Most people are well aware of the long-standing belief that drinking cranberry juice can help prevent Urinary Tract Infections. Cranberries have several amazing health benefits:
1) fight E.coli - this is the bacteria that can cause urinary tract infection
2) can help rid the body of H. pylori - this is the bacteria that is linked to stomach cancer and ulcers
3) helps to eliminate streptococcus mutans- the bacteria responsible for tooth decay
4) helps prevent stroke and heart disease - this is a finding by a university study published earlier this year
"Researchers from Harvard Medical School, and Rutgers University determined that regular consumption of cranberry juice reduced the amount of bacteria in the urinary tract. It was determined that something specific to the cranberry actually prevented bacteria from adhering to the lining of the bladder."
Cranberries supply the body with phytochemicals that contribute to their overall effects. Some of these phytochemicals act as antioxidants which neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. These antioxidants are known to reduce oxidative damage to cells that can lead to heart disease, cancer, and other degenerative diseases.
If you listen to the Centers for Disease Control, raw milk is one of the worst beverages you can drink. The agency says raw milk is 150 times more likely to cause food-borne illness than pasteurized milk. But what does that mean? And is it accurate?
Sally Fallon Morell, from the Weston A Price Foundation, is a leading advocate for raw dairy products. She says the CDC report is misleading. In fact, the agency cherry-picked the numbers it wanted to use. The CDC based its report on data it gathered from 1993 to 2006. Morell says the agency chose those years for one simple reason. They had a relatively low number of reported cases of foodborne illness for pasteurized dairy. The evidence supports her contention.
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For instance, Morell says the authors didn’t use data from 2007. That year, 135 people contracted e. coli from pasteurized cheese. And another three people died from listeria-tainted pasteurized milk. Why didn’t the CDC run the study through 2007 when the numbers were readily available? Surely adding one more year to the study couldn’t hurt — or could it?
The agency also avoided the 1980s. During that decade, foodborne illness caused by pasteurized dairy was rampant. Pasteurized products caused tens of thousands of cases of foodborne illness. Take 1985, for instance. In that year, over 16,000 people contracted salmonellosis from pasteurized milk. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for 1985. Over 165,000 Americans had some sort of illness caused by pasteurized dairy products.
Obviously, the CDC didn’t want to include those numbers. But even among the years they did include, the agency skewed the numbers in favor of the pasteurized dairy industry. Morell said, “For the 14-year period that the authors examined, there was an average of 315 illnesses a year from all dairy products for which the pasteurization status was known. Of those, there was an average of 112 illnesses each year attributed to all raw dairy products and 203 associated with pasteurized dairy products.”
When you compare those 315 cases of foodborne illness each year to the total number of cases each year — almost 24,000 — you realize dairy is a very safe food. “Whether pasteurized or not,” says Morell, “dairy products are simply not a high-risk product.”
Since the CDC chose to limit its study to a small window of time, it was able to make a very scary statement against raw milk. But if you enlarge the time period, it’s clear this was nothing more than a scare tactic aimed at getting people to avoid the healthier raw products. Studies continue to confirm what we’ve known for years — raw dairy is far better for you than pasteurized dairy. Add homogenization to the pasteurization, and there’s really no comparison, as this process treats the products with a dangerous chemical.
What’s more, the number of people using raw dairy products is growing rapidly. But the number of illnesses is not.
The truth is you’re no more likely to get sick eating and drinking raw dairy as you are from eating raw veggies. If you buy your products from a source that takes care in how it handles the products, it’s unlikely you will ever have any problems. And you’ll have a much healthier product than the treated variety.
Remember, raw dairy products were declared illegal after a heavy lobbying effort from large dairy companies. The law was never based on actual harm or real science, only big dollars padding the pockets of unethical politicians. Don’t let their efforts win the day. If you can find raw dairy products, buy them. You’ll be much healthier in the long run.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Morell, Sally Fallon. Westin Price Foundation, http://www.westonaprice.org.
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So, what exactly ARE probiotics?
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that are essential for the body to optimally absorb nutrients. They are also known as microflora. Most people think of bacteria as being bad for us; they cause many diseases and are responsible for making us sick. However, it turns out that there are some bacteria that are HEALTHY for us. Our bodies actually want to have some of these good bacteria around. By having the beneficial bacteria in our bodies, it helps protect us from the unhealthy microflora (like E. Coli) that cause disease. Ancient Awakenings’ cultured foods contain these healthy bacteria, known as PRO (for) - BIOTICs (life)!!
Probiotic bacteria must be present in the body and must be re-established when destroyed by antibiotics, stress, poor diet, birth control, and toxins in the air and foods we eat. Healthy microflora is essential in order for all body systems to function properly. They are living organisms that can die off when you do not nourish your body correctly. Good healthy microflora do not usually predominate in digestive tracts that have been not been treated in a healthy way, especially in the colon that has old waste stuck to the walls. Colon hydrotherapy is a great way to help clean out harmful bacteria, but healthy probiotics supplements must be taken to restore good microflora. Probiotics will thrive in a clean environment. Cultured foods like kefir, cultured vegetables and naturally fermented probiotic liquids contain beneficial bacteria for the colon along with essential enzymes, vitamins and minerals. A healthy colon is vital for detoxifying the body and absorbing nutrients from your food. It's our first line of defense. Cultured foods and naturally fermented probiotic liquids contribute to efficient digestion in three ways: by breaking down foods to make digestion and assimilation easier, by providing enzymes to aid digestion, and by supplying and nourishing the correct intestinal bacteria.
If probiotics are the healthy bacteria, what are prebiotics?
Prebiotics are the nutrients that these healthy bacteria like to 'eat'. Foods that contain these nutrients are called prebiotic foods. These foods actually nourish the healthy bacteria. In the same way that our bodies need calories, vitamins, and minerals; probiotic bacteria have nutrient needs too. Prebiotic foods contain nutrients that feed probiotic bacteria to stimulate their growth and help populate the intestines. When these healthy microflora are allowed to thrive, they help keep you healthy and strong.
For good digestive health, and for good health in general, your body needs to have a strong, healthy amount of good bacteria (bugs) in your digestive tract (gut). These good bugs do more than just help with digestion. They enhance immunity, they help regulate hormone balance, they protect us from food-borne illness (food poisoning), they protect us from developing allergies, and many other important functions. Research even suggests that probiotic foods may be useful for preventing and/or managing a wide variety of conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, urinary tract infections, and some complications of liver disease. These important bacteria even may reduce risk of cancer and heart disease! So, more than just helping us digest food, these healthy bacteria protect us from "dis-ease" in many ways.
Below is a list of probiotic and prebiotic foods:
Try to include prebiotic foods in your diet EVERY day. These are the same foods that research tells us help decrease risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and hypertension. Now you know that you get double benefit from these foods. They fight disease AND feed our healthy probiotic bacteria. And we know that these bacteria fight disease too!
Kefir & Yogurt
Sauerkraut (raw, cultured versions contain probiotics)
Other 'fermented' foods
Other Whole Grains
Greens (especially dandelion greens, but also spinach, kale, collard greens, chard, mustard greens, etc.)
Berries (berries with seeds are excellent; try blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.; when these foods are out of season, try using frozen!)
Legumes (lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, navy beans, white beans, black beans, etc)
Fresh, Unprocessed (Raw) Whole Milk:
Safety, Health and Economic Issues
by The Weston A. Price Foundation
The Safety of Raw Milk:
PROTECTIVE COMPONENTS: Raw milk contains numerous components that assist in:
Killing pathogens in the milk (lactoperoxidase, lactoferrin, leukocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, antibodies, medium chain fatty acids, lysozyme, B12 binding protein, bifidus factor, beneficial bacteria);
Preventing pathogen absorption across the intestinal wall (polysaccharides, oligosaccharides, mucins, fibronectin, glycomacropeptides, bifidus factor, beneficial bacteria);
Strengthening the Immune System (lymphocytes, immunoglobulins, antibodies, hormones and growth factors) (Scientific American, December 1995; British J of Nutrition, 2000:84(Suppl. 1):S3-S10, S75-S80, S81-S89).
PASTEURIZATION HARMFUL: Many of these anti-microbial and immune-enhancing components are greatly reduced in effectiveness by pasteurization, and completely destroyed by ultra-pasteurization (Scientific American, December 1995; British J of Nutrition, 2000:84(Suppl. 1):S3-S10, S75-S80, S81-S89).
DANGERS EXAGGERATED: Although raw milk, like any food, can become contaminated and cause illness, the dangers of raw milk are greatly exaggerated. In an analysis of reports on 70 outbreaks attributed to raw milk, we found many examples of reporting bias, errors and poor analysis resulting in most outbreaks having either no valid positive milk sample or no valid statistical association (ResponsetoMarlerListofStudies.pdf).
USDA/FDA STATISTICS: Based on data in a 2003 USDA/FDA report: Compared to raw milk there are 515 times more illnesses from L-mono due to deli meats and 29 times more illness from L-mono due to pasteurized milk. On a PER-SERVING BASIS, deli meats were TEN times more likely than raw milk to cause illness (Intrepretive Summary – Listeria Monocytogenes Risk Assessment, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Sept. 2003, page 17).
OUTBREAKS DUE TO PASTEURIZED MILK: Due to high-volume distribution and its comparative lack of anti-microbial components, pasteurized milk when contaminated has caused numerous widespread and serious outbreaks of illness, including a 1984-5 outbreak afflicting almost 200,000 people. In 2007, three people died in Massachusetts from illness caused by contaminated pasteurized milk (Real Milk PowerPoint, slide 30).
FORTY-YEAR-OLD SCIENCE AND ANCIENT HISTORY: Claims that raw milk is unsafe are based on 40-year-old science and century-old experiences from distillery dairy “factory farms” in rapidly urbanizing nineteenth century America.
MODERN ADVANTAGES: Compared to 30-50 years ago, dairy farmers today can take advantage of many advancements that contribute to a dramatically safer product including pasture grazing, herd testing, effective cleaning systems, refrigeration and easier, significantly less expensive, more accessible and more sophisticated milk and herd disease testing techniques.
UNIQUE FOOD: Raw milk is the ONLY food that has extensive built-in safety mechanisms and numerous components to create a healthy immune system.
Health Benefits of Raw Milk:
BENEFITS IN EARLY HUMAN STUDIES: In early studies involving humans, raw milk was shown to be superior to pasteurized in protecting against infection, diarrhea, rickets, tooth decay and TB; and children receiving had better growth than those receiving pasteurized milk (Real Milk PowerPoint, slides 54-56, 58).
BENEFITS IN EARLY ANIMAL STUDIES: In early animal studies, animals fed raw milk had better growth, denser bones, greater integrity of internal organs, less anemia, fewer signs of anxiety and stress, and fewer signs of nutrient deficiency than animals fed pasteurized milk (Real Milk PowerPoint, slides 57, 59-64).
ASTHMA: Three recent studies in Europe found that drinking “farm” (raw) milk protected against asthma and allergies (Lancet. 2001 Oct 6;358(9288):1129-33; J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 Jun;117(6):1374-8; Clinical & Experimental Allergy. 2007 May; 37(5) 627-630).
RAW HUMAN MILK: In recent studies, infants on pasteurized human milk did not gain weight as quickly compared to those fed raw human milk (J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1986 Mar-Apr;5(2):248-53) and premature babies given raw human milk had more rapid weight gain than those given pasteurized human milk. Problems were attributed to pasteurization's destruction of lipase (J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1986 Mar-Apr;5(2):242-7).
THE MILK CURE: In the early 1900s, the Mayo Clinic administered the “Milk Cure,” which consisted in drinking 4-5 quarts of raw milk per day, obtaining favorable results for a range of illnesses including cancer, weight loss, kidney disease, allergies, skin problems, urinary tract problems, prostate problems and chronic fatigue; these results are not obtained using pasteurized milk.
DANGERS OF PASTEURIZED MILK: Many studies have linked consumption of pasteurized milk with lactose intolerance, allergies, asthma, frequent ear infections, gastro-Intestinal problems, diabetes, auto-Immune disease, attention deficit disorder and constipation. During a period of rapid population growth, the market for fluid pasteurized milk has declined at 1% per year for the past 20 years. Fewer and fewer consumers can tolerate pasteurized (and ultrapasteurized) milk (Don’t Drink Your Milk, Frank Oski, MD, 1983).
LACTOSE INTOLERANCE: In a survey of raw milk drinkers in the state of Michigan, over 80 percent of those advised by a healthcare professional that they were lactose intolerant were able to consume raw milk without problem. (LactoseIntoleranceSurvey.doc).
POSITIVE TESTIMONIALS: Hundreds of testimonials involving reversal of failure to thrive in infants; allergies, asthma and behavior problems in children; and digestive disorders, arthritis, osteoporosis and even cancer in adults (Testimonials, MI-RawMilkHealthTestimonials.pdf).
NUTRIENT DEGRADATION BY PASTEURIZATION:
Vitamin C- Raw milk but not pasteurized can resolve scurvy. “. . . Without doubt. . . the explosive increase in infantile scurvy during the latter part of the 19th century coincided with the advent of use of heated milks. . .” (Rajakumar, Pediatrics. 2001;108(4):E76).
Calcium- Longer and denser bones on raw milk (Studies from Randleigh Farms).
Folate- Carrier protein inactivated during pasteurization. (Gregory. J. Nutr. 1982, 1329-1338).
Vitamin B12- Binding protein inactivated by pasteurization.
Vitamin B6- Animal studies indicate B6 poorly absorbed from pasteurized milk (Studies from Randleigh Farms).
Vitamin A- Beta-lactoglobulin, a heat-sensitive protein in milk, increases intestinal absorption of vitamin A. Heat degrades vitamin A. Said and others (Am J Clin Nutr. 1989;49:690-694. Runge and Heger. J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Jan;48(1):47-55).
Vitamin D- Present in milk in protein-bound form, assimilation possibly affected by pasteurization. Hollis and others ( J Nutr. 1981;111:1240-1248).
Iron- Lactoferrin, which contributes to iron assimilation, destroyed during pasteurization.
Iodine- Lower in pasteurized milk. Wheeler and others (J Dairy Sci. 1983;66(2):187-95).
Minerals- Lactobacilli, destroyed by pasteurization, enhance mineral absorption (MacDonald and others. 1985).
Economic Potential of Raw Milk:
CONVENTIONAL SITUATION: Thirty cows in a confinement situation; high-protein feed to increase milk production; cows produce 190 hundredweight of milk each year; farmer sells milk to co-op and receives about $12 per hundredweight:
Income is about $1.50 per gallon or $68,400 per year
Farmer receives no subsidies (only corporate farms get these)
Farmer has high cost of feed, vet bills, replacement cows, artificial breeding, interest on equipment loans.
In 2002, dairy farms in the U.S. went out of business at the rate of 16 per day.
DIRECT SALES OF RAW MILK FROM PASTURE-FED COWS: Thirty cows on 100 acres; cows are fed grass, hay and silage from the farm; cows produce 100 hundredweight each per year.
Income on raw milk or raw dairy products is $4 - $8 per gallon, or $150,000 - $300,000 per year.
If the farmer is making cheese, cream or butter, he has whey and skim milk, free food for pigs
Additional farm income from pork, beef, eggs, chicken, produce, etc., possible in a diversified farm based on dairy, could be $50,000 - $100,000 per year.
Total gross income to farmer $200,000 - $400,000 per year
Costs for feed, vet bills, interest are much lower; no replacement cow costs.
RURAL REVIVAL: Every $1 earned on the farm = $5-7 for the local community; if 10 percent of the population would buy raw milk and other products directly from the farm, we would need 75,000 farms, all making at least $200,000 per year. Raw milk sales hold the potential for a huge rural revival.
CURRENT SITUATION FOR RAW MILK SALES:
Retail sales are legal in 10 states
On-farm sales are legal in 15 states
Herd shares are legal in 4 states
There is no law on herd shares in 6 states
Pet food sales are legal in 4 states, implying that human consumption is feasible
Raw milk sales are illegal in 11 states and the District of Columbia
SITUATION IN EUROPE: Raw milk sales legal in England, Wales and most of Europe; sold in vending machines in several European countries.