Saturday, October 30, 2010

Attention:  We will not be holding our regular 9am class today.

Instead, you can participate in the Spooktackular 5K & Fun Run, put on by Holy Family Catholic School. Children 14 & under are $10, Adults 15 & over are $20.  Race day registration will begin at 8am, 5K race starts at 9am, Fun Run starts at 10am. Extremely non-Paleo friendly breakfast will be available for a couple bucks afterwards.  Location: 7th & H Road. Contact is Kathy at 201-3928. You can find a registration form at

Don’t forget about the fundraiser for Operation Homefront that CrossFit Red is holding here in GJ tomorrow, October 31st.  Workout is at noon, $10 donation, BBQ after.

Days 13-15 are some of the toughest during the Paleo Challenge.  Stay strong.

If you like to geek out on the science stuff, please enjoy the following, compliments of……

There is quite a bit of information to follow so get comfy……

There is good evidence that up until 9,000 years ago in the Middle East and 7,000 years ago in Northern Europe, no human being on the planet consumed non-human milk or dairy products.

So, on an evolutionary time scale non-human milk is a relative newcomer to the human diet.

By using the evolutionary template, and knowing that milk is species-specific, we would expect this new habit to have unintended consequences, which go much beyond lactose intolerance, which is, actually very common, since only a minor percentage of the world’s population continues to produce lactase into adulthood.

Indeed there are several lines of evidence raising concerns with milk and dairy intake, such as:

1) Milk and fermented milk (yogurt, for instance), despite having a low Glycemic Index and Load, elicit a very high insulin response and this has been shown repeatedly in intervention studies.

As you may be aware, constantly increasing insulinemia may down-regulate the insulin receptor and hence lead to insulin resistance. This in turn is the primary metabolic defect underlying The Metabolic Syndrome, and may be a driving force in Obesity. It should also be mentioned that a chronic state of Hyperinsulinemia may initiate a hormonal cascade that ultimately results in Cancer, Acne and Juvenile Myopia, among other diseases (as thoroughly documented in Dr.Cordain’s scientific paper Hyperinsulinemic diseases of civilization: more than just syndrome X.

Indeed, a high bovine milk diet has been shown to cause insulin resistance in boys. Moreover, dairy intake is strongly associated with a higher incidence of Acne and moderately associated with Prostate Cancer.

2) Cow’s milk appears to be involved in certain Autoimmune diseases (AD):

Various epidemiological studies have associated it with Type 1 Diabetes, especially when the initial exposure begins in the first months of life.

Epidemiological studies have repeatedly shown a strong correlation between Multiple Sclerosis and cow’s milk consumption.

There is molecular mimicry between Bovine Serum Albumin and Human Collagen Type 1, which has implications for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Indeed, case studies have shown that elimination of milk and dairy products from the diets of patients with RA improved symptoms, and the disease was markedly exacerbated on re-challenge.

Bovine Milk is also implicated (or appears to have adverse effects) in other auto-immune diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, Sjögren’s syndrome, IgA nephropathy, Behçet’s disease, and even Celiac Disease.

3) Hormones in Milk:

In addition to proteins, fats, lactose, vitamins and minerals, Milk contains various growth-stimulating steroid and peptide hormone and also catalysts, transporters and stabilizers that ensure their maximum bioactivity.

Here’s a short list of some hormones present in cow’s milk that could be problematic for humans:



Betacellulin (BTC)

Estrogens (particularly Estrone Sulfate)

Precursors of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)


Cow’s milk, as well as human milk (and presumably milk from all mammals) contains insulin, and we know that bovine insulin – BI (which differs from human insulin by three amino acids) survives pasteurization, because immunity to this hormone is common in children who consume cow’s milk or who have been exposed to infant formulas containing cow’s milk.

This not only confirms that BI is present in commercial pasteurized milk, but also in infant formulas and perhaps other dairy products (although direct evidence is lacking). Moreover, these studies provide evidence that BI survives the human digestive processes and crosses the gut barrier intact, although this could be related to the fact that infants have higher intestinal permeability than older children and adults. Nevertheless, various factors may cause the so called “leaky gut” in virtually everyone, so we shouldn’t dismiss bovine insulin altogether.


Cow’s milk contains active IGF-155, but this has been largely dismissed as irrelevant, since pasteurization (time and temperature are crucial factors) and fermentation appears to reduce its content. Yet cow’s milk consumption, compared to various foods, is associated with higher plasma IGF-1 concentrations in humans (both children and adults, which could be due to calcium in milk (which has been shown to increase IGF-1 in boys and girls), the effect of milk upon insulinemia (the high elevation of plasma insulin caused by milk drinking4-9 could lead to a higher plasma IGF-113) or indeed residual IGF-1 in casein (the major protein in milk).


Betacellulin (BTC) belongs to the Epidermal Growth Factor family of hormones, and it is found not only in cow’s milk and whey, but also in cheese, so it survives pasteurization and processing. Although no direct evidence exists yet, bovine milk contains peptidase inhibitors which prevent human gut enzymes from degrading EGF5 (and most likely BTC) and a low ph, such as may be found in the gut, does not impair or prevent BTC from binding its receptor. Finally, there is a luminally expressed EGF receptor in the gut, through which BTC may enter circulation.

Steroid Hormones

The major sources of animal-derived estrogens in the human diet are believed to be milk and dairy products, which presumably account for 70–80% of the total estrogens consumed. Furthermore, it has been pointed out that most milk for human consumption is obtained from cows in the latter half of pregnancy, when estrogen metabolite levels are greatly elevated. Confirming this, US researchers have measured estrogen metabolites in various milks and found that buttermilk contains the highest total amount of estrogen metabolites, followed by skim milk, 2% milk and whole milk. So, estrogen metabolites appear to survive pasteurization, and Estrone sulphate, which comprises 45% of the conjugated estrogens in Premarin and Prempro, the most frequently prescribed hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women has high oral bioactivity and is the most prevalent form of estrogen in cow’s milk.

There are also other steroid hormones in commercial pasteurized cow’s milk, such as progesterone, 5α-androstanedione and 5α-pregnanedione that are dihydrotestosterone (DHT) precursors.

As expected from the evidence presented, dairy intake is strongly associated with a higher incidence of Acne, moderately associated with Prostate Cancer, and mildly associated with ovarian cancer.

Dairy consumption was also associated with an increased incidence of testicular, kidney and head and neck cancer, but very few studies looking at this have been conducted to draw more significant conclusions.

Although epidemiological evidence can’t show cause and effect and clearly many more studies need to be conducted, the current evidence strongly suggests that cow’s milk may be implicated in a variety of autoimmune diseases, certain cancers, as well as Acne.

4) Milk has a very high calcium/magnesium ratio and may contribute to some micronutrient imbalances.

Finally, there is evidence of higher fracture incidence rates in countries with higher milk and calcium intake, some long term prospective studies have failed to show a benefit from drinking milk or taking calcium supplements, and a recent meta-analysis, which analyzed 7 prospective cohort studies (170 991 women), 5 prospective cohort studies (68 606 men), 5 clinical trials, (5666 women, and 1074 men), and 4 clinical trials with separate results for hip fracture (6504 subjects), concluded that calcium intake doesn’t decrease the risk for fractures. And calcium intake is only part of the story – we need to consider the GI absorption and the renal excretion, and in these regards, vegetables from the brassica family have a clear advantage over milk.

I know this may sound overly alarming and exaggerated, but given what I know about milk, I have a hard time recommending it, even though it has some positive effects, such as being a cheap source of high quality protein and various micronutrients.

For those who are fortunate and have access to good (real) food and supplements (such as Vitamin D, which, by the way, may be needed in much higher doses than the ones provided by 3 or 4 servings of dairy a day) and adopt a diet more in line with the Paleo Diet, I believe milk is not necessary.

But what about my calcium?!

In the U.S. calcium intake is one of the highest in the world, yet paradoxically we also have one of the highest rates of bone de-mineralization (osteoporosis). Bone mineral content is dependent not just upon calcium intake but upon net calcium balance (calcium intake minus calcium excretion). Most nutritionists focus upon the calcium intake side of the calcium balance equation, however few realize that the calcium excretion side of the equation is just as important.

Bone health is substantially dependent on dietary acid/base balance. All foods upon digestion ultimately must report to the kidney as either acid or base. When the diet yields a net acid load (such as low-carb fad diets that restrict consumption of fruits and vegetables), the acid must be buffered by the alkaline stores of base in the body. Calcium salts in the bones represent the largest store of alkaline base in the body and are depleted and eliminated in the urine when the diet produces a net acid load. The highest acid-producing foods are hard cheeses, cereal grains, salted foods, meats, and legumes, whereas the only alkaline, base-producing foods are fruits and vegetables. Because the average American diet is overloaded with grains, cheeses, salted processed foods, and fatty meats at the expense of fruits and vegetables, it produces a net acid load and promotes bone de-mineralization. By replacing hard cheeses, cereal grains, and processed foods with plenty of green vegetables and fruits, the body comes back into acid/base balance which brings us also back into calcium balance.

The Paleo Diet recommends an appropriate balance of acidic and basic (alkaline) foods (i.e., lean meats, fish and seafood, fruits, and vegetables) and will not cause osteoporosis in otherwise healthy individuals. Indeed, The Paleo Diet promotes bone health.