Do You Know Nutrition: Cow's milk No. 1 food allergen in country

By Phylis Canion
June 19, 2012 at 1:19 a.m.

I have an 11-year-old son who has respiratory problems, constipation and a lot of ear infections. I started him on chewable vitamins about a year ago thinking that may help, but now he is beginning to develop dental problems. I have him drinking cow's milk daily, and for the most part, we eat pretty healthy. What am I doing wrong? What are your recommendations?

Cow's milk is the No. 1 food allergen in the country (out of the top eight that include egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat) that account for 90 percent of food allergic reactions, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

No other mammal on Earth continues to drink someone else's milk after weaning-except humans. The problem with milk is the processing. During pasteurization, dozens of valuable enzymes are destroyed, including lactase for the assimilation of lactose (milk sugar), galactase for the assimilation of galactose, and phosphatase for the assimilation of calcium.

Because the calcium in cow's milk is pasteurized, and therefore inorganic, it is largely unusable in the human body. Without these enzymes in the stomach, it makes milk very difficult to digest and could be the cause of respiratory problems and ear infections.

Because milk is mucus forming, it slows the transit time of waste matter, which can lead to constipation. I would recommend a good whole food multivitamin (one that does not contain, soy, gluten, binders, filler, excipients, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, dairy, sugar and preservatives) and toss the chewable vitamins.

Vitamins contain vitamin C, which is ascorbic acid and is best swallowed (with food) rather than chewed. The prolonged exposure to ascorbic acid can damage the tooth enamel. I would also encourage drinking more water, which is very important to re-hydrate the body, increase transit time of waste matter and is utilized by every organ, cell and tissue that make up the human body.

Healthier substitutes for cow's milk include, oat, almond, coconut and hemp non-dairy beverages.

If you would like to read more about milk that contains growth hormones, fat, cholesterol, allergenic proteins, antibiotics and bacteria, I would suggest you read "Milk: The Deadly Poison," by Robert Cohen; "Whitewash: The Disturbing Truth About Cow's Milk and Your Health," by Dr. Joseph Keon and "What's In Your Milk," by Samuel S. Epstein, M.D.

Thought for the week: "Life has not limitations, except the ones you make." - Les Brown

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, email her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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