59 hormones, scores of allergens, fat, cholesterol, herbicides, pesticides, dioxins, 52 antibiotics, blood, pus, viruses and bacteria
Lately, the American advertising campaign is encouraging the consumption of milk by endorsing the slogan of “Got Milk?” by many celebrities, movie stars, musicians and sport stars. They say milk is mother natures “perfect food” that can enhance performance by building muscles, strengthening bones, maintaining healthy hair, promoting healthy teeth, and improving sleep. However, they do not say that milk can cause diabetes, obesity, allergies, cancer, osteoporosis and diseases caused by pathogens.
Scientists have discovered a bacterium known to cause disease in dairy cattle that may also cause Crohn's disease in humans. The disease that primarily occurs in dairy cattle is called Johne's disease, which is a contagious, chronic and usually fatal infection by the bacterium known as Mycobacterium paratuberculosis (MAP), that affects the small intestine of ruminants (hooved animals with a four-chamber stomach). MAP penetrates the intestinal mucosa and are phagocytized by macrophages and they continue to multiple inside the macrophages. The symptoms of the bacterial disease include diarrhea, and rapid weight loss due to the poor absorption of nutrients from the ilium (part of small intestine). Animals with Johne's disease “waste away” despite their continuing to eat well. In the U.S, 22% of dairy herds are infected and are usually not seen until they are adults because of the slow progressive nature of the disease. Crohn's disease in humans show clinical and pathological resemblance to Johne's disease as a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn's disease affects at least 500,000 Americans and is usually termed “a disease of the young” because it targets young people between the age of 15 and 25. Biologists are trying to determine whether the pathogen, MAP belongs as a zoonotic agent. That is, can MAP found in dairy cattle transmit the pathogen to humans and have the ability to cause disease. A standard for scientific proof of disease by microorganisms is called Koch's postulates. However, more research is needed before conclusions can be made regarding if MAP is zoonotic. There is evidence though, showing that patients with Crohn's disease have MAP: “Recent reports in the medical literature indicate that 25-75% of patients with Crohn's disease test positive for M. paratuberculosis.”
If MAP is a human pathogen, then the issue is transmission to humans. MAP is found in the milk from an infected cow; however, the process of pasteurization is to destroy all harmful microorganisms. But, it is found that these organisms survived pasteurization and that certain times of the year (January-March and September-November) there is a higher likely hood that MAP will be present in retail milk. Under the two main types of pasteurization, neither the High Temperature/Short Time (HTST: 71.7oC for 15-20 seconds) nor the Ultra-High Temperature (UHT: 138oC for a fraction of a second) completely eliminated MAP. The bacterial strains appeared to be heat resistant and survival was greater when samples were cooled rapidly following pasteurization causing clumping of bacterial cells. However, none of the strains remained when exposed to 70oC for 25 seconds, suggesting that increasing the holding time is more likely to inactivate MAP in milk.
More research is needed to build solid scientific conclusions on whether Mycobacterium paratuberculosis is a zoonotic agent and has the ability to cause Crohn's Disease in humans.
Humans are designed to drink our mother's milk for sustenance prior to our consumption of solid food. No other mammal continues to drink their mother's milk after this period, yet we do. Did you know that 75% of the population is lactose intolerant, meaning that they cannot metabolize the carbohydrate lactose found in milk. But this might be a “normal” condition, since are bodies are not designed to drink milk after childhood. To decrease your ability to get milk-borne diseases, like osteoporosis (the highest consumption of milk in the world, showed to have the highest rates of osteoporosis), or pathogens, then obtain your calcium from leafy greens, as cows do.