Cow's Milk and Soy Milk – Comparing the Benefits for Those With COPD

Milk is something everyone should be drinking in one form or another. Sometimes it's not enough to only eat cheese or rely on other dairy foods. According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), if you want to get the full nutritional benefits of dairy, you should be drinking three, 8-ounce glasses of milk per day.

Proteins, calcium and the amino acids our bodies need are plentiful in cows milk. If you have COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), you have an even more significant need for the nutritional value of dairy. Your body has to work harder to breathe, so you burn up more energy. You might notice that you or someone else had lost a considerable amount of weight shortly before they were diagnosed with the disease. Your body burns more calories and uses up more nutrients to get the job done.

If you are underweight, your doctor might tell you to drink full fat, vitamin D milk. For most people, however, it's healthier to be drinking 2% milk or skim milk. If someone has high cholesterol or high blood pressure, their doctor will probably tell them to drink nothing higher in fat content than 2%.

One problem you can encounter with cows milk is the production of extra mucus in the throat and lungs. This happens in different degrees for everyone, but for someone with chronic lung disease, it can cause the issue of too much mucus, and make breathing more difficult.

The main alternative for cows milk is soy milk. It's true that soy milk does lack some of the significant nutritional benefits of cows milk, but this might still be preferred over dealing with excess mucus, which can be dangerous for someone with a chronic lung condition. A few other benefits of soy milk over cows milk are the inclusion of cancer-fight isoflavones, and extra fiber content that cows milk doesn't have. You can also look for soy milk that has been fortified with more of the nutrients that cows milk has.

Something you would be missing out on with the exclusion of cows milk is the amino acids that are most readily absorbed and used by our bodies. The proteins in soy milk are harder for our bodies to convert into what it needs. To make up for the lack of certain proteins, you will need to eat more fatty fish like mackerel and salmon, shellfish, lean beef, liver, and eggs. These things contain high amounts of vitamin B-12, vitamin D and zinc, which are all found in cows milk. Make up for your calcium intake by eating more almonds, flax seeds, and dark green leafy vegetables.

A study published in Respiratory Research concludes that eating soy products and drinking soy milk improves lung function. The flavonoids in soy milk have an anti-inflammatory effect and don't contribute to excess mucus production. For someone who hasn't been diagnosed with COPD, but who still smokes and is trying to quit, drinking soy milk and eating soy products will even help prevent COPD and certain types of lung cancers due to smoking.

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

2 thoughts on “Cow's Milk and Soy Milk – Comparing the Benefits for Those With COPD”

  • John

    No human being has a need for the milk of a cow at any time in their life. There are 5400 different mammals on this earth. Each produces a milk for their offspring that is nutritionally unique in every case. Cow's milk is not for humans -- it is formulated for baby cows. Cow's milk is loaded with nearly 60 different hormones and growth factors that no human should be consuming, especially when hormone mediated cancers (such as breast and prostate cancer) are on the rise. It is also the second richest source of the industrial contaminant dioxin which is a carcinogen and endocrine disruptor. It also contains 30 different potentially allergenic bovine proteins. Fifty million Americans, and most of the world's population, are unable to digest the sugar in milk called lactose. The result is cramping, gas, and diarrhea. The National Cancer Institute points out that 19 of 23 studies have shown a link between milk consumption and prostate cancer, calling milk drinking, "one of the most accurate dietary predictors for prostate cancer in the published literature." With regard to the author's reference to protein needs, protein deficiency is extremely rare in the US, as most Americans consume 2-3 times their actual proteins needs on a regular basis. The marketing of cow's milk to humans has been centered upon the idea that it will protect our bones from disease. Yet, as one of the largest consumers of cow's milk on Earth, North America is also riddled with the bone disease osteoporosis. If it were a guarantee of bone health that simply would not be the case. It's high time we were weaned from the cow. For a better understanding of this subject, readers should look into the book Whitewash.

  • TheCleanGame

    John makes very valid points. Here's the rundown on milk for all blood types and secretor statuses...
    You can see that only the B blood type is able to process milk and even then, only the B-Secretor blood type considers it beneficial.

    After 10 years of watching the blood type diet lists from D'Adamo get better and better... I don't follow any other advice for food intake.

    Change you life! :)

    Keep it Clean! :D


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