Living on a farm and having contact with rural exposures have been proposed as one of the most promising ways to be protected against allergy and asthma development. There is a significant body of epidemiological evidence that consumption of raw milk in childhood and adulthood in farm but also nonfarm populations can be one of the most effective protective factors. The observation is even more intriguing when considering the fact that milk is one of the most common food allergens in childhood. The exact mechanisms underlying this association are still not well understood, but the role of raw milk ingredients such as proteins, fat and fatty acids, and bacterial components has been recently studied and its influence on the immune function has been documented. In this review, we present the current understanding of the protective effect of raw milk on allergies and asthma.
Keywords: allergy; asthma; protection; raw milk.