Raw milk is a completely different food than pasteurized milk and is still full of all the good enzymes and beneficial bacteria that we need. Find out how we can use raw milk as medicine.
Consider the fact that humans are almost 90% made from bacteria. Bacteria keeps us alive and covers us in an invisible body armor that keeps environmental insults out. They help us to digest our food and help us make vitamins and minerals. Bacteria also educates our immune systems to keep bad microbes out. Bacteria can teach us so much about preventing disease because they have been on the earth for millions of years, compared to the short reign of humans with only thousands of years.
All bacteria talk and respond to each other, which is how they control pathogenic activity in the body. This is SUCH an important role of good bacteria, yet we are consistently KILLING ALL bacteria from our food supply indiscriminately.
Scientist Bonnie Bassler from TED.com brings up a great point when she says “good bacteria don’t get any press, only the bad bacteria does.” She mentions how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have had a 100-year war on all bacteria, and how the consistent killing of good bacteria in our food supply has caused catastrophic damage to our immune system's ability to fight pathogens and respond to antigens in the body.
The food we started killing all bacteria in and continue to do so is MILK. I recently went to a symposium on Raw Milk and Pastured Animals put on by the Westin A. Price Foundation and was shocked to leave with so much knowledge and inspiration as to the benefits of raw milk.
For years, I’ve just written off milk altogether because of the pasteurization process, which lends itself to such awful side effects like constipation, bloating, gas, depression, sinus pressure, mucous build up, and acne.
During his lecture, the speaker and owner of Organic Pastures Raw Dairy in Northern California said “pasteurization excuses filth.” That phrase struck me as so powerful and very true. You see, when milk has been pasteurized, it doesn’t matter what that cow ate, how it was treated, the cleanliness of its environment or what kind of bugs it collected because its milk will be heated to 160 degrees within 15 seconds and all bacteria, enzymes, proteins and immune-boosting properties will be killed. He went on to read verified statistics of how CAFO cows (concentrated animal feeding organizations), whose milk fills the shelves of conventional grocery stores, eat completely unregulated foods – like rotten potatoes, candy or factory second (even) from bubble gum factories, molding baked goods or putrefied corn. It makes me sick what has happened to our food supply in the last thirty years, but knowledge is power and we can vote with our dollars to reverse this trend.
After that lecture, some personal experimenting, and a lot of research, I have been incorporating raw milk into both my diet (after 15 years of not drinking any milk!) and my practice, with some impressive results.
Natural organic raw milk contains living, beneficial bacteria, enzymes, lactase forming bacteria, and many enzyme based pathogen killing systems. It can significantly boost immunity (especially in children who get sick frequently), help heal asthma, improve digestive function and ability, improve the bioavailability of vitamins and minerals and deliver essential fats for cell protection. If you are lactose intolerant when drinking pasteurized milk, it’s likely you will not be lactose intolerant when you drink raw milk. This is because lactase enzymes are being formed when you digest raw milk.
For normal digestive tracts, raw milk is wonderful and very effective at rebuilding your immune system and overall digestive ability over time. Modern Americans are subjected to harsh antibiotics, sterilized foods, preservatives, GMOs, chemicals in our air, water, food, kitchens, work environments, cars, soils and everywhere else. Our natural immunity has been compromised, and it may take patience to rebuild it. A strong immune system means that your body has “earned”” its own ability to do battle and protect itself.
We are lucky that raw milk is legal in California, and the folks at Organic Pastures have been fighting to keep it that way at no small cost. Out of 1750 dairies in CA, only 2 are raw. Take this opportunity we have of living in CA to give it a try yourself. Look for Organic Pastures raw milk, raw cream and raw butter in your health food store. In other states, you might have to visit a local farm or check to see if raw milk is even legal.
For detailed information on the proteins, minerals, enzymes and vitamins raw milk contains and how they improve health, read on below.
Excerpted from Idaho Farm Fresh
Raw cow’s milk contains all eight essential amino acids, making it a great source of bio-available protein. It also contains key enzymes, enzyme inhibitors, antibodies (immunoglobulin), and growth factors. It improves the absorption of iron and has anti-cancer, anti-microbial, and anti-viral properties. The immunoglobulins, an extremely complex class of milk proteins also known as antibodies, provide resistance to many viruses, bacteria and bacterial toxins and may help reduce the severity of asthma symptoms.
Approximately two thirds of the fat in milk is saturated. Saturated fats play a number of key roles in our bodies: from construction of cell membranes and key hormones to providing energy storage and padding for delicate organs, to serving as a vehicle for important fat-soluble vitamins.
All fats cause our stomach lining to secrete a hormone (cholecystokinin or CCK), which, aside from boosting production and secretion of digestive enzymes, lets us know we've eaten enough. With that trigger removed, fat-free foods can potentially help contribute to over-eating.
CLA, short for conjugated linoleic acid is an Omega-6 fatty acid. Among CLA's many potential benefits: it raises metabolic rate, helps remove abdominal fat, boosts muscle growth, reduces resistance to insulin, strengthens the immune system and lowers food allergy reaction.
Volumes have been written about the two groups of vitamins, water and fat soluble, and their contribution to health. Whole raw milk has them all, and they're completely available for your body to use. Whether regulating your metabolism or helping the biochemical reactions that free energy from the food you eat, they're all present and ready to go to work for you.
Our bodies, each with a biochemistry as unique as our fingerprints, are incredibly complex, so discussions of minerals, or any nutrients for that matter, must deal with ranges rather than specific amounts. Raw milk contains a broad selection of completely available minerals ranging from the familiar calcium and phosphorus on down to trace elements. A sampling of the health benefits of calcium, an important element abundant in raw milk includes: reduction in cancers, particularly of the colon: higher bone mineral density in people of every age, lower risk of osteoporosis and fractures in older adults; lowered risk of kidney stones; formation of strong teeth and reduction of dental cavities, to name a few.
An interesting feature of minerals as nutrients is the delicate balance they require with other minerals to function properly. For instance, calcium needs a proper ratio of two other macronutrients, phosphorus and magnesium, to be properly utilized by our bodies. Nature codes for the entire array of minerals in raw milk are in proper balance to one another thus optimizing their benefit to us.
The 60 plus (known) fully intact and functional enzymes in raw milk have an amazing array of tasks to perform, each one of them essential in facilitating one key reaction or another. Some of them are native to milk, and others come from beneficial bacteria growing in the milk. The most significant health benefit derived from food enzymes is the burden they take off our body. When we eat a food that contains enzymes devoted to its own digestion, it's that much less work for our pancreas.
This article pulls sound research from these qualified sources:
http://www.organicpastures.com/whyraw.html chart explaining the differences in conventional milk, USDA certified organic and Raw USA in production practices, nutrition, and food safety.
Organic Pastures Farm (One of the 2 raw dairies in CA… There are 1750 dairies in CA, and only 2 are raw. Is it me, or is that crazy?)
Westin A Price Foundation Idaho Farm Fresh Blog
TED Video on How Bacteria Communicate