Does Drinking Milk Make You Have Twins?

A recent study published in The Journal of Reproductive Medicine reported that women who were milk drinkers were three times more likely to have twins than women who were vegans (and thus ingested no milk). Could this be related to the fact that 33 percent of U.S. dairy cows are injected with rbST, a genetically engineered version of bovine growth hormone (BHG) to boost their milk production? When cows receive this BGH replica, it causes the levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) to go up. IGF, a protein that’s naturally produced by mammals, has been linked with having twins in cows. Now, some people are wondering if it’s having the same impact on women who drink milk that contains BGH.

So far, research has failed to prove a link despite numbers showing that U.S. twinning rates have gone up since rbST has been used in cows. In Britain, where the use of rbST has been banned, twinning rates have not increased to the same extent. However, Craig Baumrucker, Ph.D., a professor of animal nutrition and physiology at Penn State University, disputes that rbST or IGF in milk boost your odds of conceiving twins.

Thus, the jury’s still out on whether drinking milk can increase your chances of having twins, but if you have always wanted to conceive twins, it certainly can’t hurt to add a few glasses of milk to your menu!

[Information from this article was obtained from “Hormones in Milk,” Redbook, May 2007, page 216.]

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About Susan Heim

Susan M. Heim is an author and editor, specializing in multiples, parenting, women’s and Christian issues. Her books include "Boosting Your Baby's Brain Power"; "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More"; "It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence"; "Twice the Love: Stories of Inspiration for Families with Twins, Multiples and Singletons"; and, "Oh, Baby! 7 Ways a Baby Will Change Your Life the First Year." Upcoming books include "Chicken Soup for the Soul: All in the Family," "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Women," and "Moms of Multiples' Devotions to Go." Susan's articles and essays have appeared in many books, magazines and Web sites. She is a member of the National Association of Women Writers and the Southeastern Writers Association, and has a degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University. Susan lives with her husband and four sons (two teenagers and twin grade-schoolers) in Florida.

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