Study Finds No Evidence Of Health Benefits In Raw Milk

Madison, Wisc.-­ The debate surrounding raw milk sales and consumption continues to be a point of contention. As such, the scientific journal Nutrition Today recently invited Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research director and UW?Madison Food Science professor, John Lucey, Ph.D. to review some of the popularly suggested health benefits that are being made by some members of the public and media regarding the benefits of raw milk consumption. Dr. Lucey has over 25 years of dairy research experience and has published more than 100 peer-­?reviewed papers.  

In this peer-­?reviewed article, published in the July/August edition of Nutrition Today, Dr. Lucey found that there is no convincing evidence to suggest that the consumption of raw milk provides any health benefits related to improved nutrition, lactose intolerance or better digestion.  Dr. Lucey reviewed more than 50 scientific articles related to this topic, and also read various websites from groups that advocate for raw milk consumption.  

The article, “Raw Milk Consumption: Risks and Benefits” which can be viewed via open access, instead points out that raw milk, because of how/where it is produced, is not inherently safe and carries a significant and well documented food poisoning risk. Even milk from healthy cows can contain pathogens due to possible contamination during milking or storage. Pasteurization destroys these harmful bacteria and is widely considered a major step forward in improving public health.  

According to Lucey “the increase in the popularity of raw milk consumption is a significant concern because surveys of raw milk have shown that it routinely contains human pathogens which cause serious illness every year and even death in some cases.  Popular claims about its health benefits are unsubstantiated myths.  Pasteurized milk has an excellent safety record and provides wonderful nutrition.”

The article can be viewed in full at: s_and_Benefits.10.aspx


The Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research, College of Agricultural & Life Sciences, and University of Wisconsin-­?Madison, are dedicated to supporting the U.S. dairy industry through innovative research, technical support, training and education.

Source: The Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research