After a long time of no milk, milk has come back into my life. I can't tell you how glad I am.
I have never been able to tolerate the lactose free milk commonly found in the supermarket, so I have been doing without. It is an incredible pain in the neck not to be able to cook with milk -- no cream sauces, no nothing.
So when A2 Milk came into my life, it was a blessing! Thank God!
There has been a devil in milk... truly! My tummy has been right to reject such an evil creature. In fact, Keith Woodford’s book Devil in the Milk, talks about what has happened. An evil mutant, the A1 genetic mutation, has crept into our milk supply and, as Keith Woodford claims, is linked to a range of serious health issues, including heart disease, type 1 diabetes, autism, and other aggravating neurological disorders.
The A1 milk protein is found in Holstein cows. Over time, as Holstein cows have been bred with other cows in order to increase production, the A1 gene is dominating many herds. Guernsey milk on the other hand, has the A2 milk protein.
A2 beta-casein is the beta-casein form cows have produced since before they were first domesticated, over 10,000 years ago. It is considered safe and nutritious and has no known negative effects on human health. Sometime in the past few thousand years, a natural mutation occurred in some European dairy herds that changed the beta-casein they produced. The gene encoding beta-casein was changed such that the 67th amino acid in the 209 amino acid chain that is the beta-casein protein was switched from proline to histidine. This new kind of beta-casein that was created is known as A1 beta-casein, and is generally more common in many of the big black-and-white cow breeds of European descent such as the Holstein and Friesian. Due to their size, milk production, and demeanor, these breeds of cow are used to produce the vast majority of Northern Europe and America’s milk.
Each cow carries two copies of the gene encoding beta-casein, with a genotype of A1/A1, A1/A2, or A2/A2. Neither the A1 nor A2 trait appears to be dominant, which means that the milk produced by an A1/A2 cow will likely contain equal proportions of A1 and A2 beta-casein. A1/A1 cows will obviously only produce A1 beta-casein, just as A2/A2 cows will only produce A2 beta-casein. While each dairy herd is capable of being quite different from average, a broad characterization of the A1 or A2 genetics of breeds can be made. Northern European black-and-white breeds such as Friesian Holstein usually carry A1 and A2 alleles in equal proportion. Jersey cows and other Southern European breeds probably have about 1/3 A1 and 2/3 A2 genetics. Guernsey cows generally have about 10% A1 and 90% A2 genetics.
The cause for concern with milk containing A1 beta-casein is that the 67th amino acid switch from proline to histidine readily allows a digestive enzyme to cut out a 7 amino acid segment of the protein immediately adjacent to that histidine. When proline is present in that location (as it is in A2 beta-casein), that same segment is either not separated at all or the separation occurs at a very low rate. The 7 amino acid segment that is separated from A1 beta casein is known as beta-casomorphin-7, often abbreviated as BCM-7.
BCM-7 is the real “devil” in A1 milk for a number of reasons. It is an exogenous (doesn’t naturally occur within the human body) opioid that interacts with the human digestive system, internal organs, and brainstem. While no direct causal relationships have been demonstrated between BCM-7 and these diseases due to a wide range of contributing factors for each illness, BCM-7 has been linked to type 1 diabetes, heart disease, autism, and other serious non-communicable diseases as well.
Faith Schlabach, who raises and drinks A2 milk. talks about her experiences:
The A1 gene can be bred out of a herd in about 10-15 years simply by choosing what are called A2/A2 sires. This means that neither the dam or sire carry the A1 gene. Unfortunately, until the consumer is educated and begins to request A2 milk, the motive will not be there for the selective breeding in most dairies.
In our family’s case, we can drink any milk without the adverse severe allergy reactions as long as it is raw (as I explained in an earlier article). We feel amazingly better and have halted cavities. I used to think I digested A1 milk as well as the A2 milk, but I have been rethinking this recently. In just the past couple of weeks we switched from milking our A1/A2 Blossom (who is my favorite cow) to our A2/A2 Emma Lou. I have noticed two things:
- My lower back has not been as stiff in the mornings.
- I used to avoid drinking milk in the evenings because it would make my legs jerky. I have consumed A2/A2 milk in the evening several times and that has not happened. The other night I had symptoms again and thought that maybe it is not the A1 after all. Then I remembered that I had feta cheese on my salad that was made from A1 milk.
At this time, there are plenty of A2/A2 sires available especially in full-sized breeds; therefore, we see no reason not to breed only A2. If you breed an A1/A1 dam to an A2/A2 sire, you will throw an A1/A2 as they get one from each side. If you breed an A1/A2 dam to an A2/A2 sire, you have a 50% chance of throwing A2/A2.
So, like my wheat allergy, what I first thought was wrong. I am not allergic to wheat or milk, per se. I don't have a fundamental problem with wheat or gluten. I don't have a basic problem with milk or lactose. I do have problems with the way industrial farming has changed our basic staples in order to make the production of bread and milk faster and cheaper. Corporate farming and food processing has fundamentally crapped out our basic staples.
Over time, I have stopped eating out so much and I do feel better. I can't say I am perfect and have done some back sliding recently... who could refuse French pastry made by a French woman, or the most delightful baked ziti and tiramisu ever. But, I find I do pay and feel icky for several days afterwards.
There are some things I can do to minimize the effect.
- Drink lots of water and try to flush out my system as quickly as possible. Preferably that night or the next day.
- Drink some herbal tea with ginger and 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (preferably Braggs)
- Do some yoga. Forward folds, Downward facing dog, child's pose. Spinal twists. Although not immediately after eating or drinking lots of water
- Take my probiotics
- Take Align or Lavender to sooth the tummy
- If tummy is really in an uproar and really hurts alot, Dicyclomine eases the gas pains.
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