Sunday, January 1, 2012

Is it a milk allergy or a reaction to bacteria?

I was reading this article on raw milk, and a line stood out at me:
"...bacteria killed by pasteurization are not removed, so their dead carcasses remain in the milk to ignite immune reactions in those who ingest them, which is one major cause of milk allergies. It isn't really an allergy to the milk itself, but to the organic cell fragments it contains." 

I've never thought of it like that before, just always assume it was an allergy to the milk protein.  Then again, if milk is pasteurized then the protein is likely killed off. 

We haven't jumped on the raw milk wagon, partly because we've grown accustomed to using coconut milk (although I realize it does not have any protein.)  The other reason is that I grew up working on a dairy farm, and after seeing those conditions I would not consume raw milk from those cows!  First you wipe their bags with a soapy rag to remove the manure, then apply the milker, sometimes they'd have mastitis and would require injection of antibiotics right up into the teat.  So you can see what that wouldn't be an appealing image.  But as the article points out, commercial dairy farms are much different from cows providing raw milk.


  1. If someone is positive to a cow protein via blood test, no matter what bacteria is or is not in the milk - the person will react to raw or pasteurized milk protein.

  2. I want to agree with that, as on the surface it makes sense. But I've seen my kid have an allergic reaction when drinking plain milk, however he would do fine with milk products that had been fermented such as yogurt made with cow milk. Wouldn't the protein still be present? It seemed the fermenting process altered the milk just enough to make it tolerable for him. I've also have learned of the different types of cows producing either the A1 or A2 proteins--older breeds of cows produce the A2 proteins which many find more tolerable to ingest.

    I've seen claims of people being able to tolerate raw but not pasturized milk. I'd be interested to see if a study has ever been done.

    The GAPS diet also advocates raw milk, from "Milk from animals other than the cow have not been commercialized to the same degree. That is why they are more natural and bring more health benefits. Most cow milk available in the shops comes from special artificial breeds of cow developed in laboratories; these cows produce almost three times more milk than a natural cow is able to produce. The milk from these commercial breeds of cow is not natural; it is quite different and has been linked to most degenerative health problems which plague the Western population today. Goats, sheep, camel and deer have not been commercialized, so the milk we get from them is exactly the milk Mother Nature has designed, as long as these animals eat the food that Mother Nature has designed them to eat. If these animals get commercialized and fed on artificial feeds, the quality of their milk will deteriorate.

    The best milk is from organic pastured animals and this milk has to be raw. I will explain why. Milk of any animal (including humans) is the female’s white blood with red blood cells removed; this milk is alive with alive and active blood and immune cells, enzymes, vitamins, etc. Pasteurization kills the milk and makes it more difficult to digest. So for our GAPS patients it is best to get raw organic milk. Many people around the world have no access to raw milk. In that case just buy fresh organic full-cream milk and ferment it at home; the fermentation process will put a lot of life back into the milk.

    All milk contains lactose and that is the biggest problem for GAPS children and adults. When we ferment milk we remove lactose and pre-digest casein and other proteins in the milk. As a result it becomes much easier for our digestive systems to handle. So, all milk (from natural breeds of cow, goat, deer, sheep and camel) has to be fermented for the GAPS patients. When the Dairy Introduction Structure (in the GAPS book) has been completed many patients can start drinking fresh raw milk when their digestive systems are ready for it (never give them pasteurized milk!).

    There is another issue with milk - that is what kind of protein casein it contains. Depending on what kind of casein it contains there are two varieties of milk called A1 and A2. Commercial breeds of cow produce A1 milk, which has been linked with disease. Natural breeds of cow (Guernsey, Jersey, African, Asian and French cows) produce A2 milk and so do camels and goats. Cow milk in supermarkets comes largely from commercial breeds of cow and is A1 milk."

    According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, unpasteurised milk is higher than pasteurised milk in Vitamin C, Calcium, Folic acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Iron, Iodine and minerals. Many raw milk consumers believe it is responsible for building up their immune systems and relieving their allergies.