A2 Milk?

April 6th, 2009 by Kristen


There is so much information about milk! Raw, pasteurized, homogenized, un-homogenized, and now….. A2.
I recently read an article about a certain type of milk that is easier to digest:

A2 Milk

During a visit to Japan, Donna was drinking some milk and was amazed at how exceptionally good it was. It wasn’t like the milk she was used to. When she discovered it was in fact not the same milk she had been accustomed to and is known as A2 milk she began to research to learn more. She found out that a woman’s breast milk is A2; that goats, sheep and other mammals produce this – but not all cows. She found out the countries known produce it were Japan, India, France, Australia, and New Zealand. Learning and seeing this phenomenon of what A2 milk was over and over again, Donna began to seek out people who had cows that were producing A2 milk and nobody had a clue of what she was talking about.

In May of 2006, she went to Australia and in a grocery store something caught her eye. There it was in the dairy section, cartons of milk with A2 on the labels. She took some back to her hotel room and tasted it. It had the same light, fluffy, delicate texture like the milk she had in Japan. She decided to make kefir with it and was amazed at the beautiful kefir it made

Approximately 30% of the protein component in cow’s milk is beta-casein. Evidence does indicate that originally all cows produced milk containing only the beta-casein known today as A2. At some point in history, due to a genetic mutation a variant of this protein appeared giving rise to A1 milk.

The difference between ß-caseins A1 and A2 is a single amino acid. A2 has the amino acid Proline at position 67 in the strand of 209 amino acids linked together that form the protein, whereas A1 has the amino acid Histidine at position 67. A protein must be broken down into fragments in order for the body to process and digest it. These fragments otherwise known as peptides, and sometimes residues, are merely smaller chains of amino acids. During digestion of the A1 milk, a bioactive peptide, beta casomorphine 7 (BCM-7) is created.

Beta caseins are important in the assimilation of essential nutrients such as iron, calcium, zinc and copper. As they are digested they yield a multitude of bioactive protein fragments. Any variation in fragment structure changes how the body can digest it. The beta casein in human breast milk by virtue of the Proline amino acid at position 67 can be classified as A2, thus the formation of BCM-7 when A1 is digested is actually treated as foreign substance in the body triggering unfavorable reactions.

A wide range of studies suggest that milk that does not yield BCM-7 (A2) is associated with reduced risk of heart disease, reduced risk of type 1 diabetes, no antagonistic effects on certain neurological conditions, and improved immune response which is critical for newborn infants.

The BCM-7 protein fragment resulting from A1 beta casein digestion is known to have strong opioid (sedative, causing lethargy) properties. Numerous international studies have shown other effects of BCM-7 including the oxidation of LDL cholesterol leading to heart disease, the aggravation of neurological disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, and the disruption of the regulation of insulin formation leading to type 1 diabetes. Research has implicated BCM-7 to be transported across the blood-brain barrier; reaching the central nervous system in babies resulting in the apnea associated with sudden infant death syndrome.

Milk as originally produced by all cows was a very nutritious, health sustaining food for humans including children. Somewhere along the way, something changed and the milk that protected us from diseases and numerous other maladies now causes them. I have my suspicions of why this has happened. I can think of no other species of animal that has been so tampered with through single-trait selection as to create an animal that is more freak than natural in nature.

Eighty percent of the children who are autistic have blood type A. People with blood type A are known to be low in stomach acid which is needed to effectively start the digestion process. Those with type A blood typically do not to digest protein very well therefore they tend to be protein malnourished.

Japan has more than 60 years worth of research on blood types. Most Japanese, about 79% are blood type A. So there is this population of people, who by our knowledge should have problems digesting protein (milk), but they don’t and then there are these children who are not digesting their milk at all. Is this A2 milk a factor? There just isn’t enough information about A2 milk in this country.

There is a genetic test to determine if a cow will produce A2 milk. Bulls can be tested as well to see if they carry the A2 gene. Knowing that milk effects people differently we need to find out the full story behind A1 and A2 milk and put it to the test. People in this country drink cows’ milk without even realizing that two different forms exist. We have hundreds of thousands of children moving away from milk because their parents and doctors think it’s bad for them.

Donna Gates would like to see her children have access to this milk – after their inner ecosystem is established (they all have severe gut disbiosis). “Once we get that healed”, she says “I believe that the many people who think they can’t tolerate milk would be able to drink this milk.” She is very interested in finding producers who are willing to test their cattle, start deliberately producing A2 milk and work with her so that she can incorporate this food into her patients’ diets.

I have not read Donna Gates information or Body Ecology…. So do you have any more information? Research? Personal Experience? Comment below, I want to know more too! This seems very interesting.

Posted in Natural Alternatives, Nutrition

10 Responses

  1. lotsaboys

    Very interesting article, Kristen. I’ve been reading Donna’s newsletters for years and have always been impressed with her info about gut health.

  2. Melonie K.

    This is absolutely fascinating – especially the blood type connection for autism. ASDs are something that are on the forefront of my mind a lot; I’ll have to delve into her work further.

  3. JaneRadriges

    Great post! I’ll subscribe right now wth my feedreader software!

  4. GarykPatton

    I think I will try to recommend this post to my friends and family, cuz it’s really helpful.

  5. CrisBetewsky

    It’s a pity that people don’t realize the importance of this information. Thanks for posing it.

  6. Lisa

    The problem is that here in the US it is nearly impossible to find a laboratory that will DO the DNA test on a cow for personal consumption. I have a Jersey cow and I’ve been trying to find somewhere to have this test run on her so I can see if she’s producing a majority of A2 milk or not. Needless to say, I’m still at a loss! If anyone finds the lab that does it, please let me know! Thanks! Lisa :~)

  7. Julie Rosin

    You can have your cows tested for A2 milk you need to send 10 tail hairs from your cow, you need to pull them out so the root is still on it. The test is $300 as they have to send it to Australia may be doing the test in the USA in the next year or so. You can also get the book called the devil in milk it will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about A1 A2 milk. You can get it from Amazon. You you e-mail me for the name of the lab that does the testing in Australia.

  8. Tammy

    I have recently begun to read Devil in the Milk. THEN, I run across this article! Very fascinating stuff…and timely. Thank you for publishing your opinion. I think more people need to know about this stuff.

  9. Ed

    You can get samples tested in New Zealand easily, got to http://www.genomnz.co.nz

  10. Caro

    As a scientist I read this article with much interest adn I am glad to hear about A1 and A2 milk. Since I cannot tolerate milk. Just the smell give me nausea. On thing I would like to ask you, can I use you picture of the cow for a presentation? I think it is a great pic. Let me know. Thanks a lot. Caro

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About Simply Kristen

Simply Kristen is our journey to living natural, healthy, rural, and happy. I'm interested in learning the art of whole foods, animal husbandry, farming, making your own cheese, bread, yogurt and MUCH more.