Raw milk protects against allergies and asthma

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Proteins in raw milk protect against allergies and asthma

In the course of a study, scientists led by Prof. Erika von Mutius from the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich found out that active ingredients in raw milk protect children from chronic diseases such as asthma and allergy. The researchers believe that their work has found a promising protective mechanism.

Country children are less likely to suffer from allergies
Some studies showed that children growing up in the country tend to develop a lower risk of allergies and asthma. According to researchers from Munich allergist Dr. Erika von Mutius compared to the nature magazine "GEO", specially prepared milk can produce a protective function against hay fever and the like. Research had shown that the risk of asthma for children could be significantly reduced by 40 to 50 percent if the ingredients were not destroyed during pasteurization.

The team of researchers had previously found that a large number of farms in southern Germany, Switzerland and Austria found that children in rural areas suffered significantly less from allergic diseases than children in cities. Now the scientists suspect that, in addition to other factors, the daily consumption of raw milk has a protective effect. Children could be protected from hay fever, asthma and pollen allergy.

Germs in raw milk are hazardous to health
However, the consumption of unpasteurized milk is not harmless. Untreated milk straight from the cow contains microbes and germs that can be difficult for health. Raw milk is not heated and is completely untreated. Because bacteria cause serious infectious diseases, milk has been pasteurized since it was sold in the 19th century. However, because that very milk is heated up, many effective protective functions are lost. Pasteurization not only kills the germs, but also destroys numerous proteins.

It is precisely those proteins that are lost that contain protective effects that force immunization against lung diseases and hay fever, as the scientists explained to the magazine "GEO". In order to still achieve the protective effect, the researchers want to work on modifying the raw milk so that the protein substances are retained even after the germs have been removed.

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment pointed out that it is possible to boil fresh milk from home. Before doing so, however, it must be ensured that the farmers' milk production complies with the hygienic regulations. No valuable ingredients are reduced when boiling. Only the content of vitamin C decreases somewhat, a spokesman said. In the countryside, many organic farms offer "directly from the farm". Consumers can also buy raw milk there. However, it could be that the proteins are reduced by the normal heat, which is why the researchers are looking for alternatives. (sb)

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