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The Mystery of Milk and Digestive issues

Discussion in 'Working Through Milk Issues' started by lindsay, Feb 6, 2015.

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  1. lindsay

    lindsay Member

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    Hi All!!

    Just curious about this possibility, since most of us are avid milk drinkers (or eat dairy) and suffer digestive problems.

    My German friend moved to the US about 6 years ago and said that she has been suffering from massive digestive problems ever since - she loves milk and would drink it all the time, especially whole milk. She said that she never suffered digestive problems in Germany and that when she goes back to Europe, she can drink milk and eat dairy without any troubles at all. Then, someone told her it might be that she was allergic to our milk, since the majority of it comes from Holstein cows. So she stopped drinking milk made here in the US and her digestive issues stopped. She's currently on the lookout for Jersey cow milk, as that's suppose to be better suited for people. But it's not easy to come across unless you live near farms.

    I guess there is some enzyme in the Holstein breed's milk that can be difficult for some people to digest. My husband has told me that all milk gives him diarrhea (and many of his family members have issue with it too), so he only drinks it occasionally. I notice sensitivity to any diary product that is not hard cheese. I may not have noticed it previously, but when I was trying to drink more milk, it always made me feel off (lots of bloating and water retention) - I have digestive issues with many things, so I just attributed it to general digestive problems, but they've gotten worse the more dairy I've added back into my diet. Now I restrict my dairy intake to milk or cream in coffee and hard cheese. Occasional yogurt. And I think a lot of the cheeses I buy are made in Europe. But the fermentation process of cheese might take care of the enzymes, I don't know.

    Any thoughts? I'm contemplating switching to goats' milk for awhile to see how it goes, now that I'm not longer restricting my fat intake (full fat goats' milk has more calcium than low fat). I'm also going to try out Jersey cow milk and see if it's better.

    But if this is a real possibility, it could have huge implications for those of us to eat dairy in the US and still have major health issues. In my experience, if my gut isn't feeling good, my whole self feels terrible. If it's our dairy aggravating things, I'm inclined to switch things up.
     
  2. sunmountain

    sunmountain Member

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    I tried regular organic grass-fed milk from a regional supplier and couldn't handle it. I've switched to Myenberg's low-fat goat milk and am doing fine. I still have gut issues but it's not due to the milk. Can't drink full fat as I'm doing low fat for now until metabolism is better.

    It's a blessing to be able to drink milk again.
     
  3. OP
    lindsay

    lindsay Member

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    Yes - I regularly buy grass-fed raw milk from a local farm, but my friend said she called that farm and they use Holstein cows. There are a few farms on the real milk site that carry Jersey cow milk where I live. I'm going to look into it and switch to goats' milk for the time being. I personally feel better eating more fat in my diet - it hasn't added any more weight on to me than when I ate low fat, so I figure I'd rather be happy and eat my cheese :) And I have no trouble with cheeses, but as I said, I buy most of my cheese at whole foods and a good amount of their cheese is imported from Europe.
     
  4. OP
    lindsay

    lindsay Member

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    Here is an article on Mother Jones about the two different types of proteins in different cow breeds. I should also note that my friend lost a lot of weight when she stopped eating American dairy. I mean, it came off super fast.

    It would be interesting to find the scientific research proposed in this article - I think some links are there:

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/ ... lk-america

    Note: it is not merely enzyme related, it is protein related.

    I'm really fascinated by this, as I suffered with eczema and asthma for most of my childhood and both went away during my veggie years when I wasn't eating much dairy.

    If these observations about cows' milk and proteins is accurate, this has a huge range of implications for us as dairy consumers.
     
  5. burtlancast

    burtlancast Member

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  6. cout12

    cout12 Member

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    Skim milk is so much more difficult to digest than 1% milk of the same brand for me. Anyone knows why?
     
  7. OP
    lindsay

    lindsay Member

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    Thank you so much for pointing me to this Burtlancast! Have you found anything that works for you? I am beginning to realize now why I also have no troubles drinking most dairy in Europe, but have issues with milk here. Every time I go abroad, I seem to lose weight and feel better, despite eating their dairy. Here, dairy seems to make me fat and bloated. And I never put two and two together until my German friend mentioned this, and my husband confirmed that he has big issues with milk.

    So the question is, should I seek to replace all milk products? Or just milk? For instance, what about butter (which has little protein). And cheese? Most cheese I get is from Europe, but I just found a delicious and cheap havarti that's made here in the US..... I guess I could contact them and see what kind of cows they use.

    Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. And I think I might read that book!
     
  8. OP
    lindsay

    lindsay Member

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    I tried skim milk and had huge problems. I've gone back to full fat milk (and only in my coffee) for the lack of added Vitamins A & D - who knows if the sources in low fat milks are any good. If you buy raw milk, just skim some of the cream off and voila - 1%!
     
  9. burtlancast

    burtlancast Member

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    After completely avoiding milk for about 5 years ( it started giving me horrible ice pick migraines) i stumbled by chance on a good brand of full goat milk, and have to force myself now not to drink more than 3 pounds a day :D

    I love it.
    I'm entirely accustomed to the taste, which i relish now.
    And the stuff they say about goat milk being healthy: it's really true, i feel 10 years younger, and sleep like a baby. :lol:

    As far as BCM goes, only the milk and yoghourts can liberate it in sufficient quantities, so cheese, cream, butter should be perfectly safe ( they certainly are for me, and never, ever had a problem with those).
    (It's all explained in the book ( it's online, if you know where to look for it))
    But then again i'm in France, not USA, and i know they put all kind of stuffs in there.... :cry:

    Goat milk only contains A2 casein, and i think it goes a long way in explaining this and all that.
     
  10. OP
    lindsay

    lindsay Member

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    Great! Thanks so much for this info.! I've always loved goats' milk - it's just WAY more expensive here in the US. But if it will allow me to keep eating dairy and feel good, then it's worth the extra cost! I might look into Jersey or Guernsey dairy as well, as there are some farms that sell it where we live. And that's great news about cheese because I eat lots of the fermented stuff! It has been a staple protein source for me these past few months. You'd think I'm practically French, what with my strong love of cheese and wine ;)

    I'm going to see if I can get a hold of that book - maybe recommend it to my friend. It's interesting that you have trouble with milk in France though - I'd think there would be great milk there!!

    Any thoughts on Sheep's milk?
     
  11. burtlancast

    burtlancast Member

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    Same as goat milk: no A1 casein

    http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/additive ... ts/a2-milk

    In France, goat milk is twice the price of cow milk.
     
  12. OP
    lindsay

    lindsay Member

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    Good stuff! I cannot get sheeps' milk, per se, but I can get cheese and yogurt made of sheeps' milk. Although, it's probably best for me to just buy goats' milk and make my own yogurt or cheese. I wonder how cottage cheese ranks? I noticed certain brands of cottage/ricotta cheese didn't settle super well with me.....

    I could get raw milk from our local farm for $6 per gallon. Goats' milk costs me about $4.50 per liter (which is about $18.00 per gallon). Yikes!! As I said, at least there is cheese. I'd just like to get the milk for my coffee (so there's some protein going into the coffee). Cream has very little protein.
     
  13. johns74

    johns74 Member

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    Try homemade cottage cheese from cow's milk. That'll determine whether it's true that the A casein is the problem, as cottage cheese is mostly casein.
     
  14. OP
    lindsay

    lindsay Member

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    I've tried organic brands of cottage cheese (without carrageenan in them) and they did not settle well. However, I can digest the stuff I would buy in Russia without too much issue - it's much dryer and more comparable to quark. In general, the really dense high protein yogurts (like greek yogurt) and cottage cheese tend to digest "meh". Hard cheeses are no problem for me. I eat about 3 or 4 oz. every night as a snack :)

    In any case, now that I know that milk gives my husband bad digestive issues, I'm inclined to find a solution for him as well. He hates cottage cheese, so I cannot test that theory on him, just me.
     
  15. fyo

    fyo Member

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    I've been drinking two brands of 1% milk for a good while without digestive issue.

    Then one day I bought 2% milk from a different brand (different store; 7-11). That (and coffee/sugar) was all I had eaten that morning, but by afternoon I was having gas and felt flu-sick.

    Another time, again this happened after I consumed 1% milk of a different brand. I was eating foods normal for me, but I became sick after beginning these new two gallons of milk, for a few days.
     
  16. mujuro

    mujuro Member

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    Doesn't milk from goats have a generous quantity of MCTs?
     
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