There do not appear to be any other benefits of dairy (apart from being the source of whey protein) and to make matters worse, dairy seems to have detrimental effects to your health. Milk should be for calves (baby cows), most humans have a problem digesting it. I cannot tell you how many patients I have seen over the years whose chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, chronic sinusitis and allergies cleared up when they stopped eating dairy. When people come to see me in my practice and I put them on a diet, I almost always remove dairy.
1. Dairy cows are fed the wrong food, which not only changes the nature of the milk but causes health problems for the cows. They are fed soy, corn, cottonseed meal or other commercial feeds, which contain all sorts of things including chicken manure and citrus peel cake, laced with pesticides. These foods are not appropriate for cows, who are ruminants and should be feeding on green grass in the spring, summer and fall and on green feed, silage, hay and root vegetables in the winter. Unfortunately most dairy cows are kept in confinement, given antibiotics and hormones, and never see green grass their entire lives.
2. The milk is pasteurized. Pasteurization is the process of heating a liquid to a high enough temperature to kill certain bacteria and disable certain enzymes. It destroys enzymes, vitamins, denatures fragile milk proteins, kills beneficial bacteria and promotes pathogens. Even calves fed pasteurized milk do poorly and many die before maturity. Pasteurization was instituted in the 1920s to combat TB, infant diarrhea, undulant fever and other diseases caused by poor animal nutrition and dirty production methods. But times have changed and modern stainless steel tanks, milking machines, refrigerated trucks and inspection methods make pasteurization absolutely unnecessary for public protection.
3. In some cases, milk is ultra-pasteurized to get rid of heat-resistant bacteria and give it a longer shelf life. Ultra high temperature pasteurization is a process that takes milk from a chilled temperature to above the boiling point in less than two seconds. This process is utilized for the boxed milks that can be kept at room temperature
4. To make matters worse, milk is homogenized. Homogenization is a process that breaks down butterfat globules so they do not rise to the top. Homogenized milk is harder to digest, so proteins that would normally be digested in the stomach are not broken down and instead are absorbed into the bloodstream. Often the body reacts to these “foreign proteins” by triggering the immune system, causing inflammation. It can even trigger auto-immune problems. Homogenized milk has also been linked to heart disease probably because of the fat globules that are dispersed by the process.
5. In addition to being chemically altered into something that hard to digest and causes problems, today’s milk usually contains steroids, antibiotics, pesticides from treated grains, bacteria from infected animals, and genetically engineered growth hormones.
So if you do drink milk, I suggest you look for pure raw milk from grass fed cows (which is hard to get in most states unfortunately), because it may not be the milk per se, but how milk is chemically altered that causes the problems.