Dairy, Milk and Lactose Intolerance:
A1 Casein vs. A2 Casein
By: Julie Benson and Libby Darnell
Dairy and Health
There is so much controversy around dairy and health! Is milk bad for you? Is dairy bad for you? Is lactose in milk causing health problems? What about casein in milk? Is that the problem?
We are going to cut to the chase. First of all, dairy products, when sourced properly, can have wonderful gut-healing and general health benefits. From providing Vitamin B12, Vitamin E, CLA and countless other vitamins and minerals, dairy can be a wonderful addition to a healthy diet.
But what if you are lactose intolerant?
We’d like to show you why paying attention to the source of your dairy can determine whether or not you have a sensitivity. If you or anyone you know has lactose intolerance issues, get’s congested or puffy after eating cheese or drinking milk, then keep reading!
Casein in Milk
One fact to know: the main protein in a cow’s milk is called beta casein. Before cows were selected based on milk production and over bred they made the milk protein, A2 casein. Let’s call this cow Bob.
Bob is a cow that is designed the way God made him. In today’s cows, Bob is a Jersey cow or Guernsey cow.
Once cows started to become overbred, a genetic mutation occurred in their A2 casein protein, causing a different A1 casein protein to be produced. Let’s call this cow with a genetic mutation Frank.
Frank is typically a Holstein cow, and produces roughly 70% A1 casein milk protein.
Why does America use Frank so much for dairy production? Because Frank can produce more milk than Bob, which increases profits. Great for the dairy industry, but not so great for our health.
Here are a few facts about Bob (Good A2 Casein) vs. Frank (Bad A1 Casein):
- A1 casein is a major contributing factor for lactose intolerance.That’s a pretty bold statement to make, but studies have shown that cows that produce the A1 casein hold on to a protein called BCM-7¹.
- BCM-7 is an opiate similar to morphine that has negative health effects.
- Because A1 casein has a hold on the protein, BCM-7, it ends up staying in Frank’s milk. This means you end up drinking it².
- BCM-7 has been linked to serious conditions such as: neurological impairment, type 1 diabetes, autoimmune disease, heart disease and an impaired immune system³.
- A2 casein does NOT hold on to the protein BCM-7, and so is not found in Bob’s milk.
- Why? Bob has an amino acid called proline. Proline creates a strong hold on to the BCM-7 protein, preventing it from being released into Bob’s milk supply.
Raw Milk Benefits: How to source your A2 casein milk and other dairy products
The best milk that you can buy is raw! Raw is KING! You know raw produce is better for you than cooked, because it contains all of that food’s nutrients. The same is true for milk and other dairy products.
- Even with all of the raw milk benefits, it can still be challenging to find. You can check out local co-ops as they typically will carry raw milk and cheese from multiple animal sources. (Is there one near me?) Consider drinking goat milk as it is so easy to digest, and great for children. You can also check out your local farmer, as raw dairy is becoming more popular, so the demand is increasing! Remember, the cows that have higher amounts of A2 casein (the good protein) are Jerseys, Guernseys and Normande.
- If you aren’t comfortable with raw milk, that’s ok. Stick with organic sources as much as possible, although these are typically still A1 casein milk products. Organic is a much better option than conventional dairy, which we do not recommend at all.
- Another source of A2 Casein products is through a company called Youngevity. They sell a brand called Beyond Organic.
- The founder of this company, Jordan Rubin, brought cows over from Europe and detoxed them so they are the healthiest cows in the U.S.! You can buy raw A2 casein cheese, A2 fermented whey and an A2 milky, creamy delight known as Amasai.
- You may order products online at libbycw.youngevity.com. Set up an account as a customer, and find the brand Beyond Organic. We recommend SueroGold and Amasi for their A2 casein properties and hundreds of gut healing probiotics!
Quality of Life
One topic we didn’t mention was the quality of life for Bob vs. Frank. Needless to say, most companies that strive to produce quality food sources of any kind are not only focused on their profit margins4.
Yes, they still must be profitable, but they also place a larger emphasis on safety standards, the working conditions for their team, and the quality of life for their livestock. Yes, that is a very general statement and can vary, but as a whole this is true for most of the industry.
I love when I get my Door-To-Door Organics produce each week delivered to my doorstep, because it comes with information on the farmer that produced my food. I get to read about the farm, see pictures, and learn about why organic farming was important for that particular farmer.
I support my favorite cow, Bob, by speaking with my money. Where you spend your money and how you invest in your health is what creates this increase in demand for Bob and other healthy food sources. Your health is truly an investment!
Tell us how you make investing in your health a priority in the comments below. We’d also love to hear how you have found practical ways to source your all-natural products in the area where you live.
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- Woodford, K. B. (2009). Devil in the milk: illness, health and politics of A1 and A2 milk. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.
- Sodhi, M., Mukesh, M., Kataria, R. S., Mishra, B. P., & Joshii, B. K. (2012, Sept. & oct.). Milk proteins and human health: A1/A2 milk hypothesis. Retrieved January 04, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3475924/
- Jiangin, S., Leiming, X., Lu, X., Yelland, J., Ni, J., & Clarke, A. (2016, April 2). Effects of milk containing only A2 beta casein versus milk containing both A1 and A2 beta casein proteins on gastrointestinal physiology, symptoms of discomfort, and cognitive behavior of people with self-reported intolerance to traditional cows’ milk. Retrieved January 04, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27039383
- (2014, March 12). You’re drinking the wrong kind of milk. Retrieved January 04, 2017, from http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/03/a1-milk-a2-milk-america