Cow’s milk is largely made up of animal fats, animal protein and lactose – none of which is required by the body. Difficulty in digesting lactose – the sugar found in cow’s milk – is extremely common right across the world. A staggering 75 per cent of the population worldwide is thought to be lactose intolerant (107). Most people can tolerate small quantities but research has been undertaken regarding its possible connection with ovarian problems and cataracts (122, 123).

Often the inability to digest cow’s milk goes unnoticed, particularly in children, but can lead to iron deficiency because of the intestinal bleeding it can cause (114).

Cow’s milk is loaded with 35 different hormones and 11 growth factors and there is considerable concern about its oestrogen and IGF1 (insulin-like growth factor) content (144). This is because cows are now milked seven months into their nine month pregnancy, which means that hormone levels are markedly high. Early evidence suggests that increased exposure to cow’s oestrogen and IGF1 raises the risk of certain cancers (particularly breast and prostate).

It’s worth remembering that there are about 5,000 species of mammals in the world but only humans consume milk after weaning. We are also the only one to drink the milk of another species, cows! Their milk is designed for calves who grow four times faster than human babies. (See Viva!Health White Lies report online)