The largest epidemiological study ever conducted on raw dairy was completed in July, 2011. In it, more than 8,000 people and 7,000 samples of milk were tested. The results of the study strongly show a PROTECTIVE effect that raw dairy has against childhood asthma. Boiled, heated milk was NOT associated with any immune protective effect. The raw milk sampling seems to indicate that likely the greatest immune protective effects are found in the non-heat damaged proteins contained in the whey part of the dairy.
Consumers of raw dairy products have known from firsthand experience the benefits of raw dairy over processed, pasteurized and homogenized dairy products. Many people who are intolerant to lactose do not have an intolerance to raw milk products, which contain lactose, but also contain the enzyme that effectively digests lactose called ‘lactase’. Pasteurization is known to destroy all enzyme activity in raw dairy products.
It is a fact that when raw dairy products age, they ferment and sour, forming many beneficial micro-organisms. When pasteurized dairy ages it putrefies, generating potentially-harmful bacteria.
This recent epidemiological study is the first of its kind to show a consistent correlation between objectively measured milk constituents and the outcome of childhood asthma, hay fever and allergic sensitivities. The study states that the whey proteins, which constitute roughly 18% of the total protein content of the milk, are more sensitive to heat treatment than other milk proteins such as casein.
The constituent proteins in whey include lactalbumin, lactoferrin and lactoglobulin. Lactoferrin has been shown in vitro studies to have both immuno-stimulating and immuno-regulating effects. TGF-ß (transforming growth factor beta) is a protein found in mammalian whey which has been strongly associated with a reduction in allergic reactions in children.
The study is an important step towards the demonstration of the valuable health benefits of raw dairy foods on human health.