What is wrong with Skim Milk?

I was wondering what people think is wrong with skim milk, if they think something is wrong with it...

I ask because I have read a few posts here, on other topics, and someone may mention something like "of course not skim- I use 1% or 2%"

So is it the idea that vitamin D may not be absorbed because the milk is fat free and D is fat soluble? Because if so I got this reference that says it is still absorbed because the vitamin D actually binds to protiens, not fat.
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/14/science/vitamin-d-in-milk.html

I am asking because for years I drank AT LEAST 3 glasses a day of skim milk and each glass contained 45% rda of vitamin D and yet at age 50, my spine is -2.6. I am still quite upset about this. I stopped drinking milk after reading internet stories about milk being bad for osteoporosis. But I rather go back to conventional wisdom and start drinking milk again. I have upped my leafy greens and am taking vitamin K2 supplements. I could take a 100mcg Vitamin K2 supplement with every glass of milk...

But I am wondering- maybe I should switch to 2%. If there is a reason to do so. I am very used to skim- 2% tastes too creamy but I am sure I would get used to it.

Thank you!

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The answer is - everything. Personally, I bought this milk once when I came to this country, decided that I couldn't drink some dirty water and never touched it again. Luckily, the white bread I touched in a supermarket disappeared (no resistance), so I didn't buy it even a single time. Certain "food" isn't food and should be treated as such.
Drink real milk if you are not lactose intolerant. I don't believe that "milk causes osteoporosis." Personally, I am mildly lactose intolerant and I eat yogurt and cheeses.

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Great questions! I really haven't had much milk in years because I didn't like skim and was on a diet. I never liked it that much anyway. I just found out that even on multivitamins and calcium with D that my D was way down (to 19!). So I started drinking 1 glass of 2% every day and the level rose. That is just my experience. I have osteo at age 61, no breaks, take Forteo. Maybe the milk is now helping. Would like to hear some other answers too.

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The only thing wrong with skim milk is that is doesn't taste the same as milk with some fat in it. (Fat adds flavor!, or as Homer Simpson would say....Hmmmmmmmmm.....faaaaaaattttttt.....aaaaaarughhhh.)
Once for ounce, skim milk actually has slightly more calcium than whole milk. One, because once you skim off the 3% of milk fat, you have to fill the container up with 3% more milk. Second, many dairies acutally add back some non-fat milk solids to make the milk look and feel thicker. You can even boost that calcium content even further by adding powdered skim milk to it, and a couple drops of vanilla extract, just enough to trick the nose into thinking it smells like ice cream, and the brain fuses the two. It worked for my kids when they were older than about 10. Younger children need fat in their diet. The brain is about 30% fat, and excessively fat-free diets in children have been linked to seizure disorders and ADD and ADHD as well because that fat is needed during brain development.

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I have a friend that is a doctor's wife and she drank skim milk trying to boost her calcium scores and decrease her bone loss. It only accellerated her bone loss as mine did when I tried the same thing as per instructions given me at the time. She then tried to switch milks to soy milk. When her next time for scanning was done, she found improvement - not as much as the Strontium does, but a definate improvement in the scores and her pain in her back. Just reporting what took place for her as it was quite a surprise to us all at that time. Charella

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I drink semi-skimmed milk because I was finding that my fat intake was low. The RDA for fat in the UK is up to 70g per day. I find it hard to to get any where near this amount because I have always eaten a low fat diet. I always buy organic milk and may have up to 500ml per day. I sometimes check my urine pH and have never found that milk makes it acidic. whereas cheese and eggs always do. Milk is a good source of calcium. 120mg per 100ml. Yogurt is also a good source of calcium: 140mg per 100g

The vitamin D content in milk and most foods is POOR and you are better taking D3 supplements, assuming that you don't live in a sunny climate. In the UK where we have limited sunshine, vitamin D deficiency is said to be common. You are unlikely to get sufficient vit D3 from food and certainly not from milk. Wild red salmon and wild pink salmon are both high in vit D, John West Wild Red salmon contains 760IU or 23mcg and John West Pink salmon contains 623 IU of vit D. The farmed salmon doesn't contain as much vit D.

My understanding is that the fat soluble vits like D3 and K2 are best taken after a fat containing meal because they need the bile which is releast as a result of the fat, to be absorbed correctly.

You shouldn't need to take more than 100mcg of K2 (MK-7) per day. Some folk on this forum reported that taking more than this was causing them to have problems with their heart rate, so please don't take 100mcg of K2 with every glass of milk.

Have you had a blood test to check your vit D level? its worth asking for one if you haven't. At least then you would know how much supplement you need to take.

Good luck

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There is nothing wrong with skim milk. There are many medical conditions which cause osteopenia and osterperosis. Just because you got the RDA of calcium by drinking 3 glasses of milk each day, this does not mean that you still won't develop problems later on. Did you receive adaquate milk and or other calcium sources as a young child and teenager??? Often, when kids hit their teens, they cut back on milk and drink more soda (pop). This is unfortunate as this is the most critical time to be drinking and eating health calcium rich foods. Soda and all carbonated beverages are terribly hard on the bones. Also, I would suggest that you have a CBC blood work-up along with getting serum calcium and ionized calcium levels checked, vitamin D levels, and PTH (parathyroid hormone levels). All that said, if you have been faithful to getting the proper amount of calcium in your diet your ENTIRE life (especially teenage years).....then this may shed some light on other possible causes for your bone density. Also remember that genetics and how your body reacts to menopause are also important indicators on a female's bone density. For example, if you had a complete hysterectomy say at age 35, then your body would essentially go into menopause at that time and that spells the need for additional calcium to counteract the depleting estrogen.
Hope this has been some help.

Also, as a side note to dxaguru above, are you a dexa technician by chance? If so, I'd like to ask your opinion on the likelyhood of female dexa technicians developing thyroid cancer? Just had a my 3rd bone density last week and the tech there said she thought her thyroid cancer was caused by her exposure. Also, (if you are a tech.) what percentage of women who have osteopenia have reversal with bone density improvement after having a parathyroid tumor removed. THANKS.

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Thanx for the replies, I appreciate it! I have always drank milk- always loved it. I drank 2% until about 18 and then switched to skim. I did drink a lot of pop too though. I am guilty of that.

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Thank you also Lyn- and everyone else. I have not had my D levels checked as that test is no longer covered in British Columbia, so I will have to pay for it- $100. I will get it tested soon but I thought why not be really good with my Vitamin D for a couple of months first.

Milk in Canada is fortified with vitamin D- 1 cup is 45% rda, but I am just going to start to eat more sardines anyway-

Re the 100mcg- that is the main reason I am responding. I am so confused over this. I have read that - about how it builds up etc. But the Japanese ladies take 45grams per day- not micrograms. So confusing. Or maybe it is another variety. Even my bottle of Vitamin K2 says "menaquinone" I am still unsure if that is Mk7 or Mk4 because MK4 can be called menaquinone-4 or it can be called Menatetranone- so the lady at the store said it must be Mk7 because it is not called menatetranone and I believed her. I guess I will do a separate post on that if you don't know. I would like to take some kind of vitamin K pill with the vitamin D and calcium at least- I am sold now on the necessity of that.

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The units are confusing. In Japan they take MK-4 45mg (milli-gram) per day not gram. The Carlson MK-4 I buy is called Menatetrenone and comes in 5mg tablets. This is used as a complete treatment at the high dose in Japan in the same way that our prescription OP medications are used, I am not very sure of its mode of action but I assume that it stimulates the osteoblasts to produce new bone in some way. If this is incorrect I'm sure someone will let me know.

As you correctly state the MK-7 type is menaquinone, or if you buy Dr's Best (MK-7) its called Mena Q7. This comes as 45mcg tablets and people usually take one or two per day ie 90mcg (micro gram) This is used to stop the calcium building up in the arteries and other tissues.

I would think that your tablets are the MK-7 form. The units they are sold in tends to give a clue ie MK-7 are usually in mcg quantities.

I don't know whether you take magnesium, but this is also important to help with the absorption of Ca and getting it into the bones. It tends to be used at a ratio of 2 calcium to 1 magnesium. Don't get the oxide form, the citrate or glycinate forms are easier to absorb and are less likely to upset your guts.

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Has anyone started with Prolia? I know it is a relatively new drug, but I am about to start with my first injection and wondered whether anyone has had good or bad results with it.

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Thank you Lyn! Haha I just had a good laugh at my mistake of writing 45 grams a day. I meant mg. Still.
I emailed NOW this morning and those menaquinone tablets are actually MK4. There is confusion there I guess as MK4 can be called menaquinone-4 or Menatetrenone. And, there may be import restrictions on Mk7 in Canada- I cannot find it locally and I live in Vancouver.
Re magnesium- yes, I have magnesium citrate and my calcium supplement is 250mg/250mg calcium citrate/magnesium citrate. BUT for years (my whole life) I drank at least 3 glasses a day of milk but I bet no where near enough magnesium (no nuts and seeds and there is very little in multivitamins) so that could explain some of my problems.


I thought MK4 is also good for keeping calcium out of the blood vessels??? That is the main reason I am taking it. I cannot find the high doses locally and not sure I want to do that yet. I am thinking of taking 100mch of MK4 every time I take a calcium supplement..

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Milk contains a lot of phosphorus and over 700 mg per day is not good for our bones. The dairy industry has done a good job of selling the American public on milk being good for our bones...

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"Are you a DEXA technologist? If so, I'd like to ask your opinion on the likelyhood of female dexa technicians developing thyroid cancer? Just had a my 3rd bone density last week and the tech there said she thought her thyroid cancer was caused by her exposure. Also, (if you are a tech.) what percentage of women who have osteopenia have reversal with bone density improvement after having a parathyroid tumor removed"

As for thyroid cancer caused by working only in a DXA lab...zero chance. The scatter radiation at 3 ft from the scanning beam with a patient on the table is too small to measure and is about the same as standing outside. But solid tumors caused by radiation don't show up for 10-20 years after the initial dose if they are going to happen at all (its called latency). Leukemias if they are going to happen, show up a bit earlier (6-8 yrs after exposure). I doubt she was doing DXA that long ago. But if she was working as an x-ray tech somewhere else, like doing flouroscopy or angiography, and wasn't wearing a thyroid shield, that could be the cause or maybe not. Many people get thyroid cancer and have never been exposed to any extra radiation, not even dental x-rays so it could be guilt by association. Also (don't know the age of the tech) but back in the 1950s and early 1960's, some places were irradiating the tonsils to shrink them rather than doing surgery, and some used radiation for treating severe acne. About 20% of them eventually developed thyroid cancer 10-20 years later but 80% never showed any signs of thryoid cancer.
Reversing osteopenia caused by parathyroid adenoma that is successfully excised is really quite good if caught early. I have seen improvements up to 20% over 5-10 years. If you had lost more than that, you might not be able to live long enough to get it all back, because normal aging (senile) osteoporosis starts to compete with the body's attempt at homeostasis.
In that respect, we are all kind of like salmon. Once we have spawned, nature really has no use for us.

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"Milk contains a lot of phosphorus and over 700 mg per day is not good for our bones. "

The mineral content of bone (ash weight) is 80% calcium, 19% phosphorus, and 1% everything else. Phosphoric acid is added to soft drinks to keep them tasting crisp even after they lose carbonation. But the amount of phosphorus is really tiny. But, the cell membranes that suround EVERY living cell of every living thing are made up of phospholipids. If you eat anything that was once alive as food, you are getting phosphorus in your diet. It is ubiquitous in nature.

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The mineral content of bone (ash weight) is 80% calcium, 19% phosphorus, and 1% everything else.

That is cool to know, thanx!


I think one area where I went wrong is there is no magnesium in milk and I was drinking so much but not eating nuts or seeds. I am thinking now that I may take a magnesium supplement with each glass of milk....

If Jamieson Vitamins sees fit to supply 250mg Calcium citrate with 250 mg Magnesium citrate, then a cup of skim milk containing 30% RDA= 300-400 mg calcium should also be accompanied by magnesium.????

What do you think?

I miss milk! - so easy for breakfast, after exercise, before bed. I love milk. I would make lots of smoothies too- frozen fruit mixed with milk. I just check the amount of magnesium in 1 cup of strawberries- only 16 grams (4% RDA)! I ate so much fruit- no magnesium in fruit.

I think that is (one area) where I went wrong.....

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Calcium and magnesium should not be mixed. I always take my magnesium several hours after calcium.

As far as phosphorus, there's a lot of phosphorus in meat and cheese. And you should be careful about having too much.

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hmmm,, thank you for the tip re mixing Ca and Mg.

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Spunky Blonde - I did not realize that calcium and magnesium should not be mixed. Please provide a reference (not Mercola). Thanks.

See http://www.livestrong.com/article/379262-how-to-take-calcium-and-magnesium/ where it says, "Because these two minerals work synergistically, it is recommended that you take them together."

Who knows what to believe?

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Although milk may not cause osteoporosis, if one has drank milk their entire life and they still got osteoporosis, then drinking milk certainly did not prevent it. I am not sure that drinking more milk or eating additional cheese will cure it. In some cases it may simply make one fat.

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Why not start with the natural methods, like vitamins and minerals? What is your d level? What are your t scores/

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