2

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What do you think about this post on raw milk?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 05, 2012 at 12:43 PM

First of all, just so you know, I am pro-raw milk. But this post HERE actually questions some of the Paleo diet beliefs - no dairy.

Basically, if you have anything against raw milk I would like to hear your N=1 (actually, I do not know what N=1 means, but I assume it is something negative).

The only negative thing I can think of drinking raw milk is if it comes from some sick cow.

Thanks.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on October 06, 2012
at 05:05 PM

Agree that there is a lot of supposition going on. I don't buy it. But FWIW, I eat cheese and yogurt (for the protein and because I can tolerate it) but not milk.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 06, 2012
at 11:24 AM

It's a very reasonable hypothesis. Consider the Masai.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 06, 2012
at 11:19 AM

What do you think about her belief that we were herders-gatherers?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 05, 2012
at 01:39 PM

Oh, I am not looking for experience with dairy, only your thoughts on the article.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on October 05, 2012
at 01:16 PM

Great explanation.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 05, 2012
at 01:15 PM

Wow, I always thought it was something else. Thanks for the explanation.

E246df7366ba4b48f75b53378ed33282

(424)

on October 05, 2012
at 12:57 PM

N=1 is geeky shorthand for 'your personal experience'. In scientific experiments 'N' is the sample size. So 'N=1' is a sample size of one, i.e. you.

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4 Answers

5
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 05, 2012
at 01:07 PM

Interesting article. I don't put much stock in the paleo argument of eating what we are genetically adapted to (see Matt LaLonde's AHS11 lecture for why). I think many of Cordain's paleo arguments are weak. Including the one against dairy. But dairy being older than we thought is not (in my mind) a pro-dairy argument. The biochemistry of dairy is what is most important.

Some people can tolerate whey, casein and lactose and some people cannot. If you can tolerate dairy with no issues, then raw dairy should be an excellent food source. If not, well, then it isn't. For you. That, to me, is all that matters. I eat plenty of dairy and have no issues with it. But that's just me.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on October 05, 2012
at 01:16 PM

Great explanation.

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 06, 2012
at 11:07 AM

She makes two important statements:

nutrients in isolation from their food source can actually be harmful

and

milk is good for babies

The first statement is particularly applicable to the processing of food and should be considered an axiom of nutrition. Not especially relevant to the dairy argument from a paleo perspective other than that raw milk may cause less intestinal distress in susceptible individuals compared to the pasteurized version, but nevertheless worth mentioning.

The second statement, however, nails it. We often forget that we are a mammalian species designed to exclusively rely on dairy (mothers milk) during one of the most critical periods of development. Whilst the capability to digest lactose becomes reduced with adulthood, we know that some individuals are highly dairy tolerant and many have the capability to increase gene expression of the relevant enzyme upon exposure to milk.

The take home message is, provided you are not in the category of severe lactose intolerance (many people can increase their gene expression for the lactase enzyme) there is no reason not to be benefiting from the wholesome nutrition of this food. The usual caveats, of course, apply, i.e. avoid milk from animals being treated with hormones and antibiotics, and also, aim to obtain milk expressed via non mechanical methods.

In support of milk as a paleo food, here is an excerpt from the wikipedia article on the Masai diet:

Traditionally, the Maasai diet consisted of raw meat, raw milk, and raw blood from cattle. In the summer of 1935 Dr. Weston A. Price visited the Maasai and reported that according to Dr. Anderson from the local government hospital in Kenya most tribes were disease-free. Many had not a single tooth attacked by dental caries nor a single malformed dental arch. In particular the Maasai had a very low 0.4% of tooth caries. He attributed that to their diet consisting of (in order of volume) raw milk, raw blood, raw meat and some vegetables and fruits, although in many villages they do not eat any fruit or vegetables at all.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 06, 2012
at 11:24 AM

It's a very reasonable hypothesis. Consider the Masai.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 06, 2012
at 11:19 AM

What do you think about her belief that we were herders-gatherers?

3
06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on October 06, 2012
at 02:56 PM

Many of us have different goals, some for health, some for aesthetics, some for performance, and some for disease control. If a particular food source is non-inflammatory, non-toxin, and has health promoting benefits, why would one not consume it?

Using raw dairy as an example, if one is attempting to simply lose weight, the dairy is probably not the best option for them AT THAT MOMENT. Fruits wouldn't be a good option either for that person. However, if an individual is attempting to add muscle mass and promote growth, raw dairy would get little argument as a good food source if it is well tolerated.

As for some personal n=1, I don't consume raw dairy as as staple. I tend to pick some up at the local market whenever I am there (in PA you can buy it in the store). I have not noticed any ill effects from it.

Matt
PhysiqueRescue.com

2
E246df7366ba4b48f75b53378ed33282

(424)

on October 05, 2012
at 01:22 PM

IMHO there's a lot of supposition in the article - lot's of 'thought experiments' without much evidence to back it up. I'm not sure that the comparison between Neanderthal and human femur lengths proves anything as they are two different species. As far as I know, all the current evidence suggests that humans did not evolve from Neanderthals although some limited interbreeding may have taken place. Also, 40,000 years isn't that long from an evoluntionary perspective. Even if all humans have been consuming dairy products for that long I'm not sure what the significance of this would be (but I'm no expert).

I can't give much 'N=1' experience of raw dairy. I've tried small amounts of raw goats milk and raw cheese on occasion and it doesn't seem to be any worse than pasteurised dairy. I have nothing against dairy products for those who can tolerate them. I'm not a good person to ask for experience with dairy though as I have all sorts of weird food intolerance issues which I'm still trying to figure out.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 05, 2012
at 01:39 PM

Oh, I am not looking for experience with dairy, only your thoughts on the article.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on October 06, 2012
at 05:05 PM

Agree that there is a lot of supposition going on. I don't buy it. But FWIW, I eat cheese and yogurt (for the protein and because I can tolerate it) but not milk.

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