more moo woo

Once I started paying attention to the woo around milk I realised how much of it there is. And how ready people are to accept it.

I've written about the notoriously non-scientific Food Babe before. Someone with a high pain threshold could probably manage a daily blog post on this young woman and the way she manipulates opinion, and sometimes sells the very things she inveighs against… But I digress!

Today I noticed she's shared a link about how drinking milk encourages the development of osteoporosis. I was mildly suspicious about the source (' but before taking a look I skimmed the comments. Oh dear.

Have you ever noticed how mucus forming milk is when you drink it? It's because the pasturation process has made the protiens in the milk unhealthy for your body. So what does your body do? It surrounds the protiens with mucus and rids them from your body thru the lymphatic system. 

That 'thud' was my head meeting my desk.

Following the link (& I've used 'donotlink' as I don't want to up their page traffic) induced several more thuds. Apparently the reason pasteurised milk is Bad (and they're clearly OK with 'raw' milk) is that 

the pasteurization process only creates calcium carbonate, which has absolutely no way of entering the cells without a chelating agent. So what the body does is pull the calcium from the bones and other tissues in order to buffer the calcium carbonate in the blood. This process actually causes osteoporosis.

Funnily enough, I couldn't find any data suggesting that fresh milk contains calcium carbonate (see here, for example, for the chemical constituents you'd expect). The next sentence is chemical word salad, which I suppose someone had fun making up.

And the focus on pasteurised milk is disingenuously misleading as the paper they've sort-of-cited (no actual details given, but you'll find it here) didn't distinguish between pasteurised & raw. It's also notable that holistic-living omitted the authors' conclusion – hardly surprising as it doesn't support their narrative (my emphasis):

Given the observational study designs with the inherent possibility of residual confounding and reverse causation phenomena, a cautious interpretation of the results is recommended.

Caution is needed all right, not least because the data were gathered on the basis of food diary surveys.

Caution is also needed on the holistic-living page, because it just goes on & on – including claiming that the enzymes in raw milk are essential for us to absorb the other nutrients in the milk. And conveniently forgetting that those enzymes may well not survive the stomach. And proposing links between hormones in milk & cancer, which I've blogged about before & for which there appears to be little supporting evidence. (As I said back in 2010, Medical Hypotheses doesn't count.)

Le sigh. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose .

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