Most of us grew up in the belief that we had to drink cow’s milk to have strong bones. Was it just a very effective marketing campaign? Many studies in the past have denied this claim, but recently, Harvard researchers examined all available evidence on dairy products and found that milk does not help strengthen bones to prevent fractures. Dr. David Ludwig stated that they reviewed more than 100 studies and concluded that the recommendations for consuming dairy products we see in advertising were not based on scientific evidence.
There is no human to drink the milk of other animals. All the nutrients in milk can be obtained in the necessary amounts from other sources. Calcium can be found abundantly in kale, broccoli, nuts, seeds, beans and calcium-fortified vegetable milks.
In fact, countries with higher milk milk consumption (such as Sweden) tend to have a higher risk of hip fractures than those with lower consumption (such as China). Harvard researchers evaluated the evidence on dairy consumption and health outcomes, including growth and development, cancer risk, bone health and body weight, and concluded that high consumption of dairy products has no benefit for human being.
Not only did they discover that there was no protection against bone fractures, but it could increase the risk of fractures, prostate cancer and endometrial cancer. With respect to cardiovascular diseases, dairy products increase their risk compared to sources of plant origin.
Reference: Willett WC, Ludwig DS. Milk and health. N Engl J Med. 2020; 382: 644-654.