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Comment & Response
May 28, 2021

Cow’s Milk Is Not Ideal for Children at Any Age—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • 4Department of College of Population Health, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • 5Department of Pediatrics, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
JAMA Pediatr. 2021;175(9):976-977. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.1293

In Reply We appreciate Levin and Barnard’s interest in our Viewpoint1 on recommendations for plant-based beverage intake in children aged 12 to 23 months. However, many of their concerns about the use of cow’s milk are not relevant for this age group. For example, Levin and Barnard cite an association between cow’s milk and cancers of the prostate and ovaries as well as an overload of saturated fat, estrogens, and cholesterol. An association between these cancers and use of cow’s milk from 12 to 23 months has not been demonstrated in epidemiologic studies,2,3 and children younger than 2 years need adequate fat and energy to support growth and brain development.4

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    1 Comment for this article
    Arvind Joshi, MBBS MD FCGP FAMS FICP | Our Own Discussion Group Mumbai PIN 400028 Ruchi Diagnostic Center and Ruchi Clinical Laboratory Kharghar PIN 410210 Maharashtra State INDIA
    Every time the discussion comes up about milk, it is invariably specified to be about Cow's milk.
    Certainly, there are places where milk from other sources such as Buffalo, Goat, Camel is consumed.
    Will someone enlighten about effects and ill-effects of milk from sources other than cow?
    Also there is literature stating that consumption of Cow's milk in childhood increased likelihood of development of Diabetes Mellitus in later life. Will someone say what effect consumption in childhood of milk from sources other than Cow will have on chances of developing Diabetes Mellitus in the later life?