Friday, November 28, 2008

Organic milk doesn't contain hormones.

A commonly-heard reason for buying organic or rbST-free milk is that it 'doesn't contain hormones'... or does it?

It's a commonly-heard perception, but one that's simply not accurate.

Firstly, all milk contains hormones. That applies whether it's from a cow, goat, sheep or even a human; whether the animal has been raised conventionally, on pasture or organically; and regardless of whether the animal has been given supplemental hormones (e.g. recombinant bovine somatotropin or rbST). Even soy 'milk' contains plant-based hormones.

Secondly, milk in the US is fortified with vitamin D to (very successfully) prevent rickets. Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that is absorbed in the small intestine.

Thirdly, there is no evidence to show that cows given supplemental rbST have an increased concentration of either naturally-occurring or recombinant bST in milk. rbST was approved by the FDA in 1993 as being safe both for animal use and for human consumption of the resulting dairy products, and has been available for producers to use since 1994. rbST is a protein hormone and is therefore digested in the stomach, producing amino acids that are absorbed in the small intestine. This means that it has no biological activity in humans. Furthermore, there is no test available to show whether bST in milk originated from the cow herself or from supplementation, and the levels of bST in milk samples is often too low to detect in the lab.

Finally, I refer you to a recent study by Vicini et al. (2008, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol 108) that investigated the nutritional and hormonal composition of milk from the 48 contiguous states labeled as conventional, rbST-free or organically produced. All milks sampled had similar nutritional contents (fat, protein, lactose etc) and both organic and conventional milks had the same bST content. Furthermore, estradiol contents were actually higher in organic and rbST-free milk than conventional milk.

Myth: Organic/rbST-free milk doesn't contain any hormones. BUSTED!

By Jude L. Capper

References: Vicini et al., 2008. JADA; 108: 1198-1203.


NEXT MYTH: Watch this space...

3 comments:

souix said...

While it is true that there are naturally occurring hormones in milk...cows that are given synthetic hormones are more apt to develop mastitis, painful condition that makes the udder swell. These cows are then given a treatment of antibiotics which end up in our water supply.

kino said...

There are hundreds of millions of different proteins in nature, and only one hormone that is identical between any two species. That powerful growth hormone is insulin-like growth factor, or IGF-I. IGF-I survives digestion and has been identified as the KEY FACTOR in breast cancer's growth. IGF-I is identical in human and cow.

If you believe that breast feeding "works" to protect lactoferrins and immunoglobulins from digestion (and benefit the nursing infant), you must also recognize that milk is a hormonal delivery system. By drinking cow's milk, one delivers IGF-I in a bioactive form to the
body's cells. When IGF-I from cow's milk alights upon an existing cancer...
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"Human Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) and bovine IGF-I are identical. Both contain 70 amino acids in the identical sequence."
Judith C. Juskevich and C. Greg Guyer. SCIENCE, vol. 249. August 24, 1990.
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"IGF-I is critically involved in the aberrant growth of human breast cancer cells."
M. Lippman. J. Natl. Inst. Health Res., 1991, 3.
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"Estrogen regulation of IGF-I in breast cancer cells would support the hypothesis that IGF-I has a regulatory function in breast cancer."
A.V. Lee, Mol-Cell- Endocrinol., March, 99(2).
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"IGF-I is a potent growth factor for cellular proliferation in the human breast carcinoma cell line."
J.C. Chen, J-Cell-Physiol., January, 1994, 158(1)
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"Insulin-like growth factors are key factors for breast cancer growth."
J.A. Figueroa, J-Cell-Physiol., Nov., 1993, 157(2)
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"IGF-I produces a 10-fold increase in RNA levels of cancer cells. IGF-I appears to be a critical component in cellular proliferation."
X.S. Li, Exp-Cell-Res., March, 1994, 211(1)
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"IGF-I plays a major role in human breast cancer cell growth."
E.A. Musgrove, Eur-J-Cancer, 29A (16), 1993
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"IGF-I has been identified as a key factor in breast cancer."
Hankinson. The Lancet, vol. 351. May 9, 1998
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"Serum IGF-I levels increased significantly in milk drinkers, an increase of about 10% above baseline but was unchanged in the control group."
Robert P. Heaney, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 99, no. 10. October 1999
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"IGF-1 accelerates the growth of breast cancer cells."
M. Lippman Science, Vol. 259, January 29, 1993

I studied hundreds of women with ovarian cancer and had them record in detail what they normally ate.
There was one thing that women with cancer had eaten much more frequently than women without cancer; Dairy products. I eliminated dairy products from their diet and within days the lumps started to shrink.
Dr. Daniel Cramer, Harvard University

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