Effect of raw milk consumption on perceived health, mood and immune functioning among US adults with a poor and normal health: A retrospective questionnaire based study

Complement Ther Med. 2019 Dec;47:102196. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2019.102196. Epub 2019 Sep 25.


Introduction: Raw milk consumption is controversially discussed, and people are looking for raw milk due to expected positive health impacts. The purpose of this consumer survey was to evaluate health conditions prior to and after consuming of raw milk (RM).

Methods: An on-line survey was distributed in Spring 2018 among existing consumers of raw milk. One-Item health score, 1-item immunity score, immune status (ISQ), mood, bowel and skin conditions were rated retrospectively based on validated questionnaires. Data from 327 participants (age 54 years) were included, of which 156 (48%) were allocated to the poor health group after they reported being immune depressed or suffering from a chronic disease. Others were allocated to the normal health group. Milk consumption pattern before and after changing of the milk diet were recorded. All health outcomes were evaluated according a linear mixed model in SPSS.

Results: Health, perceived immunity, bowel and mood scores increased post RM consumption with around 35% in the poor health group (P < 0.001), and around 9% in the normal health group (P < 0.001). Bowel and mood scores were overall lower in women than in men. Outcomes were independent of the origin of raw farm milk.

Conclusions: This consumer survey suggests that positive health and mood changes are associated with the consumption of raw milk. Effects were strongest in people with a self-reported poor health status as well as in women.

Keywords: Gastro-intestinal complaints; Mood; Perceived health; Perceived immune functioning; Raw milk; Skin complaints.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Immune System*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States