Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet – Milk and Dairy Foods

The very first step to start eliminating Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms is to avoid milk. This may seem like an unlikely first-step, but without eliminating milk then everything else that I teach will fall to the wayside. Milk is one of the most allergy-forming, intestine-ruining, acid forming things you could put into your precious body.

Most Westerners like to drink milk because we have strong positive associations with it. We think it is healthy for us. We also think that it is perfectly natural to drink and that it will strengthen our bones. Most would argue that it tastes good.

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Very few people are out there criticizing dairy and telling you that it is one of the worst ‘foods’ that you could eat. The reason that you’re not hearing this message is that nobody makes money out of it telling you this message. Who do you know would make money out of telling you to stop consuming dairy products? Absolutely no one. Besides, who wants the argument every day with all of the dairy lovers? I certainly couldn’t be bothered hearing another parent insist that they can’t possibly remove dairy products because “if we removed milk and ice cream what on earth would we give the kids?”

On the contrary, who makes money out of telling you that dairy is good for you? The Trillion-dollar industry worldwide who is hell-bent on having you and your kids jam as much dairy into you as your body can possibly handle! If you do, say goodbye to your health.

What Do The Experts Say?

Doctor Neal Barnard writes "Casein is a common trigger for rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain. People often find that their pain disappears when they refrain from eating dairy products. [1]

In the book ‘Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition’, author G. Eisman, states "Rheumatoid arthritis is more severe than osteoarthritis…Since this type of joint pain can be a symptom of a food allergy, dietary change sometimes has a profound effect. Dairy products, the most common food allergen, are one likely candidate as a contributing causative factor." [2]

In his book ‘No Milk’, by Daniel Twogood, D.C., writes "In systemic arthritis, like Rheumatoid, the cause is coursing through the blood, and it got there through the diet. When all of the joints are involved, the cause is not physical, but chemical. It's usually casein. (Eighty percent of milk protein is casein). I once saw a 65 year old man, Bob, who complained of neck stiffness and headaches. His hands were so stiff and sore. Bob lived to play golf. I instructed him to give up all milk and dairy products. Since giving up dairy products, he no longer experienced pain and headaches, and his hands were also pain-free. Joy, a 42 year old woman noticed that her knees were pain-free after eliminating dairy products. Once, after drinking a glass of milk, her knees swelled within 20 minutes." [3]

So what does the actual scientific studies show between the link of Rheumatoid Arthritis and dairy products?

What The Scientific Studies Show

  • A 38-year-old mother with 11-years of rheumatoid arthritis recovered from her disease and attained full mobility by stopping all dairy products. Since her early 20s the patient had had a passion for cheese, consuming up to 1 lb (0 4 kg) a day. Although there was no clear history of allergy or diarrhoea after eating cheese she agreed to try the effect of restricting dairy produce, with the elimination of milk, cheese, and butter from her diet. The authors reported “Three weeks after starting the diet she began to feel better - both the synovitis and the morning stiffness diminished. She was reexamined frequently over many months, and eventually morning stiffness completely disappeared and the synovitis almost completely resolved…The improvement was maintained, apart from when she inadvertently ate dairy produce again-after which the symptoms returned within 12 hours” [4]
  • An experiment was conducted where all dairy products were removed from the diet of patients with seronegative rheumatoid arthritis. Out of 15 patients, 7 went into remission [5]
  • A comparison was made of the arthritis-inducing properties of cow's milk, egg protein and soy milk in experimental animals. The 12-week cow's milk feeding regimen produced the highest incidence of significant joint lesions. Egg protein was less arthritis-inducing than cow's milk, and soy milk caused no reaction. [6]
Why Is Milk So Bad For Rheumatoid Arthritis?

  • Milk damages the intestinal environment by increasing the amount of bad bacteria and destroys the balance of the intestinal flora.
  • Contrary to popular belief, eating dairy products has never been shown to reduce fracture risk. Countries with lowest rates of dairy and calcium consumption (like those in Africa and Asia) have the lowest rates of osteoporosis. Following on from this, there is a consistent trend between countries that have the highest consumption of dairy products with the highest rates of osteoarthritis. A book called ‘The China Study’ by Colin Campbell gives amazing insights into these findings. In ‘The Enzyme Factor’ Dr Hiromi Shinya explains the effect of drinking milk on the body’s calcium levels. When you drink milk, your calcium levels in your blood suddenly rise above the usual 9-10mg. Although at first it looks like you’ve raised your calcium levels, the body responds by dumping calcium out through the urine from the kidneys to return the blood calcium levels to normal, producing the ironic result of depleting your overall levels of calcium in your body. [7]
  • Dairy products have been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. They are completely devoid of fiber and complex carbohydrates but loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • About 50 percent of the world's population is lactose intolerant. They are genetically unable to properly digest milk and other dairy products. Shouldn’t this alone give us a big sign that this isn’t a food for humans?
  • Humans are the only animals that drink milk after weaning from their mothers. But even stranger is that unlike any other species in the world, humans are consuming the lactation juice of another animal!
  • Dairy products are commonly contaminated with blood, pus, pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics.

Ice cream is the worst of all. Some ice creams will use the fat from scraps from slaughter houses. Cooked tallow, suet, and lard are in commercial ice cream. According to Nature’s Path magazine, ‘retail store ice cream manufacturers in the US are not required by law to list the additives used in the manufacture of their product’. Consequently, today most ice creams are synthetic from start to finish. Even if you found a ‘real’ ice cream that does not use any chemical additives, you are still ingesting the fat from animal’s milk which will wreak havoc on your digestive system, as we have just learned. It will also interfere with your immune process, as our earlier literature review showed.

What Should You Drink Instead?

This is normally the section where people would tell you all about Almond Milk or Soy Milk and various alternatives that are going to keep you satisfied and happy. Not me. I want you to get well from your chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis and to have the perfect Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet so advising any of the above is not helping you at all. Almond Milk AND Soy Milk are better than cows milk (because everything is), yet both too high in fat for someone with RA to make dramatic improvements to their health. Someone with RA needs to take their health VERY seriously and should drink only water for a few weeks and watch their condition improve.  The second oldest woman recently died at age 116 years old and her health tip was 'make water your only drink'. She and I think the same. I don't think I'd be pain free from this horrible disease if I hadn't started by eliminated milk. And you should start your new journey towards wellness by doing the same. You'll never look back, I promise!

[1] Neal Barnard, M.D. http://yummyplants.com/vegan-nutrition/vegan-health-tips/dr-neal-barnard-discusses-benefits-of-vegan-diet/
[2] Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition’, G. Eisman
[3] ‘No Milk’, Daniel Twogood
[4] ‘Rheumatoid Arthritis and Food: A Case Study’ BMJ 282:2027, 1981
[5] Isr J Med Sci 21:532, 1985
[6] Int Arch Allergy Appl Immunol 80:192, 1986
[7] ‘The Enzyme Factor’, Dr Hiromi Shinya

What do you think about milk?! Shoot me a comment below.



Disclaimer: Do not take this information as personal medical advice. Do not change your diet if you are ill or on medication without the advice of a qualified health care provider (your physician, for example).

Article by:

Clint Paddison
Creator of the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis
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About the Author

After recovering from chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis, Clint Paddison now teaches other RA sufferers how to heal naturally so they can get on a path towards wellness. Get Clint's free RA reversal tips here


Do not take this information as personal medical advice. Do not change your diet if you are ill or on medication without the advice of a qualified health care provider (your physician, for example).