A new study out of Minnesota found that many cases of food poisoning and bacterial illnesses caused by drinking raw milk are not reported.
Raw milk can be one dangerous drink, according to researchers from the Minnesota Department of Health.
Experts estimate that about one in six people who drink raw milk becomes sick, a new study revealed.
The researchers pinpointed 530 laboratory-confirmed cases of illnesses tied to non-pasteurized milk consumption in Minnesota between 2001 and 2010. These included serious bacterial infections caused by salmonella, e. coli and campylobacter, along with a parasitic disease called cryptosporidiosis, all of which often cause vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.
Proponents of raw milk say it has many health benefits, but the CDC warns that drinking it carries many risks.
Experts estimate that more than 20,500 people in Minnesota, or 17% of all raw milk drinkers, fell ill after consuming the beverage during the decade examined in the study.
“The risk for illness associated with raw milk is far greater than what was determined based on recognized outbreaks,” head researcher Trisha Robinson told LiveScience.
Fans of raw milk, which is not heated to kill potentially harmful germs, say it has a number of health benefits that make drinking it worth the risk. According to the Weston A. Price Foundation’s “A Campaign for Real Milk,” drinking straight-from-the-cow milk is easier to digest and tastes better than the pasteurized kind.
But the CDC cautions against drinking raw milk, especially if you have a weakened immune system or are pregnant.
“There are no health benefits from drinking raw milk that cannot be obtained from drinking pasteurized milk that is free of disease-causing bacteria,” the CDC website reads.
Selling raw milk is currently allowed in 30 states.