Is Raw Milk Safe?

By | October 24, 2013

Consider the calf, born in a muddy pasture, which then suckles on its mother’s often manure-covered teat. How can that calf, or any mammal survive?

Because raw milk contains multiple, natural, redundant systems of bioactive components that can reduce or eliminate populations of pathogenic bacteria.

Built-In Protective Systems in Raw Milk:

  • Lactoperoxidase – seeks out and destroys bad bacteria
  • Lactoferrin – stimulates imune system, kills wide range of pathogens – doesn’t kill beneficial bacterias.

Bioactive Components I – Components of Blood

  • Leukocytes—Eat all foreign bacteria, yeast and molds (phagocytosis). Destroyed at 56°C and by pumping milk. Produce H2O2 to activate the lacto-peroxidase system. Produce anaerobic CO2 that blocks all aerobic microbes. Basis of immunity.
  • B-lymphocytes – Kill foreign bacteria; call in other parts of the immune system.
  • Macrophages – Engulf foreign proteins and bacteria
  • Neutrophils – Kill infected cells; mobilize other parts of the immune system
  • T-lymphocytes – Multiply if bad bacteria are present; produce immune-strengthening compounds
  • Immunoglobulins (IgM, IgA, IgG1, IgG2)–Transfer of immunity from cow to calf/person in milk and especially colostrum; provides “passive immunization”
  • Antibodies—Bind to foreign microbes and prevent them from migrating outside the gut; initiate immune response.

Bioactive Components II – Fats and Carbohydrates

  • Polysaccharides—Encourage the growth of good bacteria in the gut; protect the gut wall.
  • Oligosaccharides – Protect other components from being destroyed by stomach acids and enzymes; bind to bacteria and prevent them from attaching to the gut lining; other functions just being discovered.
  • Medium-Chain Fatty Acids—Disrupt cell walls of bad bacteria; levels so high in goat milk that the test for the presence of antibiotics had to be changed; may reduce intestinal injury and protect the liver.
  • Phospholipids and Spingolipids—bind to intestinal cells, prevent absorption of pathogens and toxins. Spingolipids are important components in cell membranes, protect cells against toxins, support digestion and protect against cancer.

Bioactive Components III

  • Enzymes, e.g. Complement & Lysozyme—Disrupt bacterial cell walls. Complement destroyed at 56°C; Lysozyme at 90°C.
  • Hormones & Growth Factors – Stimulate maturation of gut cells; prevent “leaky” gut.
  • Mucins – Adhere to bacteria and viruses, preventing those organisms from attaching to the mucosa and causing disease.
  • Fibronectin – Increases anti-microbial activity of macrophages and helps to repair damaged tissues.
  • Glycomacropeptide – Inhibits bacterial/viral adhesion, suppresses gastric secretion, and promotes bifido-bacterial growth; supports immune system.

Bioactive Components IV

  • Beneficial Bacteria – Lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria, crowd out bad bacteria, product lactic acid that kills bad bacteria.
  • Bifidus Factor – Promotes growth of Lactobacillus bifidus, a helpful bacteria in baby’s gut, which helps crowd out dangerous germs.
  • B12 Binding Protein – Reduces Vitamin B12 in the colon, which harmful bacteria need for growth.
  • Lactoglobulins - Carry vitamins A and D and possibly other nutrients

Fivefold Protective System in Raw Milk

  1. Destroys pathogens in the milk
  2. Stimulates the Immune system
  3. Builds healthy gut wall
  4. Prevents absorption of pathogens and toxins in the gut
  5. Ensures assimilation of all the nutrients

Ref: A Campaign for Real Milk (realmilk.com)