Processed milk provides no health benefits and may even negatively affect your health and the health of your children, but raw milk helps boosts immunity and prevents colds and respiratory tract infections, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
A team of European doctors and researchers studies the effects of raw milk versus boiled farm-fresh milk and processed milk. This project is called “PASTURE” and it involved a group of women, most of which lived on farms in central Europe.
The women were in their trimester of pregnancy during the study period, and their lifestyle patterns, as well as milk-drinking habits, were detailed, assessed, and carefully compared. At the end of the study, it was found that raw milk is far superior to processed milk, regarding its nutritional profile and immune-boosting properties.
Raw milk is similar to breast milk in terms of providing protective health benefits to infants. It was also discovered that it lowers C-reactive protein levels, which is linked to inflammation. Simply put, raw milk works as a preventative measure against inflammation, whilst processed milk acts as pro-inflammatory food.
“The main finding of this analysis was an inverse association between consumption of unprocessed cow’s milk and rhinitis [cold or a runny nose], RTI [respiratory tract infections], and otitis [ear infection],” wrote the authors. “The effect was strongest when cow’s milk was consumed raw; boiled farm milk exhibited an attenuated effect.”
Does ultra-heat-treated commercial milk promote respiratory and other health problems?
Ultra-heated commercial milk is the most available on the market and its consumption is not associated with a decrease in C-reactive protein. Unlike raw milk, commercial milk was found to increase the prevalence of fevers.
On the other hand, raw milk is linked to up to 30% decrease in both fever and respiratory infections in babies and young children. Interestingly, minimally processed milk boiled on the farms also provides certain health benefits, but they are much less when compared to raw milk.
“[W]e are now not talking about asthma and allergies, but fever and infections in young children,” stated Dr. Ton Baars, a professor and senior scientist for milk quality and animal welfare at the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture in Germany. “It means there is additional new evidence that raw milk is a protective agent in infectious diseases in young children.”
According to Moises Velasquez-Manoff, “In Europe, the consumption of unpasteurized milk has repeatedly correlated with protection against allergic disease.”
“In America, 80 percent of the Amish studied by Dr. [Mark] Holbreich consume raw milk. In a study published earlier this year, Dr. [Bianca] Schaub’s group showed that European children who consumed farm milk had more of those regulatory T-cells, irrespective of whether they lived on farms. The higher the quantity of those cells, the less likely these children were to be given diagnoses of asthma.”