow's milk and the appearance of MS symptomatology. A second study found milk proteins can cause the body to reject its own myelin sheath.

Milk Proteins Increase The Risk Of Breast And Prostate Cancer

Milk plays a critical role in increasing cancer risk, due to the fact that high intake of dairy protein boosts the level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in the body.3

IGF-1 is a naturally occurring hormone, primarily produced by the liver, that helps promote bone and tissue growth and development, especially in childhood.

However, like any hormone or other naturally occurring chemical substance, it can be harmful in excess. Because it is a metabolic growth factor, excessive IGF-1 can lead to tumor development.

Recent research has shown that a concentration of IGF-1 is positively associated with an increased risk for both breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.

The study authors write that:

“These observations have led to the hypothesis that high intakes of protein from dairy products might increase the risk for some cancers by increasing the endogenous production of IGF-1.”3

In fact, another study has shown that too much milk is deadly: three glasses or more a day can result in premature death.


Dairy proteins increase IGF-1, a naturally occurring hormone that boosts bone and tissue growth in childhood but can be dangerous in excess, particularly after adulthood is reached. Research has shown increased levels of IGF-1 promote tumor growth.

Cow's Milk Is A Trigger For Insulin-Dependent Diabetes

Contrary to the popular though misinformed belief that milk is good — even essential — for children, studies have shown that milk consumption can cause Type 1 diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM), a chronic autoimmune condition in which the pancreas produces little to no insulin.

Typical IDDM onset occurs in childhood or adolescence and requires insulin injections to maintain proper blood sugar levels and bodily functions. The medical profession maintains Type 1 diabetes has an unknown etiology and no cure, although genetics, geography, and environmental factors are thought to play a role.

IDDM, especially if improperly managed, can be quite dangerous. Over time, the build-up of glucose in the bloodstream can affect the heart, kidneys, nerves, and eyes, causing life-threatening complications.

Researchers who compared age-standardized rates of diabetes and cow's milk consumption in various countries found a strong correlation between the two, leading them to conclude that cow's milk contains a triggering factor for the development of IDDM.4


Although the medical profession maintains that Type 1 diabetes (also known as juvenile onset diabetes, or insulin-dependent diabetes, IDDM) has no known cause or cure, researchers found a strong correlation between milk consumption and IDDM, concluding that milk contains a triggering factor for IDDM.

Milk Is One Of The Worst Food Allergens

As Savers know, keeping the liver healthy is key to bone health and overall health, since just about every substance we take into our bodies must pass through the liver. Allergic reactions are just one sign of an overtaxed liver — and milk is one of the top allergens.

Food allergies are the immune system's response to a trigger. Common food allergens include milk, shellfish, peanuts (and other nuts), soy, wheat, and dairy.

Even with dairy as a known allergen, milk has been marketed so effectively for generations that parents generally assume they must include it in their child's diet for healthy growth. This reliance on milk often continues into adulthood, when people routinely add a carton or a bottle of milk to their grocery-shopping basket.

Yet according to a scientific study across age-stratified respondents, milk caused the strongest allergic reaction! Quoting from the study:

“Self-reported prevalence of food allergy varied from 1.2% to 17% for milk, 0.2% to 7% for egg, 0% to 2% for peanuts, and fish, 0% to 10% for shellfish, and 3% to 35% for any food.”5

When we ingest food or beverage that can cause harm, our bodies react by producing symptoms of distress. If you drink milk and have been plagued with strange aches and pains, tiredness, and brain fog, for example, your body is probably alerting you that it does not metabolize milk well.


Milk is a potent allergen that can cause a wide range of symptoms, from fatigue, aches and pains, to more serious digestive and health issues. In self-reported studies, scientists found milk to be the highest reported allergen, exceeding shellfish, peanuts, and egg. Giving up milk will ease the burden on your liver and help restore your overall health.

Give Up Milk to Reclaim Your Health

The bottom line: when you stop drinking cow’s milk, you'll not only help to avoid MS, cancer, diabetes, and food allergies, you'll also improve the health of your bones, bring your hormones back into balance, and reduce your exposure to a number of toxins. Your bones, your gut, and your liver will thank you!

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1 Malosse D. et al., “Correlation between milk and dairy product consumption and multiple sclerosis prevalence: a worldwide study.” Neuroepidemiology. 1992;11(4-6):304-12. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1291895

2 Riccio, Paolo, et al., “May Diet and Dietary Supplements Improve the Wellness of Multiple Sclerosis Patients? A Molecular Approach.” Autoimmune Dis. 2010; 2010: 249842. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3065662/

3 Key, TJ, “Diet, insulin-like growth factor-1 and cancer risk.” Proc Nutr Soc. 2011 May 3:1-4. Web.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21557887

4 Dahl-Jørgensen K, et al., “Relationship between cows' milk consumption and incidence of IDDM in childhood.” Diabetes Care. 1991 Nov;14(11):1081-3. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1797491

5 Rona RJ, et al., “The Prevalence of Food Allergy: A Meta-Analysis.” J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2007 Sep;120(3):638-46. Epub 2007 Jul 12. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17628647

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Sandra

    What do you think of oat milk as a substitute for cows milk?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Sandra, oat milk is a good substitute, but oats are acidifying, so you would have to balance it with alkalizing foods.

  2. Kylie Sartori

    Would this apply to other dairy products such as cheese and yogurt?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      This applies to milk only.

  3. Elizabeth

    What about consuming cheese?

  4. Julie Kim

    I try not to eat dairy but miss Greek yogurt for one meal replacement. I eat it on and off to see how my body takes it. But not sure it is working or not. I am from Korea.
    I would appreciate very much for your advice, Thank you.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Julie, Greek yogurt is alkalizing, so enjoy it!

      • Julie Kim

        You are the best. Very grateful being there. Thank you.

  5. Elena

    What about kefir? Is kefir as harmful as consuming simple cow’s milk? Kefir has many health benefits. I drink a glass every day, but now I’m starting to worry.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Probiotic-rich kefir is good for your bones and your health, Elena.

      • Elena

        Thank you so much for your prompt reply Vivian. Much appreciated. I follow your Savers program diligently.

  6. Nancy

    Thank you for all the great information. I’ve read your newsletters for years. My latest DEXA scan showed an 8.2 % improvement in my spine and now “normal”. Hips are barely in the osteopenia range. I switched to almond milk years ago, but I do eat plain Greek yogurt daily. The only ingredient in it is milk. Should dairy plain yogurt also be avoided?

    • Amanda Harris

      This is a message for Nancy who mentioned that her DEXA scan improved 8.2%. That’s fantastic! Nancy… what did you change that prompted this improvement ?

    • Marie

      Don’t like milk, but use yoghurt for muesli

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Congratulations on your DXA results, Nancy! And to answer your question, plain, unsweetened yogurt is alkalizing 🙂

  7. Christine Peake

    So if I’m not supposed to have milk what do I put on my cereal. My health food shop owner (in UK) says soya milk oat milk etc etc are manufactured milk and equally bad for you. Help what should a cereal lover do?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Christine, at the Save Institute, we recommend unsweetened, alkalizing almond milk. You can get it at stores (select the brands that don’t add natural flavors). You can also make it at home, and if you’d like to do that, here’s the recipe:

      1. For every cup of water add one tablespoon of unsweetened almond butter.
      2. For every 4 cups, add one teaspoon of alcohol-free vanilla extract (if you’d like to add a little sweetness to the flavor). If you’d like a sweeter version, you can add monk fruit or stevia to taste.
      3. Add that mixture to your blender and blend well without using high speed, to prevent foaming. Then use a strainer and place it on a bowl.
      4. Slowly pour the mixture through the strainer, pressing the bottom of the strainer with a large spoon, and when done, transfer to an air-tight bottle.

      This mixture stays fresh in the refrigerator for five days.

  8. pei

    there have been a lot of research done that prove there is a link between casein (milk protein) and gluten causing autistic spectrum disorders in children and adults. so it is not surprising that there are findings that milk can cause other diseases when our bodies does not agree with it. in fact there are lots of alternatives to cow’s milk such as some nut milk and dark green vegetables that contain many calcium mineral.

    • Joan Venus-Evans

      I worry about the ingredients in most plant based milks though. Alpro is one of the most consumed in the UK. Locust bean gum, gellan gum, lecithin, added calcium and vitamins. Highly processed bad stuff.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Well said, Pei! Thanks for chiming in!

  9. margot

    The grief each calf and mother cow experience when permanently separated is horrific and cruel. The calf is usually allowed to strip the mother of the colostrum and thus bond with mother, only to be removed so we can have her milk. It is all too cruel and to say nothing of the huge commercial dairy industries!!

  10. verajean

    Can you suggest a Yogurt that has Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium in it.
    I understand that Greek Yogurt is a good one, but cannot find it in my

    • Catherine Gilmour

      I make a delicious coconut yoghurt using a bacteria from The Australian Genomic Centre in Kenmore ( Brisbane). It is great tasting and the bacteria just keep on multiplying in the yoghurt. Ayam brand coconut cream makes thick yoghurt. It has no additives

  11. Jean

    What do you think about almond milk instead of regular milk?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Almond milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk, Jean. It’s bone-healthy, too. 🙂

  12. Pat

    I know cow’s milk is acidifying and not good for bone health but I heard that making our own raw milk kiefer is beneficial for bone health. We are able to get raw milk from a trusted source and I have been making the kiefer. Is raw milk kiefer good for bone health?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Pat,

      Good news – yes! Because of its probiotic content, kefir (especially from raw milk) is good for bones. But once again, large amounts are not recommended. A cup or so a day is fine. 🙂

  13. Anita

    The only part of this article that has any science to back it up is the information on milk allergies/lactose intolerance, both of which can be determined by diagnostic testing. The inability to properly digest milk does NOT affect “the majority of the population.”
    The 1992 study you reference claiming that milk causes MS has been debunked many times..Even people with the condition do not believe that urban myth anymore..
    As to the connection with breast and prostate cancer, ALL animal products, including meats, contain IGF-1 not just milk. I suspect that the reason you do not promote abandoning all meat is that you sell calcium supplements.
    There IS scientific evidence that for some people with a genetic predisposition there is a substantially increased risk of heart attack and stroke when they take calcium supplements..but NOT when that calcium is taken in the form of FOOD. Milk is one of the most effective way of getting that calcium into a diet..To damn an entire food group is reckless especially when you are quoting decades old studies to influence people’s health habits..

    • Judy

      In 1999 at the age of 47 I was diagnosed with hormonal breast cancer, underwent a mastectomy, chemo and radiation. With 10 out of 11 lymph nodes positive the specialist stated my prognosis was not good. I was fortunate to see Professor Jane Plant in an interview on TV and next day bought her book. In this book I learnt of the dangers of consuming cows milk and how it is linked to hormonal cancers. I was a milk drinker all my life but I threw all dairy out the window and 19 years later I am still here against the odds. I would recommend Jane Plant’s book to everyone. We are the only mammal that drinks milk as an adult and another species milk? Vivian is 100% correct with her warning on drinking cows milk as the only purpose of cows milk is to feed a baby cow. Humans should get there calcium from a good vegetable diet. There is a lot of great websites warning about the dangers of consuming cows milk. Humans do not need cows milk once they are weaned. My complete change of lifestyle is what saved me – not the horrible treatment I went through.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      We’ll just have to agree to disagree, Anita. And that’s okay – I welcome all viewpoints on the topic. The bottom line remains the same: milk for cows is meant for calves, and is not designed for human consumption.

  14. Bonnie Camo MD

    Does this also apply to cheese? what about sheep cheese (pecorino?) There was a study of thousands of Swedish women studied for decades. Those who ate cheese lived longer than those who drank milk as well as those who ate no dairy. Cheese contains vitamin K2, needed for bones. Humans have been eating cheese for thousands of years. Milk, pasteurized, homogenized has only been around for decades. What about raw milk? What about A1 vs A2 milk?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That’s interesting, Bonnie. Of course, there are other lifestyle factors that may have come into play besides eating cheese that accounted for the longevity of the women in the study.

      Vitamin K2 is crucial for bone health, and natto (fermented Japanese bean paste) is a rich vegetarian source of this vitamin. Natto is alkalizing, unlike cheese, so we consider it a better source of bone-healthy K2 than cheese, which is acidifying. Here are links to two articles on Vitamin K that you’ll find interesting:



      As far as A1 and A2 milks, the difference is largely due to the type and amount of casein in the milks. A1 is a casein mutation that is actually more problematic as far as allergies go, and it is produced by Holsteins, the predominant cow breed in the US. You can read more about A1 and A2 milks here:


  15. Carmel

    Vivian, do you have references to studies done correlating dairy casein’s molecular structure being similar to human casein? I suspect that women who have gut permeability and get pregnant are unable to breast feed because her own immune system has produced antibodies to casein (dairy). In the third trimester, the woman’s mammary glands begin producing essential fatty acids, lactose and casein in preparation for nursing her baby. My daughter was never able to breastfeed. She never even felt the milk coming in or had any engorgement. She didn’t follow a casein free diet while pregnant, only afterwards. Thanks Carmel…

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That’s an interesting conjecture, Carmel; research does show that cow’s milk has a great deal more casein than human milk – cow’s milk has a ratio of 80:20 casein to whey, compared to human milk that has a 40:60 ratio. But so far, I have not seen any research on the scenario you describe, where a woman with gut permeability develops antibodies to casein and therefore can’t produce casein-containing breast milk. It’s an interesting theory!

  16. Jean

    I breastfed my son until he was 11 months old, but after he was weaned he just refused to drink milk out of a cup. He would have had a little milk on cereals, but not the quantities of it recommended for children. I used to worry about this but didn’t try to force him, and he grew up very strong and healthy!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Good work, Jean! Many strong, healthy children have grown up without cow’s milk. 🙂

  17. Eliza

    I have read that drinking lactose free milk is good for bones. I love milk and wondered if this is true?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Eliza,

      Most people have heard that drinking any kind of milk is good for bones, but at the Save Institute, we hold that no kind of animal milk is good for bones, including lactose-free milk. Milk is not naturally lactose-free, so it has to be processed even more to remove it. Typically, the enzyme lactase is added to the milk to pre-digest the lactose, and the milk is then ultra-pasteurized to deactivate the lactase and extend the milk’s shelf life.

  18. Ero

    How about organic goats milk, is that okay or is it as bad?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Ero,

      Organic goats’ milk is not “bad” – in fact, no foods are considered “bad” on the Program. Rather, it’s an issue of moderation. Organic goats’ milk is slightly more alkalizing than cow’s milk, and is certainly a better choice than non-organic milk of any kind. Think of it as a spectrum, with processed, store-bought cow’s milk at the most acidifying end of the spectrum and organic goats’ milk at the least acidifying end.

      Nonetheless, at the Save Institute we hold to the well-supported view that it is not natural for humans to drink the milk of an animal, which is intended for the young of that animal. Therefore, while milk is not “bad,” we don’t recommended it.

  19. Shlomo

    Does this also apply to dairy products such as different cheeses, Danone yogurt, etc.?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Shlomo (and Victoria and Mary),

      Cheese has undergone a process that changes the molecular structure of the milk, so it is not the same as straight cow’s milk. It is still acidifying, however, and not a good source of calcium for your bones. Dannon yogurt, which you mentioned, is typically flavored, sweetened, and not organic; so it, too, is not a good source of calcium and is acidifying. However, plain, organic yogurt without sugar is alkalizing and good for bones due to its probiotic content.

      I hope this helps clarify things! 🙂

    • Mary Keiner

      Is it possible to make healthy homemade yogurt which is beneficial to your health?

      • Gerry

        I have made natural plain yoghurt for family and dogs, over last 40 + years.
        Heat preferably organic, Or unpasteurised whole milk to ‘finger’hot heat.
        Pour into high,sided bowl; depending on amount of milk, add couple tablespoons of commercial plain yogurt, incorporating well. I use an old fashioned hand held egg whisk.
        Put bowl-sink,with the plug in, fill hottest tap water three quarters way up. I do this in evening. Cover whole sink , (incubate) with cake rack and thick folded towel. Leave overnight. If done right, you will smile when you uncover it in the morning 😄👩‍🌾

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