What is A2 milk and why does it matter?

What If even grass fed milk is not tolerated?

This was our family’s experience.

When we first got our family milk cows we had no idea if our family would be able to use their milk since we had tried raw, grass-fed milk without success previously!

Read on to find out what is different with our cows that we believe is the reason we do tolerate their milk and drink it daily!

Milk Protein

  • Milk is partially made of proteins, and 30% of the total protein found in cow milk is β-Casein (beta casein).
  • There are 2 major types of β-Casein protein – A1 and A2 types. Some cows produce either all A1 or all A2, and some produce a combination of both.
  • A1 and A2 milk differ by just a single nucleotide in the β-casein gene.
  • The A1 gene codes for histidine and the A2 gene codes for proline.

A1 Milk Consumption

Human consumption of the histidine in A1 milk can result in the formation of a substance that negatively effects gastro-intestinal physiology directly as well as negatively interacting with many of the major organ systems of the body.

A1 milk consumption has been associated with enhanced inflammatory markers. It has also been reported to have an opioid-like response that can lead to clinical symptoms of neurological disorders such as autism spectrum disorder.

A2 Milk Consumption

In contrast, A2 milk consumption has been associated with beneficial effects and is easier to digest in sensitive individuals. We believe this was what made a difference for our family, since our cows are all A2 only.

Also interesting to note that human, sheep and goat milk is all pure A2  and the A1 gene is reported to be a mutation in some cattle tracing back to Europe.

Where to get A2 milk?

Pure A2 protein milk comes from cows that naturally produce only A2 milk and no A1 protein.

If you don’t have a family milk cow, you may be able to find A2 milk locally through sites like farmmatch.com, realmilk.com or the Weston. A Price Foundation.

If you are raising dairy cattle, each individual cow can be tested to confirm her A2 status. Keeping and breeding cows that produce only A2 milk, and making sure any sires used are also pure A2 will ensure all the future milk cows born in your herd  will only produce A2 milk.

Learn more

We shared a little more about our personal story on this Instagram post.

To learn more about influence of the β-casein protein on the gastrointestinal system, endocrine system, nervous system, and cardiovascular system as well as its role in antioxidants and methylation see PMID: 33693747

To learn more about β-casein’s effect on lactose maldigestion and intolerance see PMID: 27039383PMID: 33348621 and PMID: 31773165