If you missed our discussion on the safety of raw milk vs. pasteurized milk, check out Raw Milk Myths: Are We Prisoners of Pasteurization? Part 1.
Continuing our musing on milk, let’s look at the second myth.
Myth 2: Pasteurized milk and raw milk are nutritionally equivalent.
In the public warning that the FDA and CDC posted about raw milk, they also claimed that “numerous studies” show no nutritional differences between raw and pasteurized milk. This is disturbing, since so many doctors, scientists and researchers have found the opposite to be true.
There are studies funded by the Dairy Industry that claim that there are few nutritional differences and it seems that the FDA/CDC based their claim on these alone. (Actually, they based their statement on one paper alone.)
“Unpasteurized milk: a health fetish” was published in 1984. In it, Dr. M.E. Potter misinterprets and misrepresents a study done by Dr. Francis Pottenger Jr. in 1946.
Pottenger fed cats a variety of milk and meat diets, including pasteurized milk, raw milk and milk fortified with added synthetic vitamin D.
Origin of Raw Milk Myths?
M.E. Potter states that “Numerous studies of the relative nutritional merits of raw and pasteurized milk have been conducted in animals and humans, and no differences were detectable.”
This statement seems to (but should not,) include Pottenger’s work. Pottenger’s research found that:
- the pasteurized milk and the milk enriched with synthetic vitamin D did not provide enough nutritional content for the cats
- cats fed pasteurized milk showed “lessened reproductive efficiency,” “skeletal changes” and “the kittens presented deficiencies in development”
- 13 cats fed pasteurized milk all died within several months
- cats fed raw milk remained disease-free, fertile and healthy for several generations
Dr. Pottenger was among the many doctors in the early 1900’s who were opposed to pasteurization. Much research from that time found pasteurized milk to be nutritionally deficient.
Researchers found that pasteurized milk caused anemia, asthma and stunted growth. Pottenger himself said:
“Let us have closer cooperation between raw-milk producers and public-health officials so that the growth-producing factors of raw milk can be studied. We cannot afford to pasteurize milk if it is found that pasteurization diminishes the potency of the growth-promoting factors that determine the skeletal development of our children. We cannot afford to lessen the resistance of our children to respiratory infection, asthma, bronchitis and the common cold when factors preventing them are present in greater amounts in properly clean raw milk than in pasteurized milk.”
Multiple studies found that pasteurized milk was associated with scurvy because of the degradation of vitamin D.
“Although pasteurized milk is to be recommended on account of the security which it affords against infection, we should realize that it is an incomplete food. Unless an antiscorbutic, such as orange juice, ….or potato water is added, infants will develop scurvy on this diet. This form of scurvy takes some months to develop and may be termed subacute. It must be considered not only the most common form of this disorder, but the one which passes most often unrecognized.” ~ Hess, A. F.
Other doctors found that pasteurization destroyed Vitamin A, the many Vitamin B’s, Vitamin D, calcium and phosphorous.
It was also reported that children who drank raw milk became resistant to contracting tuberculosis. Over the course of 5 years, 14 cases of tuberculosis occurred in children who drank pasteurized milk while only 1 case occurred in those who drank raw.
Nutritional Differences: Raw Milk and Pasteurized Milk
Enzyme Galactase (to digest milk sugar)
Destroyed. Sugar indigestible, contributes to diabetes and allergies
Enzyme Lactase (to break down lactose)
Enzyme Lipase (for digestion of fats)
Enzyme Phosphatase (needed for calcium absorption)
Enzymes that kill pathogens such as salmonella, Listeria & E. coli (lactoferrin, xanthine, oxidase, lactoperoxidase, lysozyme & nisin)
Denatured, altered or destroyed
Wulzen Factor (protects against joint calcification & hardening of the arteries)
X Factor (tissue repair)
Protein 100% bioavailable: 22 amino acids (including 8 essential for human health)
Protein digestibility reduced by 4%, biological value by 17%. Lysine, histidine, tyrosine altered, less bioavailable, nitrogen availability decreased
100% bioavailable A, C, D, E, K, B-complex: Biotin, Choline, Folic Acid, B1, B2 series (thiamine, Inositol, Nicotinic acid, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid), B3, B6, B12 & Antineuritic vitamin
Vitamin A & Antineuritic vitamin destroyed.
B complex 38% destroyed
C 50% weakened or destroyed
Synthetic vitamin D added (linked to hyperactivity, coronary heart disease & allergies)
Bioavailable calcium greatly diminished, along with chlorine, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, sulfur & trace minerals
Present, no evidence of change
All 18 bioavailable
Fats are oxidized, become rancid, contribute to free radicals
Most of the funded research that has occurred since the 1940’s has been that of the industrial dairy industry.
In an effort to combat California’s recent ban on raw milk, Dr. William Campbell Douglass Jr. (an international expert on raw and pasteurized milk) and Aajonus Vonderplanitz (today’s leading scientist on the effects of raw milk on humans), together wrote an expert summary of research that shows the benefit of raw milk and the harmful effects of pasteurization.
In it, Douglass and Vonderplanitz show the link between pasteurized milk and:
- Addison’s disease
- colon, ovarian, prostrate and stomach cancers
- glucose intolerance
- heart disease
- hormonal imbalances
- muscular dystrophy
- tooth decay
The report also summarizes the health-promoting effects of raw milk.
- The oxidation of fats and cholesterol creates free radicals that are linked to artherosclerosis and cancer. Pasteurized milk contains these oxides while raw milk does not.
- Various studies have found that raw milk reduces cholesterol levels. Dr. George Mann found that 4 quarts of milk a day lowered subject’s blood cholesterol by 25%.
- In 2006, a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that children who drank raw milk had significantly less instances of asthma, eczema and hay fever than those who drank pasteurized milk. Raw milk cut histamine by more than 50%.
- Fermented raw milk has been found to slow tumor growth and decrease stomach cancer activity.
Probiotics and the Immune System
One of the most disturbing results of pasteurization is the destruction of probiotics in natural milk. Today, we recognize how important “friendly bacteria” really are.
Sally Fallon remarks,
“Scientists are only beginning to appreciate the role of beneficial bacteria in our food and in our intestinal tracts. The anti-microbial paradigm of medicine has been completely discredited; laws mandating pasteurization are based on 40-year-old science.”
Studies have found that listeria and E.Coli could not grow in raw milk and salmonella could not be found after 24 hours in raw milk.
With food-borne illness outbreaks on the rise, it makes little sense to destroy bacteria that can contribute to the success of healthy flora in our digestive tracts and defeat disease-causing microorganisms.
Many studies have linked asthma and allergies to pasteurized milk.
Sally Fallon muses that
“Pasteurization distorts the delicate protein compounds in milk. The body recognizes these warped components as foreign and mounts an energy-sapping immune response.”
Pasteurization, by destroying enzymes, greatly increases the workload on the pancreas. The pancreas must produce enzymes that may or may not be able to digest pasteurized milk. This and the added work that other processed and refined foods put on the pancreas may be a link to ever-increasing number of deaths due to pancreatic cancer.
Conjugated Linoleum Acid (CLA)
Conjugated linoleum acid (CLA) is an omega-6 fatty acid found in the milk of grass-fed cows. It combats obesity and diabetes, improves the immune response, reduces food allergies, builds muscle and burns fat. The milk of grain-fed cattle contains 3 to 5 times less CLA than grass-fed cows.
Raw milk farmers that allow their cows pasture have little need for antibiotics and added hormones.
Besides pasteurization, other common industrial dairy practices make most milk even more dangerous to our health.
Growth hormones help cows to produce 6-12 gallons of milk per day. Growth hormones affect the pituitary glands of cows and results in pituitary pus and discharge in the milk.
Growth hormones pass through our digestive tracts and make their way into our bloodstreams.
Added hormones in pasteurized milk have been linked to early menstruation in girls and the development of breasts in boys.
We hear a lot about the dangers of trans fats in hydrogenated oils but few people realize that homogenized milk is just as destructive to our health.
Homogenization is a process first developed to disguise thinned milk. Left to its own devices, milk will separate so that the butterfat rises to the top. Butterfat was coveted by consumers and it signified the quality of the milk.
Milk producers began using homogenization, a high-pressure procedure that breaks the fat down into miniscule droplets, to make their milk creamier and disguise varying levels of butterfat.
This high pressure oxidizes fats, turning them rancid and causing the production of free radicals in the body. Free radicals have been linked to nearly every human disease and disorder from heart disease to ADHD.
The droplets of fat suspended in the milk also can pass through the gut wall, carrying hormones and other compounds and bypassing the filtering effect of the digestive tract and liver.
Lowfat, Skim and Fat-free Milk
Milk fat is what allows us to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins and minerals in milk. When fat is removed from milk, homogenization is necessary to make the milk still seem creamy.
Non-fat dried milk is added to lowfat and skim milks to add body.
Powdered milk is one of the most potent sources of oxidized fats and free radicals. Powdered milk and cheese are a source of rancid cholesterol and neurotoxic amino acids.
Skim milk is fed to pigs in order to fatten them up.
Added Vitamin D
Synthetic vitamin D2 and D3 are added to pasteurized milk. Synthetic D2 has been linked to heart disease and D3 is not readily assimilated into the body. Both forms of this vitamin are added to milk in potentially toxic levels.
The nutritional benefits of raw milk and the nutritional deficiency of pasteurized milk seem too obvious to ignore, and yet, the message we get from our government would have us believe otherwise.
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