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Milk and dairy products have the potential for causing serious infection in newborn infants. Unpasteurized milk and cheeses can promote the growth of Listeria bacteria. Listeria monocytogenes can also cause serious infection in an infant and pregnant woman and can be transmitted to her infant in utero or after birth. The infection has the potential of seriously harming or even causing the death of a preterm infant, an infant of low or very low birth weight, or an infant with a congenital defect of the immune system. The presence of this pathogen can sometimes be determined by the symptoms that appear as a gastrointestinal illness in the mother. The mother can also acquire infection from ingesting food that contains other animal products such as hot dogs, delicatessen meats, and cheese.[138]

Cow's milk allergy (CMA) is an immunologically mediated adverse reaction, rarely fatal, to one or more cow's milk proteins.[139] 2.2–3.5% of the global infant population are allergic to cow's milk.[140]

Flavored milk in U.S. schools

Milk must be offered at every meal if a United States school district wishes to get reimbursement from the federal government.[141] A quarter of the largest school districts in the U.S. offer rice or soy milk and almost 17% of all U.S. school districts offer lactose-free milk. Of the milk served in U.S. school cafeterias, 71% is flavored, causing some school districts to propose a ban because flavored milk has added sugars. (Though some flavored milk products use artificial sweeteners instead.) The Boulder, Colorado, school district banned flavored milk in 2009. To keep the consumption up, the school installed a milk dispenser.[141]

Evolution of lactation

The mammary gland is thought to have derived from apocrine skin glands.[142] It has been suggested that the original function of lactation (milk production) was keeping eggs moist. Much of the argument is based on monotremes (egg-laying mammals).[142][143][144] The original adaptive significance of milk secretions may have been nutrition[145] or immunological protection.Overall, cow's milk can be useful to improve a diet which is otherwise of poor quality, but for a diet which is otherwise healthy, it is redundant or possibly harmful.[121]

There is no good evidence that drinking milk helps prevent bone fractures, even though the American government recommends it for that purpose.[121][122]

A 2008 review found evidence suggesting that consumption of milk is effective at promoting muscle growth.[123] Some studies have suggested that conjugated linoleic acid, which can be found in dairy products, is an effective supplement for reducing body fat.[124]

There is no good evidence that drinking milk helps prevent bone fractures, even though the American government recommends it for that purpose.[121][122]

A 2008 review found evidence suggesting that consumption of milk is effective at promoting muscle growth.[123] Some studies have suggested that conjugated linoleic acid, which can be found in dairy products, is an effective supplement for reducing body fat.[124]

Calcium from dairy products has a greater bioavailability than calcium from certain vegetables, such as spinach, that contain high levels of calcium-chelating agents,[125] but a similar or lesser bioavailability than calcium from low-oxalate vegetables such as kale, broccoli, or other vegetables in the genus Brassica.[126][127]

Milk and acne

A 2009

A 2009 meta-analysis concluded that milk consumption is associated with acne.[128]

Lactose intolerance<

Lactose, the disaccharide sugar component of all milk, must be cleaved in the small intestine by the enzyme lactase, in order for its constituents, galactose and glucose, to be absorbed. Lactose intolerance is a condition in which people have symptoms due to not enough of the enzyme lactase in the small intestines.[129] Those affected vary in the amount of lactose they can tolerate before symptoms develop. These may include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, gas, and nausea. Severity depends on the amount a person eats or drinks.[130] Those affected are usually able to drink at least one cup of milk without developing significant symptoms, with greater amounts tolerated if drunk with a meal or throughout the day.[130][131]

Lactose intolerance does not cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract.[132]Lactose intolerance does not cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract.[132] There are four types: primary, secondary, developmental, and congenital. Primary lactose intolerance is when the amount of lactase decline as people age. Secondary lactose intolerance is due to injury to the small intestine such as from infection, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or other diseases.[130][133] Developmental lactose intolerance may occur in premature babies and usually improves over a short period of time. Congenital lactose intolerance is an extremely rare genetic disorder in which little or no lactase is made from birth.[130] When lactose intolerance is due to secondary lactase deficiency, treatment of the underlying disease allows lactase activity to return to normal levels.[134] Lactose intolerance is different from a milk allergy.[130]

The number of people with lactose intolerance is unknown.[135] The number of adults who cannot produce enough lactase in their small intestine varies markedly in different populations. Since lactase's only function is the digestion of lactose in milk, in most mammal species the activity of the enzyme is dramatically reduced after weaning.[136] Within most human populations, however, some individuals have developed, by natural evolution, the ability to maintain throughout their life high levels of lactose in their small intestine,[137] as an adaptation to the consumption of nonhuman milk and dairy products beyond infancy. This ability, which allows them to digest lactose into adulthood, is called lactase persistence. The distribution of people with lactase persistence is not homogeneous in the world. For instance, those people with lactase persistence are more than 90% of the population in North Europe, and as low as 5% in parts of Asia and Africa.[129]

Milk and dairy products have the potential for causing serious infection in newborn infants. Unpasteurized milk and cheeses can promote the growth of Listeria bacteria. Listeria monocytogenes can also cause serious infection in an infant and pregnant woman and can be transmitted to her infant in utero or after birth. The infection has the potential of seriously harming or even causing the death of a preterm infant, an infant of low or very low birth weight, or an infant with a congenital defect of the immune system. The presence of this pathogen can sometimes be determined by the symptoms that appear as a gastrointestinal illness in the mother. The mother can also acquire infection from ingesting food that contains other animal products such as hot dogs, delicatessen meats, and cheese.[138]

Cow's milk allergy (CMA) is an immunologically mediated adverse reaction, rarely fatal, to one or more cow's m

Cow's milk allergy (CMA) is an immunologically mediated adverse reaction, rarely fatal, to one or more cow's milk proteins.[139] 2.2–3.5% of the global infant population are allergic to cow's milk.[140]

Milk must be offered at every meal if a United States school district wishes to get reimbursement from the federal government.[141] A quarter of the largest school districts in the U.S. offer rice or soy milk and almost 17% of all U.S. school districts offer lactose-free milk. Of the milk served in U.S. school cafeterias, 71% is flavored, causing some school districts to propose a ban because flavored milk has added sugars. (Though some flavored milk products use artificial sweeteners instead.) The Boulder, Colorado, school district banned flavored milk in 2009. To keep the consumption up, the school installed a milk dispenser.[141]

Evolution of lactation

The The mammary gland is thought to have derived from apocrine skin glands.[142] It has been suggested that the original function of lactation (milk production) was keeping eggs moist. Much of the argument is based on monotremes (egg-laying mammals).[142][143][144] The original adaptive significance of milk secretions may have been nutrition[145] or immunological protection.[146][147] This secretion gradually became more copious and accrued nutritional complexity over evolutionary time.[142]

Tritylodontid Tritylodontid cynodonts seem to have displayed lactation, based on their dental replacement patterns.[148]

Since November 1993, recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST), also called rBGH, has been sold to dairy farmers with FDA approval. Cows produce bovine growth hormone naturally, but some producers administer an additional recombinant version of BGH which is produced through genetically engineered E. coli to increase milk production. Bovine growth hormone also stimulates liver production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration,[149] the National Institutes of Health[150] and the World Health Organization[151] have reported that both of these compounds are safe for human consumption at the amounts present.

Milk from cows given rBST may be sold in the United States, and the FDA stated that no significant difference has been sh

Milk from cows given rBST may be sold in the United States, and the FDA stated that no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and that from non-rBST-treated cows.[152] Milk that advertises that it comes from cows not treated with rBST, is required to state this finding on its label.

Cows receiving rBGH supplements may more frequently contract an udder infection known as mastitis.[153] Problems with mastitis have led to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan banning milk from rBST treated cows. Mastitis, among other diseases, may be responsible for the fact that levels of white blood cells in milk vary naturally.[154][155]

rBGH is also banned in the European Union, for reasons of animal welfare.[156]

Vegans and some other vegetarians do not consume milk for reasons mostly related to animal rights and environmental concerns. They may object to features of dairy farming including the necessity of keeping dairy cows pregnant, the killing of almost all the male offspring of dairy cows (either by disposal soon after birth, for veal production, or for beef), the routine separation of mother and calf soon after birth, other perceived inhumane treatment of dairy cattle, and culling of cows after their productive lives.[157]

Other people who do not drink milk are convinced that milk is not necessary for good health or that it may cause adverse health effects. Several studies have indicated that milk consumption does not result in stronger bones.Other people who do not drink milk are convinced that milk is not necessary for good health or that it may cause adverse health effects. Several studies have indicated that milk consumption does not result in stronger bones.[158] Other studies have found that milk intake increases the risk of acquiring acne.[128]

Related is the criticism of governments' promotion of milk and cheese consumption, in particular the U.S. First, the science remains unsettled as to the effect(s) of calcium-intake on human iron-processing.[159] In addition, the U.S. government, particularly through school food-programs, motivates the (daily) consumption of milk and, especially growing since the 1970s, cheese. According to Daniel Imhoff and Christina Badracco (2019), since the 1970s the "subsidy programs have steadily supported an oversupply of milk. Although milk consumption has decreased over the same time span [...] Cheese is now the top source of saturated fat in the US diet, contributing almost 9 percent".[160] All United States schools that are a part of the federally funded National School Lunch Act are required by the federal government to provide milk for all students. The Office of Dietary Supplements recommends that healthy adults between ages 19 and 50 get about 1,000 mg of calcium per day.[161]

It is often argued that it is unnatural for humans to drink milk from cows (or other animals) because mammals normally do not drink milk beyond the weaning period, nor do they drink milk from another species.[162]

Milk production is also resource intensive. On a global weighted average, for the production of a given volume of milk, a thousand times as much water has to be used.[163]

Milk products are sold in a number of varieties based on types/degrees of:

  • additives (e.g. vitamins, flavorings)
  • age (e.g. cheddar, old cheddar)
  • coagulation (e.g. cottage cheese)
  • farming method (e.g. organic, grass-fed, hay milk)
  • fat content (e.g. half and half, 3% fat milk, 2% milk, 1% milk, skim milk)
  • fermentation (e.g. buttermilk)
  • flavoring (e.g. chocolate and strawberry)
  • homogenization (e.g. cream top)
  • packaging (e.g. bottle, carton, bag)
  • pasteurization (e.g. raw milk, pasteurized milk)
  • reduction or elimination of lactose
  • species (e.g. cow, goat, sheep)
  • sweetening (e.g., chocolate and strawberry milk)
  • water content (e.g. dry milk powder, condensed milk, ultrafiltered milk)

Milk preserved by the UHT process does not need to be refrigerated before opening and has a much longer shelf life (six months) than milk in ordinary packaging. It is typically sold unrefrigerated in the UK, U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Australia.

UHT process does not need to be refrigerated before opening and has a much longer shelf life (six months) than milk in ordinary packaging. It is typically sold unrefrigerated in the UK, U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Australia.

Reduction or elimination of lactose

Lactose-free milk can be produced by passing milk over lactase enzyme bound to an inert carrier. Once the molecule is cleaved, there are no lactose ill effects. Forms are available with reduced amounts of lactose (typically 30% of normal), and alternatively with nearly 0%. The only noticeable difference from regular milk is a slightly sweeter taste due to the generation of glucose by lactose cleavage. It does not, however, contain more glucose, and is nutritionally identical to regular milk.

Finland, where approximately 17% of the Finnish-speaking population has hypolactasia,Lactose-free milk can be produced by passing milk over lactase enzyme bound to an inert carrier. Once the molecule is cleaved, there are no lactose ill effects. Forms are available with reduced amounts of lactose (typically 30% of normal), and alternatively with nearly 0%. The only noticeable difference from regular milk is a slightly sweeter taste due to the generation of glucose by lactose cleavage. It does not, however, contain more glucose, and is nutritionally identical to regular milk.

Finland, where approximately 17% of the Finnish-speaking population has h

Finland, where approximately 17% of the Finnish-speaking population has hypolactasia,[164] has had "HYLA" (acronym for hydrolyzed lactose) products available for many years. Lactose of low-lactose level cow's milk products, ranging from ice cream to cheese, is enzymatically hydrolyzed into glucose and galactose. The ultra-pasteurization process, combined with aseptic packaging, ensures a long shelf life. In 2001, Valio launched a lactose-free milk drink that is not sweet like HYLA milk but has the fresh taste of ordinary milk. Valio patented the chromatographic separation method to remove lactose. Valio also markets these products in Sweden, Estonia, Belgium,[165] and the United States, where the company says ultrafiltration is used.[166]

In the UK, where an estimated 4.7% of the population are affected by lactose intolerance,[167] Lactofree produces milk, cheese, and yogurt products that contain only 0.03% lactose.

To aid digestion in those with lactose intolerance, milk with added bacterial cultures such as Lactobacillus acidophilus ("acidophilus milk") and bifidobacteria ("a/B milk") is available in some areas.[168] Another milk with Lactococcus lactis bacteria cultures ("cultured buttermilk") often is used in cooking to replace the traditional use of naturally soured milk, which has become rare due to the ubiquity of pasteurization, which also kills the naturally occurring Lactococcus bacteria.[169]