Is milk healthy or unhealthy? There are controversial opinions in science on this subject. MS researchers from Bonn have now been able to prove that casein from cow’s milk damages the myelin layer. Researchers also hypothesize that there are risks to healthy people.
Controversial debate has been going on for years over the health value of milk. Some still see dairy products as a healthy source of calcium. Others claim that milk gets sick Could you. This faction includes Dr. Bodo Melnik from the University of Osnabrück. The doctor says that the growth factors in cow’s milk can lead to cancer.
I found a causal relationship
So it’s interesting what MS researchers from the Universities of Bonn and Erlangen-Nuremberg are now discovering. The starting point of their study was that people with multiple sclerosis (MS) often complain of stronger symptoms after eating dairy products. The research team wanted to know: Is there a causal relationship? And if so, what substance in milk causes the symptoms of the disease?
Neurological disorders observed in mice
To find out the answer, they injected mice with different proteins from cow’s milk. In fact, it turned out that if the animals were given casein made from cow’s milk with an active enhancer, the mice then developed nervous disorders. “Under an electron microscope, it was found that the insulating layer around the nerve fibers, myelin, had been damaged,” explains MS researcher Stephanie Courten of the University Hospital Bonn.
Casein antibodies destroy the myelin sheath
This is exactly myelin sheath It is also destroyed by the body’s immune system in MS. The nerve stimuli can then not be transmitted properly, which can lead to discomfort, vision problems, and movement disorders. In rats, too, the insular cortex was significantly perforated – apparently due to ingestion of casein. “We suspected that the cause was a misguided immune reaction, similar to that in patients with multiple sclerosis,” explains Rittika Chunder. “The body’s own defense actually attacks casein, but it also destroys proteins that are involved in the formation of myelin.”
Further investigation revealed that a protein called MAG was also attacked by the immune system. This protein is important for the production of myelin and is similar in some respects to the casein found in cow’s milk. So it appears that the immune system is confusing the two molecules.
According to the researchers, the so-called cross-reactivity explains why many MS patients react violently to dairy products. The immune system therefore produces large numbers of casein antibodies, which also damage the myelin layer around nerve fibers due to cross-reaction with MAG. However, this only affects MS patients who are allergic to cow’s milk casein. “We are currently developing a self-test that people can use to check if they have the appropriate antibodies,” explains group leader Courten. “At least this subgroup should abstain from milk, yoghurt or quark.”
When he drinks a lot of cow’s milk, there is more MS
The MS researcher also believes that it is possible that cow’s milk may also increase the risk of MS in healthy people. Because casein can also lead to allergic reactions – in theory, there could also be a cross-reaction with myelin. Although these findings are not yet confirmed, the researcher points to studies that indicate more cases of multiple sclerosis are occurring in populations in which a lot of cow’s milk is consumed.
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