The components of traditionally prepared cheese from truly naturally sources are not inherently unhealthy. Traditionally prepared cheese from organic, raw, milk is a wonderful way to preserve milk, enhance taste and prevent pathogens. However, few dairy products are no longer prepared in traditional, all natural ways and it seems as though fewer and fewer people can healthfully enjoy them these days.
It is hard to say whether increasing reports of dairy intolerance have to do with our decreasing intestinal, digestive and immune health, the worsening of the quality of our dairy or the increase in health awareness or all of the above. Increasing issues with dairy and cheese could also be attributed to the likelihood that more people are suffering from Candida Related Complex (CRC) which increases their susceptibility to these foods.
Our intestinal, digestive and immune health is degenerated by the increased use of antibiotics (including in our food), chemically treated water, increased electrical pollution, increased stress and highly processed, genetically engineered foods as a majority of our diet. Many people suffer from candida overgrowth. These conditions increase our sensitivity to food and environmental intolerances or allergies.
Dairy foods are lower quality in recent years. They are made almost exclusively from pasteurized milk these days, a practice some scientists say makes milk less digestible. The dairy to make cheese with is now sourced almost exclusively from animals that have eaten genetically modified foods. This animal food is often not biologically appropriate in the first place. For example, cows do not naturally eat corn- it actually harms their health. Both cows and goats are routinely fed large amounts of antibiotics and hormones in an attempt to compensate for the strained conditions and reduced access to natural outdoor spaces and natural food. Milk coming from less healthy animals is likely to produce less healthy milk.
These days more people understand the impact food has on their health and they are alert to foods that worsen or improve their health so more people self identify as having dairy or cheese intolerances.
For those who do react negatively to dairy or cheeses, a wide spectrum of reactions can include: digestive upset, acne, fatigue, depression, inflammation (especially in joints), skin rashes, irritability, asthma and more. Because of quality issues with dairy and the need for our members to select the healthiest possible foods, we take a careful stance on cheese and dairy and do not include them on our list of healthy foods.
If you are choosing to eat cheese, you may need to experiment to find what cheeses will feel best for you. What cheeses will be ok for who will depend upon what your sensitivities are. The elements of cheeses that people react to variably include mold, lactose, tyramine, and casein. The cheeses that are best for each sensitive person will depend on the specifics of each cheese. Each cheese is a very different product.
The significant variations include the type of milk, if it's pasteurized, if it has lactose in it, what molds are used to ripen or culture it, and for how long the cheese is aged. Among the hundreds of possible variations, if there is a cheese or more that work well for each sensitive person, the right choices will be unique to each person.
Some people promote the idea that the molds/yeasts become inactive during cooking and that the lactose is rendered less harmful and casein is denatured by cooking. These are the reasons that some people find cooked cheese better for them than raw or pasteurized.
However, cooked does not remove the byproducts of the mold/yeast and these themselves can cause reactivity in some because the immune system may identify them as similar to the mycotoxins released by candida. Depending on how sensitized your immune response to the by products of candida in your own body, you may or may not be highly reactive to dead (in this case cooked), molds and to air born yeasts/ molds such as what you may find in the cheese.