The Uncomfortable Truth About A1/A2...
You might have seen a reference to A1 or A2 or A2/A2 recently!
In today's "wealthful" health market it's good to treat all new health discoveries with a weary eye. The A1/A2 debate is no exception and when you are talking a billion dollar dairy industry the stakes get even higher. A2/A2 refers to the genetics of the type of beta-casein protein. Most cow milk genetically contains both the A1 + A2 casein proteins, but goat milk, yak milk, and even human breast milk are unique in that they only contain A2. A2/A2 milk and ghee made from it, is suggested to have less digestive issues for people sensitive to lactose or dairy.
So why are we talking about A2/A2?
Pasteurized cow’s milk is the number one allergic food in the United States. Traditionally, cows only produced milk with A2/A2 beta-casein protein.
Somewhere, somehow over time, a mutated A1 gene has worked its way into dairy cattle and as of today commercial dairies produce a combination of roughly half and half A1 and A2 proteins, creating a type of milk that is relatively new to the human body and may be more difficult to digest. If you already have a compromised digestive system, A1 can aggravate digestive distress, providing more time for harmful fermenting and bacteria to grow, potentially irritating any problems you already have. (Other claims that A1 causes autism, diabetes or heart disease are still clouded in conjecture**.)
In newer breeds of cows (A1 cows), there is an amino acid "proline" that has mutated into another form called histidine.
This is important because beta-casein also contains an amino acid called BCM-7, which is a powerful opiate linked to negative health effects. Well, the proline that exists in A2 cows has a strong bond to BCM-7, which helps keep it out of the cows’ milk. The histidine in the newer A1 cows, however, has a weak hold on BCM-7, which allows it to get into the milk, and also into the people who drink the milk.
Are cows tested for their genetics?
Yes and no. There are some farms that test and selectively breed, but there is only a small handful of farms in the world that do so. It typically takes roughly 10 years for a farm to convert their herd to full A2/A2.
Is there research on A2/A2?
There is some research, but there is still not much known about the genetic differences. It is important to note that the A2 Milk Company and the dairy industry have funded most of the studies on A2 milk.
Is our ghee A2/A2?
Yes! Absolutely. So we REMOVE ALL A1 and A2 beta-casein proteins and blissfully sidestep this contentious dairy discussion. BUT!!! We are concerned, because you are concerned and fortunately we care about and do have many A2/A2 cows that produce our local organic butter.
In today's "wealthful" health market it's good to treat all new health discoveries with a weary eye. The A1/A2 debate is no exception and when you are talking a billion dollar dairy industry the stakes get even higher.