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Non-cows milk may not be a good idea

  • Posted on Jun 20, 2017

Pretty much every day I talk to families that have made a decision to do an alternative to cow’s milk. Milk made from soy, almond or rice. Usually someone in the family is allergic or had a reaction- so it made sense to move the family over to the alternative.

I have had concerns in the past that I have shared with families regarding the lower protein content (especially rice and almond milk) and the vitamin D and calcium (sometimes this is added in but it’s best to check it out) but now there is a new worry.  Children who drink dairy alternatives are shorter.  For each cup of non-cows milk, the child was 0.4 centimeters shorter according to a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. That means a 3 year old consuming 3 cups would be 1.2 centimeters shorter. That’s nearly 1/2 inch.  This wasn’t a small study. They looked at over 5 thousand Canadian children ranging from 2 to age 6. Of those children 5% drank exclusive non-cows milk, 84% drank only cows milk, 8 % drank both and 3 % neither. The surprising finding was that the height corresponded to the amount they drank. What they didn’t answer…Could this be related to other variables. For instance, were some of these families vegan? This wouldn’t account for the difference in height related to quantity consumed however, so this study should make us all stop and think a bit.

In the meantime, you might want to pick up a gallon of milk on the way home today.

Dr. Badaracco

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