You may be hearing news about a new study of some 760 men that found a milk-heavy diet — that is, the kind of processed milk sold in grocery stores — may lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. But think long and hard before doing so.

During the 20-year study, male patients ages 45-59 were given comprehensive checkups four times over two decades and asked them to weigh and record every food or drink they consumed for seven consecutive days. Over that time, 225 patients died, 54 suffered from a stroke and some 140 developed heart disease.

Here’s where the consumption of milk comes in: At the outset of the study, almost all patients drank whole (full-fat) milk. A random sampling of the surviving patients found almost all of them had switched to low-fat skim milk. Researchers also found men who drank more than a pint of it had a higher energy intake, meaning they were probably more active. However, cholesterol levels and blood pressure readings were similar in high- and low-milk drinkers.

What’s interesting to me and one of my newest contributors, Dr. Russ Bianchi, these findings could’ve been plausible if patients were drinking whole milk. In fact, reduced-fat, low-fat and fat-free versions are virtually void of absorbable of correctly profiled and metabolically beneficial vitamin D, calcium and fat.

This study also doesn’t take into account one very important variable that can certainly affect your health. Milk sold in a grocery store — full-fat or not at all — is pasteurized, a source for a host of health concerns. (You won’t dodge those health risks by drinking organic milk either.)

Most recently, drinking up to two glasses of pasteurized milk daily was blamed for doubling a middle-age man’s risk of Parkinson’s disease later in life.

Pasteurization is a destructive process that changes the physical structure of the fragile proteins in the milk and converts them into foreign proteins that can harm your body. Additionally, the pasteurization process virtually eliminates the good bacteria normally present in the milk and radically reduces the micronutrient and vitamin content of this healthy food.

That’s why I recommend finding an authentic raw milk source. I have seen so many of my patients recover their health with raw milk I believe it to be one of the most profoundly healthy foods you can consume, if you can tolerate it based on your body’s unique metabolic type. If you are unable to find a local dairy farmer in your area who sells raw milk, I encourage you to visit the Real Milk Web site to locate a source close to you.

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, June 2005, Vol. 59, Number 6: 502-505

Science Daily May 24, 2005