GOMAD For The Lactose Intolerant
Now that my fat and weight loss goals have been met, I have found it more difficult to add weight than it was to subtract it. I eat a lot, I do not track my calories or macro nutrients but I probably eat 2500-3000 calories a day, yet I have not been able to get the scale up more than a few pounds, and it always seems to return back down to 155lbs. I am starting to look into other options to gain some lean mass in addition to whole foods. I think LOMAD (Litre Of Milk pre DAY) or GOMAD (Gallon Of Milk per Day) would help me but I am worried about possible lactose sensitivities that I have. One of the many resources I have from Robb Wolf’s blog and podcast is Chris Kresser. He discusses raw milk on his podcast and on his blog. This peaked my interest so I started to do some research.
My main reason for doing this research is actually not weight gain and GOMAD, but because my son is turning 1 shortly. He will still be breast fed, currently we have been supplementing with formula as well, but it is suggest by Health Canada that kids can drink cow’s milk at a year old. Since the entire reason for me to start on this diet and fitness journey was to become healthy and provide a positive example for my son, wife and any other kids that I have in the future I want to be a diligent as possible and find out what is best for me and my family.
I asked my wife if she thinks we should get raw milk for our son, but she was not able to find any reliable info when googling for it, the majority of the results are USDA government related information which is “as reliable as the food pyramid” (I think that should be a new catch phrase). So I got to work looking for some real answers.
- Is Raw Milk Dangerous?
- Does Raw Milk Have Health Benefits
- Why is Raw Milk Considered Dangerous
Is Raw Milk Dangerous?
The largest source of info that I have found is the Weston A Price Foundation (WAPF) site. Although WAPF is a source for some good fact based information, I do have a bit of an issue with the way they write articles on the WAPF site. Some of their rebutles go something like this “The USDA was wrong about A so why should we trust them about B”. What I learned about getting (and providing) high quality, fact based info from the internet is that it is OK to state your opinion, but don’t state your opinion like it is fact. I cited the WAPF on reddit recently when commenting about soy and got scrutinized pretty good because many people don’t think that the WAPF is a good source of info, and although I disagree with them I can see why they would say that.
The WAPF is leading the campaign for raw milk and even has its own site http://www.realmilk.com/. This is a rebuttal to a Food Poision Lawyer William Marler where he cites 102 studies on raw milk. Here are my hilights from the rebuttal:
- 73 report a total of 70 outbreaks or isolated incidences of foodborne illness, eight report on the presence of pathogens in the milk of bulk holding tanks, and 21 are reviews, editorials, or letters to the editors of scientific journals
- A number of these citations are reports of outbreaks traced to pasteurized milk, reviews focusing on the dangers of pasteurized milk, or letters to the editor supporting the right of consumers to purchase raw milk
- Some of them even provide evidence that certain pathogens such as Campylobacter jejuni can hardly survive in raw milk
- A contaminated jar of milk or block of cheese could cause a person to become ill, but an ill person could also contaminate the milk or cheese. Example (Wale, 1991) “The milk consumed by the patient was probably contaminated by him so that initial enthusiasm in attributing his infection to the consumption of raw goats’ milk is not supported by the facts. This case illustrates some of the pitfalls of trying to determine the vehicle of infection in a single case.”
- Because organisms that cause foodborne illness can also be spread through contact with animals, animal manure, infected people, and other foods prepared by infected people, statistical associations with raw milk may arise in cases where the actual cause of the outbreak is contact with animals or their manure, person-to- person contact, or the consumption of other foods sold by raw milk product street vendors or served to guests during visits to family farms. Harris (1987) provides an example in which this almost certainly occurred. Six people became ill with an identical subtype of Campylobacter jejuni. Four of them drank raw milk from a specific farm. Two of them, a mother and her infant, went camping with the farmer, consumed pasteurized milk from their dairy, and used goat manure as fertilizer in their home garden, but never drank any raw milk. What they all shared in common was contact with the farmer and perhaps contact with manure or other objects from the farm.
- Finally, most studies associating raw milk with illness never pinpoint where along the line of production the contamination occurred. If contamination occurred after the point at which the milk would have been pasteurized, then pasteurization could not have prevented the outbreak.
- Only five of seventy studies provide decent evidence that pasteurization would possibly have prevented the outbreak (Orr, 1995; Porter, 1980; Hudson, 1984; Schildt, 2006; Danielsson-Tham, 2004). Even these studies, however, do not suggest that pasteurization would have been necessary to prevent the outbreak.
- Doyle and Roman (Appl Environ Microbiol. 1982;44(5):1154-9) found that C. jejuni can cannot grow in milk, and that if they inoculate milk with massive amounts of it, it survives twice as long in sterile milk as in raw milk … Over and over again, investigators blame C. jejuni outbreaks on raw milk despite negative milk samples.
- When he had worked with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), his group had observed that people who drank raw milk rarely got Q fever, and referred to later research showing that it is spread through inhalation rather than by drinking milk.
What I gather from this information is that there is nothing wrong with raw milk itself. The issues are usually the process that is involved getting the milk from the cow to your mouth. If there is an issue before pasteurization then pasteurization may remove these issues but is that really a benefit? Why not just make sure the quality of the milk is good instead of trying to hide it?
Does Raw Milk Have Health Benefits?
We have all (well most) drank raw milk at some point of our lives. The milk we drank was from our mothers not from a cow. Some infants even need to use breast milk banks for some extreme cases. Why do we not pasteurized human breast milk? Why do we know for a ‘fact’ that breast milk is better for us than formula? These are conventional ideologies for what is considered healthy today, so why not apply them to other areas?
One of the most notable pieces of evidence from the papers cited in the letter discussed above is the ‘antibacterial properties of raw milk’. If you think about it in comparison to what we know about human breast milk this makes sense. Human breast milk is thought to be better because of the ‘antibodies‘ it contains which are passed on to the child. There is a study cited which you can reference here at the American Society for Microbiology Applied and Environmental Biology titled Prevalence and survival of Campylobacter jejuni in unpasteurized milk. Campylobacter jejuni is bacteria commonly found in animal feces. The abstract of the paper states
C. jejuni was most stable in brucella broth, died most rapidly in unpasteurized milk, and was inactivated at an intermediate rate in sterile milk.
Yet they still state the the milk should be pasteurized which, to me, makes no sense. Further in the full text of the paper the author also states
Alternatively, unlike sterile milk, raw milk contains lactoperoxidase, which, in combination with H202 and SCN-, produces metabolites that are bactericidal to many gram-negative bacteria. The activity of the lactoperoxidase system may at least partially explain why the Campylobacter strains were inactivated to a greater degree in raw milk than in sterile milk.
In another study titled Inverse association of farm milk consumption with asthma and allergy in rural and suburban populations across Europe. The conclusion was:
Our results indicate that consumption of farm milk may offer protection against asthma and allergy. A deepened understanding of the relevant protective components of farm milk and a better insight into the biological mechanisms underlying this association are warranted as a basis for the development of a safe product for prevention.
This study is just correlation but the sample size was quite large “including 14,893 children aged 5-13 years from five European countries (2823 from farm families and 4606 attending Steiner Schools as well as 5440 farm reference and 2024 Steiner reference children)” Now I am not a fan of relying on epidemiological correlations but this is an very interesting correlation.
Why is Raw Milk Considered Dangerous?
So if raw milk has potential benefits and antibacterial affects, why is raw milk considered dangerous and why do we pasteurize milk? My gut response is that technology has made us lazy, as it has in many other areas. In order to produce and distribute milk in large quantities it involves more processes and middle men along the way. At each point in the process we have added risk of negative affects on the milk. It also allows us to also treat the cows with lower standards and still provide a consumable product. It also allows the milk to have a longer self life, much like a preservative would, again allowing us to be lazy.
I do want to get raw milk for my family but it will be quite difficult in Canada because it is against the law to sell and the Government is actually wasting their time prosecuting farmers for it. Also it costs about twice as much. I may just have to go with high quality omega-3 enriched milk from a local dairy
Here are some other articles and resource on raw milk