Health

  • Sep
  • 24

Crohn’s Disease: The Dairy Connection

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Crohn’s disease is a gastrointestinal condition that plagues victims with extreme stomach pain and diarrhea. One reporter described Crohn’s disease this way: “[T]hink of the worst stomach flu you ever experienced. Then imagine trying to live with that every day. … This is a disease characterized by pain and extreme embarrassment. Those who have it don’t talk about it.”

More than 500,000 Americans suffer from Crohn’s disease; the U.S. has the highest incidence of the disease in the world. There is strong evidence suggesting that many, if not most, of these people contracted the disease by drinking milk from cows infected with a similar illness known as Johne’s disease.

Johne’s disease is caused by a type of bacteria called Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, or MAP. Medical reports show that up to 75 percent of patients with Crohn’s disease test positive for MAP bacteria. A national study of U.S. dairy farms found that 22 percent of dairy cow herds in the country have at least a 10 percent infection rate of MAP.

Professor John Hermon-Taylor of St. George’s Hospital in London, an expert on Crohn’s disease and MAP, states, “The risk that viable MAP is being transmitted to people via the milk supply is very, very high. The evidence is overwhelming.” He further states, “[MAP] is certainly responsible for between 60 per cent and 90 per cent of all cases, and I would think that it is more likely to be 90 per cent.”

To protect yourself from the misery of Crohn’s disease, it is wise to avoid consuming any animal bodily fluids, especially dairy products. Learn more about the connection between dairy products and Crohn’s disease from this report by Dr. Michael Greger.

This article originally appears on PETA.org.

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