Are you one of the very few people who grew up drinking only whole raw milk?
My family bought our milk at a small local farm, but it was still pasteurized, homogenized, 2% milk fortified with vitamin D.
About 100 years ago, only a small handful of distributors brought milk into the big cities, and their standards of hygiene were extremely lacking. So many people got sick, and children died as a result of contaminated milk.
Instead of demanding the industry improve its practices, the government just began requiring all milk to be pasteurized before bottling.
And overnight, one of the cornerstones of human nutrition became a lifeless shell of its former self.
Pasteurization causes the proteins in the milk to clump and become very difficult to digest. That allows undigested proteins to enter the bloodstream and trigger autoimmune symptoms, especially for those with leaky gut.
But why do so many people have leaky gut?
One of the primary functions of milk, besides providing sugars, fats and proteins, is a special protein called lactoferrin. It’s primary purpose is to bind free iron in the body to prevent it from causing oxidative damage or feeding pathological organisms.
In the mid-1900s, the medical industry began pushing all mothers to feed their babies highly processed formula instead of breast feeding. Formula is devoid of this lactoferrin, and to make matters worse, was fortified with iron. The accumulation of unbound iron is highly damaging to the gut, and disrupts the balance of iron, copper, and zinc.
They tried to claim D fortification and supplementation resolved the rickets epidemic, but it was actually just increasing sun exposure and nutrition, especially for the most vulnerable child labor populations working in sweatshops and coal mines.
But the D drug pushers won out, and to this day D fortification is a primary contributor to leaky gut. And it makes dairy look bad, when it’s not the dairy itself. Dairy was manipulated to create problems and increase profits, and now many people think dairy is inherently bad, so they don’t realize it’s healing potential. Funny thing is, they quit milk and switch to fortified non-dairy milks, so they perpetuate the real problem.
Raw dairy is our primary defense against the otherwise inescapable accumulation of iron that contributes directly to aging, cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative disease, infertility, and autoimmunity. It messes up our ability to metabolize vitamin A (retinoids) because of it’s relationship to iron and copper, leading to vitamin A toxicity, anemia, and liver disease. The problem isn’t iron deficiency, it’s an inability to use it effectively.
Vitamin A fortified milk contributes directly to this toxicity and combined with the iron, destroys the lining of the gut which often can be seen as chronic skin conditions. Because the body struggles to regulate the iron with active forms of vitamin A, there tends to be an overabundance of retinoic acid that triggers gluten intolerance from an overactive cytokine response. Other people may find their vitamin A metabolic pathway completely disrupted from chronic over-stimulation. Either way, it’s the same underlying issue.
They also started fortifying the dairy with vitamin D2, which is actually a secosteroid hormone (one of at least 24 different forms of D). D2 is not the same form of D that is measured in blood tests, 25(OH)D. It increases the active form, 1,25(OH)D. Some people think using D3 is better, but they actually do essentially the same thing but D3 raises 1,25D levels even more.
You might be wondering is that really a bad thing since we are all D deficient?
Well, you may not know this, but in 2011, the “grandfather” of vitamin D, Dr Michael Holick changed the standards overnight, and created a deficiency epidemic and multi-billion dollar testing industry. For decades, it was well established that healthy people had D levels between about 15-40. Only with supplementation can humans achieve levels much higher than that, so the healthy range was changed from 20-40 to 40-100 and people were told the goal was around 70. But take a look at this chart that shows the lowest risk of all-cause mortality is between about 15-30! There’s no benefit to having 25D levels above 30.
One of the things they wanted to “fix” was low D levels in breast milk and dairy. But you’d have to assume nature made a huge mistake in failing to provide higher levels of D in milk.
The reality is, our bodies produce plenty of D with even limited sun exposure during summer months, which is stored and metabolized as needed throughout the year. In the winter, or when there’s infection or inflammation, the 25D form is lower, which may be seen in a blood test, but the 1,25D is higher. That is the correct response to inflammation and infection, but supplementing makes the 1,25D even higher!
It is not difficult to see that as we get more sun exposure, we produce more melanin that inhibits D production and protects folic acid from UV damage. If more D was always better, why would our production be self-limiting?
But if higher D levels were really necessary in milk, that would require oral D to actually produce a beneficial effect. All the research trying to convince us that supplements and fortified foods are best use deceptive tactics. Not one of them shows that people who have low 25D also have low 1,25D. They always have high 1,25D.
The big problem is that they are correlating disease and death with low 25D while claiming it to be the cause. But as we all know, correlation is not causation. Low 25D is the correct response to disease and inflammation, so it should be lower in those conditions. In fact, elevated 25D levels are possibly even more closely associated with mortality from stroke or coronary.
There is very little honest research about vitamin D. Luckily, one paper that took an honest assessment of the impact of D supplement and fortification on infants clearly showed that the elevated 1,25D levels directly contributed to the development of Celiac disease. This happens because oral D deactivates the receptors on the cells, preventing D from reaching receptors in the nucleus, leading to autoimmune disease.
Oral D also interferes directly with iron regulation. It causes plasma iron to drop, while increasing its accumulation in macrophages. If you had an infection, that would be a good thing for the body to do because it’s a primary defense against infection to sequester iron. However, if we are chronically in this state from supplements and fortification, you can see how that could cause problems like the appearance of anemia.
In fact, this is why I developed chronic Lyme and many other symptoms when I supplemented with higher doses of D. It creates all the autoimmune symptoms, and can also be diagnosed as chronic fatigue, Lupus, Hashimoto’s, fibromylagia etc and why most people don’t get better on holistic protocols that include D supplementation. The diagnosis is just a label for the symptoms that misdirects people away from the true causes.
Quite simply, the false demonization of raw milk, plus iron and D fortification has created our modern leaky gut, gluten intolerance, skin disease, autoimmune, chronic illness epidemic. I was one of the victims, and only made things vastly worse by supplementing with D3 and K2 for several years. It was amazing how much better I felt almost immediately after stopping supplementing and eliminating fortified foods in my diet.
The Solution: Raw Dairy
Raw dairy provides excellent saturated fat, plus lactoferrin and ceruloplasmin to help with the iron and copper issues. Full fat dairy, including yogurt and cheeses, are also good sources of K2. Parmesan is one of the best. You can usually get aged raw grass fed cheeses at the grocery store.
Almost every state in the US restricts raw dairy, but there are ways around it. If you want to resolve or reduce your risk of these chronic issues, you’ll have to put in the effort, but it’s worth it (and delicious).
Start by eliminating foods or supplements you are eating that are fortified with D and iron. Eat plenty of saturated fats from high quality pasture-raised animals, get a reasonable amount of sun, and get support if you think you need it.
Our nutrition course is available online for purchase as a self-guided course or as part of a 1:1 coaching program. We help prepare you for reintroducing dairy, animal products, carbs and even gluten as you heal and strengthen your body. You don’t have to do it alone and can avoid the mistakes we made to get the results you want without struggle.
Schedule a free call to get a personalized solution to achieve your goals.