Why You Should Limit Dairy After You Turn 20…or Sooner!
We are all born with a certain level of the lactase enzyme in our bodies but can lose it over time. To avoid any intestinal and immune distress, begin to minimize dairy intake after you turn 20 years old, or when negative symptoms are felt.
First, dairy is anything that consists of lactose or did at one-time. Lactose is a disaccharide sugar made from glucose and galactose bonded together. The only way to break this bond is with an enzyme called lactase.
If the bond between these two sugar molecules cannot be broken, then it cannot be absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream, as it is supposed too. When these sugars are not broken down to be absorbed, they continue through the GI tract as a waste product.
Along the way, the body fights this sugar by creating intestinal inflammation (which can cause distension, pushing your stomach out looking like a “beer belly” or “pregnant belly”). This is the same effect you would get when eating something else that your body is allergic too, such as gluten for those that are gluten intolerant.
Also, water moves with sugar molecules which, in this case, leads to diarrhea, and increases colon discomfort. This can be constipation, an increased stench of gas or increased gas frequency. If you have any of these symptoms, it may be time to minimize your dairy intake.
For most people, this is not a problem until they finish puberty, or around the age of 20 years old.
Puberty signals the body to grow and milk, or dairy, is a natural substance that promotes growth. It has good amounts of fat, carbohydrates (lactose) and protein, along with calcium. Milk is what many growing things survive on for the first few years of life until more solid foods can be digested. It is also useful to support growth during puberty.
However, after growth is finished, dairy products are not as useful because the growth of bones and overall size does not continually occur. Our body realizes this and then begins loosing the unnecessary, or unused, lactase enzyme. When it is lost, it is slow to come back, if it does at all.
To avoid any intestinal and immune distress, begin to minimize dairy product use after 20 years of age or when negative symptoms are felt.
Many people go their entire lives with slowly increasing lactose intolerance and do not notice it until later in their life, after years of intestinal destruction have already occurred. Others are born with or become extremely lactose intolerant over time, while few have no lactose intolerance at all.
A study on lactose intolerance compared to heritage found that those who had a heritage closest to Germany were more likely to have a strong tolerance for dairy products throughout their life, while those farther from Germany had less tolerance for lactose in their diets. It was believed this was due to the fact that historically people in cold regions, such as the present day Germany, had to survive on cow’s milk year round in order to be fed while warmer regions could be satisfied by crops.
Still, it is best to heir on the side of caution when negative symptoms are felt after ingesting dairy products. Usually, low sugar dairy products like heavy cream or cheese can be digested because of the lack of lactose sugars.
Some dairy in your diet can be useful to encourage proper calcium (Ca++) supply but is not necessary.
Other products containing calcium (Ca++) are dark green vegetables and fortified products, such as almond milk or orange juice.
Overall, dairy is useful during growth but should be limited when growth is not occurring.