Parkinson's Disease is Linked to Milk Consumption, Says New Research
Time magazine reported on a recent study which links cow’s milk consumption to the development of Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder affecting the brain’s motor neurons. Up until now, there has not been much research available about the potential link. But now researchers have discovered clues in the presence of harmful pesticides in milk products.
Dr. Robert Abbott and his colleagues published a study in the journal Neurology regarding their findings after studying neuron density in 449 different brains. The brains of men who reported drinking at least two glasses of cow’s milk per day showed most thinning of nerve networks in the areas known to be affected by Parkinson’s. They also found residues from an organochlorine pesticide called heptachlor epoxide. The build-up of the pesticide indicates it triggered the mechanisms for Parkinson’s.
Organochlorine pesticides are known to make their way into feed for dairy cows. Although the chemical found in the specimen’s brains is no longer today, according to the EPA, Hawaiian pineapple farms came under fire in the 1980s for using these compounds on their crops. Cows were fed debris from the pineapple farms, causing great concern. To this day, the chemicals can linger in the soil and water for years, meaning none of us may be safe from ingesting these harmful chemicals.
The most troubling part of Time’s piece may be the sentence: “For now, there’s no reasons to stop drinking milk.” Firstly, it is grammatically incorrect. Secondly, there are several reasons to stop drinking milk – many of which come from compassion for the animals whose milk we steal to please our palates. Sadly, connecting with consumers’ myopic interest in their own health may be the best way to open their eyes to how harmful drinking milk can truly be.
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