While this book is not primarily about the raw vs pasteurized question, it does offer some fascinating epidemiological evidence that sheds light on the nutritional quality compromises involved in pasteurizing milk:
From page 70: “… Corran McLaughlan puts forward a suggestion in his Medical Hypotheses paper that both the historical increase and subsequent decrease in levels of heart disease worldwide might be linked to the method of pasteurization. He drew together evidence from a range of sources to show that, as pasteurization was introduced in various countries and regions within countries, within a few years there was a marked increase in the level of heart disease. Prior to 1950 the major method of pasteurization was the Holder method (the milk was heated to 63 degrees C for about 30 minutes). Subsequently the method fell out of favour, largely because of the distinctive ‘cooked’ flavour it gave to the milk. In the 1960s there was a move to short-time, high-temperature methods, (about 90 degrees C for 15 seconds) and by 1980 these had become predominant. This change was soon followed by a decline in heart disease levels cannot be satisfactorily explained in terms of the classic risk factors for heart disease.
Corran McLaughlan was not the first person to put forward the possibility of a link between pasteurization methods and changing levels of heart disease, but he did take the argument further than previously. He hypothesized that the heat treatment used in the Holder method was leading to protein breakdown and providing an increased level of BCM7 [Bovine editor’s note: that’s the opiate-like component] from A1 beta-casein. It’s an interesting proposition. The evidence looks quite strong, and it seems to make a lot of sense in terms of what we know about what happens to proteins when they are heated. But more work is required. It would be a marvellous research project for someone so inclined to investigate in vitro (i.e. in the test tube) the effect of heating on the subsequent release of BCM7 from A1 beta-casein. And also to test what happens to this milk subsequently when stomach enzymes are added.
So the pasteurization story is intriguing and may be important. In most countries we no longer use the Holder method of pasteurization but we still do, for a range of reasons, use heated milk in a number of products. And it is standard procedure when mixing ice-cream ingredients to heat the milk to a temperature and for a duration that is similar to the Holder method…..”