Crohn’s disease is a debilitating, chronic inflammation of the digestive system that is incurable. Once it develops, it requires a very specific diet and can cause many complications.
It’s linked to dairy foods through the MAP (Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis) bacterium that causes Johne’s disease in cattle and other ruminants. MAP infection is widespread among cattle and is found in commercial cow’s milk (it survives pasteurisation) and goat milk (Naser et al., 2014; Dow and Sechi, 2019; Zarei-Kordshouli et al., 2019). That means you can get infected by consuming milk or various dairy products but also by inhaling MAP in fine water spray from rivers contaminated with cow manure. The infection doesn’t cause Crohn’s in everyone but if you have a certain genetic makeup that makes you susceptible, MAP may trigger the disease (Naser et al., 2014). It’s also been suggested that MAP may play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes (Dow and Sechi, 2019).
Going dairy-free is not just a healthy choice, it’s also an ethical and sustainable one. If you’re used to meals based around meat and dairy, the idea of a plant-based diet may be daunting but we’re here to help make it super easy!
All about dairy
Find all the above and more in Viva!’s ground-breaking resources:
An eye-opening guide Why You Don’t Need Dairy– presenting information on health, animals and the environment in an easy-to-read format.
A practical guide on how to cut dairy out of your diet and all you need to know to live a healthy and delicious dairy-free life: Everyone’s Going Dairy-Free
If you want to know more about dairy and your health and explore what scientific studies have to say, see the in-depth report White Lies