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Myths about A2/A2 milk uncovered. Here's what you need to know.

written by

Aaron Miller

posted on

March 24, 2023

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There’s a lot of great information out there about the benefits of drinking A2/A2 milk, but there’s also a good amount of misinformation, too. Let’s set the record straight. Here are 5 myths as well as the truths about A2/A2 milk.

MYTH: A2 milk and A2/A2 milk are different.

TRUTH: The terms “A2 milk” and “A2/A2 milk” mean the exact same thing

We used to call our milk “A2 milk”, since that’s the common term that basically all blogs, scientific articles, practitioners, and the average person calls it. But, our farm (and many other businesses) are forced to call it A2/A2 milk because there is a trademark on the term “A2 milk”. You can read more about that legal kerfuffle here.

MYTH: All heritage breed cows (like Jersey, Guernsey, and Brown Swiss) produce A2/A2 milk.

TRUTH: Although it may be true that heritage breed cows have a higher likelihood of producing milk with 100% beta-casein protein, the only way to 100% know the type of proteins in the milk is via a genetic test

To test a cow, you simply send a hair sample from their tail to a lab. They send back results saying whether their milk would be A1/A1, A1/A2, or A2/A2 milk. 

Our farm’s herd is 80% Jersey and 20% Jersey crosses. When the farmer initially did genetic testing, about 60% of his Jersey cows produced A2/A2 milk. Read more and see some of our test results here.

MYTH: A2/A2 milk will work for those who are lactose intolerant.

TRUTH: A2/A2 milk will NOT work for those who are lactose intolerant, but it may work for people with a casein allergy or intolerance. 

A2/A2 milk has to do with the beta-casein proteins in the milk. It has nothing to do with lactose (milk sugar). 

Lactose intolerance is when a body does not produce enough or doesn’t produce any lactase, the enzyme required to break down lactose. A1/A1, A1/A2, and A2/A2 milk all contain the same lactose. Raw milk may be tolerated by those with lactose intolerance, since the naturally occurring bacteria can jumpstart your body into producing lactase.

A casein allergy or intolerance is when a body has an immune response to the proteins in the milk. In some cases, the allergy or intolerance is specifically to the A1 beta-casein protein. If this is the case, then A2/A2 milk may solve the problem.

MYTH: All people of Indian descent are intolerant to the A1 beta-casein protein.

TRUTH: It is more likely that a person of Indian descent would be intolerant to the A1 beta-casein protein, but it’s not a certainty.

A few thousand years ago in Europe, cows were moved indoors and fed grain. They were stressed. And what happens when a living organism is stressed? Well, it just might mutate. This is exactly what happened. The European cows’ genetics mutated, making them produce a new type of beta-casein protein - A1. 

Those cows made their way to the United States. Now, basically all American milk is A1/A2, containing both the A1 and A2 beta-casein proteins.

The cows in India did not go through this mutation. People from India have been drinking A2/A2 milk all along. This is why it’s very common for Indian people who moved to the US to develop chronic digestive issues. In many cases, it’s the A1 beta-casein protein causing this issue, and when they switch to A2/A2 milk their problems resolve.

MYTH: A2/A2 milk is the best milk you can drink.

TRUTH: Whether milk is A2/A2 is just one thing to consider, among many others, when buying milk.

The quality and nutritional value of milk depends on many factors. Here are a few:

  • Type of Feed. 100% grass-fed cows produce milk with higher levels of omega 3’s and CLAs. It is also safe for people with severe allergies to grains like corn and soy.
  • Quality of Feed. The nutritional value of milk is directly linked to the quality of the feed, and the quality of the feed is directly linked to the quality of the soil. The term “regenerative farming” has started to become greenwashed, so it’s very important to know your farmer and their specific soil management practices.
  • Pasteurization. The more you heat milk, the more the enzymes and nutrients become denatured. Raw or minimally pasteurized milk will provide the most nutrition for your body.
  • Fat Content. Milk contains healthy fats that help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins. The more the better! It’s best to look for a full fat, whole milk. Stay away from skim, 1% or 2% milk.
  • Homogenization. Non-homogenized milk is more digestible. Homogenization is when the fat globules in the milk are broken down so they are smaller and become suspended in the milk. Breaking down these fat globules is unnatural and makes it harder for a body to digest. 

Were you led to believe any of these myths? What are your reasons for choosing A2/A2 milk?

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