Milk Truth


Have you been confused lately about the facts and the health benefits of milk? You are not alone. Science has been misconstrued by the media and special interest groups.  As a result, many people are confused and may be turning away from one of the most nutrient-rich, affordable and available sources of high-quality protein and 8 other nutrients, many of which are lacking in American diets.

‘Milk Truth’ means using the support of science to uncover the facts.  The information below is from an information campaign to share the truth about milk.  It is science-based and links are provided for all the references.  I welcome questions and comments on this topic.  Please share!

Milk Truth:


Milk isn’t just for kids – although it’s especially important for growing kids who need the nourishment that milk provides. Milk is an affordable, convenient and easily accessible source of essential nutrients for all family members. Milk is America’s top food source of calcium, vitamin D and potassium – three nutrients that are most often lacking in our diet. Milk is also a good source of high-quality protein (casein and whey). Each 8-ounce glass of milk contains 8 grams of protein – compared to a large egg, which has 6 grams of protein.


No matter what you choose – fat free, low fat, organic – dairy milk provides 9 essential nutrients. Fat-free milk contains just 80 calories per cup, and all the nutrients are still intact. Rest assured, the milk is not diluted. If you prefer whole, full-fat milk, it’s actually 3.25% milkfat by weight – which is not as much as many people think. Since milk is highly regulated, you can feel good about its safety. Every batch is carefully tested for antibiotics, and any milk testing positive for antibiotics is discarded before it reaches the dairy case. So you can feel confident your milk is safe and wholesome.


Skeptics may claim that milk isn’t necessary, but a large body of scientific research suggests otherwise. Studies repeatedly show the benefits of drinking two to three glasses of milk a day. Milk helps build and maintain bone strength, and has been found to boost muscle growth and support healthy weight. An extensive body of research suggests far-reaching health benefits of milk – ranging from “reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and with lower blood pressure in adults,” according to Milk and milk products are valuable foods that nourish people around the world and play a valuable role in global public health.


It’s hard to get nutrients you need without milk in your diet. Studies with adults and kids have shown just how tough that is, and how missing those nutrients can have a negative health impact. The truth is, not all non-dairy milks have the same nutrients as real milk, so it’s important to know what you are getting in each glass. For instance, dairy milk has 8 times the protein of almond and rice milks – which contain a long list of ingredients, including added sugar, syrups, salt, thickeners and stabilizers. Real milk’s ingredient list is short and simple, with only ingredients you know.


Milk is one of the original local, farm-to-table foods. It’s a product from farm families that care about their cows. In fact, 97% of dairy farms are still family-owned and operated – passed down from generation to generation. Little handling is done from farm to fridge – primarily just pasteurization, a simple heat-treated process that ensures the milk you buy at the store is safe to drink, but does not reduce the nutrients inside. Milk is a whole, naturally nutrient-rich food.


16 responses

    • Hi, KerryAnne.
      As much as I encourage milk consumption, I do not promote raw milk for anyone not raising and milking their own animals. Pasteurized milk offers the same health benefits as raw milk without the risks. Pasteurization is a simple effective way to kill potentially harmful bacteria. In fact, the CDC and the US FDA recommend that no one consume unpasteurized milk.
      I hope this helps!

      • Thank you for this response. I have been hesitant for a lot of the reasons you stated and I had begun to wondering if the benefits out-weigh the risks. I am going to say no for now and continue to follow the research for a while. I enjoyed reading this post, thank you!

  1. Thanks Lynn. Are you comfortable with whoever financed the Milk Truth Report? Meaning they are completely impartial? Thank you, May Liberty Be joyful / though you have considered all the facts. Wendell Berry

    • Thank you for your comment, Wendell. I have confidence in the wealth of scientific studies that have documented the benefits of drinking milk. “Milk Truth” is a very comprehensive summary of decades of this research. Similar messages are echoed by large bodies of health/medical organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, US Department of Agriculture, American Heart Association, and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

  2. Interesting that they talk about casein as a good protein when I’ve heard that casein is really bad for you.

    This is from The China Study:

    “What protein consistently and strongly promoted cancer? Casein, which makes up 87% of cow’s milk protein, promoted all stages of the cancer process. What type of protein did not promote cancer, even at high levels of intake? The safe proteins were from plants, including wheat and soy. As this picture came into view, it began to challenge and then to shatter some of my most cherished assumptions” (the guy grew up on a dairy farm.

    Here’s an excerpt from the Beauty Detox Project:

    Most notaly, the China Project revealed a strong correlation between cancer and animal protein and dairy consumption. As Dr. Campbell explains in The China Study, “dietary protein proved to be so powerful in its effect that we could turn on and turn off cancer growth simply by changing the level consumed.” The China Project, along with some seven hundred and fifty studies Campbell cites in The China Study, demonstrably reveal that a plant-based diet supplies more than adequate protein calcium, as well as other improtant minerals and nutrients needed for healthy. It also pinpointed the powerful connection between diet–namely, eating animal-based foods–and disease. As Dr. Campbell summarizes: “Plant-based foods are linked to lower blood cholesterol; animal-based foods are linked to higher blood cholesterol. Animal-based foods are linked to higher breast cancer rates; plant-based foods are linked to lower rates. Fiber and antioxidants from plants are linked to a lower risk of cancers of the digestive tract.”

    Here’s a rather strong excerpt from a very anti-milk article from a doctor:

    The protein casein in dairy products creates serious problems just like the protein gluten in some grains like wheat. They can trigger an autoimmune response and/or mimic endorphins to cause changes in perception, mood, and behavior. The mechanism involved has to do with a failure of a particular enzyme which disassembles the gluten and casein protein, a digestive process necessary for our bodies to extract the nutrients from these proteins. Because of the failure of this enzyme to do its job, a remaining undigested fragment of those proteins survive, and to our defense/immune system this fragment resembles a virus. Then, thinking that it is a virus, our bodies will trigger an immune/defense response to protect our bodies from the ‘invader’. Because this gluten or casein fragment is so similar to various disease-causing viruses, it will generate a complex reaction, an autoimmune response which is suspected to play a role in type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis and autism. Complex immune responses damage different tissues in different people, so the range of diseases is very diverse. Also, the undigested gluten or casein fragments look like opium-like drugs which can have a significant influence on our behavior and brains. They are literally drugs – and that is why people are so hooked on dairy and gluten!

    Here’s an article on calcium and vitamin d, it shows a lot of places to get that good stuff other than just milk:

    • Hi, Kyle. Thank you for your comment.
      Unfortunately, the China study received much attention and sparked public confusion but drew conclusions that were not supported by its own data. This is reported by Walter Willet, MD and Frank B Hu in 2000 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, stating the China Study ‘did not find a clear association between animal product consumption and risk of heart disease or major cancers.’
      (Willett is the Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and the chair of the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. He is also a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is the principal investigator of the second Nurses’ Health Study and has published more than 1,000 scientific articles regarding various aspects of diet and disease. Prof Hu is also the Director, Harvard Transdisciplinary Research in Energetics and Cancer Center). Limitations in the conclusions drawn from the China Study are also summarized here
      Certainly, it’s important for people to make decisions about their diet that fit their lifestyle choices and beliefs, but nutrition research has clearly established the importance of including three daily servings of dairy in the diet. Milk and other dairy foods supply essential nutrients not easily obtained from other foods and are a good source of high-quality protein for those who choose to eat a vegetarian diet. The Dietary Guidelines recommends three servings of dairy foods for all dietary patterns except the vegan pattern. This is a testament to the value of dairy in the diet. Even the American Cancer Society recommends men and women meet calcium recommendations through food rather than supplements and support including low-fat and fat-free dairy foods as part of an overall healthy diet.

  3. Hi Lynn,

    I enjoyed your milk article and am happy that it supports drinking milk. We consume a lot. What are your thoughts on organic?



    Sent from my iPhone


    • Thank you for your comment, Laura.
      Milk is not one of the foods my family consumes as organic. Traditionally, milk is low in pesticide residue and there is no evidence that organic dairy is safer or healthier than conventional dairy. Organic foods that I do buy for my family are from EWG’s Dirty Dozen list found here:

      I hope that helps!

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