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In the Raw: The Health Benefits of Raw Milk

Mar 6, 2008
There has been considerable debate in the dairy industry over the issue of pasteurization. Some believe that modifying milk through pasteurization improves it, while others contend that leaving the milk in its natural, original form is most beneficial.

Pasteurization is a process named after Louis Pasteur, a French chemist and microbiologist. Pasteur discovered a way to prevent wine and milk from going sour too soon by heating these products to a specific temperature (below their boiling points) for a specific period. This process, now common, led to a significant decrease in the consumption of raw milk. Raw milk lost its traditional position as a food complete unto itself, with many medicinal benefits.

Today, there are renewed studies and interest in raw milk as a viable, healthy food. It's beginning to regain its stature as a food of immense benefit - as it originally was. Studies show that heating or pasteurization destroys many of the helpful attributes of milk. Many now see pasteurized milk as an inferior food source due to its modified form. There are many good reasons for taking a new look at raw milk.

Top 10 Reasons to Drink Raw Milk

1. It contains immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies, which are proteins that provide resistance against many viruses and bacteria, helping our immune systems. Studies show that raw milk consumers have fewer allergies, sinus infections, ear infections, asthma and colds. Studies also show that children raised on raw milk have fewer dental caries.

2. It is a complete food, loaded with vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants, B vitamins, and trace elements. Many of these nutrients are destroyed by pasteurization.

3. It has all twenty of the standard amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein essential to our body. These proteins are de-natured, or altered, by pasteurization.

4. The calcium content in raw milk remains soluble. Pasteurization renders most of calcium in milk insoluble; therefore, we cannot metabolize it for our optimum bone health.

5. Fresh, unprocessed, raw milk tastes better. It's also creamier.

6. It contains substantial amounts of conjugated linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated Omega 6 fatty acid. This fatty acid helps remove abdominal fat and boosts muscle growth. It also strengthens the immune system and can lower food allergy reactions.

7. It contains good bacteria (probiotics) including lactobacilli, which digest lactose, helping those who are lactose-intolerant to drink milk. The beneficial bacterial are destroyed by pasteurization.

8. It contains over sixty enzymes, some of which help in digestion of the milk itself, creating less work for our pancreas. Pasteurization destroys enzymes.

9. Raw milk does not 'go bad.' It develops helpful bacteria as it naturally sours or ferments. The older it gets the better it gets...within reason of course.

10. Grass-fed raw milk does not contain antibiotics, pesticides, or growth hormones.

Given the mounting evidence associated with raw milk, taking a new look at an old food 'in the raw' is warranted. There are many who may be pleasantly surprised with the raw facts they find.
About the Author
For more health tips and published research on headaches, vertigo, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's disease by Dr. Erin Elster, D.C., upper cervical chiropractor, in Boulder, Colorado, visit her website www.erinelster.com.
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