study failed to show something many people believe — that
drinking raw milk reduces the symptoms of lactose
intolerance or malabsorption.
condition is common worldwide, and can lead to
bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea. But the
specific prevalence of lactose intolerance is not known, the
researchers from Stanford University said.
coping strategies include not drinking milk, drinking
lactose-free dairy products, taking lactase enzyme tablets and
other behaviors, but none of those eliminate the symptoms, the
unpasteurized raw milk consumption has increased in popularity
and emerged into a nationwide movement despite the
acknowledgment of risks associated" with pathogens, the
researchers wrote this week in the Annals of Family Medicine.
last year the American Academy of Pediatrics warned
pregnant women and children not to drink raw milk and said it
supports a nationwide ban on its sale because of the danger of
bacterial illnesses. Still, raw milk sales are legal in many
places, including California and 29 other states.
say raw milk is delicious and provides health benefits,
including protection against asthma and lactose
intolerance. And when the animals are raised properly and the
milk is treated carefully, they say, raw milk poses little
danger to human health.
pilot study, conducted in 2010 with 16 people who identified
themselves as lactose intolerant and suffering symptoms that
were moderate to severe, did not show a benefit from raw milk.
The participants, recruited from around Stanford, drank raw
whole milk, pasteurized whole milk, and soy milk — all
vanilla flavored to prevent them from detecting which was
which. They drank specified amounts over eight days and were
tested at many points for lactose malabsorption.
trial "provided no evidence that raw milk is better
tolerated by adults positive for lactose malabsorption, either
objectively or subjectively," the researchers wrote.
studies have shown that unpasteurized yogurt can help
sufferers. That could be, the researchers said, because of
yogurt’s greater viscosity — which means it takes longer
to digest. That gives the good bacteria in yogurt more time to
act on the lactose in the small intestine, they speculated.
also conceivable that people need to adjust to raw milk and
eight days was not enough, they said. Additional work should
be done to test that idea, they wrote.