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Are Americans Drinking the Wrong Milk?

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Printed Date: Feb 26 2020 at 12:04am

Topic: Are Americans Drinking the Wrong Milk?
Posted By: tatee
Subject: Are Americans Drinking the Wrong Milk?
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 7:04am" rel="nofollow - x

You're Drinking the Wrong Kind of Milk

And we're not talking about soy or almond, either.

—By" rel="nofollow - Josh Harkinson

| Wed Mar. 12, 2014 3:00 AM GMT" rel="nofollow - 353


When my in-laws moved from India to the United States some 35 years ago, they couldn't believe the low cost and abundance of our milk—until they developed digestive problems. They'll now tell you the same thing I've heard a lot of immigrants say: American milk will make you sick." rel="nofollow - It takes HOW much water to make a glass of milk?!

It turns out that they could be onto something. An emerging body of research suggests that many of the 1 in 4 Americans who exhibit symptoms of lactose intolerance could instead be unable to digest A1, a protein most often found in milk from the high-producing Holstein cows favored by American and some European industrial dairies. The A1 protein is much less prevalent in milk from Jersey, Guernsey, and most Asian and African cow breeds, where, instead, the A2 protein predominates.

"We've got a huge amount of observational evidence that a lot of people can digest the A2 but not the A1," says Keith Woodford, a professor of farm management and agribusiness at New Zealand's Lincoln University who wrote the 2007 book Devil in the Milk: Illness, Health, and the Politics of A1 and A2 Milk. "More than 100 studies suggest links between the A1 protein and a whole range of health conditions"—everything from heart disease to diabetes to autism, Woodford says, though the evidence is far from conclusive.

Holsteins, the most common dairy-cow breed in the United States, typically produce A1 milk." rel="nofollow - Sarahluv /Flickr

For more than a decade, an Auckland-based company called A2 Corporation has been selling a brand of A2 milk in New Zealand and Australia; it now accounts for 8 percent of Australia's dairy market. In 2012, A2 Corp. introduced its milk in the United Kingdom through the Tesco chain, where a two-liter bottle sells for about 18 percent more than conventional milk.

A2 Corp. recently announced plans to offer its milk in the United States in coming months.

But critics write off the success of A2 Corp. as a victory of marketing over science. Indeed, a 2009" rel="nofollow - review by the European Food Safety Authority found no link between the consumption of A1 milk and health and digestive problems. So far, much of the research on the matter is funded by A2 Corp., which holds a patent for the only genetic test that can separate A1 from A2 cows. And" rel="nofollow - in 2004 , the same year that A2 Corp. went public on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, Australia's Queensland Health Department fined its marketers $15,000 for making false and misleading claims about the health benefits of its milk.

The A1/A2 debate has raged for years in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe, but it is still virtually unheard of across the pond. That could soon change: A2 Corp. recently announced plans to offer its milk in the United States in coming months." rel="nofollow - In a letter to investors, the company claims that "consumer research [in Los Angeles] confirms the attractiveness of the A2 proposition."

The difference between A1 and A2 proteins is subtle: They are different forms of" rel="nofollow - beta-casein , a part of the curds (i.e., milk solids ) that make up about 30 percent of the protein content in milk. The A2 variety of beta-casein mutated into the A1 version several thousand years ago in some European dairy herds. Two genes code for beta-casein, so modern cows can either be purely A2, A1/A2 hybrids, or purely A1. Milk from goats and humans contains only the A2 beta-casein, yet not everyone likes the flavor of goat milk," rel="nofollow - which also contains comparatively less vitamin B-12—a nutrient essential for creating red blood cells.

About" rel="nofollow - 65 percent of Jersey cows exclusively produce A2 milk" rel="nofollow - shan213 /Flickr

The A1 milk hypothesis was devised in 1993 by Bob Elliott, a professor of child health research at the University of Auckland. Elliott" rel="nofollow - believed that consumption of A1 milk could account for the unusually high incidence of type-1 diabetes" rel="nofollow - among Samoan children growing up in New Zealand. He and a colleague, Corran McLachlan, later compared the per capita consumption of A1 milk to the prevalence of diabetes and heart disease in 20 countries and came up with strong correlations.

Critics argued that the relationships could be explained away by other factors, such as diet, lifestyle, and latitude-dependent" rel="nofollow - exposure to vitamin D in sunlight—and in any case" rel="nofollow - started to fall apart when more countries were included.

African cows also tend to produce A2 milk." rel="nofollow - United Nations Photo /Flickr

Yet a" rel="nofollow - 1997 study by Elliott published by the International Dairy Federation showed A1 beta-casein caused mice to develop diabetes, lending support to the hypothesis, and McLachlan remained convinced. In 2000, he partnered with entrepreneur Howard Paterson, then regarded as the wealthiest man on New Zealand's South Island, to found the A2 Corporation.

Starting in 2003, A2 Corp. sold milk in the United States through a licensing agreement, but pulled out in 2007 after it failed to catch on. Susan Massasso, A2 Corp.'s chief marketing officer, blamed mistakes by the company's US partner, but declined to elaborate. But now the market dynamics may be changing in A2 Corp.'s favor as compelling new research on the A1/A2 debate" rel="nofollow - grabs headlines in the Australian" rel="nofollow - and UK press.

When digested, A1 beta-casein (but not the A2 variety) releases beta-casomorphin7 (BCM7), an opioid with a structure similar to that of morphine.  Studies increasingly point to BCM7 as a troublemaker. Numerous recent tests, for example, have shown that blood from people with autism and schizophrenia contains higher-than-average amounts of BCM7. In a recent study, Richard Deth, a professor of pharmacology at Northeastern University in Boston, and his postdoctoral fellow, Malav Trivedi, showed in cell cultures that the presence of similarly high amounts of BCM7 in gut cells causes a chain reaction that creates a shortage of antioxidants in neural cells, a condition that other research has tied to autism. The study, underwritten in part by A2 Corp., is now undergoing peer review in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

Nearly 80 percent of Guernsey cows tested in the US are pure A2, the highest percentage of any traditional breed, according to the" rel="nofollow - American Guernsey Association ." rel="nofollow - Jean /Flickr

The results suggest that drinking A2 milk instead of A1 milk could reduce the symptoms of autism, Trivedi says, but, he adds: "There's a lot more research that needs to be done to support these claims."

Researchers without ties to A2 Corp. are also lending increasing support to the A1 hypothesis. One" rel="nofollow - peer-reviewed study conducted at the National Dairy Research Institute in India, published in October in the European Journal of Nutrition, found that mice fed A1 beta-casein overproduced enzymes and immune regulators that" rel="nofollow - other studies have linked to heart disease and autoimmune conditions such as eczema and asthma.

The leading explanation for why some people but not others may react poorly to A1 milk implicates" rel="nofollow - leaky gut syndrome —a concept that got its start in alternative medicine circles but has been gaining wider traction in the medical establishment. The idea is that that loose connections in the gut, like tears in a coffee filter, allow rogue proteins such as BCM7 to enter the body and run amok. The body brings in immune cells to fight them off, creating inflammation that manifests as swelling and pain—a telltale symptom of autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and diabetes," rel="nofollow - and autism .

The A2-producing Normande is a popular breed in France." rel="nofollow - dominiqueb /Flickr

Though many adults may suffer from leaky guts, the condition is normal in babies less than a year old, who naturally have semi-permeable intestines. This may pose a problem when they're fed typical cow-milk formula. A 2009 study documented that formula-fed infants developed muscle tone and psychomotor skills more slowly than infants that were fed (A2-only) breast milk. Researchers in Russia, Poland, and the Czech Republic have suggested links between BCM7 in cow milk formula and childhood health issues." rel="nofollow - A 2011 study implicates BCM7 in sudden infant death syndrome: the blood serum of some infants that experienced a "near-miss SIDS" incident contained more BCM7 than of healthy infants the same age. Capitalizing on those findings, A2 Corp. also sells an A2-only infant formula, a2PLATINUM, in Australia, New Zealand, and China.

The mainstream dairy industry in the United States may be more interested in the A1/A2 debate than it lets on. For example, US companies that sell bull semen for breeding purposes maintain information on the exact A1/A2 genetics of all of their offerings. And breeders have already developed A2 Holsteins to replace the A1 varieties typically used in confined agricultural feeding operations. "There is absolutely no problem in moving across to A2 and still having these high-production cows," says Woodford, the Devil in the Milk author, who has in more recent years worked as a consultant for A2 Corp.

But the transition to A2 milk would take a bit of money and a lot of time—probably about a decade, Woodford believes. "The mainstream industry has always seen it as a threat," he says, "whereas another way of looking at it is, hey, this can actually bring more people to drinking milk."

Indian cows produce A2 milk." rel="nofollow - Poi Photography /Flickr

For now, here in the United States, the best way to get milk with a higher-than-average A2 content is to buy it from a dairy that uses A2-dominant cow breeds such as the Jersey, the Guernsey, or the Normande. In Northern California, for example, Sonoma County's Saint Benoit Creamery specifies on its milk labels that it uses "pastured Jersey cows."

The heirloom A2 cow breeds tend to be hardy animals adapted to living on the open range and not producing a ton of milk, but what they do produce is comparatively thicker, creamier, and, many people say, a lot tastier than what you'll typically find at the supermarket.

"People taste our milk and they say: 'Oh my gosh, I haven't tasted milk like this since I left home,'" and came to America, says Warren Taylor, the owner of Ohio's Snowville Creamery, which has been phasing out A1 cows from its herds. For the time being, the switch to A2 milk "is going to be for the small producers—people like us," he adds. "It's just a part of our responsibility."

Posted By: Derri
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 7:37am
Great article!

I don't have trouble digesting any kind of cow's milk, but i wasn't born in this part of the world and the milk i drank back home tastes different from the milk here.

But here I buy organic milk from grass fed cows. It comes from 1 of the only 2 free range farms in the country.
It is the only milk I enjoy because it tastes so light, fresh and crisp yet it has body and a richness to it. It's lovely but more expensive. Don't know if those grass fed cows produce A2 milk or not. I will contact them to find out.

Posted By: nekamarie83
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 8:09am
Hmmmmm!!    We actually have a dairy here, "promised land" I believe, that uses only jersey cows.

Might have to check them out. Thanks tatee!!

Posted By: trudawg
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 9:27am
Almond Milk FTW!

You wouldn't see a lion drinking the milk of another mammal, and as someone on top of the food chain, neither should I, lol. 

Posted By: IslandSuga
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 9:32am
Originally posted by trudawg trudawg wrote:

Almond Milk FTW!

You wouldn't see a lion drinking the milk of another mammal, and as someone on top of the food chain, neither should I, lol. 

Word. I stopped drinking cow's milk about 2 years ago once I realized I kept breaking out on my face whenever I drank it.

Posted By: niecy
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 9:36am
I dont drink that mess anyway. I just can't fathom how people can be fine with drinking the milk of another mammal but will act disgusted by human milk.

Posted By: coconess
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 9:39am
i dont drink it

Posted By: iliveforbhm
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 9:49am
I don't drink milk.

Posted By: AshBash89
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 9:51am
I can't stand the taste of milk.

Posted By: nitabug
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 9:52am
I don't drink milk or do dairy at all.

Posted By: tatee
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 10:02am
yah not gonna read the articleUnhappy

just gonna do poll count on who drinks milk?

Posted By: goodm3
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 10:04am
I don't drink milk...but my new eating plan calls for it to be in my protein shakes but it specifically states almond.  

However you all make a great point about humans drinking the milk of another animal. 

Posted By: coconess
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 10:07am
you should have bolded important parts tate… 
i tried twice.. i ended up hopping around 

that autism/schizo part was interesting.. as well as the morphine part. 
i may have to start drinking milk so i can get/feel high 

Posted By: tatee
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 10:11am
Originally posted by coconess coconess wrote:

you should have bolded important parts tate… 
i tried twice.. i ended up hopping around 

that autism/schizo part was interesting.. as well as the morphine part. 
i may have to start drinking milk so i can get/feel high 

i stopped doing that because even when i did it was still too much for people to read the high-lit portions so i was basically wasting my time

Posted By: Derri
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 10:32am
Nothing wrong with personal preference, but if we lived by the notion of other mammals not doing something therefore it it does not make sense for a human to do it, then a lot of other things would be a no-no.

Anyway, so based on this notion of another mamal's milk being a no-no, what about the products that are derived from this same milk, like cheese? Is cheese fit for human consumption? Is butter fit for human consumption?

Is pork fit for human consumption? Lol nah don't answer that it is a rhetorical question (and i know, not a byproduct of cow) and at the end of the day, people consume whatever they choose. Something a human can do that another creature cannot---choose, and be aware of making said choice.

We don't have to look to other mammals and do what they do nor don't do because we have the freedom of choice due to consciousness, where as they do not.

A2 (apparently) milk ain't never killed a matured human.

Posted By: ms_wonderland
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 10:34am
I love cow milk but I also quit drinking it a long time ago.

Posted By: OoDles O
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 10:38am
I weened myself off of cows milk a couple years ago.
I even cut out cheese. ( that was tough)

Posted By: Katrenia
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 10:44am
I can't with milk, it disgusts me.
It's percentage of blood and mucus is sickening enough for me.

Posted By: Derri
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 11:03am
I just got off the phone with a rep at Organic Meadows which is the name of the local Canadian company/farm that breeds the cows of the milk I like to drink.

I asked her what kind of cows they have on the farm, and whether their milk and dairy products come from A1or A2 milk.
She said that because they are an organic farm, the majority of their cows are Jersey cows which produce mostly A2 milk, however they do have some Holstein cows (which produce A1 milk)

All of their milk from both cows are mixed together. A2 milk is not separately packaged from A1 milk.
Therefore, the milk I drink is both A1 and A2, with a higher percentage of A2.

Their milk is delicious and the difference is noticable, however this is another strike against me raising my family in this part of the world. Most of our foods are GMO, animals are crossbred, omega 3 is taken out of foods to increase the shelf life, aluminum canned foods are dangerous, the atmosphere doesn't have enough oxygen, water doesn't have enough oxygen to feed cells, breeding the perfect environment for cancer..the cons outweigh the pros. Food is lifeless these days.

It's milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, cream, sour cream, canned foods, corn, bananas, grapes, oranges, it's every damn thing.

If it's it's inorganic and if it's GMO then it's functioning to malnourish.

Posted By: coconess
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 11:06am
derri do you do grass fed meats? 
and wild caught fish? 

those have a lot of omegas that are removed with farmed fish and those pumped full of BS meats… 

Posted By: Lady ICE
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 11:14am
had some the other night in my apple jacks. twas good.

Posted By: Derri
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 11:14am
Yes i only eat wild sea food, and supposedly grass fed free range meat, and eggs with added omega 3.
i also supplement daily.

But these days i don't eat sea food unless it comes from my home country, because of the radioactive material in our oceans that travelled here from Japan. So no salmon for me (my fav).

And you're in Cali, so ya might want to lay off the sea food (saw you had salmon yesterday)

Posted By: coconess
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 11:18am
oh really? 

i dont really know much about that.. 
ill google. 

but basically cali waters (since its just across from japan?) have a lot of radioactive material..? a lot of the salmon comes from alaska i think which is still just as harmful..?

i love seafood Ouch
i dont wanna lay off… 

do you order seafood from your home country..? 
(i supplement too) 

Posted By: Derri
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 11:24am
The radioactive material arrived on the Canadian west coast from Japan in november, putting all of our sea food at risk. Our lobster, salmon, shrimp, eerything is now contaminated.

Fish in the sea food section of the supermarket is all rink grown/cultured, which means they are not eating the nutritious coral which comes from the coral reef in JAPAN!

This is also where the world's most nutritious coral calcium comes from, which is essential for us.

Posted By: Derri
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 11:27am
%20" rel="nofollow -

Posted By: Derri
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 11:28am
%20" rel="nofollow -

Posted By: Derri
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 11:30am
Although, the Canadian govt assures us that there is no need to panic.
The farmers in japan beg to differ.

http://" rel="nofollow -

http://" rel="nofollow -

And yes, i'm purchasing fish shipped from South America and brought to Canada and sold in the 'West Indian grocery store'.

Posted By: coconess
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 11:37am
thanks for the links. about to read 

Posted By: naturesgift
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 11:40am
The food industry is trying to decrease the general population by giving people dangerous food to eat! If you can DIY then do (small household gardens) local farms etc. because they are trying to kill us

Posted By: Az~Maverick
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 3:02pm
Originally posted by trudawg trudawg wrote:

Almond Milk FTW!

You wouldn't see a lion drinking the milk of another mammal, and as someone on top of the food chain, neither should I, lol. 

Same here Thumbs Up! There's simple recipes online that show you how to make your own.

Posted By: hauteshellbi
Date Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 3:18pm
i only drink heavy cream (in coffee)
and unsweetened almond milk in everything else

Posted By: TexturizedDiva
Date Posted: May 04 2014 at 6:38pm
Update: Jersey cow milk is now available at the grocery store - the brand is Promised Land - I got it from Publix. 

Posted By: tatee
Date Posted: May 04 2014 at 6:52pm
Originally posted by TexturizedDiva TexturizedDiva wrote:

Update: Jersey cow milk is now available at the grocery store - the brand is Promised Land - I got it from Publix. 

i could hug you just for knowing what this thread was aboutLOL

Posted By: JamCaygirl
Date Posted: May 04 2014 at 7:16pm
interesting about the different types of milk... i used to drink milk when i was younger in the Caribbean but would never touch the stuff now.

Coconut milk or Almond milk is all i touch... oatmeal in coconut milk cooked with cinnamon and nutmeg is  (i wonder if thats an actual website?Geek off to check)

Posted By: JamCaygirl
Date Posted: May 04 2014 at 7:18pm

Posted By: JoliePoufiasse
Date Posted: May 04 2014 at 7:36pm
I thought they were gonna rep goat milk. Anyways, I'm lactose intolerant. I drink mostly soy milk and increasingly almond milk. I plan on eliminating soy milk altogether as well because I believe soy can be problematic too. They put it in everything and it can't be a good thing. Too much soy in western diets.

Posted By: TokyoRose
Date Posted: May 04 2014 at 7:37pm
Be careful what you read about Japan and radiation." rel="nofollow -" rel="nofollow -

Posted By: JoliePoufiasse
Date Posted: May 04 2014 at 7:38pm
Originally posted by JamCaygirl JamCaygirl wrote:

interesting about the different types of milk... i used to drink milk when i was younger in the Caribbean but would never touch the stuff now.

Coconut milk or Almond milk is all i touch... oatmeal in coconut milk cooked with cinnamon and nutmeg is  (i wonder if thats an actual website?Geek off to check)

That sounds absolutely delicious! I have some coconut milk in my fridge, I might just try it. Have to look up the calories and fat though.

Posted By: JasmineE02
Date Posted: May 04 2014 at 9:13pm
I'd be interested to see the research on this.  I know they suggested that there's not a lot of concrete evidence so far.  I'm sure people with a milk intolerance would love to have more options.  
I also agree with Derri on the point that we can do things other animals don't without it being detrimental to our health.  Animals also don't set their food on fire, which unlocks a lot of nutrients in different types of foods.  This is why people who strictly eat raw food diets have to be very careful or they'll have nutrition issues.  

Don't drink milk if it's unappealing or if you think the fat content is too high.  Don't drink it if you have an intolerance.  However, your body will break it down the same way it breaks down everything else.  If it has fat, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, or minerals that you can process...your body will take it in and break it down. 

Posted By: ragincajin
Date Posted: May 04 2014 at 9:30pm
Thanks Tatee!
Stopped drinking milk ages ago.
I think it was 2002 when a farmer from Indiana got caught pouring Pine Sol into his milk tanks.


Posted By: missdeeluxe
Date Posted: May 04 2014 at 9:46pm
I love the taste of regular ol' milk but I buy soy.
Couldn't get over the taste/smell/color of almond LOL

I worked on a dairy farm for a few years when I was in high school.
Kinda put me off milk...

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