We Are Sunshine

USA Today story highlights how drinking milk isn’t the answer to vitamin D deficiency

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

SEPT. 1, 2009 — Sixty percent of adults are lactose intolerant and should not drink milk, a USA Today article published Monday reported. “Got milk? If you do, take a moment to ponder the true oddness of being able to drink milk after you’re a baby. No other species but humans can. And most humans can’t either,” the story reported.

2009-09-01-mooove-over-milk-tanningnews-copy.jpgThat makes milk a dubious substitute for Nature’s most natural and intended source of vitamin D: UVB exposure from sunshine.

“Dermatology leaders have suggested that people worried about vitamin D deficiency should just drink a glass of vitamin D-fortified milk,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy said. “Aside from the fact that milk naturally doesn’t contain vitamin D, the fact that most adults can’t drink milk might not have occurred to them.”

The ability to tolerate lactose varies by heritage, according to the USA Today article.

“If you’re American or European it’s hard to realize this, but being able to digest milk as an adult is one weird genetic adaptation. It’s not normal,” the story reported. “Somewhat less than 40% of people in the world retain the ability to digest lactose after childhood. The numbers are often given as close to 0% of Native Americans, 5% of Asians, 25% of African and Caribbean peoples, 50% of Mediterranean peoples and 90% of northern Europeans. Sweden has one of the world’s highest percentages of lactase tolerant people. Being able to digest milk is so strange that scientists say we shouldn’t really call lactose intolerance a disease, because that presumes it’s abnormal. Instead, they call it lactase persistence, indicating what’s really weird is the ability to continue to drink milk.”

To read the USA Today story click here.