Message in a bottle

| 4 August 2021
minute reading time
Person pouring milk in glass

Why dairy milk signals trouble

Studies show a link between cow’s milk and increased birthweight, higher body mass index (BMI), early onset of periods, increased childhood growth rates, acne, type 2 diabetes, breast and prostate cancer, neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s) and mortality from all causes.

This study suggests there is a common mechanism that links milk to these adverse effects – a growth regulator called mTORC1, which triggers protein synthesis. Cow’s milk is designed to turn a calf into a fully-grown cow in just over a year. It relays sophisticated maternal signals for mTORC1 activation to the ‘milk receiver’. It’s no surprise then that such a powerful signalling pathway, directing rapid growth, produces adverse health effects in humans consuming cow’s milk.

Melnik BC. 2021. Lifetime impact of cow’s milk on overactivation of mTORC1: From fetal to childhood overgrowth, acne, diabetes, cancers, and neurodegeneration. Biomolecules. 11 (3) 404.

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
Justine joined Viva! in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. After working as a campaigner, then researcher and writer, she is now Viva!’s head of research and her work focuses on animals, the environment and health. Justine’s scientific training helps her research and write both in-depth scientific reports, such as White Lies and the Meat Report, as well as easy-to-read factsheets and myth-busting articles for consumer magazines and updates on the latest research. Justine also recently wrote the Vegan for the Planet guide for Viva!’s Vegan Now campaign.

View author page | View staff profile

Scroll up