Some studies suggest that milk consumption may increase the risk of suffering from certain health problems. Cow milk allergy (CMA) is an immunologically mediated adverse reaction to one or more cow's milk proteins. Rarely is it severe enough to cause death.
Milk contains casein, a substance that breaks down in the human stomach to produce casomorphin, an opioid peptide. In the early 1990s it was hypothesized that casomorphin can cause or aggravate autism spectrum disorders, and casein-free diets are widely promoted. Studies supporting these claims have had significant flaws, and the data are inadequate to guide autism treatment recommendations.
A study demonstrated that men who drink a large amount of milk and consume dairy products were at a slightly increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease; the effect for women was smaller. The reason behind this is not fully understood, and it also remains unclear why there is less of a risk for women. Several sources suggest a correlation between high calcium intake (2000 mg per day, or twice the US recommended daily allowance, equivalent to six or more glasses of milk per day) and prostate cancer. A large study specifically implicates dairy, i.e. low-fat milk and other dairy to which vitamin A palmitate has been added.
A review published by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research states that at least eleven human population studies have linked excessive dairy product consumption and prostate cancer.
Medical studies also have shown a possible link between milk consumption and the exacerbation of diseases such as Crohn's disease, Hirschsprung's disease–mimicking symptoms in babies with existing cow's milk allergies, and the aggravation of Behçet's disease.
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