got milk? Drink This!
When it comes to drinking milk, specifically cow milk, there is a lot of controversy. Is it good for us? Don't we need the calcium from it? Is whole milk really the best with a higher concentration of fat? What about raw milk? The questions can go on and on.
So let's take it step by step. Is cow milk healthy for us? My answer, which is my answer for everything, is it depends on how you muscle test for it. So to all my patients who do test well for milk this blog is for you! The best cow milk to drink is A2 milk. A2 milk is cow's milk that mostly lacks a form of β-casein proteins called A1 and instead has mostly the A2 form. Beta-casein makes up about 30 percent of the protein in cow's milk. A1 and A2 are two variants of beta-casein. Historically, cows produced milk that contained only the A2 form of beta-casein. So the genetic change that makes A1 protein is harder for us to digest.
The percentage of the A1 and A2 beta-casein protein varies between herds of cattle, and also between countries. While African and Asian cattle continue to produce only A2 beta-casein, the A1 version of the protein is common among cattle in the western world. Goat, sheep, water buffalo and human breast milks all contain only A2-like proteins, and thousands of years ago, cow’s milk also had only A2.
During the breakdown of A1 in the gut, a peptide fragment (a chain of amino acids) called BCM-7 is formed. This fragment can slow down digestion, trigger inflammation and cause symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation (http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/7/9/5339/htm). No such fragment is formed with A2 digestion. If those symptoms sound similar to those of lactose intolerance, it’s because they are. And many people may be misdiagnosing themselves when it is really A1 they need to avoid.
Milk that contains only A2 milk was brought to market by The a2 Milk Company from New Zealand in 2000 and is sold mostly in Australia, New Zealand, China, United States and the United Kingdom. I just recently found it at a local grocery store called Shop Rite. A genetic test, developed by the a2 Milk Company, determines whether a cow produces A2 or A1 type protein in its milk. The test allows the company to certify milk producers as producing A2 milk.
Whole fat A2 milk is the best type to drink because the extra fat content is how Mother Nature made it so your body can digest it better. Research even shows that among adult women, higher intake of high-fat dairy was actually linked to less weight gain than intake of low-fat dairy. And a recent study of children ages 1-6 years old found that those who drank whole milk had higher vitamin D levels and lower BMI (body mass index) than those who drank low-fat fat.
For those of you who don't drink milk but have read this much and now are worried about not getting enough calcium in your diet here are other calcium sources.