Dairy-Free Diets Are Dangerous

It’s Mike here and today a quick video about bones and dairy and urban myths. About a week ago there was a seemingly organized onslaught, an armada of articles saying that dairy-free diets are dangerous. The common main point was, if you don’t get calcium from dairy you should fear for your bones.These articles came as a response to the National Osteoporosis Society’s press release about a survey they did on diets. The press release warned that a large portion of young adults are giving up or massively reducing their intake of dairy and hailed dairy as “vital in building bone strength when you are young” now it has been like 10 days since all of this hubbub, which is like three years in internet time, but honestly this concept has been conveyed to me for as long as I can remember, that we required dairy. So it was never new to begin with, and I do think this was a factor that prevented me from going vegan, from ditching dairy even sooner. I remember when I first went vegan I was swinging on a pole or something and my mom was like *gasping* *imitating* Oh my Michael, careful your bones are gonna snap because you don’t eat dairy anymore. Now where did she get that idea? So this idea does run pretty deep, and I do have several videos where I touch on the negative health impacts of dairy, but I wanted to present two concepts that I haven’t covered very much, that I think will make a good argument as to why this “Your bones will snap if you don’t eat dairy” campaign doesn’t make any sense. So two basic concepts that I think will put the mythical nature of this idea into perspective. Point number one, simply put, humanity basically wasn’t eating any dairy until about 10,000 years ago. And dairy consumption didn’t become widespread for another few thousand years, so let’s zoom out and get some context here. Anatomically modern humans, Homo sapiens, have been around for about 100,000 to 200,000 years and their predecessors, which had about similar requirements of calcium, have been around for millions of years. To give the other side the benefit of the doubt I won’t go further back than our ancestors that walked on two feet. It’s not that walking requires more calcium than swinging from trees but, just for comparison, let’s draw the line there. Our first ancestor that went up-right and walked on two feet was Australopithecus and that was four million years ago. So this right here is the period in which humans have consumed dairy and this is the period in which humans and their ancestors ate zero dairy, those dangerous dairy-free diets, for literally 99.75% of this timeline. How do these people survive? How did they even form bones?! Actually, studies show that their bones were stronger than ours, that, right about the time that we started milking cows, coincidentally, our bones got less dense. As this study mentions “Compared with other primates and earlier human species, contemporary humans possess relatively lightly-built skeletons.” Yes, the bone density of people who didn’t farm and milk cows was approximately 20% higher. And no this was not some crazy overnight genetic shift. Modern people, who have an increased level of exercise, can easily achieve Paleolithic bone densities. And this is probably due to physical activity decreasing and a lot of things changed around the time of Agriculture starting, but this really does fly in the face of the idea that you need dairy to have strong bones. And if you were looking at human history only from the perspective of dairy and bone density you would think that dairy was the worst thing that ever happened to our bones. Point number two that makes these claims against dairy-free diets even worse is lactose intolerant ethnic groups. According to the National Institute of Health, about 65% of people on planet Earth are lactose intolerant past infancy. Yes, that’s the majority of the world and looking at particular ethnic groups, East Asians for example, are 90 plus percent lactose intolerant. In terms of indigenous Americans 80 plus percent. Ashkenazi Jewish populations 60 to 80 percent, and as Milton Mills mentioned in “What the Health”, which I highly recommend watching, because 70% of African Americans are lactose intolerant and the US dietary guidelines say drink milk from a cow daily, that the US dietary guidelines are a fundamental form of institutionalized racism. Simply put, it’s wrong that government recommendations define a healthy diet as one that includes a product that most people are genetically intolerant to. Finally, in case you are still afraid of weak bones on a vegan diet, here is a study done on elderly Buddhist nuns and they found that the vegans had the same density as the non-vegans. And I think it goes without saying that there are plenty of good sources of plant calcium. To add insult to injury to all of this the National Osteoporosis Society, the one that fueled this onslaught of articles, well, they are partnered with major dairy players, such as Yoplait, who makes yogurt, and the a2 Milk Company. No surprise there. In summary, I hope that looking at the different ethnicities of the world and their lactose intolerance, and how we haven’t been consuming dairy for 99.75% of the time we’ve been walking on two legs, and how those vegan nuns have the same bone density as non-vegan nuns, all comes together to create a strong case against the claims that dairy-free diets are dangerous, the claims of these dairy industry partners. The question is, will the dairy industry be able to keep these urban myths that we require dairy alive? We will see. For now I think that that 65% of the world that is lactose intolerant should reserve the full right to be offended by these dairy claims. We simply don’t need dairy. Alright, that’s it for today. Feel free to comment down below. I’d love to hear your opinion. Feel free to like, subscribe, buy out a non-profit foundation, release a press release about how dairy-free diets are awesome, and I will see you next time, thanks for watching.

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