There is a widespread myth that raw milk can cure lactose intolerance — the inability to digest lactose (milk sugar) which leads to unpleasant GI discomfort. A study published in the Annals of Family Medicine disproves this myth. The researchers fed healthy adults, with confirmed lactose intolerance, either pasteurized or raw milk on different days, over a period of time, and compared symptoms. Both milks caused symptoms and raw milk failed to reduce symptoms or promote lactose absorption.
Most milk in the US is pasteurized, heat treated to kill harmful bacteria. Raw milk is not and it can carry dangerous bacteria that can cause serious foodborne illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that unpasteurized milk is 150 times more likely to make you sick and 13 times more likely to send you to the hospital. Pasteurized milk is the healthier alternative.