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  • Dairy – Frequently Asked Questions

    It’s important to understand that it is rare to have a true allergy to dairy.

    Yes, milk or dairy intolerance is common, but the problem is never the milk or dairy. The problem stems from your hypothyroidism and the digestive dysfunction that is causes.

    Dairy intolerance is something that is easily overcome. That’s why in this program we focus on correcting this dysfunction so that you can effectively gain all of the protective benefits that dairy has to offer, which are vast. In fact, sufficient calcium is essential for proper thyroid function.

    Here’s how dairy intolerance develops on multiple levels…

    Hypothyroidism Causes Bacterial Overgrowth and Digestive Enzyme Deficiencies

    Research shows that hypothyroidism commonly leads to a condition called Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). This bacterial imbalance alone is the cause of many digestive symptoms.

    Association between hypothyroidism and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.


    “CONCLUSIONS: The history of overt hypothyroidism is associated with bacterial overgrowth development. Excess bacteria could influence clinical gastrointestinal manifestations. Bacterial overgrowth decontamination is associated with improved gastrointestinal symptoms.”

    Research also shows that this bacterial overgrowth also significantly reduces the digestive enzymes we need to properly digest milk and sugar, leading to lactose intolerance. It also reduces calcium absorption, damages the intestinal lining, and disrupts metabolism and function of the digestive tract.

    Effects of an enteric anaerobic bacterial culture supernatant and deoxycholate on intestinal calcium absorption and disaccharidase activity.


    “The supernatant decreased the in vitro uptake of calcium by 15% (p less than 0.001). Deoxycholate reduced calcium uptake by 16% (p less than 0.001). Combined culture supernatant and deoxycholate reduced calcium uptake by 39% (p less than 0.001) suggesting a potentiation of supernatant activity by deoxycholate. Culture supernatant and deoxycholate, both alone and combined, significantly reduced lactase, sucrase, and maltase activity. Electron microscopic evidence showed degeneration of microvilli, disruption of mitochondrial structure, and swelling of the endoplasmic reticulum after exposure of the intestinal loops to the supernatant or deoxycholate.”

    Additionally, other hormonal imbalances driven by hypothyroidism such as a progesterone deficiency, negatively affect enzyme production contributing to a lactase deficiency and interfering with milk digestion.

    Hypothyroidism Causes Leaky Gut

    You also have to understand that every cell of your body relies heavily on thyroid hormone to properly energize and function, including your digestive tract.

    Most hypothyroidism sufferers are familiar with chronic muscular fatigue. Well, your digestive tract is fatigued too.

    When the cells of the digestive tract can’t properly energize, they lose their rigid cellular structure, which leads to digestive leakiness, or a condition known as leaky gut. This digestive leakiness is really what drives the immune component as it allows undigested food to permeate through the gut membrane, where it is left to be cleaned up by the immune system.

    Simply having a lactase enzyme deficiency and not being able to properly digest the lactose will increase its chances of permeating through the gut barrier resulting in immune related symptoms.

    How We Fix Dairy Intolerance, Enzyme Deficiencies, and Leaky Gut

    With that being said, we take a number of precautions in the program to correct all of these issues…

    1. We use the carrot salad daily, which is fairly effective at reducing the bacterial overgrowth.

    2. We add simple syrup to milk to help increase enzyme production for improved digestion.

    3. Adding gelatin to milk is used to improve the digestibility of milk by stabilizing the casein and improving the digestibility and absorption of the fat. It is also known for reducing food allergies.

    4. If milk has been avoided for prolonged periods of time, we introduce it very slowly over time to help natural increase and restore enzyme production.

    5. Using thyroid hormone properly helps improve enzyme production, reduce the bacterial overgrowth, and re-energize the digestive tract to prevent digestive leakiness and therefore food allergies in general.

    6. Using progesterone and lowering estrogen and cortisol helps improve enzyme production.

    7. Using the Sonne’s #9A contains an active ingredient that is a bowel anti-inflammatory and also helps re-energize the digestive tract, improving digestive function on multiple levels.

    8. Oftentimes allergies to milk have more to do with the feed used for the cows. This is why we oftentimes have to try different brands or sources of milk. Some do best on raw milk, while others can’t handle the additional bacteria. Some do best on 2% as opposed to whole. Some do better with milk from a specific farm that doesn’t use a certain type of feed. It’s always best to let your taste guide you. Most people do best with milk that tastes the best for them. I can actually taste the feed very strongly in many sources of milk, so I know what to avoid. It can take some experimentation but it works wonders when you find the right source for you.

    9. Avoid cheeses with fungal enzymes. There can also be issues with cheeses today as they now widely use fungal enzymes as opposed to animal enzymes (rennet) in the cheese making process. And many people are allergic to the fungal enzymes. This is why it’s best to focus on the “safe cheeses” if needed.

    10. Simply increasing milk consumption has been shown to drastically improve lactose intolerance:

    Improved lactose digestion and intolerance among African-American adolescent girls fed a dairy-rich diet.


    “APPLICATIONS/CONCLUSIONS: The diet was well tolerated by the subjects. Furthermore, the decrease in breath hydrogen suggests colonic adaptation to the high-lactose diet. The results indicate that lactose maldigestion should not be a restricting factor in developing adequate calcium diets for this population. The existence of lactose maldigestion does not result in lactose intolerance in this population when it is fed a dairy-rich diet.”

    11. However, I understand that some people, for various reasons, are still very afraid of dairy because of all of the unjustified negative dairy propaganda. So, we try to accommodate these fears in hopes that they will begin to take the necessary steps as they become more comfortable. So, if you have an issue with lactose, we can still use safe cheeses while we are correcting the underlying issues.

    12. In the event that dairy cannot be used due to fear or other reasons, we can use an alternative source of calcium initially while digestion improves. Calcium must be properly balanced, so the best sources are powdered calcium made from eggshells, which is easy to do yourself at home, or calcium from oyster shells.

    Isn’t Milk Acidifying and Cause Osteoporosis?

    There are many websites on the internet that make lots of unfounded claims, especially about milk and dairy.

    As for milk being acidifying and causing the breakdown of bone mass. There really is no evidence of this. In fact, there’s plenty of evidence supporting the opposite:

    Dietary modification with dairy products for preventing vertebral bone loss in premenopausal women: a three-year prospective study.


    “The study suggests that dietary modification in the form of dairy products retards vertebral bone loss in premenopausal women.”

    Effects of dairy products on bone and body composition in pubertal girls.


    “Young girls whose dietary calcium intake was provided primarily by dairy products at or above the recommended dietary allowances had an increased rate of bone mineralization.”

    A calcium-deficient diet caused decreased bone mineral density and secondary elevation of estrogen in aged male rats-effect of menatetrenone and elcatonin.


    “These data suggest that the change in testicular aromatase expression might be, in part, a compensatory mechanism for the bone mineral deficiency induced by the Ca-deficient diet in aged male rats.”

    The proponents of the animal protein acidifying myth have based this on observing urine pH. They claim that consuming milk and other animal protein causes a loss of calcium. However, they fail to account for the fact that dietary protein improves calcium absorption in the intestines.

    While it is true that the foods we eat can alter the acidity of our urine, urine pH is not a good indicator of overall body pH.

    Even research does not support the theory that diet affects our pH:

    Nutritional disturbance in acid–base balance and osteoporosis: a hypothesis that disregards the essential homeostatic role of the kidney


    The truth is that blood pH is regulated by other means, such as the kidneys, rate of breathing, and the balance between Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide in the blood.

    Another common myth of alkanizing diet proponents is that you need to be in an alkaline state for your red blood cells to properly transport oxygen.

    However the problem is that in an alkaline state, oxygen is tightly bound to your red blood cells and cannot be delivered properly to your tissue in sufficient amounts, thus starving cells of oxygen. This leads to an unhealthy state of metabolism known as anaerobic glycolysis resulting in a decline in energy production and the overproduction of lactic acid.

    This is why supporting oxidative metabolism is so important, which is what we are doing in the program.

    This is well understood through what is known as the Bohr Effect. The carbon dioxide that is a produced as a byproduct of oxidative metabolism lowers blood pH allowing oxygen to be released to the target tissue to further promote oxidative metabolism and proper energy production. This serves as an important feedback mechanism where oxidative metabolism and carbon dioxide production is essential for proper thyroid metabolism.

    I Was Told Adults Can’t Digest Milk/Casein?

    There is another common myth that has been circulating for years.

    The vast majority of milk intolerance is driven by lactose deficiency which was covered in detail previously in the section on Hypothyroidism Causes Bacterial Overgrowth and Digestive Enzyme Deficiencies.

    Some try to make the argument that we only produce the chymosin (rennin) enzyme, used to coagulate milk, in infancy. This enzyme is important because an infant’s digestive tract is not yet fully developed. So, the chymosin enzyme helps to slow down the digestion of the milk for maximal absorption.

    But simply stating that adults don’t produce chymosin is very poor evidence for argument against the digestibility of dairy.

    As adults, we have fully developed digestive tracts that are much more capable of properly absorbing nutrients. We digest milk proteins through the production of protease enzymes, such as pepsin.

    There are a number of benefits of casein that are largely ignored. For example, it is known for protecting the adrenal glands and being quite protective against stress:

    Protection of adrenocortical activity by dietary casein in ether anaesthetized rats.


    “The results suggest that high milk protein diet may prevent acute stress effects by protecting adrenocortical activity. The present investigation opens up a new area of management of stress.”