“Many more people are lactose intolerant or have allergies to dairy products today than in the past.”
This statement is true for many reasons.
First, a little information about dairy products and lactase. All baby mammals produce lactase, the enzyme needed to digest milk sugar. The production of lactase declines later in childhood. When we give children quantities of cow milk, they may not be able digest it. And many people cease to produce lactase at all. In addition, some people are allergic to casein, a milk protein that is difficult for the body to digest. Since butter and cream contain little lactose, many people who are lactose intolerant can consume moderate amounts of these dairy products. Also, since the practice of fermenting milk partially breaks down lactose and predigests casein, some many people who cannot consume other dairy products can eat/drink yogurt and kefir.
As for the increase in lactose intolerance, milk isn’t what it used to be. Antibiotics in the milk can contribute to lactose intolerance. Alternately, raw milk and raw milk cheeses contain enzymes that help the human body digest dairy products. In addition to making it harder for the body to digest the milk and milk products, pasteurization alters amino acids, destroys vitamins C and B12, and reduces the availability of milk’s mineral components.
Most dairy cows are now raised on grains rather than the grasses their bodies were designed to digest. When their diet is thus altered, their milk has many fewer Omega 3 fatty acids and very little CLA, conjugated linoleic acid, which is a type of fat that is thought to be a potent anti-cancer nutrient.
Milk from grass fed cows offers additional health benefits. Besides giving you five times more CLA and an ideal balance of Essential Fatty Acids, grass-fed milk is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E. This vitamin bonus comes, in part, from the fact that fresh pasture has more of these nutrients than grain or hay.
If you believe you might be sensitive to dairy products, eliminate them from your diet for 6 weeks, and then add one back at a time and notice how you feel.