Children who drink raw milk have less asthma

It is known that farm milk consumption has a positive effect on childhood asthma and allergies, and now there has been a study to find out what the effect of drinking the raw milk fresh from the cows might be.

Questionnaires were collected from parents of over eight thousand school age children in rural Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and just over 7,000 provided serum samples for assessment of their specific IgE levels. Eight hundred milk samples from the participants’ homes were collected and bacterial counts taken, whey protein levels measured and total fat content analysed. Asthma, atopy and hay fever were related to milk consumption, and, for the first time, were associated to the objectively measured milk constituents of whey, fat and bacteria.

Raw milk consumption was inversely associated to asthma, atopy and hayfever independent of other farm exposures, but boiled farm milk did not have a protective effect. Neither bacteria counts nor fat content were related to asthma or atopy, but increased levels of whey proteins were inversely associated with asthma, but not atopy.

The scientists, from the GABRIELA study group, concluded that the protective effect of raw milk may be associated with the whey protein fraction of milk.

Source: The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

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First Published August 2011

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