PCOS and Dairy Products
We touch on a very small portion on dairy in a previous blog post Why is PCOS So Overlooked? Today we will touch on a bit more and some safer alternatives to dairy.
When we dive into a lot of the PCOS stuff and what’s good and bad, it gets scientific and medical and I am trying to keep these posts readable and understandable so please bare with me.
What’s up with PCOS and dairy products?
Dairy is known to have insulin growth factor – 1 also known as IGF-1. This is a naturally occurring hormone in the human body, but some of those with PCOS have higher levels. What does this mean and what does it do you might be wondering. Well, IGF-1 has a molecular structure that is very closely related to insulin and mimics insulin-like activities.
This basically means that some PCOS suffers already have a raised amount of IGF-1, add more in and our ovaries are not in hyperdrive.
Here is a catch 22 though, IGF-1 is important as it preserves bone and muscle tissue. It’s almost important during the growing stages to promote stronger bones. Now add in that are still unsure of the higher levels causing breast or prostate cancer, it’s still an unknown researched topic.
You might be wondering if this even applies to me and my PCOS and the response to that is: Are you insulin resistant? If you are yes, this does apply to you. Not everyone who has PCOS is insulin resistant. Your doctor can do blood tests to confirm if you are insulin resistant.
Did you know dairy can also wreak havoc on your skin? If you suffer from PCOS acne, you might want to look into your dairy intake. The anabolic hormones and IGF-1 are proven to unsettle the skin and produce acne.
So How Do I Get Calcium?
Great question, lucky for us calcium doesn’t have to come from milk. We are fortunate enough that calcium comes from various sources such as:
- red kidney beans
- curly kale
- dried sesame seeds
- collard greens
These are suggestions and not a complete list. Always do your own research, so you can make fully informed choices. Now as for a milk substitute you can use items such as:
- rice milk
- coconut milk
- almond milk
- hazelnut milk
Soymilk is still very controversial to me, as studies have shown negatives and positives.
My final thoughts on PCOS and dairy products
Everyone must do what’s right for them personally. Trying new ways to cope with PCOS and eliminate some of the side effects we suffer is one of the main goals. Everyone should do their own research and not rely on just one’s opinion (including my own). I live by the try it if it can’t hurt you theory and at this point, I am willing to try a lot when it comes to naturally handling my PCOS when the doctors only want to dump synthetic hormones down my throat. You must decide for yourself whats best for you.
Sources and Information
White Lies: Insulin Growth Factor – 1
PubMed: Nutrition, Insulin, IFG-1 Metabolism and Caner Risk
ACTA Oncology: Use of dairy products, lactose, and calcium risk for ovarian cancer
PubMed: High school dietary dairy intake and teenage acne
AAD: Growing evidence suggests possible link between diet and acne
Nutrition Studies: How to Get Calcium without Dairy
Photo Attribute: Joanna M. Foto via Magdeleine