The Whole Logic Behind the Milk Intervention, Part 2

Here’s Part 1 for review, where I critiqued what I believe are the chief arguments in favor of avoiding milk from a Paleo, evolutionary perspective. I neglected to address the A1 vs. A2 genetic lineage of dairy producing cows, and so I added that as an update to the post this morning.

So I find the reasons to avoid good quality ruminant milk—cow, goat, sheep, etc.— unconvincing. If you have a personal issue you can’t overcome, like a serious allergy or intolerance (there is Googlable information on how to adapt, especially to lactose intolerance), then that’s you. Doesn’t apply to everyone else. But just because the arguments to avoid it don’t stand up in my view, it’s still good to make a case for why consume it, because it comes at the cost of a tradeoff with other good foods.

Why Milk?

Whole food-wise, it’s potentially the biggest counter to unbridled deconstructionism in a general health and nutrition context I can imagine. Scientific deconstructionism is a double-edged sword. Really, we couldn’t do anything without deconstruction. Take things apart (mentally if not physically), understand all the constituants, understand how they work in integrated unison, and put it back together. In principle, there’s little other way for us primitives to understand the physical, biological, or even psychological realities happening all around us. Then we develop and produce beyond that, however imperfectly.

But the human body is not a clock. Or a radio. A computer. It’s not even a nuclear reactor. It’s infinitely more complex in the integrated workings of its constituent elements than the combined complexity of everything we’ve ever crafted as the thinking, deconstructing, creating species. And so in terms of drug intervention, it’s really a deconstruction game and there’s no sure way to tell what all could be affected. (Read the side effects of just about any drug; that is the cost of deconstruction, of having no complete, flawless idea of how everything works together entirely.)

It’s really simple in terms of milk. Milk is the absolutely exclusive food and beverage for all newborn mammals, as well as the exclusive nourishment for a substantial time, causing them to grow—and not just bone, flesh & blood, but neurons as well. Milk grows bodies and brains.

By definition, milk has everything required to perform this function, which means it’s complete nutrition in the right nutrient proportions—one with all the others—in a complex matrix. When you think about it, it offers a stark contrast to much of the deconstruction that passes for nutrition, dietary and even health advice quite suspect, i.e., go get your acai berry and green superfood smoothie! For reference and comparison, just scan the substantial nutrient data for cow and goat milk to see how bankrupt is much of what passes for “healthy and nutritious.”

The Woo Factor

It’s always the part I hate the most in something like this. It’s a conglomeration of well intentioned folks who, generally (one or all in some or all measure may apply):

  1. Eschew anything and everything science and evidence based
  2. God made it = Good; Man made it (like antibiotics and the vaccines for smallpox, polio, etc.) = Bad
  3. Natural = Good; Synthetic = Bad
  4. Obscurity = Repressed for its goodness; Mainstream = Promoted for its profit and prestige potential
  5. “Healing properties” is their most often used description

You get the idea. Thing is, there’s at least some ground to consider some things in some measure with at least a smattering of the “ethical milieu” represented above. So, can’t live with the woo, can’t live completely without it, I guess. So again, we’re left with what makes sense: both as food to begin with and how it works for every individual.

The References

I’ve not read all of all of these yet but will do so over the course of time, woo factors notwithstanding. Thanks to commenters for posting so much of it (and much much more) in comments to my last few posts on this topic.

It’s the third of those I’m going to get specific with, because it’s a very short article you can read in a few minutes to get the gist of things, then go onto those more lengthy works if you like. Here’s the introduction.

The following is an edited version of an article by Dr. J. R. Crewe, of the Mayo Foundation, forerunner of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, published in Certified Milk Magazine, January 1929. We are grateful to Dr. Ron Schmid, ND of Middlebury, CT for unearthing this fascinating piece. The “Milk Cure” was the subject of at least two books by other authors, written subsequently to Dr. Crewe’s work. … Note that Crewe quotes William Osler, author of a standard medical textbook of the day. Thus, this protocol was an orthodox, accepted therapy in the early 1900s. Today the Mayo Clinic provides surgery and drug treatments, but nothing as efficacious and elegant as the Milk Cure.

For fifteen years the writer has employed the certified milk treatment in various diseases and during the past ten he had a small sanitarium devoted principally to this treatment. The results obtained in various types of disease have been so uniformly excellent that one’s conception of disease and its alleviation is necessarily changed. The method itself is so simple that it does not greatly interest most doctors and the main stimulus for its use is from the patients themselves.

In several instances, Osler (Principles and Practices of Medicine, by William Osler, MD eighth edition) speaks of milk as being nothing more than white blood. Milk resembles blood closely and is a useful agent for improving and making new and better blood. Blood is the chief agent of metabolism. Milk is recognized in medical literature almost exclusively as a useful food and is admitted to be a complete food.

The therapy is simple. The patients are put at rest in bed and are given at half hour intervals small quantities of milk, totalling from five to ten quarts of milk a day. Most patients are started on three or four quarts of milk a day and this is usually increased by a pint a day…

The treatment is used in many chronic conditions but chiefly in tuberculosis, diseases of the nervous system, cardiovascular and renal conditions, hypertension, and in patients who are underweight, run-down, etc. Striking results are seen in diseases of the heart and kidneys and high blood pressure. In cases in which there is marked edema, the results obtained are surprisingly marked. This is especially striking because so-called dropsy has never been treated with large quantities of fluid. With all medication withdrawn, one case lost twenty-six pounds in six days, huge edema disappearing from the abdomen and legs, with great relief to the patient. No cathartics or diuretics were given. This property of milk in edema has been noted in both cardiac and renal cases.

Patients with cardiac disease respond splendidly without medication. In patients who have been taking digitalis and other stimulants, the drugs are withdrawn. High blood pressure patients respond splendidly and the results in most instances are quite lasting. The treatment has been used successfully in obesity without other alimentation. One patient reduced from 325 pounds to 284 in two weeks, on four quarts of milk a day, while her blood pressure was reduced from 220 to 170. Some extremely satisfying results have been obtained in a few cases of diabetics.

When sick people are limited to a diet containing an excess of vitamins and all the elements necessary to growth and maintenance, which are available in milk, they recover rapidly without the use of drugs and without bringing to bear all the complicated weapons of modern medicine.

OK, that should do it. It’s not very long at all so go see all the other things to which this treatment and intervention responded well.

There is a certain elegance to it, to me. I look at it as akin to a reset button, basically all the way back to the stage of infancy when milk was all you got. On the other hand, those quantities of milk fed in the article seem enormous to me. I’ve been doing about the equivalent of a half-gallon combined, of whole cow milk and goat milk kefir (goat milk kefir is the bomb, by the way) without much in the way of hunger.

Those Dirty Rotten Scoundrels In Medicine

Here’s the other part I hate, and it goes hand-in-hand with the woo. First lets make some distinctions. Modern medicine is comprised of a bunch of different disciplines (not all inclusive, I’m sure).

  • Emergency medicine/surgery
  • Routine surgery
  • Extreme/experimental surgery
  • Treatment with antibiotics and vaccines
  • Routine short term drug therapies
  • Prolonged drug therapies for chronic conditions

So in terms of procedures, you have everything from saving someone dying on the spot from a bullet or knife wound to hip & knee replacements, spinal surgery, brain surgery, heart transplants and all sorts of amazing stuff. Other than some measure of criticism over unnecessary surgeries, this is a pretty wholesome field in my view. People now walk out of the hospital same day for procedures that used to require a 2-week stay post-op, and weeks of recovery at home—and their chances of good outcomes were far less than today.

And when it comes to drugs, you have a whole class designed to treat emergencies, such as raising BP, lowering it, or getting one little part of a body to do exactly what you want it to when you want it, else you have a dead patient (this is purposeful deconstruction that’s valuable in the context of emergency treatment). And how about anesthesia for those surgeries? And then there’s the stuff you take one prescription for and then you’re done.

It’s really that last category—prolonged drug therapy for chronic conditions—that has the most potential for abuse. At the same time, the drug business is a drug…business. So in one respect, it’s really kind of non-sequitur to lament that the drug companies aren’t out promoting the milk diet—or anything for that matter that’s not a drug they can sell to the public. Ford Motor Company doesn’t manufacture and promote bicycles as an alternative treatment for transportation. Not their business.


The milk intervention, as I call it, isn’t going to fix your broken leg, prevent or treat sepsis, shrink a brain tumor or do much of anything for what a great deal of modern medicine is designed to treat, and generally does well at. Remember, infants and small children get sick and even die, too. It’s not a cure all.

It’s that last category of the medical profession: the prolonged, lifelong use of drugs for so many chronic conditions, that has me interested in this as a viable therapy for someone to try for a few weeks. The drug companies aren’t going to push it and the medical doctors who do will probably forever be on the fringe.

So there you have it. All the reasons I can think of in Part 1 why it’s silly to eschew—because it’s not pure Paleo or whatever—and all the reasons in this part for why it just might be worth a try for you individually.

…And now I’ll start drafting my Newsletter update on how, specifically, this has worked for me for two weeks now…in terms of fat loss, well being, energy, digestion, sleep and so on. You can subscribe at this link and after confirming your subscription, you’ll get a welcome email with links to the past issue(s) so you can catch up with what’s going on.


  1. Austin on March 13, 2013 at 05:36

    Awesome! I was on the edge waiting for part two and can’t wait for the follow up. Thanks for getting me started on kefir. Its a great start to the morning and it seems to have given me more energy. So far its cream top grass fed whole milk (low pasteurized since raw is illegal in Iowa currently) with kefir for bfast and at night before bed with a normal sized dinner. I think I feel much better in the afternoon now than when I was eating lunch at work plus I’m lazy and hate to prep something for lunch. You can’t get anything faster for bfast than a few glasses of milk!

  2. Nacho Rubio on March 13, 2013 at 05:38

    Great as usual… Using logic as a sharp knife, making me think and rethink… Thanks, Big Boss!
    By the way, as I know you liked the previous pair, here they come, two more cooking videos!
    There´s a great bunch o potatoes in the first one, and I think you’ll like to know that I’ve made some “improvements” in my kitchen, remember my stairs?
    About the second one… You’re gonna hate me for the final line…
    Hope you enjoy them, anyway.
    Spanish Omellete:
    Baked veggies:
    Thanks again for sharing the info!

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 07:40


      Both are great. Funny. I’ll do something to get some more views for you.

      BTW, I’ve made the Basque version of the tortilla a few times (pretty much the same thing). It’s great for breakfast with a green salad tossed in OO and vinegar.

    • Nacho Rubio on March 13, 2013 at 11:26

      Thanksthnaksthanks!!! Funny I didn´t know the tortilla a la vasca…

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 11:57

      “Funny I didn´t know the tortilla a la vasca…”

      Basically the same, except the potatoes are cubed. And the tuning is the same, although sometimes when it’s very thick, I have resorted to the oven at 400K for 10-20 minutes to finish off.

      My Basque uncle by marriage (Spanish Basque, not French) came here as a sheepherder in the 70s, Northern Nevada. He knew everything about every animal and how to get the most of it. He loved bird hunting (he died a year or so ago).

      My fondest memory is when we got about 100 quail without firing a shot. He had this idea. We spread seed, prop up a 4×8 sheet of plywood (feet), and tie a string to the piece propping it up. We waited in the kitchen. Wham! Many escaped who were on the edges.

      The Basque rendition of quail is not to be discounted or misunderstood and so, I insist that your next video be about how to do a dinner of quail.

      …And it better be fucking funny.

    • A mom at home on March 13, 2013 at 13:05

      You’re cute.

    • Nacho Rubio on March 14, 2013 at 03:24

      Hahaha, great trick! Thanks for sharing it! You know, they really know how to eat (Basque people), attached to the land, they usually know the seassons of the produce and really enjoy food. Of course not everyone… Anyway, a great bunch of the best cooks and restaurants in Spain are from/in The Basque Country. But sorry to say that if there’s only potatoes (and maybe onions) in the omelet, that’s officialy a tortilla española, no matter how the potatoes are chopped, hehe… As I’ve just found out, things change when you add in peppers, tomatoes or some other veggies…
      Anyways, quail, ok, I’ll try to work on that… The special Xmas salad in my family has quails in it, maybe that’s good option…
      And fucking funny or dead.

  3. Chuck Currie on March 13, 2013 at 08:30

    “Don’t buy a car…just get out and walk.”

    “Why buy a car…when you can take the bus.”

    Things you won’t hear in a Ford commercial


    • Kayumochi on March 13, 2013 at 18:05

      Here is a link for you Richard. Seems there is an entire book written on the fight between the AMA and Homeopathy. It is a history book. Draw your own conclusions.

    • Kayumochi on March 13, 2013 at 09:25

      That is fine in a Ford commercial but when you go to a medical specialist you may expect him to suggest alternatives that are backed by science instead of simply relying on expensive mainstream medicine. I have not found this to be the case.

    • Jessica K on March 13, 2013 at 09:53

      I would like to see Richard’s take on the idea that its not all the fault of the doctors’. I often wonder how many go to med school that want to cure the world, change health care, treat the disease not the symptoms, only to find after all their hard work and their coveted MD an endless line of patients with their hands out demanding the quick pharmaceutical fix? As a chiropractic friend of mine points out, people are motivated to seek help when they are in pain. Until then, they care little for maintenance or preventative therapy. We need to stop accusing doctors for being big Pharma hoars and look at the bigger picture.

    • Kayumochi on March 13, 2013 at 09:55

      “they care little for maintenance or preventative therapy.”

      We are not in their company.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 10:08

      I’ll folder it for a future blog post.

      Essentially, we’re in a new world where efficiency and profit and jobs rule. Medicine was initially a discipline for helping people in vast need. Imagine what it was like during times when people were dropping like flies before antibiotics and vaccines.

      What we need to do is get back to a more holistic, country doctor approach where you pay for a visit just like you pay for an oil change.

    • Jessica K on March 13, 2013 at 10:18

      Agreed. But we need to change the culture first: supply and demand and all that jazz.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 10:24

      Supply and demand is how humans work out trade. Even sex. It will be with us for a long time.

    • Kayumochi on March 13, 2013 at 10:27

      Beginning in the late 19th century through early 20th century the AMA was a trade organization that had one main purpose: to destroy the competition. Who was the competition? Not other allopathic physicians but instead homeopathic physicians. In the 19th century allopathic physicians were considered butchers and their hospitals and training facilities were inferior to their homeopathic counterparts. Remember, the allopathic physicians had no drugs. What little relief they could give they stole from homeopathy and called it their own. Many physicians were both allopathic and homeopathic (the AMA put an end to this). In the old days when one visited the “country doctor” as Richard mentioned, he was probably a homeopath (unless you needed an amputation). After the AMA killed off homeopathy they moved on to other things but not before a Senator Copeland, himself a homeopath, inserted a clause into the charter of the FDA that protected homeopathic remedies from the AMA. It still rankles them today.

      I like the idea of the country doctor approach as well but it has its limits.

    • Jessica K on March 13, 2013 at 10:29

      That’s the point, continuing to blame doctors who supply what is in high demand is futile.

    • Kayumochi on March 13, 2013 at 10:33

      What about a patient who goes to a specialist who doesn’t ask for what is “in high demand” but expects the physician to recommend a research-backed alternative? Would I be justified in “blame?”

    • Jessica K on March 13, 2013 at 10:40

      That specialist does exist, Kayumochi. It its up to you or any other patient to seek him out. Shame on any consumer who purchases a service as important as health care to assume that all service providers are created equal.

    • Kayumochi on March 13, 2013 at 10:45

      Again, experience tells me that mainstream medicine does not actively promote low-cost alternatives even if they are backed by research. Not in this country. In fact, if you mention them they say something along the lines of “I don’t know” or “It won’t hurt to try.”

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 10:52

      Do you mean homeopathic or holistic? Homeopathy is just total bullshit, pseudo woo. I won’t even argue it any more than I’ll argue whether dolphins are as smart as us.

    • Jessica K on March 13, 2013 at 11:02

      So stop spending your time seeking advice from practitioners who don’t share your views and spend your time on researching and pursuing a practitioner who shares your views. I’m not sure where you live, but where I live, there are practitioners, md’s and specialists even, who are open minded and osteopathic in their approach to medicine. They are not on every corner, and not all of them accept insurance, but I can assure they do in fact exist.

    • Kayumochi on March 13, 2013 at 11:15

      Am describing the history of the AMA v Homeopathy as it happened. Opinions don’t matter much. But to piss you off Richard I will describe something else: for a decade I suffered from chronic bronchitis. 3-4 times a year I got very, very sick and gratefully took all the medicine they gave me for lung infections, etc. When I wasn’t sick I coughed all the time, all year long. For a decade. The doctors did all they could and told me it would get worse with age. One day I read something about Homeopathy. Then a short time later something else. Then something else. I didn’t know anything about Homeopathy but got the message and made an appointment with a local Classical Homeopath and started taking a remedy of some sort. 2 months later and two weeks before my next scheduled appointment with the Homeopath I noticed the symptoms of a lung infection: a low grade fever and a general sense of something with my body is not right. So I stuck it out for two whole weeks until my next appointment. I drive there with my wife, explain the situation and the Homeopath gives me a new remedy. We drive 2 miles to the farmer’s market and stay 30 minutes. During that time my fever skyrockets and I become delirious to the point that my wife had to drive us home. The next 4 days I am in bed with a 104 degree temperature. It was difficult to breathe and I thought I was going to suffocate but I was determined to see this thing through. Something was different this time however. My complexion got this oddly healthy look to it even though I felt I was on death’s door. I would go to the mirror and marvel and my clear, clean, healthy complexion with no break outs and then go back to bed wondering if I was going to die. Then on the 4th day the fever broke. That was 6 years ago. And I never have been sick with that since. No more coughing. No more lung infections. No more chronic bronchitis. And no more acne. Did some research later and found that strange, unexplained fevers often precede spontaneous remissions. Was it the homeopathic remedy that triggered the fever? How the hell can I really ever know? But it sure wasn’t the Virgin Mary. And it certainly wasn’t allopathic medicine ….

    • Kayumochi on March 13, 2013 at 11:57

      A side note: my Classical Homeopath gets referrals under the table from local M.D.s. They send her patients they can’t do anything with and they often improve. In fact, she has one patient who is a local pediatrician and who brings her own daughter for homeopathy. I wasn’t born yesterday and so am not defending homeopathy but just sharing with you what is still going on long after the AMA won the war against Homeopathy.

    • Joshua on March 13, 2013 at 13:56

      So you want doctors to give you solutions backed by science, but you see a homeopath whose remedies have been disproven by science? I hate the monopolistic rent-seeking AMA as much as the next guy, but homeopathy is horseshit that’s been diluted 100 times. It’s not even good enough to serve as manure.

    • Kayumochi on March 13, 2013 at 13:59

      No need to be a smart ass Joshua. Was simply sharing the facts of 2 different situations.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 15:08

      I have no idea. I’m a seasonal allergy sufferer who coughs a lot and while paleo has made it far better so I don’t need to be on steroid nose spray year round as I was for years, I have to put up with some discomfort in spring.

      Or, just last ignt, went to bed at 11, woke up at 1am with my body and sheets drenched in perspiration. What doe it mean? I don’t know. Got up, dried off, checked email and went back to bed on soggy sheets. Woke up five hurs later fine & dry.

      Homeopathy is placebo and absolutely nothing more.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 15:21

      You might want to explain what you mean by homeopathy. Especially as contrasted with holistic. Homeopathy involves taking valueless herbs and other valueless plant substances, dissolving on solution and then diluting until such time as they’ve made a fuck of a lot of money of of one sprig of rosemary.

      Get your terms straight.

    • Joshua on March 13, 2013 at 15:54

      Sorry Kayumochi – I’m a little bit passionate about the charlatans who call themselves homeopaths. They only thing they have over witch doctors is that they don’t sacrifice people with albinism.

      We are talking about the same thing right? The people who create some kind of potion and then dilute it 1000 times which somehow makes it stronger? The thing that hurts a healthy person can heal a sick person?

      I feel slightly better about “holistic” practitioners, but as far as I can tell most medicine, including conventional medicine, relies on the placebo principle.

    • Kayumochi on March 13, 2013 at 17:51

      You really are annoying aren’t you Joshua. I think it was you who caused me to stop posting in another thread. If you read my post carefully you will see I am not advocating homeopathy or anything else. I am simply stating what happened.

    • Kayumochi on March 13, 2013 at 17:55

      Not sure I follow you Richard …. get my terms straight? In regards to what? I gave you an outline regarding the fight between the AMA and Homeopathy. I wrote “Homeopathy” because it was a fight between the AMA and Homeopathy and not between the AMA and something else. Homeopathy comes from Samuel Hahnemann and that is the Homeopathy I was referring to. I don’t know of another one ….

    • Kayumochi on March 13, 2013 at 17:58

      Fine. I was simply stating a series of facts in chronological order and was drawing no conclusion, as I wrote. If you or someone else has an explanation as to what sparked my spontaneous remission then I am open to hear it.

    • Jessica K on March 13, 2013 at 18:13

      Homeopathic: what you, Josh and Richard (aka woo) have described above.

      Holistic: the approach in medicine treats the body as a whole mechanism of overlapping parts, as in comparison to most practitioners today in modern medicine who tend to segment the treatment of the body into specialties, without regard for the whole.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 18:35

      Homeopathy I believe has also been shown to improve conditions in some people. But drug companies do that all the time in controlled trials. There’s a name for it: placebo effect.

      I think there’s no doubt that the mind can have both positive and negative influences on the body, which by necessity includes belief in things that aren’t real.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 19:14

      I’ve had people say homeopathy when what they really meant was holistic, so I wanted to make sure.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 19:29

      I’m not sure that would help because I can tell you that I would be against the AMA. I’d be against them and for snake oil salesmen.

      Everybody gets to go to hell in their own go-cart.

      That’s what I always say.

    • Joshua on March 14, 2013 at 05:17

      No need to go ad hominem kayumochi. We did indeed have a discussion going regarding national health systems, but it was certainly not my intention to cause you to stop posting. This is Richard’s blog, and it is certainly not my place to tell anybody to do anything.

      Thank you for clarifying that you were actually talking about homeopathy. Many people conflate homeopathy and holistic medicine. Also, I don’t see how it could not be relevant that you insist on science based medicine from mainstream practitioners, yet ignore the science that has disproven homeopathy theories.

      I’m not sure what you think my position is, but I loathe the AMA as much as I do homeopaths, though for different reasons. As for what caused your remission, I’m certainly not saying it’s impossible that homeopathy cured you, but there’s little science that would support such a hypothesis, and significant science that would contraindicate it.

    • Jozef Varhaník on March 14, 2013 at 06:12

      Heavy anecdote warning! Lets do it like the Chinese used to do, folks paid their doctors for being kept in good health and not paid a penny them when they were sick.

    • Rob B. on March 14, 2013 at 12:49

      I couldn’t agree more! For me (as an advance practice nurse) I find that people continue to confuse what they constitute as a right to the best care available with me or the rest of the medical community providing it free or cheap. I think i have a right to eat or have a warm place to sleep, but its unlikely my local butcher is going to give me a choice steak for the price of a femur bone just because i think its my right. I feel bad that there are people who can’t afford health care, but at the end of the day, those people aren’t paying my 150k student loan tab. There is a big push in healthcare for the consumer model instead of the old paternalistic model…when you become a customer, that means you are acknowledging that you will be opening your wallet for services rendered…something many of these patients seem to forget.

      What are you views on surgery with the the holistic country doctor approach?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 14, 2013 at 13:01

      Rob B

      “What are you views on surgery with the the holistic country doctor approach?”

      A lot, lot more of this, for far more procedures. Clearly listed and reasonable prices.

    • Kayumochi on March 14, 2013 at 13:06

      I found the Japanese model to be similar to our (romantic) notion of a “country doctor”: Japan has a higher percentage of privately owned clinics than does the United States and because of the universal healthcare system one need not fear not being able to afford the expense (a country doctor never broke anyone). So essentially you have a country peppered with small, independent country (or city) doctors who operate their own clinics with beds that allow patients to stay overnight without going to a large hospital.

  4. Aaron H. on March 13, 2013 at 08:31

    Richard – I am following your “Milk Intervention” with great interest. I wonder about excretion on this eating (drinking) plan. Is there much in the milk to excrete? If not, how is the elimination part of the cycle working for you?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 08:42

      I’ll go over that without going TMI in the newsletter (that’s where I put out the personal results). It’ll go out later today. But, in a word: fine.

    • Kayumochi on March 13, 2013 at 09:26

      Have you ever changed a baby’s diaper?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 09:57


      This has already been dealt with in a previous thread. Babies naturally have runny or soft serve poop. They are born with sterile guts. Over time, they build the fora. If fact, adults on an all milk diet often experience constipation if they don’t drink enough of it.

    • Kayumochi on March 13, 2013 at 10:01

      The baby diapers I have changed pre-food didn’t contain what I would call “poop” at all but something quite different. Easy to clean. Easy to change. But when they start to eat solid food things get nasty.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 10:22

      The problem is it’s all so confounded. Milk or formula? How long? What was the mother’s diet? What solid food–real solid food chopped or maserated in mummy’s mouth or gerbers? Impossible to know anything, really.

    • Kayumochi on March 13, 2013 at 11:49

      LOL. It wasn’t macerated in mother’s mouth. Did my diaper changin’ in Japan so it was lots of white rice, natto, fish and miso. I tell friends who are new parents with infants who haven’t started to eat solid food yet to enjoy the clean poop while they can.

    • Tom on March 13, 2013 at 15:19

      The bacteria in an infant digestive tract is bifido bacteria. That’s why infants have “clean poop.” And, yes, the moment they eat regular food or get started on formula, the bifido bacteria is wiped out and the poop gets gross.

      Art Ayers talks about this extensively on his cooling inflammation blog.

  5. Chuck Currie on March 13, 2013 at 08:37

    I’ve been drinking raw milk and raw milk kefir mixed 50/50. Interesting thing, the kefir starts working on the milk almost immediately, and because I’m not a fast drinker, about half way through, the milk is starting to ferment.

    I’m thinking I could just put a glass of milk on the counter before I go to bed, add a touch of kefir, and in the morning end up with a glass of fresh fefir.

    Worth a try.


    • Paul N on March 13, 2013 at 11:09

      That is pretty much how I make my “grainless” kefir. Mix 1 part kefir to 9 parts milk and leave out overnight, or for 24 hrs. I find its best to refridgerate for a couple more days to get the nice sourness.
      Not as good as the real stuff made with grains, I’m sure, but way better than any yoghurt.

  6. Rocco Privetera on March 13, 2013 at 09:36

    Regarding the raw/not raw part of the milk intervention – does it *have* to be raw? I did a bunch of research for where I live in Queens, NY and there is no real easy way (or even just moderately difficult but not highly expensive way)for a guy with no car to get any in my area.

    Assuming I’m consuming plenty of other gut flora choices (Kombucha, pickled stuff, kimchi/sauerkraut, quality yogurt) I’m trying it with just normal organic store boguth milk. I know why the raw stuff is better, obviously, but will the not-raw stuff defeat the purpose? If we’re talking bio-available nutrients it should be the same, right?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 10:01

      It would be hard for me to believe that in NYC there is not to be found high quality milk from small producers. That’s what you should zero in on and forget abut raw for right now, minimal pasteurization, non homogenized is fine.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 10:02

      And make sure to check out kefir. All other probiotics are child’s play in comparison.

  7. Jessica K on March 13, 2013 at 10:05

    Not the same at all, Rocco, unfortunately. “Raw” milk is a living organism. IMO, “live” milk would be a better name. Store bought milk, even if organic, has been heated at high temps and kills off all beneficially organisms and changes the chemical structure of the proteins. The Weston A Price Foundation has some great resources and information on the subject. Although it can be hard and expensive in certain areas to obtain live milk, don’t think of store bought milk as a nutritional equivalent, even if fermented.

  8. Jessica K on March 13, 2013 at 11:23

    Andrew Badenoch @evolvify on Twitter writes:

    “Paleofantasy wasn’t written to inform #paleo, but to preclude others from ditching grain based on a PhD and jacket blurbs. #propagandaworks”

    He also writes:

    “humans died from head trauma in the paleolithic. it still happens. therefore, paleofantasy.”

    See I can quote too. Sarcasm intended.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 15:11

      Yea, saw both those tweets yesterday. Did you see John Durrant live tweet his read of the book?

      Still chewing whether I want o take it serious and shit, or go off on it and use just words. Still chewing.

    • marie on March 13, 2013 at 15:20

      It doesn’t deserve serious, have fun! Will be hoping… :)

    • Jessica K on March 13, 2013 at 16:17

      Yeah Durant is a riot too. “Paleofantasy shouldn’t have been a book in 2013, it should have been a blog post in 2010.” Pretty much sums up why I won’t read it. Not enough hours in the day to listen to someone beat a dead horse. What the paleo theory is flawed?! What, we don’t know exactly how it has all gone down in the last several thousand years in the evolution of man and his food sources?! But its utterly ridiculous to propose there is not much we have learned about health and nutrition by approaching it from andevolutionary prospective. So what does the community as whole have to gain from the book? Question everything? Well, duh.

    • Jessica K on March 13, 2013 at 16:33

      Ok, not sure where you were going with that within the context of this thread. I wasn’t questioning anyone’s creds, I was simply questioning you merely quoting another as your entire argument? Or maybe your a book retailer pimping a product? In any case, if YOU want to join the discussion, do it with words, your words. The lovely and learned Zuk and Leslie would be welcome to join the discussion as well. It just seems rather ridiculous for me to argue with you only parroting them.

    • marie on March 13, 2013 at 17:03

      The difference between Leslie Aiello and Zuk? The latter tries to take advantage of the former’s well-deserved cred by borrowing and Redefining the term, ‘paleofantasies’ , to fit her campaign against this imaginary spread of what sounds like paleo reenactment.

    • Jessica K on March 13, 2013 at 17:37

      Ok, now I’m conufsed. I have no idea who here claimed Badenoch was ethical.

      I’m always up for lively disputes, heated debates and the like with a little humor and sarcasm thrown in for a little fun. Off topic rants and name calling? Not really my thing.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 18:55

      Non sequitur, Charles. Just because Zuk quotes her in an article using a made up word does not really warrant a massive appeal to authority and prestige you posted.

      Facts are facts and falsehoods falsehoods regardless who says them or how many letter to titles they have.

      Zuk is simply arguing a strawman from about 2009 or so that was largely corrected long ago the first time people began talking about the silliness of paleo reenactment and what would grok do.

      Her book will probably end up helping paleo.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 19:01

      Bingo Marie. I hadn’t read your comment before posting essentially the same gist.

  9. Alex on March 13, 2013 at 13:07

    The best thing about milk is how magically it marries to espresso, when steamed. It produces silken texture and simultaneously a sweet/creamy flavor profile that’s just money. Provided it’s made with sound technique, of course, and portioned correctly. Unfortunately, many shops haven’t a clue how to do either.

    • marie on March 13, 2013 at 14:40

      Yes! Cafe-au-lait is the raison d’être for milk :)

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 18:28

      No Alex. That’s pasteurizing it, thus “killing” it.

    • Jessica K on March 13, 2013 at 19:07

      Richard, I missed this comment earlier. Touche. Now that’s the lively in fun jesting I love.

  10. Bruce on March 13, 2013 at 18:31

    Hi Richard,

    Tried the cold potatoes with malt vinegar, its very delicious. Just curious, which malt vinegar do you use? I tried Sarson’s which I ordered from Amazon.

    Also, are you using raw milk to make your Kefir, and any concerns about having raw milk at room temperature for an extended period? I was concerned that any risk of E-coli might be heightened by having it at room temperature a long time. Maybe it makes no difference, but I read somewhere that a few E-coli bacteria might not infect you, but if they multiply then it becomes very dangerous. So, keeping raw milk at <40 degrees F might not be a bad idea. But I am confused about it….

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 19:34

      I just have some malt vinegar I got at the supermarket. Unless one is talkin balsamic, vinegar is pretty uniform by type, to me.

      Yep, I mostly use raw, though I have used even cheap pasteurized to see how it would turn out (pretty damn good), but no, I have zero concern. I’ve drank 2 gallons over the last couple of weeks, zero issues. I let mine to ferment on top of the fridge where it gets a slight warmth from the compressor. In the summer I’ll keep it in a closest on the floor.

  11. zach on March 13, 2013 at 18:47

    I’ve had a cow for 3 years now. I can no longer drink the store bought stuff, even when she is dry. I think it’s because of the homogenization, not the pasteurization. It definitely changed my health for the better. Immediately after drinking a big glass of raw milk, I usually get a little phlegmy(but not in a bad, lasting way) but my allergies are gone. Her milk is addicting. Other than that I have no problems. From time to time, my diet has consisted of nothing but dairy products from my cow and potatoes with an overall feeling of well being and satisfaction. After awhile, I start to crave something crunchy, so I buy those organic blue corn “garden of eatin” chips and eat some of those and it seems to do the trick. I suspect I could live off of potatoes and raw milk.

  12. marie on March 13, 2013 at 21:11

    Richard, I’ve got a bit of a math problem with the rapid weight loss as described originally by the organic farmer on a raw milk/kefir/kombucha diet at 1500kc per day and this leads me to a problem with the nutrition justification. The justification, as I understand it from his reports and yours, is that milk is highly nutritious/nutrient dense (true of course) and so can satisfy nutrient needs of the body from very little calories.
    Indeed, his 1500kc per day for a 233lbs man is very little calories, giving a substantial caloric deficit.
    Now, he lost 20lbs in the first three weeks (of which 13lbs in first 9days). Even if 3lbs of the very first lbs lost were water (average bloat, though why he’d even lose water when glycogen replete is anyone’s guess), he’s still coming in at better than 0.8lbs lost per day. So he can’t be absorbing any or hardly any of those milk/kefir calories (unsweetened kombucha’s got too few to matter), and even so, his daily req would have to be at least 2800kc, while to be absorbing all the 1500kc and still lose weight at that rate, he’d need a daily demand of 2800+1500 = 4300kc (short of Phelps, not happening).
    So if he’s not absorbing those already low 1500kc or even absorbing some fraction of them, wherein the advantage of their nutrient content?
    I’d had the same thought after the potato hack when I’d confirmed it worked for me too. (at the ridiculous rate of 0.6lbs lost per day).
    It would be the same issue with any ultra-rapid weight loss approach, wouldn’t it? Unless we know of some mechanism that is Increasing energy demands so that the person is actually absorbing the food calories while still losing otherwise ‘unaccounted’ lbs. Otherwise, Occam’s says the calories just aren’t being absorbed.
    There were actually some ideas for potato diet regarding mechanisms, do you know of any for a milk diet?
    It’s interesting….
    Feeling great is great, but it doesn’t have to be the nutrients, does it? That’s exactly how I feel when fasting on coffee w. cream – just the fasting can do that, everything from the autophagy improving health to the surge of ‘energy’ in the afternoon. Trouble is, I can’t seem to fast comfortably more than 24hrs, its the actual stomach that seems to want something to work on. Maybe giving it wood pulp (o.k., cellulose) to physically occupy it might help and since we Know it doesn’t get digested/absorbed, would be able to see if continue to feel good without any nutrients….
    Then again, since I haven’t done the milk diet and you’ve done both potato and milk, you’d be better able to compare the feelings of wellness .
    Tiens, you’d be the perfect subject for the wood pulp experiment! Ah, what one must do for science…. (where’s Jessica, she’d enjoy this I think :)
    Really though, I’m curious about possible mechanisms, let me know if you’ve heard of any?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2013 at 22:16

      No idea, really. Perhaps some feeds gut bacteria. I doubt someone could feel great for an extended period of time if seriously nutritionally deficient.

      So I’m just going to press on with it and see how the numbers work out for me.

    • marie on March 14, 2013 at 07:04

      Of course, though I wonder how long it takes before one becomes seriously nutritionally deficient. I’d guess weeks, but if anyone has any info on that, I’d be very interested.
      Pulp fiction aside, it’s always quite possible that even if there is initial malabsorption accounting for dramatic losses, the gut biome may well adjust (all those fermented foods after all) and that would account for both the slowing down of loss and the continued well-being once nutrients are being absorbed.
      Good luck and thank you, I enjoy the newsletter and am watching this avidly.

  13. Jessica K on March 14, 2013 at 14:20

    Kayumochi, Consider “The protective effect of farm milk consumption on childhood asthma and atopy: The GABRIELA study”

    In rural regions of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, a comprehensive questionnaire about farm milk consumption and other farm-related exposures was completed by parents of 8334 school-aged children, and 7606 of them provided serum samples to assess specific IgE levels. In 800 cow’s milk samples collected at the participants’ homes, viable bacterial counts, whey protein levels, and total fat content were analyzed. Asthma, atopy, and hay fever were associated to reported milk consumption and for the first time to objectively measured milk constituents by using multiple regression analyses.

    If reading studies is your type of thing.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 14, 2013 at 14:46

      “Asthma, atopy, and hay fever were associated to reported milk consumption and for the first time to objectively measured milk constituents by using multiple regression analyses.”

      And my eternal question is always: what else do they eat? How much cereal grains? Bread and jam, sugar and sweets, etc.

      So, if I was still having my morning bagel, sandwich at noon, dinner of whatever (dinner was normally meat & salad for us, even pre-paleo) and then my customary munching on sunflower seeds every night in front of the TV, but included in all of that is milk and if I have allergies and such, it’s the milk. Whereas, over 2 weeks I have noticed a gradual decrease in all sorts of hay fever like allergic reactions like sneezing, runny nose, congestion, etc., and it is in the face of drinking about 70 oz of raw whole milk and cow or goat kefir daily to the exclusion of all else, it tells me that for me, any such association with milk has to unequivocally be bogus.

    • Jessica K on March 14, 2013 at 17:18

      Valid point.

  14. Chris on March 14, 2013 at 06:35

    Its good that the Baby Cow Diet is working for you at least temporarily.

    Personally I find dairy disgusting and bizarre and it makes me very ill (yes I’ve done raw,goat,Jersey,kefir ect) but that just my non-Caucasian genes I suppose.

  15. Joshua on March 14, 2013 at 11:47

    Mercola? Seriously?

    How much of this casein gets past the stomach acid? Other sources claim that none of it does. What’s the mechanism for how it gets into people who eat the bad casein?

  16. Jessica K on March 14, 2013 at 11:56

    Charles, I know I picked a bit at you yesterday but I have to say, this is great information. Thank you for sharing it.

    FWIW, I have most of my life suffered from a dairy allergy. Not intolerance, not a sensitivity, but a certifiable food allergy. I partake in dairy but in limited capacity, and I go for small amounts of the higher fat products. I would never consider doing a milk fast and have not drank any type of milk in almost five years. I do use whey to ferment vegetables.

    I also have a daughter with the same allergy. Although not autistic, she does have Sensory Processing Disorder. After figuring things out a bit with her, we can now see a direct correlation between her diet and her behavior. Removing the offending items from her diet does not completely eliminate problem behavior but it definitely helps. (Interesting enough, I did crave and eat milk with abandon while pregnant and nursing her. She was never given infant formula. I had always been told I had “outgrown” my milk allergy and hey, shouldn’t all pregnant and nursing mothers eat dairy with abandon. During this time, I was incredibly sick and my allergies doubled in number and intensity. All the sudden, I seemed allergic to everything. I’m not blaming my consumption of milk, just mentioning it. My daughter showed signs of food allergy but I was told she had reflux. She was officially diagnosed with the allergy until she was two.)

    Our struggles with allergies and asthma are what fuels me on my quest for knowledge about health, nutrition in particular. For me and my daughter, this is a debilitating disease. It has always pissed me off after years of specialist visits, doctors have been unable to supply me with much insight into this disease.

    I know that there are a few good quality farms near me that have Jersey herds and it interests me to see if we could tolerate this type of milk better.

    Again, thanks for the info. Definitely something to consider and look into.

  17. Jessica K on March 14, 2013 at 12:02

    Also, forgot to mention, although we don’t partake often due to the cost, we do tolerate goat’s milk relatively well. In addition, I have access to good quality raw goats’ milk products. They are just expensive.

  18. Richard Nikoley on March 14, 2013 at 12:05

    Anecdote but initially it was all milk because I had not received my grains for kefir. I did have some runny nose incidents, but it was also beginning to get into the mid-70s, stuff is blooming, so big confounder alert. But anyway, I’ve found that increasing the kefir (20 oz to a quart per day) has completely alleviated all sinus issues. Clear, dry and uncongested as can be.


  19. Jessica K on March 14, 2013 at 12:19

    You’ve mentioned your own struggle with seasonal allergies on numerous occasions but I don’t believe you’ve ever mentioned a food allergy. Do you have any issues with this? For me, casein rich dairy products bring my overall inflammation way up, usually flaring up my asthma.

    I’ve never bothered with kefir, always assuming it was best to avoid. Instead, I have focused my fermenting on vegetables instead.

    Interesting that I’ve read much on the recommendation of raw diary and fermented dairy for the treatment and prevention of allergies. Chris Kresser comes to mind. However, haven’t quite figured out how this advice would apply to someone like me and my daughter.

  20. Richard Nikoley on March 14, 2013 at 12:35

    I’ve always presumed that “allergies” exist on a spectrum from undetectable to full blown and so I’m always suspected that seasonal pollens, grass, dust and such could be the “straw the broke the camel’s back.”

    The reason I mentioned kefir is that in the stuff I’ve been reading, I keep noting where one of the things cleared up was allergies of all kinds. Could be placebo, time will tell, but my roughly 20 oz of kefir per day sure does not seem to be causing any problems.

  21. Kayumochi on March 14, 2013 at 12:54

    Has never considered this about whey:

    The Cantin Ketogenic Diet has been a valuable resource for many. The author (Elaine Cantin) goes beyond macronutrients (Protein, Carbs and Fats) and optimizes the diet with careful food selection to avoid food allergens. Food allergens can trigger a persistent low-grade immune reaction (inflammation), insulin resistance and elevated blood glucose, which may prevent nutritional ketosis. The efficacy of nutritional therapy will depend on achieving the “zone of metabolic management”1-3, which may require removing dairy protein. Whey protein (potential allergen) typically prevents nutritional ketosis because the bolus of amino acids rapidly feeds the liver fuel for gluconeogenesis and spikes insulin just enough to turn off ketogenesis. I’ve noticed that people drinking whey protein (mostly athletes) typically have little or no measurable ketones in urine or blood, even with carbohydrate restriction (>50g/day). Few ketogenic diet books or websites address this issue.

  22. Jessica K on March 14, 2013 at 13:34

    I subscribe to a spectrum theory of allergies myself as well. Sounds like you are describing a theory close to the idea of allergic threshold. Under the threshold, barely detectable and manageable symptoms. Over the threshold, symptoms present and misery ensues.

    “Certain compounds in kefir may play a role in regulating immune function, allergic response, and inflammation. One study found that kefiran, a sugar byproduct of the kefir culture, may reduce allergic inflammation by suppressing mast cell degranulation and cytokine production. (10) Another study found that certain bacteria in the kefir culture inhibited IgE production, helping to moderate the body’s allergic response. (11)”

    It could also be that even if a casein allergy exists, the beneficial effects of kefir on the allergic response, specifically inflammation, is greater than the immune reaction to the casein contained therein. Therefore, even if there is an allergic response to the casein, it might bring an individual below their “allergic threshold”. This of course would again be highly individualistic and purely speculative on my part.

  23. Jessica K on March 14, 2013 at 14:04

    Kayumochi, I would also consider that the whey frequently used by athletes, is a highly processed food. There are many studies regarding the denaturing of protein, specifically thermal processing, and their effect on how allergic the protein becomes. Thermal processing of course is a very predominate practice in dairy products. The whey referenced by Elaine Cantin in your reference above would no doubt be the whey protein powder commonly used by athletes. Would whey in is unaltered state produce the same results on one’s metabolism? Good question to consider.

  24. George @ the High Fat hep C Diet on March 14, 2013 at 16:05

    Regarding the whole chronic drug thing thing, you might like this – I think it’s a pretty smart yardstick to use:

  25. […] off. I'm reporting specific progress weekly via my free Newsletter. In terms of the Lean, it's the milk intervention, working better and faster than I could have imagined—as well as being substantially anabolic […]

  26. Dr. Curmudgon Gee on March 16, 2013 at 12:01

    an allergist told me that allergy is like a “bucket” & each person only has only one “bucket” (threshold

    Dr. Ayers said lactose intolerance is the only intolerance can be “cured” (this is from my memory; don’t have the URL handy)

    casein intolerance? (allergy?) is something else.

    i can’t find any commercial plain & whole kefir. they are all low fat or zero, + added juice/sugar.


  27. […] actually experimented with an all milk and kefir (a form of fermented milk) diet (and Part 2) on the order of 5 or 6 weeks. Guess what? It works. Guess why? Duh! It's complete nutrition. Been […]

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