Half a dozen studies out of Europe over the last 10 years all point in the same direction: raw milk provides powerful protection against asthma, allergies, and eczema. Now we have evidence that raw milk protects against respiratory infections as well.
A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology followed a cohort of almost 1,000 infants (the PASTURE cohort) from rural areas of Austria, Finland, France, Germany and Switzerland for the first year of life. Consumption of different types of cow’s milk and the occurrence of rhinitis, respiratory tract infections, otitis (ear infections) and fever were assessed by weekly health diaries.
When contrasted with ultra-heat treated milk, raw milk consumption was inversely associated with occurrence of rhinitis, respiratory tract infections, otitis and fever; boiled farm milk showed similar but weaker associations; and industrially processed pasteurized milk was inversely associated with fever. Early life consumption of raw cow’s milk reduced the risk of respiratory infections and fever by about 30 percent.
Of course, the researchers were obliged to warn against the “dangers” of raw milk, but in fact concluded, “If the health hazards of raw milk could be overcome, the public health impact of minimally processed pathogen-free milk might be enormous, given the high prevalence of respiratory infections in the first year of life and the associated direct and indirect costs” (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2014.08.044).