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Natural Cure

Untold Truths About A2 Milk That You Must Know

There's a lot of talk around A2 milk nowadays. Are these facts or just hype?  Is it truly better for health, more digestible and non-allergenic as claimed? Continue reading to know!

Constituents of cow’s milk

Around 87-88% of cow's milk is water, with the remaining 12-13% consisting of solids like sugar, fat, proteins, and minerals.

Casein and whey are the two forms of proteins found in cow's milk. Casein protein makes up around 80% of milk's protein. Beta-casein protein is the most prevalent casein protein found in milk and is seen in two forms;  A1 and A2. Cows' milk may either include the beta-casein protein in its A2 form, in its slightly different A1 milk protein form, or in a combination of the two.

Origins of A2 milk

With the advent of the White Revolution in India, foreign cow breeds were brought in to increase milk production. This has resulted in classifying cows into two categories:

  • A1 cows: Cow breeds from Northern Europe are high in A1 protein content. They often don't have a hump. They are crossbreeds and produce more A1 milk.  

  • A2 cows: Indian native breeds of indigenous cows and buffalo with a hump on their back and long horns are considered rich in A2 beta-casein milk protein. 

It is advertised that because A2 cows have a Nadi (vein) in the hump that absorbs energy from the sun and moon and this energy is a source of numerous medicinal benefits in all A2 cow products.

A2 milk is ‘old wine in a new bottle’

Dairy companies position A2 milk as more digestible than A1 beta-casein. 

A2 milk companies claim that A1 milk has an amino acid called Histidine which, when consumed, results in the formation of BCM – 7 (bovine β-casomorphin-7) in the small intestine, which has ill effects on human health. Apart from this, there are many other claims too,  many of which have no evidence. 

Let’s examine them one by one:

  • Claim 1 - When milk containing A1 beta-casein is digested, BCM-7 (bovine -casomorphin) 7 is released in the small intestine. Because the body poorly absorbs this substance, it might cause bloating or discomfort. It also affects one's immune system, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, etc. This discomfort is not seen when A2 milk is consumed. 

However, there is no scientific study yet that has proven that by avoiding A1 milk and switching to A2 milk, the gastric problems have been resolved. 

  • Claim 2 - A2 milk is better in taste, rich in omega 2 fatty acids, vitamin A and helps increase HDL (good cholesterol). 

No evidence has supported this claim.

  • Claim 3 - Human milk also contains A2 beta-casein and therefore is considered nutritious. Hence, drinking cow milk with A2 beta casein is best for newborns’ growth and immunity. 

No study could prove this claim.

  • Claim 4 - A2 milk has lower levels of lactose than A1 milk. Lactose intolerant people don't face gastrointestinal discomfort from A2 milk as experienced in the case of A1. 

However, A2 milk contains lactose too. Studies have not found that A2 milk benefits lactose-intolerant people. 

  • Claim 5 - A2 milk is a high-calcium food that aids in strengthening bones in children and adults. 

Studies could not back these claims.

A2 milk is marketed as an alternative for people who experience discomfort drinking regular cow's milk. It is advertised that switching to milk containing primarily A2 protein will provide relief for these people. However, research does not support these claims, and most companies that promote the benefits of A2 milk do not cite a scientific source to back it up.

The problem of lactose intolerance

Lactose is a protein that is found in both A1 and A2 cow’s milk.Many people in the world are currently diagnosed as lactose intolerant and hence advised to stay off dairy.

Around 60% of the population in India are lactose intolerant - which means the enzyme lacatse to digest lactose is missing in most people.

Indigestion due to lactose intolerance shows up as allergies, aches and pains, bloating and acidity. This is not really a ‘problem’ because nature designed the body to stop producing lactase after a particular age since milk is baby food. The development of teeth in the body signals that we should transition to solid foods and no longer reply on milk for nutrition.

A2 milk has hence been positioned as a non-allergy causing milk to fill the gap in a population which still wanted to consume dairy inspite of health complications.

In addition to lactose, whey protein, metabolites like methionine, and proline,  are present in A2 milk. These metabolites, especially methionine, are also harmful for our health. This study showed that methionine, which is implicated in promoting cancer cell growth, was found to be more in A2 milk than A1 milk. 

Conclusion

 

Regular Milk, A1 or A2 - all are unnecessary for human health.

A2 milk is still cow's milk, which means it includes six times the amount of growth hormone required by humans, making it unfit for human consumption. It also contains lactose, sex hormones, and other minerals that are more suited for the calf than humans.

Nature has designed milk to be species specific. When we cross species-boundaries and take in milk , whether A1 or A2, it will surely give rise to health complications over time. Human physiology is designed to only have milk from our own mothers just like all other mammals.

While better, healthier plant-based alternatives are available, why not switch to those? So keeping this in mind, next time, let's say no to dairy in all forms!

Drinks & Desserts the Healthier Way

Ditching milk doesn't mean you have to  stop enjoying your favorite cheese, curd,, , seviyan or kheer. Choose from the several varieties of plant based milks available. Here are some healthy plant based milk recipes.

Here are some amazing plant milk based recipes from our repository. 

  1. Dairy Free Seviyan

  2. Dairy-free-Sugar-free Kheer

  3. No-dairy Cheese

  4. Fudgy dairy-free chocolates

  5. Peanut curd

References:

  • Changes in Metabolites from Bovine Milk with β-Casein Variants Revealed by Metabolomics. Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 10(6), 954. 

  • What Exactly Is A2 Milk? Everything You Need to Know About A2 Cow’s Milk.

Want to know more on dairy and plant-based alternatives? Check out our blogs and youtube videos:

 



Disclaimer: The health journeys, blogs, videos and all other content on Wellcure is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered a ‘medical advice’ ‘prescription’ or a ‘cure’ for diseases. Any specific changes by users, in medication, food & lifestyle, must be done under the guidance of licensed health practitioners. The views expressed by the users are their personal views and Wellcure claims no responsibility for them.

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