Friday, January 16, 2009

Is Raw Milk More Nutritious?

Okay! I promise! This is the last time I will mention raw milk for a very long time! Just a few more thoughts and then I will lay it to rest. :) I just had a few more interesting statistics and facts and then I'm done. I also hope I haven't given you all the impression that I think that everyone, everywhere should drink raw milk 24/7. Let me assure you I don't. I think it's one of many nutrient rich foods that can be part of a healthy diet. I don't drink milk daily and sometimes we go periods of time where we don't drink very much at all. I think the world is a big place with lots of healthy, delicious food to enjoy. Shannan and I want to give all of you as much information in making choices as possible.

In my previous posts about raw milk, I talked about the immunities, proteins, and enzymes raw milk possesses. While in those posts this was important for different reasons, I would point out now that these add to the nutritional value of raw milk. In addition to those nutrients, raw milk has a surplus of other nutrients that pasteurized milk is either lacking or is greatly diminished . These nutrients include:

  • There is a lower Vitamin C count in pasteurized milk than raw. Raw milk but not pasterized can resolve scurvy. "...without doubt...the explosive increase in infantile scurvy during the latter part of the 19th century coincided with the advent of use of heated milks..." Rajakumar, Pediatrics. 2001: 108(4): E76
  • Calcium is more available in raw milk as evidenced by a study which showed longer and denser bones on raw milk. Studies from Randleigh Farms.
  • Folate is more available in raw milk as a carrier protein is inactivated during pasteurization. Gregory. J. Nutr. 1982, 1329-1338.
  • Vitamin B12 is more available in raw milk because a binding protein is inactivated by pasteurization.
  • Vitamin A is more available in raw milk because Heat degrades Vitamin A. Am J Clin Nutr. 1989;49:690-694. Runge and Hegar. J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Jan; 48(1): 47-55.
  • Iron is more available for absorption in raw millk as Lactoferrin, which contributes to iron assimilation, is destroyed during pasteurization.
  • Iodine is lower in pasteurized milk. Wheeler and others. J Dairy Sci. 1983; 66(2): 187-195.
  • Minerals are more available in raw milk because Lactobacilli, which are destroyed by pasteurization, enhance mineral absoprtion. MacDonald and others. 1985.
  • Vitamin D is also almost 66% less in pasteurized milk than raw milk, which is why it needs to be added to commercial milks.
  • Raw milk is rich in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid naturally occurring in grass-fed beef and milk) which reduces body fat and protects against cancer.

It's also worth noting that not only raw milk contains more nutrients than pasteurized milk, but raw milk from cows or goats that are pastured contains even more great nutrients. Let's just talk for a minute about what cows/goats eat and how that affects their milk. There is I hope an increasing awareness that you are not only what you eat; but you are also what you eat, eats. Are you still with me?? :) So if you plant beautiful carrots in a cesspool - you are still eating a cesspool. If you feed your cows horrible food and keep them in filth, you can expect the milk you receive to be filled with the same. Let's look at things that have been fed to cows and the nutritional implications for the consumer.

  • Soy - Soy is not easily digested as it needs to be fermented for a cow to digest it. The resultant milk contains an allergenic soy protein and estrogenic isoflavones.

  • GMO's - The milk from cows fed GMO (genetically modified organisms) grains contain aflatoxins and (liver toxins).

  • Bakery waste -Cows fed bakery waste produce milk that contain trans-fatty acids.

  • Hormones and antibiotics - Of course, milk from cows that are fed antibiotics and hormones contain - you guessed it antibiotics and hormones.

  • Ethanol pellets - If cows are fed pellets from ethanol production the milk contains the chemicals from ethanol production.

It's really kind of scary how much we as consumers have to trust our health to strangers when navigating those grocery aisles. Be careful!

Another interesting benefit to drinking local raw milk is that the cows pick up immunities to local viruses, bacteria and allergens. For instance, one farmer noticed that after grazing his milk goats in a field with poison ivy and then drinking the milk, he no longer broke out in a rash when he came into contact with the plant.

Some sources suggest that raw goat's milk might be an even better option than raw cow's milk. For one thing raw goat's milk is more easily digested and assimilated than cow's milk. It is closer in composition to human milk than cow's milk and therefore less waste will be thrown off in the digestion of it. Additionally goat's milk is very rich in potash and fluorine which makes it naturally more antimicrobial.

Dr. Bernard Jensen, famed iridologist and raw foodist, recommended "his drink" in times of cleansing, fasting, and nutritional healing. He mixed half raw goat's milk with raw carrot or raw green juice. I've tried it - it's not bad.

Now, back to some herb talk... :)



Gentle Giant said...

I was wondering if someone with a cow's milk allergy will have a lesser chance of reaction to raw cow's milk? I love milk, esp whole milk, but my baby seems to be allergic to the breastmilk each time I have food with milk product in it. I am tempted to try raw milk to see if he'll have the same reaction..

Living A Whole Life said...

Many people find when switching from pasteurized to raw milk that they don't have the same allergies as before. There are two reasons for this. First, pasteurization denatures the proteins in milk and out bodies see these proteins as foreign so it mounts an allergic response to get rid of the invader. Second, pasteurization kills the bad bacteria, but doesn't remove it. The dead bacteria can still cause an allergic reaction.

I would try a little bit and see how your body and your baby responds. Another option is raw goat's milk, which is more similar to human breastmilk and causes less allergies.

This blog is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this blog is intended to replace the advice of a physician. We recommend consulting a physician before embarking on diet changes or a fitness routine. In addition, we recommend that you thoroughly research alternate points of view and make your own decisions as an informed consumer. You are ultimately responsible for your health.