Benefits

The claim that raw milk has no benefits over pasteurized milk is, on its face, false. Does anyone contend that cooked strawberries or spinach are no different than raw strawberries or spinach? It’s well-accepted that heating foods not only changes the taste, but destroys enzymes and certain nutrients.

In addition, there are published, peer-reviewed scientific studies showing health benefits from raw milk. Several recent studies in Europe have found that drinking “farm” (raw) milk protects against asthma and allergies.

Sources:

  • Riedler, J. et al. 2001. “Exposure to farming in early life and development of asthma and allergy: a cross-sectional survey.” Lancet 358:1129-33.
  • Perkin, M.R. and D.P. Strachan. 2006. “Which aspects of the farming lifestyle explain the inverse association with childhood allergy?” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 117(6):1374-8.
  • Waser, M. et al. 2006. “Inverse association of farm milk consumption with asthma and allergy in rural and suburban populations across Europe.” Clinical and Experimental Allergy 37:661-670.
  • Perkin, M.R. 2007. “Unpasteurized milk: health of hazard?” Clinical and Experimental Allergy 37:627-630.

Raw milk retains higher levels of Vitamins A, B, C, and D than pasteurized.

Sources:

  • Haug, A., A.T. Hostmark, and O.M. Harstad. 2007. “Bovine milk in human nutrition—a review.” Lipids Health Disease 6:25 (“Proteins and peptides are heat sensitive, and their bioactivity may be reduced by pasteurization of milk. Heating of milk may also result in the formation of potentially harmful new products, i..e. when carbohydrates in milk react with proteins.”).
  • Wong, D.W.S. and W.M. Camirand. 1996. “Structures and functionalities of milk proteins.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 36(8): 807-844.
  • Runge, F.E. and R. Heger. 2000. “Use of microcalorimetry in monitoring stability studies. Example: Vitamin A Esters.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 48(1):47-55.
  • Kilshaw, P.J., L.M. Heppell, and J.E. Ford. 1982. “Effects of heat treatment of cow’s milk and whey on the nutritional quality and antigenic properties.” Archives of Disease in Childhood 57: 842-847 (heat treatment destroyed all of the Vitamin B12, about 60% of the thiamin and Vitamin B6, 70% of the ascorbic acid, and about 30% of the folate).
  • Gregory, J.F. 1982. “Denaturation of the folacin-binding protein in pasteurized milk products.” Journal of Nutrition 112: 1329-1338. and “Effect of several heat treatments and frozen storage on thiamine, riboflavin, and ascorbic acid content of milk.” Journal of Dairy Science. 66: 1601-6.
  • Rajakumar, K. 2001. “Infantile scurvy: a historical perspective.” Pediatrics 108(4):E76.
  • Hollis, B.W. et al. 1981. “Vitamin D and its metabolites in human and bovine milk.” Journal of Nutrition 111:1240-1248.
  • Levieux, D. 1980. “Heat denaturation of whey proteins: comparative studies with physical and immunological methods.” Ann Rech Vet. 11(1): 89-97 (“Nutritionists believe that high losses of nutritive value occur in heated proteins following cross-linking since high cross-linked proteins cannot be degraded by digestive enzymes.”)

Moreover, there are numerous testimonials about the benefits of drinking raw milk. While these do not provide scientific evidence of benefits, it is clear that individuals choose to expend significant time and money to drink raw milk because they see a benefit.