It’s really, really good for you.
The most important reason we drink raw milk for our family, we firmly believe that the health benefits of raw milk are worth the effort. We are of the opinion that pasteurization destroys many of the important qualities of milk, such as beneficial bacteria, enzymes, and vitamins.
In her book, Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon writes:
“Raw milk contains lactic-acid-producing bacteria that protect against pathogens. Pasteurization destroys these helpful organisms, leaving the finished product devoid of any protective mechanism should undesirable bacteria inadvertently contaminate the supply. Raw milk in time turns pleasantly sour while pasteurized milk, lacking beneficial bacteria, will putrefy.
But that’s not all that pasteurization does to milk. Heat alters milk’s amino acids lysine and tyrosine, making the whole complex of proteins less available; it promotes rancidity of unsaturated fatty acids and destruction of vitamins. Vitamin C loss in pasteurization usually exceeds 50%; loss of other water-soluble vitamins can run as high as 80%; the Wulzen or anti-stiffness factor is totally destroyed. Pasteurization alters milk’s mineral components such as calcium, chlorine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and sulphur as well as many trace minerals, making them less available. There is some evidence that pasteurization alters lactose, making it more readily absorbable. This, and the fact that pasteurized milk puts an unnecessary strain on the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes, may explain why milk consumption in civilized societies has been linked with diabetes.
Last but not least, pasteurization destroys all the enzymes in milk— in fact, the test for successful pasteurization is absence of enzymes.”
The website RealMilk.com is packed with useful info regarding raw milk. This portion of the website contains a fascinating number of abstracts reporting the change of milk’s nutritional value after it has been pasteurized. It’s definitely worth a look if you are interested in the science of milk.
In his book, Cure Tooth Decay, author Ramiel Nagel suggests consuming raw milk, as well as fermented raw milk products, as a part of a nutritional protocol for remineralizing and strengthening teeth. If you consider the amounts of calcium that raw milk contains, it definitely makes sense. And there is evidence of this protocol working – I especially love this blogger’s story of how she healed her teeth through diet (and raw milk!).