Welcome to an exciting edition of Docsmo.com, where parents can get a free pediatric education on their schedule about the subjects that interest them. From the diapers to the diploma, if it involves children, we take it on here. Today I am honored to have as a returning guest, Dr. Sheila Kilbane, an integrative pediatrician with loads of education, knowledge and experience. Today, Dr. Kilbane and I are going to take on a longtime simmering controversy in pediatrics, that of the health value of cows milk. Yes, controversy…you heard me right. Not everyone agrees that consuming dairy products is healthy, especially many integrative pediatricians. Since we have one of the best in the world with us today, I thought we would get her thoughts on cows milk as it relates to the health of children. Welcome Dr. Sheila Kilbane. Are you ready to enlighten my listeners and me about the great cows milk controversy?
Dr. Kilbane, before we get into the nitty-gritty of the milk controversy, can you run though the anatomy of milk and get our listeners familiar with the terminology that surrounds milk, please? What exactly is milk made of?
SK: Milk broken down by components
(Explains above briefly)
Section 1- Points of Agreement?
DocSmo: Dr. Kilbane, maybe we should begin our discussion of cow’s milk with a list of things I think the pediatric medical establishment agree on. Feel free to comment on these points as I go through them, won’t you?
SK: Actually, the risks of drinking unpasteurized cow’s milk are very low. There have been very few cases of sickness.
(195 hospital trips, and 2 deaths between 1998-2009–CDC)
SK: I don’t recommend dairy after an infant’s first birthday. Other fat sources …
SK: Dairy is not the healthiest food source of calcium…
SK: sensitivity studies. Dramatic improvement off dairy. Examples
SK: Lacto free milk not appropriate for milk allergic children…
SK: Too much milk for too little vitamin D
Section 2-Points of Controversy
OK, Dr. Kilbane, enough for the things we can agree on, now let’s get into the controversies:
SK: Strongly disagree. Saturated fat, difficult to get calcium, phosphors too high. “Company that fats keep.”…
SK: rats with the casein studies…
SK: cite studies
SK: organic or nonorganic…cows pregnant all the time. Hormones high- promote cancers…
Dr. Kilbane, you always make us think out of the box when you bring your wisdom. I now can see why the most famous pediatrician of the twentieth century, Dr. Benjamin Spock, felt that drinking cow’s milk in childhood was destructive to children. It seems like time may be proving him correct. As I started to do my research for this podcast, I was actually surprised at how little evidence there is to justify the strong message that children must drink milk. It seems that this recommendation is justified more out of tradition than science. I suspect that the truth about milk lies somewhere between the two extreme positions you hear when you read about this subject…some claiming that milk causes most of the degenerative diseases in the Western world versus others insisting that milk is an absolutely essential nutrient to normal growth. Which type and how much dairy is healthiest for children only time will tell. Hopefully, we are getting closer to that answer.
I want to thank Dr. Sheila Kilbane for joining us today and bringing her perspective to my listeners and me. She is one of my favorite guests. Make sure you take a few minutes to check out her website at http://www.sheilakilbane.com/ and listen to the other podcasts we have made together that are posted on https://www.docsmo.com. They are full of Kilbane wisdom. This is Dr. Paul Smolen, hoping today’s pedcast helped make your decision whether to feed your children cow’s milk as smooth as silk. Until next time.
Summers spent sedentary can come back to haunt children once they are adults. For some time now, physical activity has been recommended for children in order to improve joint health and function. Now doctors are asking a more specific question: does an active childhood build stronger knees? Are there physical changes, induced by physical activity during the early years of a child’s life, that carry benefit into adult life and even old age? The answer turns out to be a resounding, YES.
Data from a long-term follow-up study of approximately 300 children suggests that, indeed, active children may have stronger knees as adults. Dr. Graeme Jones, head of the musculoskeletal unit at the Menzies Research Institute, reports that, “The response to physical activity in childhood is to increase the size of the bone to adjust for this and to spread the load out, and the cartilage will then expand to cover the bone area or the area of contact.” (1) The idea is that if children are able to develop more cartilage, it will last longer in their adult lives, thus preventing or delaying the development of osteoarthritis. Dr. Jones’ research indicate that active running and jumping children grow more articular (cushioning bone on bone) cartilage than their sedentary friends!
Keeping kids active has always been important, and now, it may help them grow up with stronger knees. “The take home message is we need to make our kids as active as we can,” says Dr. Jones. “Send them outside. Don’t leave them inside playing Nintendo, or Wii, or computer games. Physical activity is good for them in many ways, and we can reassure parents that it is actually good for their joint development also.” “Like money in the bank collecting interest” as Doc Smo always says; physical activity, especially when a child is young, has tremendous benefits. Don’t let your children miss out on every opportunity to be as physically active. Add stronger knees to the list of reasons parents need to encourage their children be involved in active play.
Your comments are welcome at www.docsmo.com. While you are there, take a few moments to check out the literally hundreds of pedcasts and articles on a wide range of pediatric topics. Until next time.
Written collaboratively by Abbie Doelger and Paul Smolen MD
Recently, a lot of attention has been paid by the medical community to the role of Vitamin D to maintaining good health. Dr. Smolen discusses this important topic and gives some recommendations to make sure your infants, children, and teens are both bone healthy and well supplied with Vitamin D.Continue reading