Actually, cow's milk isn't all that good for humans. Yes, it does have calcium, we all know that from the dairy industry advertisments. What most people are not aware of is that what the dairy industry tells people is not based on science or fact, but on assumptions.

Do you know of those commercials on TV and advertisments in magazines for milk (Got milk?) And you know how in those commercials and advertisments they say, "Drinking milk may help prevent osteoperosis." Well, guess what? That claim is not based on any studies or science at all! It's propaganda. The dairy industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year to get this false message as far as they can. But the dairy people don't want you to know that it is not based on scientific evidence, because you'd probably reconsider drinking it. And that would be bad for their profits.

Luckily, there are studies on cow's milk and human consumption of it. They aren't very reasurring either. Harvard did a study on 78,000 nurses who drank at least three glasses of cow's milk a day. Here is a quote from the PCRM (Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine):

"Don't count on milk to beat osteoporosis. In a Harvard study1 of 78,000 nurses, drinking three or more glasses of milk per day did not reduce fractures at all. An Australian study2 showed the same thing. Still, you do need calcium, and good non-dairy sources include fortified orange or apple juice, green leafy vegetables, beans and calcium supplements. The amount you need is less when you reduce sodium and animal protein in your diet. Exercise and vitamin D (from the sun or a supplement) are also key."

In fact, the women who drank the most amount of cow's milk showed greater risks for bone fractures than those who got calcium from other sources. This is being shown as a link between animal protein and loss of bone mass in other studies.

So, in conclusion, beer is better for you than cow's milk. Remember, next time you see one of those "Got milk?" ads, be skeptical and realize it is propaganda for profits and not based on any studies.

By the way, your body only absorbs 30% of the calcium in cow's milk -- not very efficient.

There is lots more science on how cow's milk is not good for humans, but it's too much to put here. Two good web sites with evidence based on actual scientific studies are:

1: The Harvard Nurse's study - Cumming & Klineberg, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
2: Australian study - Feskanich, published in the American Journal of Public Health.

FAX your request for these studies to: Dairy Education Board - 201-871-9304.