Antibiotic-Free Diet for Health and Weight Loss?

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Let me state from the outset of this post that I am a layperson when it comes to nutritional health research. However, that does not prevent me from accessing the vast amounts of information online and elsewhere (and taking a college class in nutrition here and there) in my quest for answers to my insatiable desire to learn more about health.

I recently watched Dr. Oz’s show and his interview with Dr. Martin Blaser regarding the deleterious effects of over-used antibiotics on human health and obesity.1  Not only is there a link between prescribed antibiotics and obesity in America, but antibiotics in our meats, dairy products and eggs seem to be a problem, as well. (I highly recommend that you watch Dr. Oz’s program to learn more. See link in references below.)

Why do antibiotics that make us fat? Sharon Begley references Dr. Martin Blaser in a 2013 Reader’s Digest article: “The rise of obesity around the world is coincident with widespread antibiotic use,” says Dr. Blaser. “Early exposure to antibiotics may prime children for obesity later in life.”

Antibiotics kill the bad bacteria that cause infection, so sometimes you need to take them. However, those same antibiotics kill a lot of the good bacteria in the gut, as well. Studies show that a deficit of healthy, probiotic flora in the intestinal tract causes or leads to weight gain.2

To make matters worse, some antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin) can increase the prostaglandin ghrelin in the body as much as six times. Ghrelin increases hunger, which leads to overeating. Ghrelin also increases abdominal fat.3

Sharon Begley further explains the reason farmers add antibiotics to food: “The drugs alter the gut bacteria in cattle, pigs, and other animals, substituting bacteria that are better at extracting maximum calories from feed, which makes the animals plump up.”4 If antibiotics make humans fat, of course they make animals fat and when we consume animal products pumped full of antibiotics, they must be making us fat. I should have made the connection before.

This means that our intestinal flora could control whether or not we gain or lose weight. Research shows that thin people have a greater number of bacteroidetes (good bacteria or probiotics) in their intestinal tract than overweight people.

So, my question is: How do we increase the bacteroidetes in our guts?

Ray Sahelian, MD wrote on April 6, 2014 that ingesting the probiotics like acidophilus could replace the harmful bacteria in the gut.5

Another way to increase bacteroidetes in your intestinal tract is to consume raw, whole, unpasteurized, grass-fed, antibiotic-free cow’s or goat’s milk. These types of milk contain the probiotics acidophilus and lactobacillus, as well as the enzymes necessary for digesting proteins in the milk.6 As some of you know, I have been on a mission to locate raw goat or cow milk, because I am allergic to dairy products. I wanted to find out if I would have the same allergies to unpasteurized milks. I have recently had the joy of purchasing a share of a cow and am reaping the benefits of freely consuming delicious, whole, raw dairy products without a single allergic side effects! (And for those of you wondering, it is an A1/A2 Jersey cow.)

To further increase bacteroidetes in your intestinal tract you can consume more prebiotics, a type of dietary fiber that feed the good bacteria in your gut. According to microbiologist Andrew Gewirtz of George State University, bacteroidetes increase in the presence of fructans. Fructans (short for Fructo-oligosaccharides or FOS) are the compounds found in asparagus, artichokes, garlic, and onions.7 FOS or Fructans are also found in high amounts in Jerusalem artichoke, blue agave, chickory, bananas, barley, wheat, jicama, and leeks. Interestingly, FOS has been used as a sweetener in Japan for years.8 This may possibly be yet another key to the mystery of trim, healthy cultures.

I, like so many thousands of other people in America, have been consuming lean chicken breasts and egg whites in order to lose weight and inches of fat, not realizing until Dr. Oz’s interview with Dr. Blaser that the antibiotics in the meat could be inhibiting my efforts. Since that show, I have begun making the switch to organic proteins. Of all diets this is probably one of the healthiest and easiest, so I might as well experiment on myself. (By the way, organic means antibiotic-free when it comes to meat, dairy and eggs.) After nearly two weeks I am still not completely antibiotic-free, because I don’t want to waste the foods I have already purchased. As soon as we finish up the antibiotic-infused foods in our house I’ll really get down to testing this antibiotic-free diet.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress and if any others of you are trying the “antibiotic-free diet” or have been on it for some time already, I’d love to hear from you. I have a lot of questions: Is it working for you? Have you lost weight? Have you been able to keep it off? Have you lost fat? Have you lost inches? Have you gained muscle mass? Are you healthier? Is your immune system stronger?

Thanks for reading!

1. http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/fat-drug-how-antibiotics-make-you-gain-weight

2. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265434.php)

3. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520055519.htm

4. Begley, Sharon. “When Germs are the Good Guys.” Reader’s Digest. October 2013: p. 112.

5. http://www.raysahelian.com/bacteroidetes.html

6. http://www.robinsonfarm.org/FactsRawMilk.html

7. Begley, Sharon. “When Germs are the Good Guys.” Reader’s Digest. October 2013: p. 111

8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fructooligosaccharide

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The Dutch Diet and Lifestyle

What is it about the Dutch? They’re generally tall (often freakishly so), thin, healthy, energetic, they speak very directly and honestly with one another, they’re discreet about their personal lives and finances, they have a strange love for the color orange, they consume a lot of bread and dairy, they ride bicycles almost everywhere….

There appears to be a pervasive philosophy of minimalism, moderation, anti-indulgence, and anti-extravagance in the Netherlands. It is considered rude to flaunt one’s wealth, overeat, or accumulate material possessions. Whether this is part of their pre-WWII culture or not, I am not certain.

There are a lot of things about the Dutch that could warrant further investigation, but I want to know how they have gotten so tall, thin, happy, and healthy. Thus, I shall focus on their diet and exercise.

Let’s start with a breakdown of when and what the typical Dutch person eats and drinks each day:

~7 AM, Breakfast: 2 pieces of rye or wheat bread with butter, jam or candy sprinkles OR 2 slices of either low fat ontbijtkoek (like spice cake) or eirkoeken (egg cake). The egg cake is high in protein. A beverage includes two or three cups of black coffee, hot cocoa, and/or a glass of milk.

~10 AM, Later Snack Breakfast: 2 pieces of cake or bread (same as the earlier breakfast). Add some dropje (licorice candies) and 1 or 2 glasses of milk (often chocolate or coconut flavored).

12:30 PM, Lunch: 2 open-faced cheese and meat (or fish) sandwiches or soup with a roll or two, and a little fruit, more dropje, plus 1 or 2 more glasses of milk

~ 6 PM, Dinner: well-boiled or deep-fried vegetables (kale, onions, carrots, endive, cabbage, sauerkraut, fava beans*, or pickled beets) mixed in with mashed potatoes (called “stamppot”). Meat is an optional side dish: Sausage, ham, bacon, fish, meatballs (often deep-fried). Another popular main course is thick pea soup with ham or bacon. Maybe add another glass of milk. Bread is usually not served with dinner.

~6-7PM, Dessert: small portions of fruit, custard (vla), karnemelk (buttermilk) with fruit, or yogurt. Greasy food like donuts (Oliebollen, fried in lard) and pancake balls (called poffertjes) are usually eaten on weekends only. Many Dutch drink another cup of coffee with dessert.

A note about those licorice candies: The Dutch are in love with “Dropje,” little licorice-flavored candies. They eat about 14 pounds per year per person! Could it be that these anise sweets are key to keeping the Dutch alive and well? Dropje began as herbal medicines and ended up being part of their culture. (The anise seed aids with digestion, flatulence, congestion, expectoration, and oral hygiene.)

And what about all that bicycle riding the Dutch are so famous for? Surprisingly, the average Nederlander doesn’t exercise all that much. According to some studies, they only bicycle between 15 and 30 minutes per day and there are no real hills to climb; most of their terrain is level. Many Dutch do not even work out in a gym. One theory is that the Dutch exercise in moderation; this reduces their stress level, making it easy for the body to remain relaxed and not gain weight.

In 2010 the Hogeschool Van Amsterdam reported that the Dutch diet consists of 17 percent protein, 50 percent carbohydrate and 33 percent fat. It is estimated that the average Dutch person consumes 3,320 calories per day. Let’s see how this breaks down:

  1. MILK! = 4-6 glasses (12-oz) of milk per day = 48-72 ounces per day (and at least one of those glasses of milk is karnemelk, which is buttermilk)
    1. Golly gee whiz! 48-72 ounces a day of milk is a boatload of milk!
    2. That’s over 1300 calories per day in milk alone! Shocking! (Man may not live on bread alone, but maybe milk…?)
    3. They generally drink whole milk and, prior to the 1980s, most of the Dutch people drank raw, unpasteurized milk. (Many still prefer the raw variety.)
    4. BREAD! (either savory or sweet and cake-like) = 6-7 slices or per day. Wow! Really? Well, wait. The typical slice of bread in the Netherlands looks like it’s about half of an American slice, so, by US standards, the Dutch are eating about 3-3.5 slices of bread a day. But all that bread is very satiating. It’s no wonder the Dutch don’t get hungry and feel like snacking between meals. But how do they not gain weight from eating all those carbs? Probably the rye. Dutch bread typically has a lot of rye bread has a lot of health benefits. It can prevent gallstones, aids with weight loss, and can prevent constipation, amongst other useful properties. (Sounds like fodder for a future blog….)
    5. Meat = 5.3 ounces per day or less (The Dutch eat 3.5 ounces of fish, usually herring, per week; good for omega 3 fatty acids.)
    6. Cheese = 1.5 ounces per day (not as much per day as one would suspect in a Gouda-rich country)
    7. Vegetables = 7 ounces per day (That’s impressive when you consider how stuffed full of bread and milk the Dutch people are.)
    8. Potatoes = 1 potato per day (eaten at dinnertime in place of bread)
    9. Coffee = 2-4 cups per day
    10. Butter = a little more than half an ounce per day (Note: Many Dutch have switched to olive oil since 1950.)
    11. Licorice drops = 4.8 grams per day (Let’s not forget that’s 14 pounds a year per person.)
    12. Yogurt = 6 ounces per day for an after-dinner dessert (if not eating about 6 ounces of vla, which is an uncultured custard). The yogurt intake is not extraordinary in itself; however, it is their main dessert (aside from vla) and that is worth nothing. It’s much healthier and lower in sugar than other desserts. And let’s not forget the probiotic content of yogurt. Could it be that the timing of their yogurt consumption is important? Could eating yogurt before bedtime be especially healthy, keeping those probiotics and enzymes working on one’s digestion overnight?

Total Estimated Calories: 2,375 (considerably lower than the estimated average.)

My Humble Conclusion:

The Dutch are too stuffed with bread and whole, raw, unpasteurized, probiotic-rich milk expanding in their stomachs and guts to ever snack between meals. (And from what I have been learning about bacteroidetes lately I wonder if the Dutch diet is full of wonderful probiotics.) –note added 4/16/14

Perhaps, along with a little moderate exercise, like 15-30 minutes of bicycling every day, keeps the Dutch stress free so they don’t gain weight as easily. The Netherlands looks like a wonderful place. I think I need to travel there and stay awhile to further my investigation…

If you are Dutch or know someone who is, please write to me. Share your wisdom and knowledge!

Thanks for reading!

*Fava Beans: I’m curious about these edibles, which are often included in traditional diets. See a more recent blog posting about these legumes. In the Netherlands, fava beans are traditionally eaten with fresh savory and some melted butter.

Thank you to My Sources:

http://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/anise-benefits.html

www.stuffdutchpeoplelike.com

www.cheeseslave.com

http://dutchfood.about.com/od/dessertssweets/a/DroppedinIt.htm

http://www.worldcook.net/Cooking/WorldRecipes/Dutch-cooking.htm

http://isocrates.us/bike/the-1-mile-solution/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-AbPav5E5M (Fun video of bicycling in the Netherlands)

http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&biw=1366&bih=573&tbm=isch&tbnid=W3xC4Hi5L51PuM:&imgrefurl=http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mFOUdnS/Dutch%2BFlag&docid=GnOIGEOQ7ts-IM&imgurl=http://www.rgbstock.com/cache1p9YwE/users/c/ce/certifiable/300/mFOUdnS.jpg&w=300&h=200&ei=9zJuUKe1I-KniQLCs4GwBw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=873&vpy=241&dur=1257&hovh=160&hovw=240&tx=116&ty=93&sig=104561041276763425690&page=2&tbnh=123&tbnw=157&start=14&ndsp=28&ved=1t:429,r:19,s:14,i:225

http://www.bugbitten.com/images/6b387ebbcb8020ce186644d4a4669c6a/Amsterdam_Netherlands-125843/Amsterdam_Netherlands-4349633.jpeg

http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-500144_162-5298115-2.html

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_269acj2V5yE/S3NB8FDYICI/AAAAAAAAAVI/FE5RcNr0QKI/s320/DSC08380.JPG

http://travellingtwo.com/gallery2/d/43866-2/Dutch+windmill+and+tulips.jpg

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSJVTdqrgwbJa3e1ztJwpEvfReIrLS2DdfeMY1Z7MSBroxBUm0x

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRTktfvMj0zNoe8xAFTS7Bpy8v6xkSpdJI5w6vNK7bV-uzDcGh_

http://cf.juggle-images.com/fit/white/600×600/wg-copenhagen-3.jpg

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS8g8SPYRhjxlq-nkHEbjlN8JVgvcwKnSQRbdR0dbLyeCt3Y6IJ

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTtOsNZE4py1NEyns68gctFQV3tlOBkDI4oKQ4IIb8LfjWIR0uF

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT37CBbWAVYeTDKKQNgki7u_wY_uZdkoyPgp_lzH3lIPCZywTXp2g

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSxuJFnkvNClfoXehoMBrnzkw9lF4603w-m9jDf4qiIBnvCavQb

http://www.cheeseslave.com/a-dutch-farmers-market/

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5236/5871802826_13ba56d084_z.jpg

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR0W3lm8_-R5wY4OVOMOdL9b_RmT7EQ4AwditZIZWlru3UYANuEcQ

http://wiki.coe.neu.edu/groups/nl2011transpo/wiki/ada39/images/__thumbs__/d6d22.png

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060818053651AAXgSG0

http://collectivewizdom.com/EuropeansWalk3TimesMoreThanAmericans.html

http://www.worldcook.net/Cooking/WorldRecipes/Dutch-cooking.htm

http://www.expatica.com/nl/leisure/dining_cuisine/How-the-Dutch-stay-slim_17527.html

http://blogs.central.edu/abroad/2012/09/13/four/

Dutch Diets | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_8192102_dutch-diets.html#ixzz28OI5OZJ3

http://dutchdiet.com/Page%20Whats%20Dutch%20Diet.htm

http://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110513042459AAEJVD0

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTxdSz0T7SnCQOig9LOl_d8nbsFpqBKQH3hp9SYmYYR6CGue5f32A

http://www.tavola-xpo.be/pictures/products/77_karnemelk1ln_s1.jpg

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ4PFuPtZh08GnjiJEPyU2G8lAVMDhUxEbl0UJgPfdwUYdjSC5AyA

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQfipkhrqsgAVwi5rQ23H2TiM9-6Uy9ntSevBbZ-B677EZLP42R

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=65

The Connection between Whole Raw Milk and Weight Loss

I haven’t written about raw milk for awhile, so I think it’s about at that time again.
In talking with other people about drinking whole, raw milk—either goat or cow—I have gotten the typical questions regarding the dangers of bacteria in unpasteurized milk, but I won’t address those here. You can research and find the debunking of that myth pretty easily—how pasteurization and homogenization damage vitamins C and B in the milk, how they render Calcium and other minerals unavailable to the human body, etc.
No, aside from the raw milk controversy, the other common question is: How can one lose weight and remain slim while drinking whole, raw milk?
Surprisingly, by removing the fat from milk, the milk sugar, lactose, is increased. This raises the glycemic index of milk so that when a person drinks nonfat milk, sugars are increased and the blood sugar imbalance could actually cause weight gain, rather than helping with weight loss. Note: Over 60% of the world’s population is allergic to lactose.
So, should we all go out and start drinking whole, rather than nonfat or lowfat milk? Well, that wouldn’t work for me, unless I was to take a lactase supplement with it, because I’m allergic to casein, a milk protein found in dairy fat.
Lactase… Isn’t that an enzyme that is naturally found in milk? Well, yes, it is. And, lo and behold, that important little enzyme is destroyed in the heating process of pasteurization. So, my hypothesis is that, if I were to drink a glass of whole, raw cow’s milk, which still contains all the lactase needed for healthy digestion, I would not have any allergic reactions to it and would therefore not require a lactase supplement. However, as of yet, I have been unable to get my hands on a glass of raw cow’s milk, since the sale of it is against the law in the United States. (I still find this unimaginably astonishing.)
So, back to my question, but let me revise it: How can one lose weight and remain slim by drinking whole, raw milk (since I prefer the health benefits of raw milk and would like to eliminate the need for taking lactase supplements)?
Here are some facts about whole, raw milk and weight loss:
1.       Drinking whole, raw milk may be able to end your sugar cravings, causing you to eat healthier overall. (This reminds me of my Dutch article. Is that why the Dutch stay so slim and are able to resist overeating unhealthy, sugary carbohydrates?)
2.       Whole, raw milk is nutrient-dense, which means you’ll get all the highly digestible vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your body needs. Without whole, raw milk, we may be always eating, but ever hungry, because our bodies are craving more nutrients.
3.       Whole, raw milk contains high levels of calcium that is readily absorbable. In fact, it may be the best way to obtain the calcium your body needs. What’s so great about calcium? Well, among other health benefits, studies show that calcium helps us to lose weight—specifically abdominal fat.
4.       Whole, raw milk detoxifies the body in a calm, painless way. As you probably already know, toxins in the body can make you fat (by causing blood sugar imbalances, causing insulin resistance, etc.). Unfortunately, we live in a toxic society filled with toxins in the form of nitrates, animal growth hormones, and other bad things. So, finding a way to rid your body of toxins in a safe, effective manner is good news.
5.       Whole, raw milk causes you to gain lean mass, like bone and muscle. And, of course, the higher your lean body mass, the lower your body fat will be.
So, what is my humble conclusion to all this information? Well, despite the research, results are yet inconclusive. Whole, raw milk alone may not the answer to all your weight and health problems. However, if I can ever get my hands on some whole, raw milk I’ll be very excited about trying a milk fast or at least adding it to my already healthy diet. Along with regular exercise it could be just what I need to get me back on the path to detoxification and overall wellness.
For more information on raw milk fasts and weight loss, read:

Shelving the Cow Idea

“Bessie”

Reprinted from the original article written on August 27, 2012

Okay, so now I understand the difference between A1 and A2 cows, but, first of all, finding an A2 cow is nearly impossible. Secondly, in talking to people about raising cattle, I’m no longer as excited about the whole endeavor–especially since it’s illegal to sell the milk, so it would not be cost effective. (Illegal to buy or sell raw milk??? That’s another super duper big stupid shock that I don’t understand! Sheesh! It’s not illegal in other countries like the Netherlands and Switzerland, where people are generally healthier than in America!)

If we want to just have a family cow for milk for our family, the prospect is daunting, with two milkings per day, the costs involved, etc. Yes, I might be able to find someone willing to milk the cow when we were unable to do so, but I’m getting worn out just thinking about it at this point….

What is most frustrating is that I can’t even find a way to drink one single glass of raw milk–even from an A1 cow, let alone an A2 cow–just to see if I have any allergic reactions it.

So, as to the whole cow thing, it’s on hold for now–indefinitely. However, I’m still trying to find some way to drink a glass of raw milk, if you can believe that! I may have to move to France, or something.

Search for an A2 Cow?

Reprinted from an earlier blog from August 16, 2012

Kidder Creek Camp

So, I’m still in a tiny state of shock right now, but I talked with my husband Pete about raw milk, A2 milk, cultured dairy products, and the like and he actually suggested that I look into co-purchasing some A2 dairy cows to share with other interested cow owners in our community! I can hardly believe it–for several reasons! First of all, I would never have pictured myself as a cattle rancher/farmer; second, Pete is just not the health nut that I am. I think what most intrigued Pete are two factors–the demand for these rare beasts, and the beef option.

We live next door to Kidder Creek Camp, a beautiful property in a valley of apple orchards and pastures, and Pete says that, if I can line up people to take ownership in a cow and have all owners sign up for various days each month to milk this cow (so that we don’t have to do it every day), it might be worth our while to look into such a venture. (I have a friend in Quartz Valley who has been doing this very thing and she has people lined up not only to milk their co-owned cow, but to purchase future calves from this cow.) Pete feels that cattle grazing in our pastures would add to the peaceful ambiance of the camp, as well as provide us with possible beef cattle and cows to sell.

Pete has already been running a business classified as agricultural for over a decade now. He breeds, raises, trains, and sells hunting, pointing Labrador retrievers. Consequently, he has studied the genetics of the working field trial Labs and recognizes the value of a good pedigree. He is proud to have learned to administer his own AIs (artificial inseminations) on dogs too, although he says we’ll hire someone else to do our bovine AIs. (I have helped with a couple of canine AIs and I know we’re not ready to do the same with cattle.)

So, I will blog from time to time on the progress and status of our A2 cow search. So far, I have learned quite a bit about the Dexter cattle at the Hope Refuge Farm in Kentucky and am intrigued by that breed. Dexters are the smallest of the European cattle breeds and raised for both milk and beef. Most seem to test A2 positive. A2 genotyping can be done at UC Davis. More about the Dexter breed can be found at at http://www.purebreddextercattle.org/.

Is Raw, Unpasteurized Milk Safe?

There is a lot of controversy regarding whether or not it is safe to drink raw, unpasteurized milk. Much of the controversy stems from a few cases of bad bacteria getting into raw milk (which can and should be prevented quite easily if one is careful to keep the milk clean after milking). Did you know there are far more cases of bacteria poisoning from pasteurized milk? But few people ever mention that fact.
Additionally, there is a strong argument that grain-fed cow’s milk is not as healthy as organic, grain-fed cow’s milk, and then there’s the whole A1 vs. A2 cow types that I still don’t fully understand yet. More on these subjects as I continue to research them.
For now, I wanted to copy and paste an excerpt of what Sally Fallon said on the safety of unpasteurized milk:
Today if you mention raw milk, many people gasp and utter ridiculous statements like, “You can die from drinking raw milk!” But the truth is that there are far more risks from drinking pasteurized milk than unpasteurized milk. Raw milk naturally contains healthy bacteria that inhibit the growth of undesirable and dangerous organisms. Without these friendly bacteria, pasteurized milk is more susceptible to contamination. Furthermore, modern equipment, such as milking machines, stainless steel tanks and refrigerated trucks, make it entirely possible to bring clean, raw milk to the market anywhere in the US.
Not only does pasteurization kill the friendly bacteria, it also greatly diminishes the nutrient content of the milk. Pasteurized milk has up to a 66 percent loss of vitamins A, D and E. Vitamin C loss usually exceeds 50 percent. Heat affects water soluble vitamins and can make them 38 percent to 80 percent less effective. Vitamins B6 and B12 are completely destroyed during pasteurization. Pasteurization also destroys beneficial enzymes, antibodies and hormones. Pasteurization destroys lipase (an enzyme that breaks down fat), which impairs fat metabolism and the ability to properly absorb fat soluble vitamins A and D. (The dairy industry is aware of the diminished vitamin D content in commercial milk, so they fortify it with a form of this vitamin.)
We have all been led to believe that milk is a wonderful source of calcium, when in fact, pasteurization makes calcium and other minerals less available. Complete destruction of phosphatase is one method of testing to see if milk has been adequately pasteurized. Phosphatase is essential for the absorption of calcium.

New study: Amish prove raw milk promotes health in children (from food freedom group)

This article is so interesting on its own, I am just copying and pasting the bulk of it here in my blog for you to read. You can find the article in its entirety at http://foodfreedomgroup.com/2012/05/09/raw-milk-promotes-health/
09May2012
By Rady Ananda
An international team of researchers recently confirmed that children who drink fresh milk – unprocessed and unpasteurized – have a better immune response to allergens and are far less likely to develop asthma.
This comes amidst a concerted state and federal effort to criminalize raw milk in the US, with a Minnesota trial and protest scheduled for Monday, May 14.
Researchers from Indiana, Switzerland, and Germany ran surveys and tests on Swiss and US children aged 6-12 years and submitted their results to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology last month. [1]
Because the Amish emigrated from Switzerland, and are thus genetically similar, the team compared Northern Indiana Amish farm children with today’s Swiss kids. Though rural kids are known to be healthier than city kids, the team found that the Amish have a superior immune response to allergens and asthma than even Swiss farm kids have.
“Finally a health professional in America conducted research into the low incidence of allergies among farm kids,” said Kimberly Hartke, publicist for the Weston A. Price Foundation in an email to Food Freedom News. “This research validates what European researchers have already discovered: Raw milk is health-promoting.”
Over the past century, the US and Europe have seen a spike in “allergic sensitization” reaching more than half the population of both regions, says lead researcher Mark Holbreich.Concurrently, studies in the last decade continue to demonstrate “that certain populations have a significantly lower prevalence of allergic sensitization and a lower prevalence of asthma.”

“In one study, certain whey proteins in farm milk were inversely associated with asthma,” said researchers, referring to a 2011 study, which asserted:
“Exposure to farm milk in early life and consumption of raw farm milk have been associated with a reduced asthma and atopy risk, and it has been suggested that this protection might be mediated through receptors of the innate immune system.” [2]
Atopy is “a genetic predisposition toward the development of immediate hypersensitivity reactions against common environmental antigens,” explains one dictionary.
Holbreich’s team ran a skin prick test on Amish children, most of whom drink raw milk, finding that only 7% of them showed an allergic reaction. They compared this to parental surveys of Swiss kids, both urban and rural. Over 44% of the Swiss non-farm kids suffered from allergies, the parents reported, while 25% of the Swiss farm kids did.
This led the team to conclude that the Amish have additional protective factors, suggesting larger family size may play a role. With 5 or 6 siblings, each child will be exposed to that many more enviro-pathogens, thus gaining the opportunity to develop resistance while the immune system is still developing.
That’s not so for most urbanites who are mostly only exposed to industrial pollutants (rather than microbial pathogens), and denied access to fresh milk beyond their nursing years.
Most US cows are fed a daily regimen of pharmaceuticals, a practice linked directly to antibiotic resistance in humans. The Food & Drug Administration has refused to ban the practice.
Of note, one of the researchers admitted to being funded by the pharmaceutical industry, naming Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, among others.
Ninety-seven percent of US milk is heated and processed to the point that all probiotics are destroyed, while some pathogens remain.
One probiotic found only in unpasteurized, fresh milk from free-range cows, Lactococcus lactis, became Wisconsin’s state microbe after legislators hailed its unique features which enable the development of cheddar, Colby and Monterey Jack cheese. In fact, when making these cheeses from pasteurized milk, the live bacterium must be added back into the mix to curdle the milk and produce the whey. [3]
As with natural L. lactis, even a genetically reengineered form of it has been shown to break down lactose, allowing those who are lactose intolerant to drink raw milk without ill effects. [4]

Notes:
[1] Mark Holbreich, et al. “Amish children living in Northern Indiana have a very low prevalence of allergic sensitization,” 19 April 2012. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Available at http://download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/0091-6749/PIIS0091674912005192.pdf
[2] Georg Loss, et al. “The protective effect of farm milk consumption on childhood asthma and atopy,” 16 July 2011. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Available at http://www.mnhlrp.org/images/RawMilkStudy.pdf
[3] Kenneth Todar, “Lactococcus lactis: nominated as the Wisconsin State Microbe,” n.d. (ca. Dec. 2009) http://www.textbookofbacteriology.net/featured_microbe.html
[4] Zhang W, et al. “Construction and expression of food-grade β-galactosidase gene in Lactococcus Lactis,” 17 Jan. 2011. Current Microbiology, 62(2): 639-44. Abstract at http://lactoseintolerance.researchtoday.net/archive/7/1/671.htm

The Amazing Benefits of Raw Milk

From an earlier post of mine, published August 9, 2012

With that he stood up, filled the bowl with milk, and placing it on the chair, pushed it in front of Heidi on her little three-legged stool, so that she now had a table to herself. Then he brought her a large slice of bread and a piece of the golden cheese, and told her to eat. After which he went and sat down on the corner of the table and began his own meal. Heidi lifted the bowl with both hands and drank without pause till it was empty, for the thirst of all her long hot journey had returned upon her. Then she drew a deep breath–in the eagerness of her thirst she had not stopped to breathe–and put down the bowl.
“Was the milk nice?” asked her grandfather.
“I never drank any so good before,” answered Heidi.
“Then you must have some more,” and the old man filled her bowl again to the brim and set it before the child, who was now hungrily beginning her bread having first spread it with the cheese, which after being toasted was soft as butter; the two together tasted deliciously, and the child looked the picture of content as she sat eating, and at intervals taking further draughts of milk.
From Johanna Spyri’s classic novel, “Heidi”
I’ve always loved the story of Heidi, the little Swiss orphan girl who goes to live with her grandfather in the mountains. And, as I have been researching and testing out raw dairy products to restore my own health, this particular passage from Johanna Spyri’s book kept coming to mind.
I now have a lot I can share concerning raw milk, but most of the information is from my research (mainly from Sally Fallon and the Weston A. Price Foundation, as usual.) As for my own personal experience, I will share my own stories as I continue to put my raw dairy diet into practice. First of all, I have to find raw milk to drink (easier said than done, since it is considered “illegal” in Oregon and California and 39 other states). However, I have been able to find other raw dairy products, such as raw, unpasteurized cheddar cheese from Oregon and France.
A lot of the following information is copied and pasted from a Heba’s website at

 

Here’s a condensed version of her article, along with a few of my own findings:

1. Raw milk contains enzymes.
“Pasteurization destroys all the enzymes in milk— in fact, the test for successful pasteurization is absence of enzymes. These enzymes help the body assimilate all bodybuilding factors, including calcium. That is why those who drink pasteurized milk may suffer, nevertheless, from osteoporosis.” — Sally Fallon-Morell, RealMilk.com

2. Raw milk contains probiotics.
“Bacteria have a reputation for causing disease, so the idea of tossing down a few billion a day for your health might seem — literally and figuratively — hard to swallow. But a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria. Northern Europeans consume a lot of these beneficial microorganisms, called probiotics (from pro and biota, meaning “for life”), because of their tradition of eating foods fermented with bacteria, such as yogurt. Probiotic-laced beverages are also big business in Japan.” — Harvard Medical School, “Health Benefits of Taking Probiotics”
Because pasteurization destroys probiotics (good bacteria), any harmful bacteria present in the milk after pasteurization can and will flourish. On the other hand, published research shows that good bacteria and many other components in raw milk actually destroy pathogens added to the milk.” – Sally Fallon-Morell, WAPF
3. Vitamins, bacteria and enzymes in raw milk are preserved.
According to this post from Nourished Kitchen, raw milk is a living food:
“Several of milk’s natural components including beneficial bacteria, food enzymes, natural vitamins and immunoglobulins are heat-sensitive.  These health-promoting components of natural, raw milk are destroyed by heating and therefore not present in pasteurized or UHT milk. Indeed, many foods – milk included – provide best nutrition when consumed in a raw or minimally cooked state. While heating milk doesn’t change the mineral composition to any great degree, it does, however, change its bioavailability rendering all that lovely calcium less absorbable”.
Here’s a more specific fact for you: raw grass-fed milk has five times more cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than regular milk; it contains more omega-3 fats, as well as more beta-carotene.
4. Raw milk provides protection from asthma and other health disorders.
There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence to show that many have been healed by consuming raw milk. Improvements in autism, asthma, metabolic syndrome, mood disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, etc. The GABRIELA study in Europe has shown that children who drink raw milk are 40% less likely to develop allergies and asthma than children who drink pasteurized milk.
5. Clean, nutritious milk comes from healthy cows that eat grass, not sick cows eating grain.
Most cows, even at the “organic” dairies, are fed grain — corn and soy. Cows were never meant to eat grain. They are meant to eat grass, and to graze on pasture. When cows are fed grain, even organic grain, it makes them sick.
From Michael Pollan’s The Vegetable-Industrial Complex, October 15, 2006 in the New York Times: The lethal strain of E. coli known as 0157:H7, responsible for this latest outbreak of food poisoning, was unknown before 1982; it is believed to have evolved in the gut of feedlot cattle. These are animals that stand around in their manure all day long, eating a diet of grain that happens to turn a cow’s rumen into an ideal habitat for E. coli 0157:H7. (The bug can’t survive long in cattle living on grass.)
From Nina Planck’s Leafy Green Sewage, September 21, 2006 in the New York Times:
In 2003, The Journal of Dairy Science noted that up to 80 percent of dairy cattle carry O157. (Fortunately, food safety measures prevent contaminated fecal matter from getting into most of our food most of the time.) Happily, the journal also provided a remedy based on a simple experiment. When cows were switched from a grain diet to hay for only five days, O157 declined 1,000-fold.
6. Raw milk doesn’t go “bad” like pasteurized milk does.
If you leave a gallon of pasteurized milk on the counter overnight, what happens to it? It goes bad! But if you leave a gallon of raw milk out, you can do all kinds of things with it. You can separate the cream. You can make cultured butter, buttermilk, and whey, yogurt, cheese, kefir, etc.
7. Raw milk tastes better! 
My loving mother always made sure we had raw, unpasteurized milk while growing up, but I can’t remember the flavor, so I will take others people’s word for now until I try it for myself!

Common Denominators

From an earlier post written on August 9, 2012
According to Weston A. Price and Sally Fallon, there are certain common denominators of healthy traditional populations throughout the world and they include (but are not limited to) cultured, fermented foods and raw milk.
In my own research, I have thus far found the following common denominators in traditional diets of healthy European populations:
1.    Raw sweet, fresh dairy products
2.    Raw soured, cultured dairy products
3.    Fermented beverages (like beer and wine)
4.    Pickled vegetables, like sauerkraut and pickled beets
5.    Whole grain breads (most, if not all, with some rye flour included, even just a little)
6.    Moderate portions of grass-fed meat and meat fats
7.    One or two low sugar desserts or small (1 or 2-ounce) sugary desserts (usually heavy on the raw yogurt, cream or butter) per day
8.    Small portions of berries almost daily
9.    Europeans tend to eat smaller portions and less food than Americans overall, but their caloric intake is higher, due to their ingestion of more dairy fat, meat, and meat fats.