Milk: Pros and Cons

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  • Topic: Milk, Calcium, Lactose intolerance
  • Pages : 2 (699 words )
  • Download(s) : 334
  • Published : October 25, 2008
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Milk is a familiar, one-of-a-kind beverage consumed by humans and other animals. Humans do not drink human milk, but drink the milk of other species, and do so commonly throughout their adult lives. Milk is not only drank but is often used in cooking. New alternatives to milk, such as calcium-enriched juices, soymilk, and rice milks, have stormed the markets. In Asian markets, powdered calcium is a popular commodity, often spooned into a pot of rice or soup. We have been told milk "does a body good" and is important for growth in children and maintaining health in adults. But some scientific studies have found that contrary to popular belief, drinking milk may do more harm to our bodies than good. In this essay I will explore the pros and cons of the effects of milk on our bodies.

Probably the biggest pro and thing that most people know about milk is the calcium content of it. A large part of the ongoing milk advertisement campaign seeks to persuade people to drink milk for its calcium content. Indeed, calcium comprises a crucial aspect of human health. Not only is calcium needed for muscle contraction, but calcium lends to our bone structure, bone recovery (re-calcification), and bone health as well. Human locomotion is made possible by rigid skeletons formed from calcium salts in the ground substance of bone. Less calcium therefore leads to weakened bones, resulting in the serious condition known as osteoporosis. Inappropriate levels of calcium can also lead to kidney stones, seizures, and body spasms. In addition, neurotransmitters specifically rely on calcium ions to continue to relay chemicals to areas of the body that need them. Lastly, calcium is an important factor in the blood coagulation cascade. In short, without calcium, humans could not survive. The recommended daily allowance of calcium is approximately 800-1000 mg, although 1200 mg is ideal, according to the most recent update by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA also notes...
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