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milkjugsI love a  good strong cup of tea in the mornings, black tea with a drop of milk. But since I don’t really drink any milk otherwise, from time to time the milk turns on me and I am left with cheesy milk floating in a ruined cup of tea.

This particularly annoys me when it happens on a Sunday morning, just when I want to sit down for a leisurely breakfast. Today was one of those days and instead of a perfect cup of brew I was left to trow out my tea and make a new, milkless cup, which I’ll drink – but it’s not a perfect start to the day.

So as I sipped my tea I was reminded about a study I read a while ago. It was research done on the hormones present in milk and the effects this potentially have on the drinkers health.

Cows are pregnant, like humans, for about nine months and during this pregnancy the levels of the steroid hormones oestrogen and progesteron rise considerably. Research shows that the levels particularity of oestrogens in a late pregnant cow can be 30 times higher than normal.

Now this may in itself not really be an issue, but since modern day farmers milk their cows up to seven months during pregnancy the levels of oestrogens and progesterons can soar in the milk we drink.

The problem with this is, that this could potentially lead to reproductive problems in men and even cause both prostate and breast cancer. Now this doesn’t mean that drinking milk in itself is bad, just that the levels of hormones can influence the way our body works.

This may lead people to eliminate milk and other dairy products from their daily diet which really isn’t desirable as milk does contain high levels of calcium and vitamin D, important  to us all. However the studies have shown that the hormone levels in skimmed or reduced fat milk are much lower and even the levels in goat’s milk are significantly smaller, so maybe they could be an alternative choice.

But as I sipped my milkless tea I couldn’t help but feel a  little bit cheated, a drop of milk, skimmed or not, would have made it a perfect start to the day.


Article in Psychology Today: Got Milk, Got unwanted hormones