|By Robert Cohen Executive Director|
Early Sexual Maturity and Milk Hormones
I recently went through a box of photos, and found my own fifth grade photograph which triggered a surprise. Most of the boys in my class looked sharp in their Cub Scout uniforms, and our crew cuts depicted the symbolic hairstyle of the early 60's. Photos of my eleven-year-old friends resemble today's young boys. Little has changed, and generations of boys have been made of frogs and snails and puppy dog tails. Today's little girls, though, are shockingly different. Eleven-year old girls from my day were flat-chested. There is no denying the photographic evidence. A scan of today's pre-teen schoolyard cannot disguise the number of large-busted sexually mature girls. A recent series of phone calls to my friends confirmed that my own experience was not unusual. Today's girls are very different. In my own fifth grade photo, there was Gail with pigtails, and Ellen with her irresistible smile, hands neatly folded on her desk. One little girl after another exhibited none of the budding signs of early sexual development that baffle today's sociologists and endocrinologists. Today, little girls are made up of more than just sugar, spice, and everything nice. These girls of the twenty-first century are maturing earlier than last generation's children, and something is very different about their womanly physical attributes and behavior. Could there be a food link to this mystery? In 1970, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the dairy industry produced 2.2 billion pounds of cheese. The population of the United States was 203 million, which translates to an average of 10.8 pounds of cheese per person. By 1990, America's population had grown to 248 million, and Americans were eating more cheese, 6 billion pounds worth. That's an average of 24 pounds per person. In 1994, the average American consumed 27.7 pounds of cheese. As we pass from one millennium into another, America's per-capita cheese consumption has broken the 30- pound per person level. America's rate of cheese consumption is skyrocketing. Since ten pounds of milk are required to produce just one pound of cheese, three hundred pounds of milk are used to manufacture that thirty pounds of cheese. The USDA publishes yearly food consumption data. In 1999, the average American consumed a combined 5 ounces per day of meat and chicken, and 29.2 ounces of milk and dairy products. That's 666 pounds per year per American of dairy products, making this group the largest component of America's diet. Concentrated milk in the form of increased cheese consumption means that concentrated hormones are being consumed. Every sip of cow's milk contains 59 different bioactive hormones, according to endocrinologist Clark Grosvenor in the Journal of Endocrine Reviews in 1992. Milk has always been a hormonal delivery system, providing nursing infants with nature's perfect food for the young of each species. Thousands of studies published in respected peer-reviewed scientific journals report that lactoferrins, immunoglobulins, and hormones in human breast milk provide enormous benefit for nursing humans. In other words, hormones in milk work to exert powerful effects. Each species of mammal has a different formula. Cow's milk contains hormones, and nursing on cow's milk will deliver these hormones to the human body. As a little girl becomes a big girl, then a mature woman, she will naturally produce in her lifetime the equivalent of only one tablespoon of estrogen. Hormones work on a nanomolecular lever, which means that it takes only a billionth of a gram to produce a powerful biological effect. Should little girls be encouraged to pop estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin pills each day? If they drink cow's milk, that is just what they are doing. If they eat cheese and ice cream, they ingest concentrated forms of these hormones. Is early sexual maturity a bad thing, healthwise? Dr. Catherine Berkey, of Brigham Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, examined data from 65,000 participants in the Harvard Nurses' Health Study. Her findings were published in the journal Cancer in 1999. Of the participants, 806 developed breast cancer before menopause and 1,485 developed breast cancer after menopause. Dr. Berkey's comment: "Earlier menarche and taller adult height were predictive of elevated breast carcinoma risk. Our work provided evidence that breast [cancer] risk is influenced by preadulthood factors, and thus prevention efforts that begin in childhood and adolescence may someday be useful." Is it possible to do a controlled scientific study testing this theory? Such a study was actually performed on an entire nation. There is one country where milk consumption was unknown before 1946. In Japan, in every year since 1946, 20,000 persons from 6,100 households have been interviewed and their diets carefully analyzed along with their weights and heights and other factors such as cancer rates and age of puberty (the last measured by the onset of menstruation in young girls). The results of the study were published in Preventive Medicine by Kagawa in 1978. Japan had been devastated by losing a war and was occupied by American troops. Americanization included dietary changes. Milk and dairy products were becoming a significant part of the Japanese diet. According to this study, the per- capita yearly dietary intake of dairy products in 1950 was only 5.5 pounds. Twenty- five years later, the average Japanese ate 117.4 pounds of milk and dairy products. In 1950, the average twelve-year old Japanese girl was 4'6" tall and weighed 71 pounds. By 1975, the average Japanese girl, after changing her diet to include milk and dairy products containing 59 different bioactive hormones, had grown an average of 4 1/2 inches and gained 19 pounds. In 1950, the average Japanese girl had her first menstrual cycle at the age of 15.2 years. Twenty five years later, after a daily intake of estrogen and progesterone from milk, the average Japanese girl was ovulating at the age of 12.2 years, three years younger. Never before had such a dramatic dietary change been seen in such a unique population study. Little girls do not take birth control pills (those hormones are produced from horse urine). Little girls do not inject steroids, and do not require estrogen replacement therapy. Little girls are born with bodies that are genetically pre- programmed to transform them into women. By drinking cow's milk, little girls become big girls long before Mother Nature intended.
Robert Cohen, author of: MILK A-Z
Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dairy Education Board
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