Ron Schmid, ND
Alternative Medicine Center of Connecticut
(Kay’s Note: The following article explains why dairy is limited on the SCD. The homemade yogurt supplies enzymes and heals the intestines so they make enzymes to digest our foods.)
Yesterday, I told you what Ron Schmid, ND, of the Alternative Medicine Center of Connecticut, had to say about the health problems associated with mass-produced milk.
In this issue, I want to discuss the two processes that are integral to milk production today -- pasteurization, which employs high heat to rid milk of certain bacteria, yeasts and molds... and homogenization, the process by which the fat molecules in milk are altered so that they stay evenly distributed throughout the liquid.
Dr. Schmid notes that today's mass-produced milk must be pasteurized to eliminate bacteria that can cause serious health risks, such as tuberculosis and gastrointestinal disease. Unfortunately, pasteurization also robs the milk of many enzymes and other health-giving properties.
As I told you yesterday, enzymes are an integral part of every chemical action and reaction in the body. Our bodies have many enzymes, but as we age, their levels decrease. This makes us more susceptible to chronic degenerative diseases and speeds the aging process.
We can get more enzymes from our diets, but we would have to eat uncooked animal foods and raw or lightly cooked grains, fruits and veggies to get the entire array. We all know it is best not to eat raw meat, poultry and fish due to the health risks.
Raw milk, however, can be a great source of these enzymes -- but pasteurization destroys them. In fact, the test for properly pasteurized milk is that it is enzyme-free.
In addition, says Dr. Schmid, the heat of pasteurization alters the amino acids in milk, making it harder for the body to use the milk's protein. Pasteurization also lowers milk's vitamin C content by at least 50%... and destroys much of its vitamins A, B-12, B-6 and D. The heat process also makes the minerals in milk -- which include calcium, chlorine, magnesium and phosphorus -- less available.
Pasteurized milk, denuded of its enzymes and other benefits, is more difficult to digest, according to Dr. Schmid. The result? Pasteurization, combined with the poor quality of grain-fed cows' milk, contributes to the allergies and other diseases that so many health-care professionals are concerned about today.
Fifty-plus years ago, milk went into open vats that were susceptible to bacteria from tuberculosis and other life-threatening diseases. Hence, the need for the pasteurizing process.
Today, however, milk is protected with sanitary production measures enforced by state governments. While both raw and pasteurized milk have caused salmonella outbreaks, the largest outbreak by far -- milk produced in Illinois in 1985 infected more than 18,000 people in five states with salmonella and resulted in 16 deaths -- was caused by pasteurized milk, notes Dr. Schmid.
In spite of modern precautions, pasteurized milk still can be contaminated during or after pasteurization. Ironically, pasteurization completely destroys the very organisms -- the enzymes and natural bacteria -- that could protect milk from invading pathogenic bacteria, says Dr. Schmid.
HOMOGENIZATION DANGERS, TOO?
The case against homogenization is less clear, but its implications still are disturbing. Dr. Schmid is quick to point out that he presents this not as a fact, however, but as a theory based on his knowledge and experience.
He explains that the research of Kurt Oster, MD, former chief of cardiology at Park City Hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut, indicates that homogenization is a primary cause of heart disease.
According to Dr. Oster, the homogenization process breaks down fat into tiny particles so that it won't separate in milk. This extends the shelf life of a carton of milk -- an obvious plus for milk producers and distributors. Dr. Oster's research indicates that homogenization allows a substance in fat called xanthine oxidase (XO) to pass through the walls of the intestines into the circulatory system, where it can trigger arterial problems that lead to heart attacks.
While Dr. Schmid feels that the XO theory is probably valid, it remains only a theory until it is confirmed by further investigation. However, he notes that in countries where milk is not homogenized -- and France is a leading example -- there are far fewer heart attacks.
TO DRINK OR NOT TO DRINK?
As we said yesterday, Dr. Schmid is a strong advocate of healthy raw milk. The operative words, though, are healthy and raw. He is the first to point out that in order to be good for you, raw milk must come from healthy grass-fed cows that roam freely in fields.
Dr. Schmid even advises against the supposedly healthier "organic milk," since it is ultrapasteurized -- effectively sterilized -- to attain a six-month shelf life.
If you can't find healthy raw milk or don't live in one of the 35 states that allow the sale of on-farm raw milk, he says, there is no one-size-fits-all advice about consuming dairy products. He suggests that you educate yourself further through the Web sources listed at the end of this article and discuss your situation with a naturopathic physician.
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