August 9th, 2011 by Digestive Detective
Is pasteurized milk really healthy for us? The Dairy industry would have us think so - but what truly happens to the nutritional value and content of milk when it's pasteurized, and could the effect result in the allergies and digestive disorders you experience? Holistic Nutritionist Yuri Elkaim explores the topic of milk and pasteurization in this article:
Within the last year or so, I've noticed a huge push by the dairy industry promoting the benefits of consuming dairy products among teenagers and athletes.
It's so bad now that you can't go to a movie without being subjected to 6-10 quick clips with the message "Milk makes you strong!". It's very annoying and that's one of it's one of the biggest reasons why kids and their parents believe that milk and dairy actually do your body good.
But nothing could be farther from the truth!
Especially, when talking about commercially available dairy which is pasteurized and homogenized, and which provides little benefit to the human body.
There are many proponents of raw milk (I'm still not one of them) but considering how rare raw milk really is there's really no point in talking about it.
Instead, we're going to discuss the milk and dairy that you have access to in the grocery store.
The Problem with Pasteurization
Pasteurization is not intended to kill all pathogenic micro-organisms in milk. Instead, pasteurization aims to reduce the number of viable pathogens so they are unlikely to cause disease (assuming the pasteurization product is refrigerated and consumed before its expiration date).
Pasteurization typically uses temperatures below boiling since at very high temperatures milk, casein (protein) micelles will curdle.
Nonetheless, the heat used is well above 118 degrees Fahrenheit which inherently destroys any potential value raw milk could provide.
While the dairy industry is passing off pasteurized milk as being wholesome and healthy, it is far from that. Studies have shown mounting evidence that commercial, pasteurized milk may play a role in a variety of health problems, including: diabetes, prostate cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, anemia, MS, leukemia and ovarian cancer.
There are dozens of reports and studies on pasteurized milk, most of them highly unfavorable. The main focus of the published reports seems to be on the health issues that commercial, pasteurized milk causes such as: intestinal colic, intestinal irritation, intestinal bleeding, anemia, allergic and sinus problems, and salmonella. Contamination of milk by blood and white (pus) cells as well as a variety of hormones, chemicals and insecticides is a big cause for concern.
Raw milk sours naturally, but pasteurized milk turns putrid and thus manufactures must remove the slime and pus from pasteurized milk through centrifugal clarification.
Furthermore, inspection of dairy herds for disease is not even required for pasteurized milk.
I don't know about you but I surely don't want to be drinking milk from an infected cow!
I've recently developed a real appreciation for cows and I love seeing them as they were meant to be - grazing off the land - not confined in cubicle-like barns being subjected to the nasties of big business!
On the topic of pasteurization (and for that matter heating any food), according to Sally Fallon of the Weston Price Foundation:
"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 percent; loss of other water-soluble vitamins can run as high as 80 percent. 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."
If heat does this to milk, just imagine what heating other foods does.
That's just one of the reasons for following more of a raw food diet.
Development of Allergies
When milk is pasteurized, the delicate protein molecules are changed, making them much harder for our bodies to break down and digest. Pasteurized milk then puts an unnecessary strain on the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes to break this down.
This may be partly the reason why milk consumption has been linked with diabetes. It is also the reason behind many milk allergies. It is the protein portion-the casein-that becomes difficult to digest after pasteurization, thus causing reactions.
Like any dead enzyme-void food, pasteurized milk, puts an enormous strain on your body's digestive system. In many cases, those with milk intolerance, leaky gut, or compromised digestion, these protein molecules pass through the intestinal walls into the blood stream, not fully digested.
This is the first step in the development of allergies and a host of other systemic problems such as auto-immune disorders.
Last but not least, pasteurization destroys all of the active and healthy enzymes in milk-in fact, the test for successful pasteurization is absence of enzymes.
These enzymes help the body break down and assimilate all the healthy nutrients in milk, including calcium. That is why those who drink pasteurized milk may suffer, nevertheless, from osteoporosis.
The calcium in milk is simply not utilized very well.
To hit home the problem with pasteurization, calves (baby cows) fed pasteurized milk die before maturity!
Hey, if cows die when they consume dead milk, why would humans be any different?
Yuri Elkaim is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and author of the raw food diet book Eating for Energy. Find out how his work has helped more than 22,000 people lose weight and live their healthiest life ever - visit http://www.eatingforenergy.ca.