Practical Issues > Health - Index > Vegan - Index
What Was That About Vitamin D Again?

"Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again."
- English nursery rhyme

The subject of today's column was also the title to
a March 8, 2012 story reported on an online dairy
industry marketing site called dairy herd dotcom.

The authors of the scientific study upon which the
story was based (published in the March, 2012 issue
of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine),
studied 6,712 adolescent girls for 12 years, concluding:

"Neither calcium intake nor dairy intake was prospectively
associated with stress fracture risk". (262 of the girls
had developed stress fractures).

This was not a poorly designed study. 6,712 subjects
followed for 12 years is an enormous scientific effort,
yet, the dairy industry was so upset by the truth, that
their primary scientific spokesman, Dr. Greg Miller,
had this comment:

"Only 3.9 percent of the girls suffered a stress fracture
during the seven-year followup. Therefore, this small sample

Blah, blah, blah.

I have debated Dr. Miller four times on live media;
once on live television on FOX On Health. During that
debate, Dr. Miller suggested that milk hormones do not
work because they are digested. I jumped on him and looked
into the TV camera and said,

"That's great news. In other words, breastfeeding does
not work either?" I had him trapped. He said, "Breastfeeding
supplies psychological nurturing." I then asked, "So, is this
the dairy industry's position that breastfeeding does not
supply lactoferrins or immunoglobulins to a nursing infant,
Dr. Miller?" I believe that the show was fixed, because FOX
immediately pulled the plug on the broadcast.

So, 6,712 girls followed for 12 years is a small sample
size. What comedy! Of course, the credentials of the
scientists doing the research are questionable, I do admit.
Let's see...

Author Affiliations:

Harvard Medical School, Department of Medicine, Brigham
and Women's Hospital and Department of Epidemiology,
Harvard School of Public Health (Dr Field)

Harvard University, and Division of Sports Medicine, Department
of Orthopedic Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Dr

Departments of Endocrinology (Dr Gordon) and Orthopedic
Surgery (Dr Kocher), Children's Hospital Boston, and
Channing Laboratory

Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Department of
Medicine Children's Hospital, Boston (Drs Sonneville, Gordon,
and Field and Ms Pierce)

* * * * *


The milk industry myth that cow's milk and calcium in milk
prevent fractures has been shattered like a piece of fine
Lalique crystal dropped from high atop the dairy's ancient
lily-white monolith to the pavement below.

So, what is the 21st century version of Humpty Dumpty?
It is otherwise known as the dairy industry.

Robert Cohen

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,