Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fat content of Cow's Milk

It is now accepted world wide that only Green Forage/ Pasture fed cows provide best and healthy milk. The most important natural components of good milk are considered to be preventive as well as cures for most of these diseases.

Under modern commercial pressures, the fat content of Milk has been accorded the highest desirable criteria. But the latest community health researches have shown that the emphasis on Fat in the Milk is not in the best interests of human health. Vedas are recognized as the oldest book in the library of human civilization. Some ideas about the prehistoric period when Cows were first being domesticated , can be gleaned from Vedas.
Vedas describe the environments and feeds conducive to good practices for Cows. Rig Veda Mantra 10-169-1, Verdant atmosphere, where peacocks are dancing in cool breeze, Cows feed on medicinal natural herbs and vegetation, have clean natural water to drink, and tread upon clean ground free from any pollutants.
RV10-1692, describes that these cows may be of one color, or multicolored, but they carry different names given to them. Great labor/effort has gone in to developing them . They thrive on rain fed vegetations.
RV 10-169-3 They produce good milk through their
ancient Indian traditions cows were segregated in to normal fat producing milk and heavy fat content milk. Only low fat content milk was considered good for family consumption. High fat content milk cows were to be used for helping the priestly class in the performing of Havans. In fact Vedas go to the extent of saying that those families are ruined who keep cows that give high fat content Milk. Such cows that produce high Fat content Milk must to be donated to priests for making more ghee to perform havans.
In terms of weights and measures prevailing from Mahabharata times, and the standards laid down by Kautilya, on milk fat contents, one drona Buffalo milk had five prasth fat, one drona cow milk had one prasth of fat, and one drona goat/sheep milk had 2/5th prasth fat. One drona is equal to 16 prasth . Thus ancient Indian Standards for fat in Milk provided for only 0.625% fats in Cow's milk and five times more than cow's milk in Buffalo milk ie. only 3.125% fats. This is only to indicate how over the past, the changes in cattle feeding practices have changed the composition of Cow's milk. Due to improper feeds the quality and the quantity of fat content in cow's milk have undergone a distortion, which has not been in the best interests of human health. Concentrated formulated grains feeds for cattle are now recognized to be not the best form of cattle feed strategy. (Reference Kautilya's Artha Shastra and Panini Kalin Bharat by Dr Vasudev Sharan Agarwal) By our veterinary interventions over the past millennia we may have participated in the evolutions of cow breeds that are producing much higher levels of fat content in their milk.

It is a fact that when the milk yield of a cow is high the fat content is low. It is possible that combined with high milk yields and almost total pasture feeding was responsible for low fat milk of the Indian cows in ancient times. The very low milk yield of Indian cows can also contribute to higher fat in their milk.
In fact there are directions in Atharva Veda that only cows with low fat in their milk should be kept as family cows. Higher fat content milk yielding cows should be donated to priestly class who require the milk fats in larger quantities for offering to fire in performing of Yagnas.
Atharva veda further goes on to say that those families who use high fat milk suffer disease and destruction. We have to day arrived at a stage when the medical experts advise that Cow's milk is not good for our health.

2.Quality of Fats in Cow's milk

Particular attention is drawn to CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acids) and high Omega3 ALA (Alpha linoleic Acids) contents, in Grass Fed Cows' milk. Only natural Vitamin D enabling milk is obtained from grass fed cow by the exposure of cows to sunshine. Vitamins A, D, E and K being fat soluble, when accompanied with CLA , Omega 3 lipids and Omega 6 , provide the nutritive functions for the human body in natural form. Minerals also depend on the presence of these high quality lipids for best nutritive assimilation in human body. It is now recognized that Calcium can not be metabolized in human body in absence of minimum quantity of lipids. Calcium tablets with synthetic Vitamin D are a very big business, but of doubtful utility.
CLA9 ( Conjugated Linolenic Acids), Omega 3 ALA (Alpha linolenic Acid) and Omega 6 , rich milk is now regarded as the only natural food, which is a preventive as well as a medicine for all the self degenerating diseases in human body namely Obesity, Breast Cancer, Diabetes, Blood pressure, Alzheimer, Osteoporosis etc.
This type of good milk has been found in cows which move about in the open Sunshine and feed on Green Forage, and Algae. New Zealand earns 40% of its foreign trade revenue by selling such grass fed cow's milk only.
NZ scientists have also made another startling discovery about their Dairy Milk. This milk in human digestive process fractures to produce a 7 amino acid peptide designated as BCM7 (Beta Casomorphin 7). BCM7 is an opioid that has found linked to many human diseases from Autism and Diabetes type 1 in infants to Heart troubles, Cancer, Diabetes Alzheimer etc in adults. It was found that most of the milk which fractures in to free BCM7 is from European breeds of Cows. This milk is designated as A1 milk. Only milk from Bos Indicus cows, Jersey, Guernsey and Icelandic cows has been found to be benign. This milk is designated as A2 milk. (Ref. 'Devil in the Milk' by Keith Woodford NZ)
For India, which has the world's largest population of Bos Indicus cows, this is a very significant finding. This only goes to confirm the ancient Indian traditional views, about importance of milk from Indian breeds of cows.
Thus NZ scientists have by promoting A2 designated milk added one more dimension to 'good' milk concept.
In coming days the entire Dairy world may undergo a revolutionary change. All good milk will be milk of 'A2 type' and from Green Forage fed genetically Bos Indicus linked Cows.

In a way this suggests a very promising future for the cows of rural India, as more than 80% of Indian cows are Bos Indicus. Thus it becomes very important for us in India to find ways to provide Green Forage to cows in our country to increase both the productivity and the quality of their milk. This is also a very significant modern science discovery in the interest of community health.

The world dairies are aiming at shifting, all their milk production to high quality Organic, Probiotic Milk and milk products. We need to remind ourselves here that the entire original Indian Cow's milk was based on free Pasture feeding and was the best product. Modern dairy science is gradually only now, waking up to this fact. Even the importance consuming Raw Unpasteurized milk which we in India used to call Dharoshna is now being reestablished.

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