Raw milk opponents and doctors strongly warn against the consumption of unpasteurized milk for infants, children and pregnant women, arguing that these individuals are more susceptible to illnesses that raw milk could cause. However, a new study that took place across Austria, Finland, France, Germany and Switzerland shows a connection between the consumption of raw milk and lowered rates of colds and infections among children. This study clearly relates Raw milk and lower infections in children.
The study, detailed in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, aimed to assess the effects of consumption of raw vs. boiled vs. industrially processed milks on common infections (including coughing, runny nose, fever, ear infection or diarrhea) in babies’ first year of life.
Women from rural areas (about half of the women lived and worked on livestock farms) were recruited during their third trimester of pregnancy and detailed their children’s consumption and lifestyle changes in weekly diaries. A total of 983 children completed the study.
“The main finding of this analysis was an inverse association between consumption of unprocessed cow’s milk and rhinitis [cold or runny nose], RTI [respiratory tract infections], and otitis [ear infection]. The effect was strongest when cow’s milk was consumed raw; boiled farm milk exhibited an attenuated effect.”
This study shows that “…we are now not talking about asthma and allergies, but fever and infections in young children. It means there is additional new evidence that raw milk is a protective agent in infectious diseases in young children,” says Prof. Dr. Ton Baars, a senior scientist for milk quality and animal welfare at the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture in Germany.