Milk - The Most Remarkable Foods

When milk is largely used as a nutrient, the balance of the diet should consist chiefly of fruits and vegetables for the reason that milk contains an excess of lime and is deficient in potash and soda which are necessary for perfect human nutrition. The last named elements are abundant in fruits and vegetables, particularly in the potato, which is also very rich in salts of potash. A diet consisting exclusively of milk and cereals is less satisfactory. Such a diet often gives rise to scurvy in infants. Cereals are deficient in the alkaline elements which are needed to neutralize the acid products developed in the body.

In the use of milk, it is well to remember, also, especially when it is freely taken, that one may easily by this means ingest an excess of fats. The milk of certain breeds of dairy cattle is exceedingly rich in fat. The use of such milk in some persons, and especially in infants and young children, gives rise to symptoms which are sometimes denominated as biliousness, but which are not directly connected with the liver, being due to putrefactive changes set up in the intestine by the presence of an excess of fat. Breeders of dairy cattle have labored to produce strains of milk cows which produce milk containing a large amount of fat because they are more profitable, but for table use, milk containing a smaller proportion of fat is much to be preferred. It may be on this account, which the milk produced by the Holstein cow is much better adapted to the human stomach than is that of breeds which produce milk containing a much larger proportion of butterfat.

Best Formula for Modified Milk

Various formulas have been devised and recommended for the modification of cow's milk in artificial feeding. The most of these are more or less complicated. Recent experience has shown that a very simple method is much superior to the complicated measures which have been developed. It is only necessary to add two things, water and milk sugar or malt sugar, to render cow's milk suitable for the use of very young infants. A good formula is equal parts of full milk and boiled water with an ounce of malt sugar for each pint of water added to the milk.

A Person May Be Sensitized to Milk

Another point to which attention should be called in the interest of both infants and invalids is the fact that certain persons become sensitized to milk as well as to other forms of protein, and to a person who is sensitized, even the smallest amount of milk gives rise to highly poisonous and even fatal symptoms. Many infants die annually from this cause. This fact should be borne in mind in changing the infant from the breast to bottle feeding. The milk should first be given in very small quantities, a teaspoonful in a half glass of water, the proportion being gradually increased until the proper dilution is reached. The same method should be pursued with individuals who have learned by experience that unpleasant symptoms are noted after the use of milk. The adult or infant who is sensitized to milk may be cured by the administration of milk in graduated proportions, beginning with extremely small doses. Such a case requires the personal care of a physician.

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