Expert Advice

Is raw milk easier to digest than pasteurized milk?

Raw milk tastes richer than pasteurized milk and is better for you. Say supporters.

Is raw milk easier to digest than pasteurized milk?
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YES. If you're lactose intolerant, you may have better luck with raw milk since its bacteria creates an enzyme called lactase that breaks down lactose. We did a survey of about 3,000 people, including 200 diagnosed with lactose intolerance, and 90 percent of that group had no problems drinking raw milk. Also, the rapid heating during pasteurization damages milk's very complex proteins, so when pasteurized milk is ingested, the body thinks the altered proteins are foreign, which may cause an allergic response.


Taste test
The taste of raw milk is considered richer than storebought cow's milk, partly because pasteurization alters the alkaloids that give raw milk its nice flavor. Pasteurization also destroys the cofactors that help your body utilize all the vitamins in milk, including the binding protein that helps the assimilation of vitamin B12. The uptake of calcium, iron, and vitamins A and D is all compromised.


The flip side
The Food and Drug Administration argues that there is no nutritional benefit to raw milk and claims it is dangerous. But cases where raw milk has been proved to cause illness are rare. On a per-serving basis, many other foods (like deli meats, lettuce, and fruit) cause illness more frequently.


Finding it
Some states stipulate that raw milk be sold only "on-site" at dairy farms, but eight states allow you to buy it at stores. Raw milk is more expensive than pasteurized (about $4 to $13 per gallon). To find a supplier, see


-Sally Fallon, founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation's Campaign for Real Milk

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