If you suffer from allergies, reach for the raw milk!


Many studies have documented the ability of raw milk to prevent allergies.1,2,3,4,5 For example, a study of 4700 primary school children in Shropshire, England found that allergy-related conditions were reduced by half with just a few glasses of raw milk per week.2,8 Studies often find a positive effect on allergies from on-farm living, with some finding that raw milk consumption was the strongest factor for reducing allergies, whether the children lived on a farm or not.6 As far back as the 1800s, The Lancet reported on immune milk therapy to treat allergies.9


Studies have found that raw milk drinkers had 60 percent lower levels of IgE antibodies (allergic reactive antibody causing histamine response) and half the histamine in the blood.2,3


A University of London study found that raw milk protects against allergic skin conditions.1 Early studies found that children who drink raw milk have fewer allergic skin problems than children who drink pasteurized milk.6 Some medical doctors have written about improvement in allergic skin problems with raw milk.7


A University of London study found that raw milk protects against asthma.1 Early studies found that children who drink raw milk had far less asthma than children who drink pasteurized milk 6. A study published in The Lancet, “The Curative Influence of an Exclusive Milk Diet” showed asthma to be improved with raw milk.9 Another study found that children drinking raw milk have 41 percent less asthma and of those drinking pasteurized milk.2 Many studies have corroborated the curative effect of living on a farm on asthma.1,2,3,4,5 Physicians have noted that the consumption of raw milk is a strong factor in reducing the risk of asthma.6 Asthma kills nine people per day in the United States, many of them children... so raw milk’s ability to protect against asthma makes it truly a healing food!


With such a long historical record of cultures thriving on milk, it’s likely that milk itself is not an allergenic food, but rather the modern-day production and processing creates new and foreign substances that challenge the immune system. Milk allergy is usually associated with the proteins in the milk, especially the casein. Raw milk contains compounds that support the growth of friendly bacteria which then produce substances that digest casein; these compounds are destroyed by pasteurization making casein difficult to digest, especially for people with digestive problems. Allergies or sensitivities can result from any of the altered proteins in pasteurized dairy or any of the altered fats in homogenized dairy. What the animal eats can also have an influence on milk allergy. Allergenic foods such as soy, corn, and wheat (in the form of bakery waste products) are routinely fed to cattle in confinement dairy operations. Those who are allergic to these or other foods can have a sensitivity reaction to milk from cows eating these foods.


Diagnostic tests for casein allergy can often give false negatives if a patient has recently been on antibiotics or had a varying strain of bacteria in the colon due to diet change, medications, travel, infection, etc. Many people who believe they have a milk allergy find that they can tolerate milk if it is unprocessed and from cows on pasture eating mostly grass (or hay).


Milk comes with all it needs to digest itself! Compounds in raw milk support friendly bacteria that produce lactase,10 the enzyme which breaks down lactose. Thus, most people can drink raw milk, even those labeled or self-labeled as “lactose intolerant,” A survey of raw milk drinkers in the state of Michigan, found that 85 percent of those previously diagnosed with lactose intolerance were able to consume raw milk without a problem.11


In addition to supporting the proliferation of bacteria that help digest lactose (sugar) and casein (protein), enzymes called lipases in raw milk help fat digestion. These compounds survive the acid environment of the stomach and go to work digesting raw milk in the alkaline environment of the small intestine. Your body does not need to produce any enzymes to digest raw milk—raw milk digests itself, which is good news for people with a compromised or weak digestive system.


For many people, fermented raw milk products are even easier to digest than plain raw milk. In many parts of the world, raw milk was made into various fermented milk products such as cheese, kefir, yoghurt, cultured buttermilk and cultured cream. Cultured buttermilk, which is low in casein but high in lactic acid, is often well tolerated by those with true milk allergies. Many of these products have a reputation as healing foods for the sick.

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