A2 Milk-Don’t Get Lost in the Weeds
There is a lot of research that implicates dairy in many diseases: prostate and breast cancer, autoimmune diseases, Type 1 Diabetes, and more. So when I saw an article about this new fangled “A2 Milk” I was intrigued. Could there be a “safer” dairy milk? A lot of folks would be interested if there was!
Just what is this A2 milk. Well, 95% of dairy proteins are either casein or whey. There are 12 genetic variants of casein but A1 and A2 are the most common. Which of those two proteins is dominant in a milk depends on the breed of cow it comes from. When digested, A1 creates 4 times as much of something called beta caso-morphine 7 (BCM-7) than A2 milk does.
BCM-7 affects opioid receptors in the nervous, endocrine and immune systems. It can create that “I am so addicted to cheese” feeling and cause immunosuppression (weakening of the immune system). It also oxidizes LDL cholesterol, leading to unstable build up in the arteries.
A1 protein is said to increase risk of autism and schizophrenia-and there is a mechanism of action that makes sense.
A1→(leaky gut)→BCM-7 absorbed into bloodstream→ into brain (inflammation)
In one study individuals with schizophrenia or autism had high levels of antibodies to wheat protein (gliadin) and cow (bovine) casein.
But, here’s the rub-most of these claims were made based on animal studies, or poorly designed human studies. A 2009 review (looking at the preponderance of evidence) evaluated the claims of A2 milk lowering risk for Type 1 Diabetes autism and schizophrenia, and found no evidence to support these claims.
The first peer reviewed human study on A2 milk only supported the claim that A2 milk results in less GI distress. So on the A2 Milk website and in their advertising, that is the only claim you will see. Other findings were “inconclusive”. Another human study revealed “no significant clinical findings” to support health claims about A2 milk.
While I found learning about A2 milk interesting (which is why it’s a blog post)…it really is a lot of “smoke and mirrors” or trying to “put lipstick on a pig” (or a cow in this instance!). So, let’s get “out of the weeds” here (and away from all thes catchy phrases!). Any dairy milk (or goat or sheep milk for that matter)
- is animal protein. It is high in saturated fat, which increases our risk for heart disease, our number one killer in the US), it increases inflammation, and adversely affects our gut microbiome.
- It is produced by lactating animals, and contains estrogen and estrogen metabolites-increasing the risk for hormonally sensitive cancers-like breast cancer
- It still contains lactose, of which the majority of the population is intolerant.
- It is high in protein:excess protein, even plant protein, is very hard on the kidneys and liver. Also, high protein causes an acidic environment, causing calcium to be pulled from our bones to buffer the acid, and then be excreted in the urine. (i.e.-you will pee your bones down the toilet).
There are also plenty of alternatives to dairy milk-plant milks are easily available, reasonably priced, and delicious.
Think about it-what other species drinks milk, even of its own kind, after weaning. Nature knows what she is doing!
You may think you can’t live without your cheese or ice cream…but take some time to listen to or read the evidence, and then make a choice.
If you want to know how to FIND that evidence (not advertising or influence), Email me firstname.lastname@example.org for a 3 month no obligation trial membership to Wellness Forum Health. We specialize in Informed Healthcare.
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