Quinn on Nutrition: What is A2 milk? | TribLIVE.com
Health

Quinn on Nutrition: What is A2 milk?

1681794_web1_web-milk00
Pixabay
Milk — any milk — contains an array of different types of protein. Some proteins are better tolerated than others.

At a recent nutrition seminar, my friend, Kristin (another registered dietitian) and I were intrigued to hear an update about a new product on the market called A2 milk.

“My cousin has been intolerant to milk most of her life” she told our group. “But she found she can tolerate A2 milk … so much so that she bought an A2 cow!”

OK, so what is this new milk we can now find in the supermarket? Here’s what I’ve learned:

It is real milk from real cows. And it has the very same nutrient value of regular cow’s milk. The difference in A2 lies in some of the genetically determined proteins it contains.

Milk — any milk — contains an array of different types of protein. One is called beta casein which makes up about 30% of all the protein in milk. Beta casein comes in two main genetic varieties called A1 and A2.

According to some preliminary research, each of these types of protein may have different effects on the body. Some studies have found, for instance, that A1 milk may cause more internal inflammation than A2 varieties.

Which mammals produce A1 or A2 or a combination of both depends on the genetics of the particular breed. Humans, sheep, goats and buffalo only produce A2 milk, for example. Cattle produce A1 or A2, depending on their genetic makeup. Milk from many of the common breeds of dairy cattle is a mixture of A1 and A2 proteins.

And this is what is interesting: Some people who get stomach upsets when they drink milk — like Kristin’s cousin — have been found to tolerate A2 milk.

It’s still milk

Before we all jump on the A2 bandwagon, remember these facts, say experts: Because A2 milk is still 100% milk, it still contains lactose (milk sugar) and milk proteins. So while some people whose tummies cannot handle regular milk can tolerate A2 milk, those with a true lactose intolerance or milk allergy may not tolerate it any better than regular milk. Check with your health care provider.

If you already enjoy a variety of milk, yogurt and other dairy products with no problems, switching to A2 milk might not create any added benefit. (It is a bit more expensive, I found.)

Animal breeding and genetics experts are just beginning to explore the differences between A2 milk and other types of dairy foods. At this point in time, some people who have a tough time with regular milk may find A2 easier on the tummy. Stay tuned.

Categories: News | Health Now
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.