SUNDAY SHUTDOWN #39 A1 & A2 MILK
What is it?
A1 and A2 refers to the type of casein found in milk. Casein is one of the main groups of proteins.
A1 casein is typically found in breeds of cows from Northern Europe – think Holstein Fresian (which is also most common in Australia and America)
A2 casein is typically found in breeds of cows from the Channel Islands, France and in Asia.
The milk we regularly consume contains both types of casein as the domestication of cows caused them to mix. However there are still cattle with only the A2 casein which produce pure A2 milk.
What are the claimed health benefits?
It has been claimed that regular milk (with both A1 and A2) has less health benefits than pure A2 milk. The main claims state that the consumption dairy with both A1 and A2 casein is linked to the development of type 1 diabetes, digestive discomfort, cardiovascular disease and many others too. The primary point being that A1 casein is the problem.
To date there have been no clinical studies in humans testing the effect of A1 casein on type 1 diabetes.
The evidence supporting the statements that consuming A2 milk will be preventative in developing non-communicable diseases (like cardiovascular disease) is unfounded. And when you dig a little deeper it seems these claims are mostly made by the companies selling A2 milk. Funny that isn’t it.
What do we know?
Firstly there may be a benefit for those who experience digestive discomfort after consuming standard dairy milk to switch to A2 milk. There is moderate evidence to suggest that A2 milk may be beneficial for these individuals.
However not all individuals.
And not all the time.
This means it will be a bit of trial and error.
If you don’t have any digestive issues then there is no reason for you to change your chosen milk.
In the UK A2 milk has recently been removed from many supermarkets shopping aisles due to it not being purchased. It is still available but may just require a bit more looking.
So we aren’t solely shutting A2 milk down, just partly.