Lactose Intolerance


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By Matthew Sun

Many people have lactose intolerance and milk or dairy allergies, and wish to continue consuming dairy  and milk products. But a proper understanding of why the supposed allergies arise helps to alleviate many misconceptions regarding milk.

The problem is that anyone who is not a baby cannot actually digest milk due to the absence of renin in the stomach.

When a baby consumes its mother milk, the milk gets into the stomach and is mixed with an enzyme called renin, which effectively ‘curdles’ or makes cheese of the milk in the stomach. From there the stomach excretes acids which can effectively break down the proteins in the milk, which have coagulated and become solid due to the ‘curdling’. 

But once a baby is weened off the breast milk, the body ceases to produce renin anymore. This is where the problem lies. If anyone past the stage of breast feeding consumes milk, the milk enters the stomach as a liquid and stays that way, which is a major problem for the body as the stomach acid has a very difficult time breaking down the highly concentrated liquid protein. The body does require protein, no doubt, but it needs to be broken down first into amino acids, so it can then be reconstructed into human proteins. Considering the extreme difficulty the body has to break down the milk proteins, the body either uses up a large amount of stomach acid, and minerals, or the milk protein passes through the stomach into the small intestine, where it wreaks havoc on the body.

Once the undigested milk protein reaches the small intestines, the body panics and recognizes the milk as toxic, the body then secretes large amounts of mucous to protect itself and attempts to flush the milk out. This could be one of the causes of the so called Irritable Bowel Syndrome and possibly Colitis also. Most people will notice that when they drink milk or consume dairy products they they have a lot of mucous in their throat, but the mucous actually lines the whole digestive system, and mucous is a protection mechanism of the body, hence it is not a good thing. Regular consumption of milk also causes a large buildup of mucoid plaque.

In people that actually display symptoms of so called lactose intolerance or dairy allergy, it is usually because some of the milk protein or lactose has passed through the bowel wall into the blood stream and triggered the immune system to respond. The immune system recognizes the undigested milk protein or lactose in the blood as being toxic and works very hard to remove it. Hence we do not recommend anyone, apart from calfs, consume cows milk. Hard cheeses however, made with vegetarian friendly rennet is acceptable in small amounts, but not highly recommended.

There could also be a link between milk allergies, lactose intolerance and back pain, since regular consumption of dairy products creates large amounts of mucoid plaque which is known to put stress on the lower back. Many people who have cleansed their bowels of mucoid plaque have cured their back pain. A swollen abdomen is a sure sign that mucoid plaque is responsible for the problem.

There is also a misconception that milk is necessary for calcium, but in fact recent studies suggest that milk may actually deplete calcium from the body (ref).“The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study of 77,761 women, aged 34 to 59 followed for 12 years, found that those who drank three or more glasses of milk per day had no reduction in the risk of hip or arm fractures compared to those who drank little or no milk, even after adjustment for weight, menopausal status, smoking, and alcohol use. In fact, the fracture rates were slightly, but significantly, higher for those who consumed this much milk, compared to those who drank little or no milk.

The calcium problem and milk comes from the fact that milk protein is high in sulfur, which causes an acidic reaction in the blood and leaches calcium from the bones in order to neutralize it.

Vegetarian foods provide much more available calcium, below is a list of vegetarian calcium sources:

CALCIUM AND MAGNESIUM IN FOODS (milligrams)

Source

Calcium

Magnesium

Apricots (3 medium, raw)

15

8

Barley (1 cup)

57

158

Black turtle beans (1 cup, boiled)

103

91

Broccoli (1 cup, boiled)

94

38

Brown rice (1 cup, cooked)

20

86

Brussels sprouts (8 sprouts)

56

32

Butternut squash (1 cup, boiled)

84

60

Chick peas (1 cup, canned)

80

78

Collards (1 cup, boiled)

358

52

Dates (10 medium, dried)

27

29

English  muffin

92

11

Figs (10 medium, dried)

269

111

Great northern beans (1 cup, boiled)

121

88

Green beans (1 cup, boiled)

58

32

Kale (1 cup, boiled)

94

24

Lentils (1 cup, boiled)

37

71

Lima beans (1 cup, boiled)

32

82

Mustard greens (1 cup, boiled)

150

20

Navel orange (1 medium)

56

15

Navy beans (1 cup, boiled)

128

107

Oatmeal, instant (2 packets)

326

70

Orange juice, calcium-fortified (1 cup)

270

Peas (1 cup, boiled)

44

62

Pinto beans (1 cup, boiled)

82

95

Raisins (2/3 cup)

53

35

Soybeans (1 cup, boiled)

175

148

Sweet potato (1 cup, boiled)

70

32

Tofu (1/2 cup)

258

118

Vegetarian baked beans (1 cup)

128

82

White beans (1 cup, boiled)

161

113

Source: Pennington JAT. Bowes and Church’s Food Values of Portions Commonly Used. 16th Edition, Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott, 1994.


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