The Cow's Milk Crohn's Disease Connection

Adapted from Dr. Fuhrman's book Disease-Proof Your Child:

Crohn’s disease is a chronic debilitating inflammatory disease of the bowel with an increasing incidence in modern societies. Accumulating evidence has implicated a bacterium that is transmitted via pasteurized cow’s milk in the etiology of this tragic disease. It was discovered that a bacteria called Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP) found in dairy products survives the heat of pasteurization and causes inflammatory bowel disease in a variety of animals, including monkeys and chimpanzees. In the last few years, this same bacterium has been detected in a large percentage of humans who have Crohn’s disease.1 To quote the most recent of these referenced medical journal articles, “The rate of detection of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis in individuals with Crohn’s disease is highly significant and implicates this chronic enteric pathogen in disease causation.”

An unexpected finding from all this research on Crohn’s disease was the revelation that patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome may also be affected with MAP from dairy product consumption.2 The problems caused by the MAP bug, transmitted from dairy products, may be a severe public health issue, as millions of people suffer with these unfortunate diseases.
1. Hermon-Taylor J, Bull TJ, Sheridan JM, et al. Causation of Crohn’s disease by mycobacterium subspecies paratuberculosis. Can J Gastroenterol 2000; 14(6):521-539. Harris JE, Lammerding AM. Crohn’s disease and mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis current issue. J Food Prot 2001; 64(12):2103-2110. Chamberlin W. Graham DY, Hulten K, et al. Review article: Mycobacterium avium subsp. Paratuberculosis as one cause of Crohn’s disease. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2001; 15(3):337-346. Hermon-Taylor J, Bull T. Crohn’s disease caused by mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis: a public health tragedy whose resolution is long overdue. J Med Microbiol 2002;51(1):3-6. Lund BM, Gould GW, Rampling AM. Pasteurization of milk and the heat resistance of mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis: a critical review of the data. Int J Food Microbiol 2002; 77(1-2):135-145. Detection and verification of mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in fresh ileocolonic mucosal biopsy specimens from individuals with and without Crohn’s disease. J Clin Microbiol 2003;4(7): 2915-2923.

2. Taylor JH. Most of Crohn’s disease and probably some irritable bowel syndrome is being caused by a bug called MAP (mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis). 104th general meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, May 20-27, 2004, New Orleans, La. (session 127).
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Comments (6) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
anabela bacchione - January 11, 2007 6:11 PM

Dr. F,
I hope that you continue your knowledge and pass on more correct info on soy and its dangers and benefits. To list soy milk as lightly processed? I can ssend you a detailed step by step breakdown of how soy milk is made and if you think detergents, colorings, bleaching, deordorizing(to name the least) is lightly processed, then... Also, the fact that Asian women have less cases of breast cancer etc, is not based on just soy, but small consumptions of FERMEMTED soy and the higher content os IODINE that is not present in our american diets. I hope you further get the facts straight before you pass on all this wrong info to the much confused public. You have good info with emphasis on veggies and such, but please be careful with your soy info, for the sake of our growing children and sick adults who if they add this highly toxic and highly processed food(if you want to call it that)into there already deficient diet.
Thank you for yout time and dedication,
anabela bacchione

JC - January 12, 2007 11:01 AM


Calling processed soy food like soy milk "Highly toxic" I feel is going way over the line. Have you ever seen a recipe on the internet on how to make soy milk? You call soaking soybeans for a few hours, adding perhaps vanilla, sugar, a little salt, highly processed? Hint: Search "soy milk recipe" and read. If you want to be certain what's in your soy milk, buy a homemade soy milk maker. Make your own! I'm not sure where you buy your soy milk, but the one I use doesn't have colorings, bleaching, etc. Have you read the Okinawan Study? Do you know how much tofu the Okinawans eat in a single day? Do you know the process that involves making tofu? (hint...the vast majority is not fermented either). Do you know how healthy the Okinawan elders are? Of course they also eat many vegetables as part of their diet to maintain a high quality of health, but soy products are part of that. Do you also realize Edamame, lightly cooked young soy beans...about as unfermented as you can get!... has been consumed by Asian cultures for thousands of years as part of their diet?

I would suggest you get YOUR facts straight before posting such misleading info.

Chris Masterjohn - January 13, 2007 7:30 PM


>Do you know how healthy the Okinawan
>elders are? Of course they also eat
>many vegetables as part of their diet
>to maintain a high quality of health,
>but soy products are part of that.

I realize this doesn't contradict your point about soy, but you're leaving out a few foods, like tea, fish, seaweed and pork.

Although their intake of animal foods might be low, the centennarians there and elsewhere in Japan have a higher intake of animal products than the general population.


Okinawan food culture in the Ryukyu island is one of the world's most interesting culture because its consumers have the longest life expectancies and low disability rates. It is a product of cultural synthesis, with a core of Chinese food culture, inputs through food trade with South-East Asia and the Pacific and strong Japanese influences in eating style and presentation. The Satsamu sweet potato provides the largest part of the energy intake (and contributes to self-sufficiency), there is a wide array of plant foods including seaweed (especially konbu) and soy, and of herbaceous plants, accompanied by fish and pork, and by green tea and kohencha tea. Infusing multiple foodstuff and drinking the broth is characteristic. Raw sugar is eaten. The concept that 'food is medicine' and a high regard accorded medical practice are also intrinsic of Okinawan culture. Again, food-centered and ancestral festivities keeep the health dimensions well-developed. Pork, konbu and tofu (soy bean-curd) are indispensable ingredients in festival menus, and the combination of tofu and seaweed are used everyday. Okinawan food culture is intimately linked with an enduring belief of the system and highly developed social structure and network.

As for nutritional factor, correlation coefficients between proportion of centenarians and protein (% of energy) was positively significant, while intake of total energy was negatively significant.

The present paper examines the relationship of nutritional status to further life expectancy and health status in the Japanese elderly based on 3 epidemiological studies. 1. Nutrient intakes in 94 Japanese centenarians investigated between 1972 and 1973 showed a higher proportion of animal protein to total proteins than in contemporary average Japanese. 2. High intakes of milk and fats and oils had favorable effects on 10-year (1976-1986) survivorship in 422 urban residents aged 69-71. The survivors revealed a longitudinal increase in intakes of animal foods such as eggs, milk, fish and meat over the 10 years. 3. Nutrient intakes were compared, based on 24-hour dietary records, between a sample from Okinawa Prefecture where life expectancies at birth and 65 were the longest in Japan, and a sample from Akita Prefecture where the life expectancies were much shorter. Intakes of Ca, Fe, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and the proportion of energy from proteins and fats were significantly higher in the former than in the latter. Intakes of carbohydrates and NaCl were lower.

megan serrano - January 24, 2007 3:48 PM

I had a question about an ingredient found in many soymilks - "carageenan." A friend of mine told me that he had read an article about it's toxicity. Since then I have ben purchasing the only brand I have found w/o it for my children. Has anyone heard about this? Does it merit concern? Thank you.

Hus - December 12, 2007 11:26 AM

I have Crohn's, since last January & I knew straight away it was caught by milk. The day after I stopped consuming dairy, my symptoms disappeared. I did a food allergy test to prove to my doctor the link & it came back positive for dairy.

I started consuming large amounts just before I got ill cause I believed milk was good for you. After researching it all, I was amazed how everyone has been brainwashed into thinking milk is good.

I am still persiting about the link, it was also in the Daily Mail (UK) yesterday although the study is 4 years old & people, doctors & sufferers are still not sure about the link. It's all common sense & it's about time we all woke up!

Gerald Boykin - September 26, 2010 6:23 PM

First I have a comment about soy. Anabela if you care to look go to Weston Price foundation and search soy, and you will find that soy is very dangerous, and the Japanese use of soy is mostly fermented even the tofu.
My question is about research done on the cause of crohns disease and other autoimmune diseases. The research shows that there is a connection to crohns and candida albicans ( yeast infection ), and also the use of broadspectrum antibiotics. There is also suspected a connection between candida albicans and cancer. Check out the book by author Doug Kaufman and Dr. David Holland-The Fungus Link

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