Thanks to researchers at the University of Illinois, activist-driven smear campaigns against milk and meat hit a major bump in the road this week. Contradicting what the animal rights clan has been claiming in recent years, a study published in this month’s Journal of Nutrition shows that milk still does a body good. And this latest evidence proves that the 1970s-era science cited by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is as old and antiquated as lava lamps and leisure suits.
In a futile attempt to get everyone to stop drinking milk, PETA and PCRM have been perpetuating the claim that diets in animal-based proteins actually suck calcium from our bones. PETA promotes the idea that drinking milk "can cause people to excrete calcium through their urine and increase their risk of osteoporosis." And PCRM blindly insists that milk should be yanked from school lunches because "consuming too much protein causes calcium to be pulled from the bones and excreted through urine."

A group of researchers hypothesized in 2005 that if this were true, people who eat high-protein should have unusually low bone mineral densities (or weaker bones). But this has never been the case. Something wasn’t adding up, but now scientists can show just where the extra calcium in some people’s urine is coming from, finally ending the doubts about the health benefits of drinking milk and eating other dairy foods:

Using a process called radiolabeling, the researchers determined that the increased level of urinary calcium comes from the intestinal tract’s ability to absorb calcium better on the lean meat- [and dairy-] based diet and not a result of bone loss at all.

This high-tech process enabled the Illinois researchers to show that consuming dairy products ensures that high-protein dieters gain all of the benefits of animal protein without reducing bone density. In fact, eating more animal protein than the federal government’s Food Guide Pyramid recommends brought the best result. The bottom line? Milk really is all it’s cracked up to be — and more.

Will the vegan zealots at PETA and PCRM stop perpetuating outdated theories in light of this new evidence? Probably not. But for the other 99 percent of us, current science trumps old, disproven theories. No matter how convenient they might be for the save-the-cows dietary agenda.