A2 Milk have been conducting research to uncover the true extent of lactose intolerance. Many people believe that they are lactose intolerant, however discomfort after drinking milk could actually be down to the A1 beta-casein protein that is found in most milk – but not in a2 Milk™.
Could lactose intolerance be a myth for many?
It’s indisputable that a simple glass of milk can cause discomfort, bloating, cramps and digestive issues for some people – in fact 1 in 5 people in the UK believe that they could be lactose intolerant. But are they?
Lactose Intolerance in Milk
Standard cows’ milk contains proteins A1 and A2. These proteins digest differently and some people find the A1 beta-casein protein difficult to digest and are left feeling bloated or with stomach discomfort. Believing themselves to be lactose intolerant, many then abstain from milk. This is a whopping 1 in 5 (12 million) Brits, but maybe they aren’t actually intolerant at all…
a2 Milk is different. They haven’t tinkered with the milk to remove the A1 protein, instead they simply milk the breeds of cows who don’t produce it, including Friesian, Holstein and Guernsey cows.
Originally, all domesticated cows produced milk containing only the A2 protein. However, over time and after domestication, another milk protein (A1) appeared in European dairy herds and is contained in most milk consumed in the UK today.
This means some of those people who haven’t been diagnosed, but think they may have lactose intolerance, could potentially switch to a2 milk and see if their symptoms subside, because they’re actually A1 protein intolerant.
a2 Milk™ may not be suitable for anyone medically diagnosed with lactose intolerance, galactosaemia or cows’ milk allergy. Seek advice from your GP.
A2: Putting Milk Back on the Menu
In research published today, a2 Milk suggests that lactose intolerance could be a myth for many.
Published in the UK-based Nutrition Journal, the China-based study, led by Professor Sun Jianqin from Huadong Hospital, compared the impact on those that drank conventional cows’ milk (containing the A1 protein) – with that of a2 Milk™ (containing no A1 protein).
This clinical research was conducted in China, where there is the highest known levels of lactose intolerance. In what is the first human-based research testing the effects of the A1 vs A1 protein on participants with clinically diagnosed lactase deficiency/lactose intolerance, the study found that conventional cows’ milk (which contained the A1 protein type) caused participants in this study significantly higher gastrointestinal inflammation and elevated blood markers for inflammation and immune response compared to a2 Milk™ (without the A1 protein).
In the eight-week double-blinded study, half of the 45 participants were diagnosed as lactose intolerant and the other half had self-reported themselves as sensitive to dairy products. After trying the a2 Milk™, all of the participants found that they could tolerate a2 milk without any digestive issues and had better cognitive function. This even includes those participants who were medically diagnosed with lactose intolerance. That’s quite astonishing.
Why? The intolerance and sensitivities weren’t actually due to lactose, but due to the A1 beta casein protein that simply isn’t in a2 Milk, because they milk they type of cows that don’t produce it.
“Lactose is usually what takes the blame for the millions of people worldwide who have digestive issues with regular milk, leading to them giving up on milk altogether,” says Scott Wotherspoon, CEO of The a2 Milk Company in the UK speaking about the new study. “This research is excellent news for all those people who have avoided milk for so long and we hope it will bring people back to milk and dairy as a whole. They can now most likely enjoy the nutritional benefits and great taste of a2 Milk™ with confidence and feel great afterwards.”
We’ve switched to a2 Milk in my house for the past few weeks and nobody has noticed any taste difference at all. My kids like to drink milk and they’ve enjoyed a2 Milk without any poorly tummies or discomfort, though they don’t have any sensitivities to standard milk.
For anyone with diagnosed lactose intolerance, or who knows they get bad discomfort after drinking milk, I can imagine that it’s a scary thing to try out a2 Milk for fear of pain and you’ll need to consider this all seriously before trying this milk. I’d urge you to take a look at the a2 Milk website for information from healthcare professionals, so that you can make an informed decision, and also speak to your GP. But this milk could possibly put milk back on the menu for you.
Professor Sun Jianqin from Hua Dong Hospital commented on the research: “These are breakthrough findings for those who believe they suffer from lactose intolerance, and I am one of them. It suggests that milk that only contains the A2 type protein (A2 beta-casein) has a natural affinity with the human body and digestion. Gut inflammation caused by the A1 type protein can be avoided by consuming milk products with only the A2 type protein. With so many people believing they are lactose intolerant, both here in China and in the rest of the world, the findings are truly significant.”
Disclosure: A2 Milk paid me to discuss my thoughts about their report, however all opinions are my own. Consult your GP for advice and information. I am not a medical professional and this post does not contain medical advice. Thanks for supporting the companies that make it possible for me to write this blog. Milk image from a2. Other images from Shutterstock.