Milk is one of the most important foods we consume in life: breast milk that is. Cow’s milk is made exclusively for baby calves. Likewise, human milk is made exclusively for human babies. Cows grow to their adult weight by eating grass for heaven’s sake!

Babies’ intestinal tracts are not fully developed when they are born, and rely on the unique composition of breast milk to protect their intestinal tracts from infection until they are capable of doing it for themselves. It takes approximately one year for babies to develop their own IgA antibodies, which provide protection from microbes capable of multiplying in the body secretions. Cow’s milk should not be introduced to a baby before one year of age to give the baby’s immune system enough time to build up and defend itself against the foreign particles. For optimal health, it should not be consumed at all. Anything you have to build up immunity to in order to eat warrants steering clear.

The first food that newborns receive from their mothers is called colostrum. It is absolutely imperative to a baby’s immune system and overall health that she is breastfeed for at least the first 5 days after birth to receive this immune-enhancing colostrum. It is high in immunoglobulin IgA (which babies are incapable of developing at this point), and acts to coat and protect the gastrointestinal tract. It also acts as a laxative to help the newborn pass meconium, which makes up the baby’s first bowel movement. Meconium is sticky like tar, is sterile, and has no smell.

There are many other factors that make breast milk the optimal food for infants. It provides the baby with the right amount of nutrients in the right form for the best possible absorption. It is always the perfect temperature, convenient, economical, and it provides the baby with immune-enhancing nutrients that are crucial to optimal health. It is recommended that women breastfeed for the first year of the infant’s life to keep up receiving the numerous benefits to the baby’s health. We personally recommend that breastfeeding occur well into the second year for optimal health, although it does not need to be exclusively.

Cow’s milk is heavily processed, so when ingested into the human body, an immune response occurs to fight the alien particles. Cow’s milk is pasteurized, homogenized, fortified, and sometimes even de-fatted before it hits the shelves in your local supermarket.

Pasteurization occurs when milk is heated to kill any harmful microorganisms that may be proliferating. This process also kills any beneficial bacteria (remember how important IgA is to a baby’s intestinal health) and any other important nutritional elements.

Homogenization is the process of blending milk to prevent the natural separation (between a high-fat upper layer and a larger low-fat lower layer) that occurs when fresh milk is left to stand. During this process, fat gobules are broken down into smaller pieces, and an enzyme called xanthine oxidase is forced from outside the larger fat cells to the inside of these unnatural, smaller fat cells. This prevents digestive enzymes from reaching the XO, allowing some to pass from the gut into the circulatory system where it attacks plasmalogen (which protects arteries from hardening). This is where the immune response comes in. When undigested particles are absorbed by the body, bad things happen in the blood stream and subsequently the entire body. Milk antibodies were found to be significantly elevated in the blood of male patients with heart disease.1

When foods are fortified, nutrients, and usually laboratory-created nutrients at that are added to increase the food’s nutritional composition. Claims about fortification may be good for marketing and sales purposes, but their healthiness is in question. If a label proclaims “added calcium,” the same product may also have some form of added sugar, and added sugar spells trouble. A study by Melvin Page is one of many that shows sugar’s ability to raise the blood levels of calcium through the resorption of calcium from bones.2 So a product that you buy to increase your calcium intake may actually be creating the opposite scenario inside your body.

If you are drinking milk to get your calcium, you may want to search for a better source. Dairy is the number one allergen, and a person who drinks gallons of milk can be calcium deficient. If you react allergically to a food, it is difficult to absorb its nutrients. When an allergenic food is eaten numerous times a day, withdrawal symptoms are likely not to be noticed until the following morning. Pasteurization harms Calcium and destroys enzymes. Skim milk is even worse because it is missing the fat which is necessary for the absorption of Calcium. Milk is also very low in magnesium which is necessary to keep calcium in solution.

When you eat a certain food frequently, such as milk on cereal, drink milk 3 times a day, and eat ice cream or cheese, you are calling on specific enzymes to digest that food. In the case of milk that enzyme is lactase. The same is true of wheat: toast, cereal, sandwiches, etc. The foods you eat most often are often the ones to which you react. Researchers agree that we have a finite enzyme making capability, shown in many rat studies in which those fed half the calories will live twice as long. Human babies lose their lactase forming ability by the age of 2 years, leaving them with a condition called lactose intolerance. The most prevalent symptoms that occur when a baby is reacting to milk are inner ear infections and colic. If you are breastfeeding and drink milk yourself, your baby will also react. It is imperative that both mother and baby eliminate cow’s milk from their diet for optimal health.

Mother Nature knows best. Milk is created by mothers and is a perfectly balanced first food. It is imperative for digestive health. But that’s where our relationship with milk must end, and if you want to improve immune functioning, you must start decreasing the amount of dairy you consume, with an end goal of zero! Do yourself a favour and go one week without dairy, especially if you have any respiratory/sinus problems. Go 4 weeks and you’ll breathe better than you have in a long time. Don’t take my word for it. Do it now!

Author's Bio: 

Amy is a registered holistic nutritionist who believes in the powerful healing benefits of natural, whole foods and affirms that there is not one disease that cannot be improved through a change in diet and lifestyle. She is the Director of Nutrition for Total Wellness Consulting and a contributor to the groundbreaking Eating for Energy ebook that has been helping people worldwide dramatically improve their diets and achieve their health goals. Visit to get your copy today.