Putting aside the fact that drinking raw cow’s milk is dangerous and the current advice from the powers that be in the states and the UK is don’t drink it, it would seem that it could lower the chances of children developing asthma.
A paper published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology presents the results of study that followed children living on farms given raw milk or pasteurised milk and their incidence of asthma up to the age of 6.
Children that drank the raw milk had a lower incidence of asthma. The researchers believe this is due to the higher amount of milk fatty acids in the raw milk, especially the omega 3 fatty acids. Apparently the pasteurisation process of milk causes changes in proteins and the fats and this could cause the milk to be less than it was.
Very interesting stuff, although we should not forget that raw untreated milk can harbour dangerous bugs such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. And as the most vulnerable groups are young children, the elderly and immune suppressed, giving it to children under 6 is definitely not recommended.
Looking into the literature it would seem that the fatty acid profile of milk (i.e., what fatty acids are present in the milk) come roughly equally from 2 sources, the diet and the gut bacteria. Perhaps further research should be done on what to include in the cow’s feed or what gut bacteria to inoculate cows with to increase the beneficial fatty acids but still keep us safe with pasteurisation?
Just a thought…