Yet again, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has pulled the wool over our eyes. For years they have been scaring us into thinking that raw cow milk is harmful and life threatening. It is true that raw milk can contain pathogens. However, if producers use responsible and sustainable farming practices, disease is unlikely.
The FDA belief is that commercially pasteurized cow milk is equally nutritious and much safer. Unfortunately, a new European study proves pasteurized milk is an inferior food source that offers little to no nutritional value.
A European joint study, referred to as PASTURE, was recently published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. This study followed 1000 third-trimester pregnant women from across Europe. Researchers were looking for health benefits from raw, farm-fresh boiled, and pasteurized cow milk consumption. The women charted their children’s diet and state of health, for the first year of life. What researchers found was unexpected.
The PASTURE study concluded that raw cow milk has similar benefits to that of human breast milk, despite the difference in molecular make-up. Researchers found that children who received raw milk had much greater immunity to various diseases than those who received farm-fresh boiled or pasteurized milk.
In fact, they discovered the children who consumed raw cow milk had an astonishing 30 percent fewer respiratory infections and fevers than those who received pasteurized milk.
“Among children who were fed on fresh, unprocessed cow’s milk the incidence of head colds and other respiratory infections, febrile and middle-ear inflammation was found to be significantly lower than in the group whose milk ration consisted of the commercially processed ultra-pasteurized product.” ~ Dr. Georg Loss of Dr. von Hauner’s Hospital, first author of the PASTURE paper
Raw Cow Milk: Now Proven Anti-inflammatory
Additionally, blood samples taken from children at 12 months of age showed further raw milk benefits. The samples examined C-reactive protein levels. Inflammation occurs when C-protein levels are high. The children who consumed raw cow milk had much lower levels of C-protein. On the other hand, the children who consumed pasteurized milk had increased C-protein levels.
Long-term health concerns that stem from inflammation include irritable bowel disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and other pulmonary, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers concluded that the increase in C-protein levels resulted from the heating process for pasteurization, which alters the proteins. Therefore, it appears that pasteurized milk consumption is not only lacking in immunization benefits, but it also creates a negative systemic inflammatory response.
Although pasteurization has indeed combated many milk-borne infections, it seems that raw milk does hold merit when it comes to our health. I honestly wouldn’t drink raw milk from just any farm. However, grass-fed, organic farms are all around us. You just have to seek them out. Be sure to visit the farmers to ensure they meet high-quality standards.
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