Milk is about 85% water. The remaining 15% is the milk sugar lactose, protein, fat, and minerals. The protein portion is 80% casein and 20% whey. Whey does not coagulate or make a curd as the milk acidifies. Beta-casein is 30% of the total protein content in milk, or about 30% of the total protein content in cow’s milk.
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.
Today it is hard to differentiate between A1 or A2 genetics due to uncontrolled breeding. 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. However the original Indian cows are all A2, so the safest and healthiest milk is A2, but even in India the Jersey and Holstein cows are used widely due to their higher yields. Those who rear cattle find Jersey and Hostein cows to be more profitable. Due to their size, milk production, and demeanor of the bulls, these breeds of cows are used to produce the vast majority world’s milk production. However a particular amino acid in A1 milk is very harmful and can result in the following diseases.
- Diabetes-type 1
- Ulcerative colitis
- Cardiac problems
- Multiple sclerosis
- Mental disorders
- Intolerance bloating
Following the 2007 release of the book Devil in the Milk by Keith Woodford, there has been growing concern expressed by the general populace about A1 and A2 beta-casein content in milk. 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.
“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.”
For long Indian vedic cows were ridiculed for its low yeild. However it is foolish to look for to the number of litres of milk given per day. The Indian cows lactate three times more in a year than the western vareity and hence gives more milk per year.
Another important aspect is, the maintenance associated with the Indian cows is very little, a fat Jersey cow on the other hand eats and drinks a lot. The western cows are also susceptible to several diseases and falls sick often and hence has to be pumped with antibiotics. The western cows fart methane gas (green house gas), that it is considered as a significant cause for global warming.
If you live in a country where you don’t have access for good A2 milk, then opt for Goats Milk. Goat’s milk might be costly, but it is extremely healthy and good for kids.
|Devil in the Milk: Illness, Health and the Politics of A1 and A2 Milk
In Devil in the Milk, Keith Woodford brings together the evidence published in more than 100 scientific papers. He examines the population studies that look at the link between consumption of A1 milk and the incidence of heart disease and Type 1 diabetes; he explains the science that underpins the A1/A2 hypothesis; and he examines the research undertaken with animals and humans. The evidence is compelling: We should be switching to A2 milk.