They say milk does a body good, but did you know a glass of the white stuff can contain up to 20 drugs and chemicals that are common in medicine, in addition to hormones? This goes for milk across the board – a study in Spain and Morocco on cow, goat and human breast milk has revealed the presence of a laundry list of foreign chemicals, though cow milk had far and away the largest concentration of chemicals. Using highly sensitive testing, the scientists’ research has proven the presence of synthetic chemicals in varying levels of the food chain – both in the breast milk we produce and the other types of milk we consume.

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Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, breast milk, goat milk, cow's milk, food chemicals, food safety, milk chemicals, growth hormone

Researchers from the University of Jaen purchased 20 types of milk, in Spain and Morocco for the study. Of the tested milks, cow’s milk had the highest dosage of chemicals. Drugs such as niflumic acid, mefenamic acid and ketoprofen – all anti-inflammatory drugs found in common pain killers – were present in the milk. A form of estrogen, called 17-beta-estradiol, was also present, although only in three millionths of a gram per every kilogram. The origination of these drugs is thought to be from growth drugs given to the cattle or from contaminated cattle feed.

Other chemicals found in the milks tested were the antibiotic florfenicol, and a steroid hormone called 17a- ethinylestradiol.

True, the doses of each chemical is miniscule, but their very presence is alarming, and proves the fluidity of these medications and chemicals in our food chain. The research does, however, provide a way to test these almost undetectable toxins. In the future, the testing could be employed to check the safety of other foods, possibly stopping the chain of chemical contamination at the source.

Makes you think twice about the whole ‘Milk does a body good’ thing, right?

Via Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Lead image © swruler9284