Raw Milk Beneficial to Asthma?

14 February, 2015 by RCLM
Raw Milk Drinkers Have Lower Rates of Childhood Allergies and Asthma

The 2011 study evaluating more than 8000 children published in the Journal of Allergy and clinical immunology showed that school children that drank raw milk were 41% less likely to develop asthma and 50% less likely to develop hay fever than those drinking store bought pasteurized milk.

While public health agencies are quick to say that there are no nutritional differences between raw and pasteurized milk, this study suggests otherwise.The researchers believed that the beneficial effect may have been due to whey proteins, including bovine serum albumin (BSA) and alpha-lactalbumin, in the raw milk, which were destroyed by the heating process in the pasteurized milk.

The results of this large epidemiologic study add to the increasing body of evidence identifying consumption of farm [raw] milk (early in life) to be associated with a reduced risk of childhood asthma and allergies independently of concomitant farm exposures. The results indicate that the effect is due to the consumption of unheated farm milk.

For the first time, associations between objectively measured milk constituents and asthma and atopy could be demonstrated.The study allowed validation of parental reports of raw milk consumption against objective measurements of milk heating status and showed very good agreement. Obviously, parental reports of the raw status of the milk are reliable and not biased by social desirability, as previously speculated.

Whey Protein in Raw Milk May Make Some Cases of Asthma Better

According to Mark McAfee, the founder of Organic Pastures Dairy, increasing numbers of doctors are now starting to prescribe raw dairy for children with asthma, recurrent ear infections or chronic inflammation, rather than just telling them to quit dairy altogether.

This is because they recognize that in most cases it's not the dairy itself - the problem is pasteurized dairy. Raw grass-fed milk can even be tolerated by most who are lactose intolerant and contains whey proteins that may actually improve cases of asthma. McAfee explained:

Two huge studies were done in Europe - the PARSIFAL study done in 2006, studying 15,000 kids, and the GABRIELA study done in Basel, Switzerland.

Peer reviewed, internationally published, wonderful documentation showing that whey protein in raw milk stabilizes mast cells and actually makes asthma get a lot better, and in some cases, completely gone.

What we have is this polarity, these polar opposites between pasteurized milk, which has lots of dead bacteria which actually trigger inflammation in your body because your body doesn't recognize these waste products.

Your body then reacts by mast cells breaking open, histamines being released, and things like asthma and inflammation flaring like crazy; mucus being laid down, which causes ear infections. Raw milk does exactly the opposite.

The milk is alive [with beneficial] bacteria and your body recognizes it. These beneficial bacteria colonize and become part of your immune system.

Why Drink Your Milk Raw?

There's more to raw milk than its impact on asthma and allergies. High-quality raw milk has a mountain of health benefits that pasteurized milk lacks. For example, raw milk is:

Loaded with healthy bacteria that are good for your gastrointestinal tract Full of more than 60 digestive enzymes, growth factors, and immunoglobulins (antibodies) Rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which fights cancer and boosts metabolism Rich in beneficial raw fats, amino acids, and proteins in a highly bioavailable form, all 100 percent digestible Loaded with vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, and K) in highly bioavailable forms, and a very balanced blend of minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron) whose absorption is enhanced by live lactobacilli

It is not uncommon for people who switch from drinking pasteurized to raw milk to experience improvement or complete resolution of troubling health issues everything from allergies to digestive problems to eczema. When milk is pasteurized, fats are oxidized, proteins denatured and most enzymes are completely destroyed, resulting in a ‘food’ that may be more harmful than beneficial to our health.

Additionally, the bacteria killed by pasteurization are not removed, so their dead cell fragments remain in the milk to ignite immune reactions in those who ingest them, which is one major cause of milk allergies. Often the ‘milk allergy’ is not to the milk itself, but to the post-pasteurization cell fragments it contains. The Truth about Raw Milk Safety Statistics

Government health agencies have been waging a war against raw milk farmers in the US, claiming that this whole food is a threat to public health. But drinking raw milk produced by grass-fed cows from clean, well-run farms is actually far LESS dangerous than drinking pasteurized milk. In fact, not only does raw milk contain good bacteria that are essential for a healthy digestive system, raw milk also offers protection against disease-causing bacteria.

Reuters September 13, 2011
American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, Allergy Statistics
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology August 29, 2011
CDC.gov, Volume 10, Number 5—May 2004
The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund