Dr. Joseph Mercola

 Is it good for you or isn't it? If you've been on our website for a while, you know I've been a strong advocate of raw milk. I learned about it initially through the pioneering work of the Weston-Price Foundation. I've seen enormous benefit for many patients in my practice, and I strongly recommend it for a number of reasons.

There's a lot of confusion around this subject because many confuse organic milk with raw milk. Of course, raw milk is going to be superior almost every time. The problems begin with pasteurization of milk. Milk contains a very fragile protein, and proteins are composed of little amino acids and little strings. That is their one-dimensional shape. But they also have a two dimensional shape when they bend backwards and forwards. In addition, they have a three-dimensional shape. They have a tertiary structure in space which puts them in a unique, three-dimensional configuration; it's a very specific shape in space.

When you heat milk, even with a small amount of heat, as low as 110° F., you can distort the configuration, or shape, of the protein, turning it from something good into something bad that will actually cause allergies and other autoimmune dysfunction. This is one reason why cooking, or even worse, pasteurizing food, can be a problem, as even though it will eliminate bacteria, it also causes potential complications and dangers in the food.

We've seen enormous benefits for many in our practice who have begun using raw milk. Of course, the challenge in using raw milk is that it's somewhat difficult to get, as it's illegal in virtually every state in the U.S. except California, where you can purchase it in stores such as Whole Foods. For help in finding raw milk, go to www.realmilk.com or find a local dairy farmer who will sell it to you. There are ways to go about it whereby a consumer buys a portion of the cow, with the Cow Share Program. That seems to be an effective way to circumvent difficulties and legally obtain the raw milk.

One interesting principle I'd like to share is this. I've been a very strong advocate of raw milk, and I've been quoted in the L.A. Times, Time Magazine and Wall Street Journal for me position on this. I find it very ironic that even though I'm a strong proponent of raw milk, and fully believe in its benefits, I personally cannot use raw milk. I love the taste of it, but it doesn't like me. It's not just raw milk; it's all milk. You see, I have, for some unknown reason, developed some type of sensitivity to milk, where if I take it, my kidneys start to fail and I go into renal insufficiency. It's a very serious issue for me, so I have to avoid all dairy in any shape or form. That's the challenge I have in my health journey. But it doesn't necessarily mean that you shouldn't use it.

The reason I bring up this example is that it's a very powerful illustration of the fact that you have to personalize the information you receive. You see, we give you general information on the website. But the whole purpose of the site is to educate you so that you understand that you need to listen to your body. Your body is going to give you the information, the feedback, the resources to understand whether or not any given information is in fact good for you.

It's important to realize that whether it's coming from me, another natural health practitioner or another physician, that you really need to integrate the info, keeping in mind at all times what your body is telling you. Your body will almost invariably, regularly, universally, tell you the truth so that you can have that feedback to adjust, monitor and fine tune your health.

If I were to blindly believe that raw milk was good for me personally and continue to drink it, I would probably be on renal dialysis, which is not a pretty picture. So you have to customize the information you receive, again, not only from me, but from anyone, and that's a very important principle to grasp if you hope to ever take control of your health.