Does Milk build strong bones?

Short answer: NO


Because milk depletes calcium from your bones.


Short answer: Yes

* Milk is high in calcium (300mg per glass), protein and fat.
* Milk, coming from an animal is animal protein.
* Animal protein is acid forming and as I’ve mentioned in previous newsletters, acid leaches calcium from the bones

Put another way from Vivian Goldsmidt, MA~Save Our Bones

“Here’s how it happens. Like all animal protein, milk acidifies the body pH which in turn triggers a biological correction. You see, calcium is an excellent acid neutralizer and the biggest storage of calcium in the body is – you guessed it… in the bones. So the very same calcium that our bones need to stay strong is utilized to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk. Once calcium is pulled out of the bones, it leaves the body via the urine, so that the surprising net result after this is an actual calcium deficit.”

Osteopenia/osteoporosis are more common in dairy-consuming regions.  An interesting point from Annmarie Colbin, Phd – The Whole Foods Guide to Strong Bones – “According to a paper on the Nurses’ Study in the American Journal of Public Health, when seventy-eight thousand (78,000!!!) nurses were followed over twelve years, those with a dietary calcium intake higher than 450mg per day had double the risk of hip fracture, and that was on a standard diet. Women who drank two or more glasses of milk per day had a 50 percent higher risk of breaking a hip than women who drank less than one glass  per week.”

What do we do living in a country whose history of a strong milk lobby have us all believing if we don’t drink milk we will have weak bones? Do we blindly follow the information we are fed and drink milk?

  • Remember when we were told that cigarettes were not addictive?
  • Remember the various milk campaigns; Got Milk, or the Milk Mustache Campaign – seeing famous and beautiful people wearing a milk mustache. We have to truthfully understand the driver behind these campaigns.

Beautiful Woman with her Milk Mustache

How about Fat Free or Low Fat Milk?

When the fat is removed completely we have skim milk or reduced fat milk – 1%, 2%. Remember those “fat free” days when we were told FAT is EVIL and we became sugar addicts? I do.  That’s when “Good N’ Plenty” was my staple and my favorite holiday was Halloween! We need the fat; good fat. So what about the fat in the buttermilk ?

“When the naturally occurring butterfat is removed from milk and other dairy products, these foods are proportionately too high in acid-forming protein. The natural butterfat, together with the calcium, buffers the acidity created by metabolism of the protein; it also helps the body absorb the protein better”.

Review: If you drink milk, take it in it’s whole organic form preferably RAW which is unpasteurized and not homogenized.

Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D on reduced fat milk.   “There is a reason why nature puts all these nutrients together, and we humans may be quite foolish to think our technology can create a healthier product by removing components of whole unprocessed foods.

Here’s a simple way to remember the basic concept:

Milk should go out of the woman, not in.

When it goes in, it goes the wrong way and the system jams creating numerous health problems; chronic vaginal discharge, acne, menstrual cramps, fibroids, chronic intestinal upset, snoring, benign breast conditions.”

Let’s take a look at nature. Have you ever seen a grown cow nurse from it’s mother? No, we see calves (baby cows) suckling from their mother’s to grow into strong cows.

Calf Suckling

As we see with babies; babies need mother’s milk to grow strong, to build their immune system. Recommended breast feeding is 1-2 years with a minimum of 1 year.  When babies are weaned from the breast, they no longer need milk.  They need real wholesome food, not sugary foods, juices or sodas which depletes calcium from one of the most important developmental stages of their lives -building their bones.

So many children suffer unnecessarily from ear infections and the common ingredient?  Cow’s Milk.  Once milk is removed from their diets, ear infections often clear up. As we walk into the cold and flu season, with the first sign of sniffles, immediately remove all milk intake as dairy creates mucus.

Vivian Goldsmidt, MA  Like any other animal derived protein-rich food, milk has a positive potential renal acid load (PRAL) which triggers a protective biological reaction to neutralize all the damaging acidic protein before it reaches the kidneys.

The body is designed for survival, so it sacrifices bone density to protect the kidneys and urinary tract because the latter are essential to survival. And the most readily available source of acid neutralizer is in the bones. So even though milk contains calcium, it ends up sapping your bones of that crucial mineral. But that’s not all because…

Today’s milk is a processed food.

Until the end of the 19th century in Europe and the beginning of the 20th century in the US, milk was consumed unpasteurized or raw. Later on, homogenization became the industry’s standard. These processes further alter milk’s chemistry and actually increase its detrimental acidifying effects.

Raw milk advocates claim that if cow’s milk is left “as is” it is a healthy and wholesome drink. It is true that raw milk is less acidifying than processed milk and that pasteurization and homogenization may cause a long list of digestive and other health problems. For further research please read this insightful article from The Westin A Price Foundation:

More from Vivian Goldsmidt, MA:

“Nowadays, milking cows are given antibiotics and most are also injected with a genetically engineered form of bovine growth hormone (rBGH). A man-made or synthetic hormone used to artificially increase milk production, rBGH also increases blood levels of the insulin-growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in those who drink it. And higher levels of IGF-1 are linked to several cancers.

Even though organic milk is from cows that are not given antibiotics or rBHG, if you truly care about your bone health and your overall health, you should…
Avoid drinking cow’s milk.

In traditional societies (other than fermented dairy- kefir and yogurt), dairy foods are not part of the native diet.  By the age of 4 most people in the world lose the activity of the lactase enzyme, which digest lactose and simply become lactose intolerant.  According to Annmarie Colbin, PhD.   An average of 70 percent of adults worldwide are lactose intolerant.  This figure varies widely across cultures.

Yet, many believers in milk don’t listen to their bodies way of communication (gas, bloating, skin outbreaks, rashes) and reach for the “Lactose Free” milk because we want to believe we all need milk.

Paul Pitchford, Vivian Goldsmiths, Annmarie Colbin,  – my teachers –  believe that drinking milk and eating lots of dairy products are not the answer for reversing osteoporosis.  We all agree that bone health is maintained by eating calcium and mineral rich foods; leafy greens, fermented foods, bone-building herbal teas, seaweeds/sea vegetables, seasonal vegetables, fish with bones (sardines, canned salmon), grains, bone stock; natures best.

Everything we eat becomes our bones, blood, organs, tissues, thought and our feelings.

Also keep in mind the biggest boned animals; elephants, horses, cows and giraffes build their bones from leafy greens and grasses.


Yogurt is a fermented dairy product chock-full of beneficial qualities made by adding bacterial cultures to milk which causes the transformation of the milk’s sugar, lactose, into lactic acid.    This process gives yogurt its refreshingly tart flavor and unique pudding-like texture.   Many people who can’t tolerate milk CAN tolerate bone building whole milk organic/ biodynamic yogurt.

Yogurt is a very good source of calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin-vitamin B2 and iodine and is also a good source of vitamin B12, pantothenic acid-vitamin B5, zinc, potassium, protein and molybdenum. These nutrients alone would make yogurt a health-supportive food. But some of the most interesting health information about yogurt comes from a different context-its inclusion of live bacteria.

The highest quality yogurt in your grocery store contains live bacteria that provides a host of health benefits.   Hawthorne Valley Farm’s old European-style is both biodynamic and organic, made with live cultures comes highly recommended and can be found in most health food stores and the Union Square Market in Manhattan.   This is a full-fat yogurt.

Back to Milk~
The best milk substitute

My favorite milk substitute is almond milk, not only because it is alkalizing (as almonds are), but also because it’s delicious and easy to make. Click here to view my favorite whole food chef, Sharla Cooper create almond milk.

Thanks for reading my blog.  Would love to hear your comments!

From my bones to yours!