The Inflammation From A1 Milk Is Mind-Boggling

A1 MilkFor some people, A1 milk (normal cow’s milk) is simply devastating to health.  We can wish for milk to be healthy because of its calcium and protein. We can hope that milk is better if it’s raw or organic.

We cannot get around the fact that the dairy protein A1 casein is highly inflammatory for some people. In susceptible individuals, A1 casein is cleaved to form a powerful inflammatory opiate called casomorphin.

Not all cows produce A1 casein.  It comes from Holstein and Friesian cows who are the dominant breeds in western Europe, North America, and Australia. Dairy cows in Africa, Asia, Iceland and southern Europe make milk with mostly A2 casein. Those countries have a lower incidence of the conditions discussed below.

Milk that has predominantly or exclusively A2 casein is fine for most people. I find this in my clinic again and again. Goat’s milk is A2. And so is milk from Jersey cows. Dairy products that are mostly fat (such as butter) are also fine.

Which conditions are affected by A1 milk and dairy products?

A1 casein is potentially a trigger for Type 1 diabetes. It is also highly implicated in coronary artery disease and autoimmune disease.

Casein is involved (with gluten) in autism and schizophrenia. In fact, casomorphin is more damaging to the brain than the gliadorphin from gluten.

Casomorphin’s drug-like effect explains why it worsens anxiety and mood disorders and causes cravings for dairy and sugar. Also why it causes withdrawal symptoms when it’s stopped.

The inflammation from A1 casein causes lymphatic congestion, metabolic suppression, and weight gain.

A1 milk can worsen acne, eczema, upper respiratory infections, asthma, and allergies.

It causes digestive problems, and not because of the lactose. It’s because of the massive histamine release from casomorphin.

Amongst my patients, I observe hat A1 casein drives endometriosis, and I believe it does so because of its inflammatory, immune-disrupting effect. I have yet to see one case of endometriosis that did not improve by avoiding A1 milk.

Who is affected by A1 milk and dairy products?

Some people are fine with A1 casein (they safely deactivate and eliminate the casomorphin).  There is no simple test. It is not an allergy.

The problem occurs in people who:

  • lack the digestive enzymes to deactivate casomorphin, or
  • have intestinal permeability which allows casomorphin to enter the body.

A clinical sign that can confirm the need to avoid A1 casein is a history of recurrent upper respiratory infections in childhood.  Either ear infections, bronchitis or tonsillitis. Immune disruption by A1 casein can worsen those childhood conditions, and then in adulthood, the same immune disruption can drive other inflammatory conditions

Is raw milk better?

Certain types of pasteurization increase the amount of casomorphin in A1 dairy. So raw might be better, but it doesn’t solve the problem. We need to move away from Holstein cows.

Further reading:

78 thoughts on “The Inflammation From A1 Milk Is Mind-Boggling”

  1. How long one should be dairy free to decide if dairy is the reason for heavy periods? Meaning if one didn’t see an immediate relief how long should I give dairy free a chance?

    Reply
  2. For a very interesting and detailed update from a dairy farmer, please read Heather’s post in the comments below.

    Yours in health,

    Lara

    Hi Lara,

    Don’t see a post from anyone named Heather Thanks!

    Reply
    • Heather’s comment is from January 2016, so you need to scroll down, but here it is again:

      I know this is an older post, but I thought to just post as stats have changed a lot since the original book on A1/A2 milk came out. And I like to be up to date on the newer tests and such it is a bit inaccurate to tell people that if they buy Jersey milk it is almost guaranteed to be A2A2. There are very very few herds in the US right now that are A2A2 exclusively and less than 60% of Jersey herds tested are A2A2.

      Yes, years ago when the book came out it was holstein/friesan that all the A1/A2 milk was blamed on. We were told that the older breeds as well as Jerseys were almost 100% A2/A2. (By the way there are 6 variants and they have only studied A1 and A2 but when you test you can get other variants including A2B etc and we have no idea as to their importance yet or if breeding for A2A2 alone is going to be shown to actually be unhealthy in the future by excluding those other variants we have done no research on yet).
      That to the side, we were also told that all milk cows were A2A2 3000 years ago . . this was done by guess work alone as we do not know this. We were also told that all wild cows, range cows and Bos indicus are all A2A2 and that has been proven false . 🙁

      Then over here in the US and Canada we started to test – some of us for curiosity sake alone (especially health food nuts like myself who are big into producing their own food, raw milk, grassfed beef etc).

      After 4 years we started to find that it wasn’t even 80% Jerseys that had A2 milk, but we were down to 60% Jerseys with A2A2 milk . . . that means that if you buy jersey milk in the store you have a rather high liklihood of getting A1 milk in the mix.

      I was horrified to read this and started to test my animals. My animals that are an old pure breed that is dual purpose and never bred out to black and white (due to size restrictions alone as our cows are 36-39 inches tall) and here only one in the entire herd was A2A2. The rest are A1/A2. I have kept tabs on the breed registry testing of A1/A2 and with more people testing, we are finding 20% A1A1 (there should be NONE in this breed), and only 20% A2A2 with the balance A1/A2.
      I am heavily involved with other producers small and large of every different breed who test and less than half of the cattle we are testing are testing are A2A2. This is including beef producers with old breeds that should not be A1.

      Dr. Woodford explains that it is fairly straightforward to switch a herd to become an all A2 herd. No genetic engineering is needed, no fancy tests, just one simple test of the Beta-casein and it can be done. He said that “hopefully, when this becomes widespread we will end up with a truly safe and healthy milk supply. ”

      When you take an A1/A2 animal and breed to an A2/A2 bull, you have a 50% chance at an A2A2. That is 50% each year, but never seems to pencil out to being one in two animals ;).
      In the 5 years testing and breeding A1/A2 cows to A2A2 bulls, one out of every 10 heifers have been A2A2. . . not so easy to switch over like Dr Woodford believes. And we know that I could be sacrificing a HUGE amount to ignore all of the other traits the few heifers have for A2A2 alone. This is very hard on the breeds here as in many breeds there are limited gene pools and now we have producers culling their herds for the A2A2 gene at the expense of the breed – the same thing we have been upset at commercial dairying (single trait breeding for milk production at the expense of all else) is now happening across the board with the dairy animals here.

      And as to the science behind the claims. The only true double blind randomized study so far has been 41 people chosen, eight of them had self proclaimed dairy sensitivities. (self proclaimed – it is an interesting read if one has time to read what these people considered dairy sensitivities. . . while consuming their white hot dog buns. . . ) The P values are statistically high in the study because out of those EIGHT people, 61% or 4.88 had some type of a reaction (based on fecal calprotectin, bowel marker and self proclaimed) on the A1A1 milk. It was not even 61% of the 41 people in the study, it was 61% of the eight people, but they did not write that out for the people waving that study around, one has to dig to find those numbers. I don’t mind people sharing their experiences and I place a lot of weight on that, but to state the problems we are on A1 milk based on this study as though this makes it scientific is very misleading.
      Conclusions (and I quote): These preliminary results suggest differences in gastrointestinal responses in some adult humans consuming milk containing beta-casein of either the A1 or the A2 beta-casein type, but require confirmation in a larger study of participants with perceived intolerance to ordinary A1 beta-casein-containing milk.

      The other thing nobody was mentioning is that it was A1A1 or A2A2. THey did not do anything on A1/A2 milk. We know that the majority of animals we are testing now are A1/A2 and that can be expressed at different levels at times. And we don’t know how we handle the mixed milk. We know that most of the diseases blamed on A1 milk are multifactoral diseases like coronary artery disease and diabetes.Many of these diseases were (and still are in the US) blamed on animal fat consumption or consumption of simple carbohydrates depending on which camp you are in.

      I believe that A2A2 milk is great. This entire debate I find fascinating (so much in my alternative health food world is on anecdotal and personal experience alone). I believe that there are a few people out there definitely helped by it, but unfortunately, the majority of consumers who state there is concrete evidence and benefit based on their experiences alone never seem to realize that their “switch” was from homogenized and pasteurized milk to raw milk with full fat. Most of the time, they are drinking from non tested jerseys because they are under the impression that all Jerseys are A2 and these consumers haven’t the foggiest idea what Casein protein is.. The switch from homo milk to raw Jersey alone helps 95% of the people out there, not A2.

      Even more interesting is that when their “a2A2” milk they swear by is actually out of the A1/A2 cow. And then throw in the diets of the animal, as we know diet of the cow drastically changes the composition of milk. I have multiple situations where the people who swear by A2A2 can now handle grassfed A1A1 milk. .

      If A1 is responsible for all those diseases, then why didn’t the incidence of those diseases go up when cows started producing A1 thousands of years ago instead of only seeing this shift in the last 80 years? If those diseases have anything to do with dairy consumption, maybe it has more to do with how dairy’s feeding, production, breeding, environment and even handling have changed in the last 3-4 generations . . .

      I enjoy your website very much and you have certainly altered how I look at many of the foods and supplements that I eat.
      respecfully
      Heather

      Reply
      • Good anecdote for you. From the time I was 3 days old until 2 months before my 1st birthday, I was constantly blocked up. In order to nurse, my parents had to pump my nasal passages clear. I would even block up mid nursing. I cleared up at the beginning of lent. My mom gave up ice cream. A1 casein doesn’t pass through but the opiate metabolite that it is broken down into does pass along in breast milk. After Easter, a few days before my birthday, mom started eating ice cream again and I locked up again. She immediately stopped the ice cream and I again cleared up. Since then, I have always had an allergic reaction when exposed to uncooked or unfermented cows milk products which has worsened over the years. Now it’s right into bronchitis. So I drink goats milk and use goat butter. Since US dairy is major A1, I can’t eat ice cream, sour cream, or butter from cows milk. And I won’t be able to until they all go A2 only.

        Reply
      • I read Heather’s comment and would like to add my two cents in two areas. First off, in my personal Real Foodie Realm, the anecdotal stories of evidence of benefit were from former A1A1 raw milk drinkers (Ayrshire/Holstein) where the cows were on fast growing pasture with a tiny bit of barley or oats in the stanchion in the dead of winter, and the consumer’s diets were (WAFP) clean. And yet, the stories of family members of my friends who would be doubled over in pain (or rashes, or headaches, or xyz) from drinking clean, raw A1A1 milk, but not reacting at all to A2A2 milk, floored me and cannot be denied. So, we’re talking about people with clean diets, having to give up raw (A1) milk altogether, even fermented. When A2 milk became available in our area, these people eventually, slowly tried small amounts, then more and more, and found they did not react negatively at all. At least one of them tried A1 milk again, a year after being on A2 milk, and instantly had pain.

        For my own story, I farmed and milked Jerseys and dairy goats before I knew anything about the beta-casein issue and never had a problem with milk. I preferred our goat milk because I felt like I digested it better/faster. I no longer own dairy animals. Fast forward to last year when I switched from A1 (raw, organic) milk to A2 (raw, organic) milk purchased from farms, I have to say the A2 agrees with me more. The A1 felt heavy in my stomach after consumption, the A2 does not. That became noticeable after I switched over.

        So, I read Heather’s statistics, and took them at face value (I don’t know her, I don’t know if her stats are accurate,) but my own gut and the stories from real, live people that I know, don’t jive with what I read. I am sold on A2 milk, and aside from large, independent, double blind studies, it would be hard to convince me that there’s no significant difference between the two. I am moving to a southern state in a couple of months and if I can’t find clean A2 milk, I probably won’t drink milk at all. That’s how strongly I feel about it.

        Now, what I did take home from Heather’s comment is the fact that breeding for A2 within a herd will limit the genetics, and that could be a problem. I’ll be asking my dairy farmer how they handle that. They’ve got a pretty large herd and have managed to breed for A2 over the years, successfully.

        Teresa

        Reply
        • Hello Teresa, interesting to see the debate here still years later. I still have dairy cows and dual purpose breed.
          We still see the same numbers of a1a2 in different breeds, but there has been a lot of emphasis on bull offerings that are a2a2. The dairy world is dealing with issues with inbreeding already and we get around this by using some nz bulls and then American and Canadian jersey sires. I can’t say that breeding for a2a2 alone has been that detrimental to Jersey world, but it certainly has in my Dexter breed as nobody is milking, but the buyers insist on a2a2. I can sell the ugliest a2a2 heifer tomorrow, the conformational correct and excellent temperament a1a2 sister will go in the freezer because #1 request is a2a2. Very tight breeding with many many herds closely related and only 25-30 bulls available via AI and most of them go back to just a few herds and half those bulls are a2a2. It’s a hard mess, but such is life.

          I have no doubt that many many people are benefitted by a2a2 milk. And I personally produce it for my family
          Our milk cows are all a2a2 and grassfed, but we still have two members who can’t consume dairy.
          With breeding to only a2a2 bulls last 11 years, I still only have 80% a2a2 in my herd, because I refuse to keep inferior animals just because they are a2a2.
          I think it was the misinformation that bothered me, I wasn’t debating that it is never helpful. It was poorly presented in the book, and made it sound as though dairy farmers need to do so little to change US herds and that it will solve all of our digestive issues. I wish it was that simple.

          Reply
  3. Lara, This is very interesting!! Have you found any link between the amount of milk and A1 that is consumed for symptoms to occur or is it all specific to the individual. I feel like this might finally explain my symptoms, but I don’t have much diary in my diet. Love your work.

    Reply
  4. Thanks for your book Lara. I’ve had severe endometriosis and also anxiety/ depression for years. I realised early on that hormonal treatments helped the pain but made me tired and very depressed. When I was told I needed bowel surgery I explored alternative medicine and TCM more or less cured me until I had my first child. After I stopped breastfeeding the endo returned but the TCM only helped a little so I began looking for other approaches and found your book. I gave up cow dairy, took a good multivitamin and mineral supplement with zinc, magnesium etc, and turmeric and NAC. Within a fortnight I noticed a huge improvement. Yesterday I accidentally ate cow dairy and today I feel awful so the dairy thing seems to be true for me. What puzzles me though is large systematic reviews I’ve read elsewhere are equivocal about dairy and endo, and I wondered if you had any thoughts on why this might be so contrary to your clinical experience?

    Reply
  5. I have consumed a1 milk and cheese all my life. For the last 25 years I have had a half cup of cottage cheese every day. I am also fond of cheese in general. I have no digestive problems, no acid reflex, no belching, etc. I do, however, have brain fog, constant tiredness, little endurance, and seem to always be sleepy. To my knowledge I have never consumed A2 milk or cheese. Do you think my symptoms come from the consumption of A1 dairy? Since happening upon your site yesterday, I haven’t touched milk or cheese. Many thanks!

    Reply
  6. Lara,

    My questions are…..

    Does casomorphin and/or gliadorphin build up in our systems?
    If so, is there a way to eliminate it from my system?

    Thank you,
    Belle

    Reply
    • I would think that casomorphin does not accumulate in the system. But it can take a while for the inflammation to go down.

      Reply
      • Hello Lara,
        I enjoyed reading your article and thank you for responding to my inquiry.

        I was a 3gal/wk bovine-milk drinker, but have been off all dairy for the past 5yrs. I developed allergies and asthma late in life that I did not have as a child or younger adult. I noticed that the symptoms appeared worse when consuming dairy.

        Although my autoimmune symptoms have improved over the past few years, they have not gone away completely. So, that is the reason for my initial question….If casomorphin and/or gliadorphin build up in our systems?

        Is there a researcher that you could direct me to, who is currently looking at casomorphin and gliadorphin build up in our systems?

        Regards,
        Belle

        Reply
      • Or you could take the view that neither casein nor whey are particularly healthy for a fully grown adult. I’m not vegan but I’m not convinced that high milk/dairy consumption is not a contributing factor to modern health issues, so I have milk in my tea and not much else. There appear to be more issues with A1 casein, so maybe I’m being unfair to milk in general but as it’s not really feasible to isolate individual factors, so we have to make our own judgment.

        Reply
  7. Thank you for all the information, great website. I found out in 2013 about my allergy to A1 protein.

    I hope that the distribution of Holstein cows in North America is not as widespread as in Northern Europe, because I’ve been devouring american cheese and haven’t had a problem – yet!

    I grew up in Italy, obviously never had a problem with dairy, then moved to the UK aged 24 and had a hellishly long list of problems that I wasn’t able to pin down to milk until 2013. At first I eliminated all dairy, and then progressively researching and finding out about A1 and A2, I have been adjusting the cow’s dairy intake to include/exclude according to geographical origin; as well as eating buffalo, sheep and sometimes goat’s cheeses (goat not to my taste tbh). Fortunately countries in Southern Europe produces lots of those, and many are imported to the UK. I shall try a bit of Jersey/Guernsey milk next though, and see how that goes.

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for sharing your story. Yes, I’ve found that people seem to do fine when eating the dairy products in France and Italy.

      Reply
  8. hi Lara! i’ve been searching endlessly but can’t seem to find an answer to my question….i was wondering if you knew if there is any difference in an a1 cow’s meat compared to an a2’s meat since the protein structure is slightly different in its internal system of operation for making milk…..does this carry over to the meat at all in any way shape or form…..? if so, is the change negative, nothing to worry about, or it doesn’t effect it at all?

    Reply
    • I’m not aware of any problem with the meat from A1 cows. The problem is the dairy protein casein, which is not in the meat.

      Reply
  9. Hi Lara, just wondered what your thoughts on Grass Fed Whey protein powder where? I’ve been gluten and dairy free for a long time and have been using pea protein occasionally for a smoothie, but I’m sure the process for extracting protein from peas can’t be good, and wondered if whey would be ok?

    Reply
  10. I went with undiagnosed celiac disease for the first 40 years of my life. I have been off all traces of gluten including some rices for 27 years. However, I have had long term problems with very short cycle depression for much of my life, sometimes called Diurnal Depression. In 2014 I finally decided to remove all dairy products from my diet. I was shooting in the dark but was amazed to discover that my depression vanished in under a week. Just recently I decided to try products with high casein again and sure enough, the depression set back in. This was especially the case with any type of very delicious ice cream. Sorry, that is forever off my list of allowed foods. I am certain that casomorphin is the culprit and have now proven it to myself twice. Now, if I could just get rid of my fibromyalgia….

    Reply
    • I am like you in my passion for ice cream and in my reaction to A1 milk. I missed ice cream the most – so have undertaken the effort to make my own ice cream using either A2 milk or goats milk. I have done the same for yogurt with great results. So don’t give up on what you enjoy just because A1 mike doesn’t treat you well.

      Reply
      • If you’re in the North West then Blaze Farm near Macclesfield sells A2 ice cream. In the Somerset area, there’s a company in Exeter that makes goat or sheep (I forget) ice cream, with ice cream shops in the local area (I was staying at Burnham on sea)

        Reply
  11. Similar experience here w/my son … he was diagnosed ADHD years ago (tho I never agreed w/the diagnosis because I knew there was something else going on underneath the surface). After removing all milk products, he was a changed child. No longer met diagnostic criteria for ADHD and his thinking became clearer (his words, not mine), his acne cleared up, his behavior and temperament improved, grades became better aligned with the effort he was putting in, etc. That was 12 years ago and we’ve never looked back.

    Reply
  12. I just stumbled across this site and want to share my experience. My 8 year old son developed what appeared to be Tourette Syndrome. He had full facial tics, involuntary sounds and constant sniffing. It was so bad we took him out of school and taught him at home. We took him off milk at the suggestion of a nutritionist who suggested it could be causing inflammation in his brain. Well she was right. His symptoms disappeared about 2 weeks after stopping all cow’s milk products. We tried a couple of time to let him have milk again but symptoms start right up within a day of consumption. We are convinced that milk is the problem and keep it completely from his diet. He is now 11 and we have not seen further signs of Tourette.

    Reply
    • Yes, I’m aware there is controversy. If you see at the bottom of the post, I’ve provided some recent research from 2014 and 2015 that came after that thread you shared.

      Reply
  13. I know this is an older post, but I thought to just post as stats have changed a lot since the original book on A1/A2 milk came out. And I like to be up to date on the newer tests and such it is a bit inaccurate to tell people that if they buy Jersey milk it is almost guaranteed to be A2A2. There are very very few herds in the US right now that are A2A2 exclusively and less than 60% of Jersey herds tested are A2A2.

    Yes, years ago when the book came out it was holstein/friesan that all the A1/A2 milk was blamed on. We were told that the older breeds as well as Jerseys were almost 100% A2/A2. (By the way there are 6 variants and they have only studied A1 and A2 but when you test you can get other variants including A2B etc and we have no idea as to their importance yet or if breeding for A2A2 alone is going to be shown to actually be unhealthy in the future by excluding those other variants we have done no research on yet).
    That to the side, we were also told that all milk cows were A2A2 3000 years ago . . this was done by guess work alone as we do not know this. We were also told that all wild cows, range cows and Bos indicus are all A2A2 and that has been proven false . 🙁

    Then over here in the US and Canada we started to test – some of us for curiosity sake alone (especially health food nuts like myself who are big into producing their own food, raw milk, grassfed beef etc).

    After 4 years we started to find that it wasn’t even 80% Jerseys that had A2 milk, but we were down to 60% Jerseys with A2A2 milk . . . that means that if you buy jersey milk in the store you have a rather high liklihood of getting A1 milk in the mix.

    I was horrified to read this and started to test my animals. My animals that are an old pure breed that is dual purpose and never bred out to black and white (due to size restrictions alone as our cows are 36-39 inches tall) and here only one in the entire herd was A2A2. The rest are A1/A2. I have kept tabs on the breed registry testing of A1/A2 and with more people testing, we are finding 20% A1A1 (there should be NONE in this breed), and only 20% A2A2 with the balance A1/A2.
    I am heavily involved with other producers small and large of every different breed who test and less than half of the cattle we are testing are testing are A2A2. This is including beef producers with old breeds that should not be A1.

    Dr. Woodford explains that it is fairly straightforward to switch a herd to become an all A2 herd. No genetic engineering is needed, no fancy tests, just one simple test of the Beta-casein and it can be done. He said that “hopefully, when this becomes widespread we will end up with a truly safe and healthy milk supply. ”

    When you take an A1/A2 animal and breed to an A2/A2 bull, you have a 50% chance at an A2A2. That is 50% each year, but never seems to pencil out to being one in two animals ;).
    In the 5 years testing and breeding A1/A2 cows to A2A2 bulls, one out of every 10 heifers have been A2A2. . . not so easy to switch over like Dr Woodford believes. And we know that I could be sacrificing a HUGE amount to ignore all of the other traits the few heifers have for A2A2 alone. This is very hard on the breeds here as in many breeds there are limited gene pools and now we have producers culling their herds for the A2A2 gene at the expense of the breed – the same thing we have been upset at commercial dairying (single trait breeding for milk production at the expense of all else) is now happening across the board with the dairy animals here.

    And as to the science behind the claims. The only true double blind randomized study so far has been 41 people chosen, eight of them had self proclaimed dairy sensitivities. (self proclaimed – it is an interesting read if one has time to read what these people considered dairy sensitivities. . . while consuming their white hot dog buns. . . ) The P values are statistically high in the study because out of those EIGHT people, 61% or 4.88 had some type of a reaction (based on fecal calprotectin, bowel marker and self proclaimed) on the A1A1 milk. It was not even 61% of the 41 people in the study, it was 61% of the eight people, but they did not write that out for the people waving that study around, one has to dig to find those numbers. I don’t mind people sharing their experiences and I place a lot of weight on that, but to state the problems we are on A1 milk based on this study as though this makes it scientific is very misleading.
    Conclusions (and I quote): These preliminary results suggest differences in gastrointestinal responses in some adult humans consuming milk containing beta-casein of either the A1 or the A2 beta-casein type, but require confirmation in a larger study of participants with perceived intolerance to ordinary A1 beta-casein-containing milk.

    The other thing nobody was mentioning is that it was A1A1 or A2A2. THey did not do anything on A1/A2 milk. We know that the majority of animals we are testing now are A1/A2 and that can be expressed at different levels at times. And we don’t know how we handle the mixed milk. We know that most of the diseases blamed on A1 milk are multifactoral diseases like coronary artery disease and diabetes.Many of these diseases were (and still are in the US) blamed on animal fat consumption or consumption of simple carbohydrates depending on which camp you are in.

    I believe that A2A2 milk is great. This entire debate I find fascinating (so much in my alternative health food world is on anecdotal and personal experience alone). I believe that there are a few people out there definitely helped by it, but unfortunately, the majority of consumers who state there is concrete evidence and benefit based on their experiences alone never seem to realize that their “switch” was from homogenized and pasteurized milk to raw milk with full fat. Most of the time, they are drinking from non tested jerseys because they are under the impression that all Jerseys are A2 and these consumers haven’t the foggiest idea what Casein protein is.. The switch from homo milk to raw Jersey alone helps 95% of the people out there, not A2.

    Even more interesting is that when their “a2A2” milk they swear by is actually out of the A1/A2 cow. And then throw in the diets of the animal, as we know diet of the cow drastically changes the composition of milk. I have multiple situations where the people who swear by A2A2 can now handle grassfed A1A1 milk. .

    If A1 is responsible for all those diseases, then why didn’t the incidence of those diseases go up when cows started producing A1 thousands of years ago instead of only seeing this shift in the last 80 years? If those diseases have anything to do with dairy consumption, maybe it has more to do with how dairy’s feeding, production, breeding, environment and even handling have changed in the last 3-4 generations . . .

    I enjoy your website very much and you have certainly altered how I look at many of the foods and supplements that I eat.
    respecfully
    Heather

    Reply
    • Wow, Heather. Thank you so much! That is great information, and I have just edited the post to ask viewers to scroll down and read your comment in full.
      Like so many things in health, the issue is complex and I can’t wait for further research. I had been aware that not all Jersey cows are 100% A2A2, which is why I say those breeds are mostly A2. But I had believed that goat and sheep are exclusively A2. Is that your understanding?

      Also, have you written about this anywhere else? On your own blog, for example? I’d gladly share with my followers.

      Reply
  14. Hi Lara, i have suffered from dermatitis on my hands for 8 years, doctors keep prescribing creams which eased it but always came back. Doctors told me there is no cure and to put up with it. I switched to A2 milk and it went away. I am so happy for this. Just like to share this.

    Reply
    • I also wonder the effect of A1 in other milk products like cheese? After having my skin free of all dermatitis, having cheese from pizza brought back the dermatitis on my skin a day later.

      Reply
      • Hi Marius, Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Yes, cheese contains A1 casein, but some cheeses contain more than others (because some have more whey — the other milk protein). For example, ricotta is a whey cheese.

        Reply
  15. Hello Lara,

    I know I am in need to give up dairy, and I no longer use milk, butter, cheese products, as a while ago I discovered it was the HUGE culprit for cystic acne. Anytime I had these dairy products, I would break out. The only exception, ONLY dairy exception I found was in organic, non fat dairy greek yogurt. Only greek, if I had regular it would amount to the same cystic break outs. After reading your blog, though it says Holstein cows cause gut inflammation and other various problems that are not surface level apparent. If I have never noticed greek yogurt being an issue (I eat only the plain)- but I am trying to normalize my hormone imbalance and HPA-axis dysfunction- is it important I go without this yogurt for a few months?

    Reply
  16. You’ve convinced me to try giving up dairy. For now, I’ll keep the butter and cream, but I’ll give up all other forms of dairy. I’ve had acne since I was 13 (and I’m 35 now), I’ve always had heavy periods, and my pregnancies were terrible. I suspect this won’t be the answer to all of my hormonal problems, but I’m willing to consider the possibility that it’s causing some of my problems.

    What I’m wondering about is whether I should also try cutting out dairy for my kids, particularly my 3 1/2 year old daughter. She cried non-stop for the first 5 months of her life. We suspected dairy allergy coming through my breast milk, so I did cut it out then. Perhaps it made a difference, but it’s impossible to know for sure. Later, she had so many ear infections that she needed tubes in her ears. That doesn’t seem to be an issue anymore.

    I still wonder if dairy is bad for her, but it seems extreme to cut it out since she’s symptom-free at the moment. She really loves milk, too. We’d have to get her daycare on board with this, which makes it even trickier. She does have pretty extreme social anxiety, and I wonder if dairy could somehow be worsening it.

    What are your thoughts? Is it too extreme to take milk away from a healthy, symptom-free kid?

    Reply
    • I’m just now reading this January 2016 and am wondering if you tried cutting milk from your child’s diet. A year ago I went completely dairy-free for 6 months because I realized it was causing acne. After that period I can have it once or twice a month (family pizza night usually) and my acne is okay. But, I’m considering trying to switch my kids to goat’s milk for digestive issues and respiratory congestion.

      Reply
  17. Dr. Lara, thank you, your articles have been SO helpful. My son has severe eczema. This makes so much sense. I always thought milk was fine, it just caused me a bit of bloating. I had recurrent ear infections as a small child, and then asthma, allergies, and all sorts of problems. We are cutting out milk today!

    Reply
    • If it came from a Holstein or Friesian cow, then it is A1 milk. Doesn’t matter if it’s turned into yoghurt.

      Reply
      • The Holstein cow population does have cattle that just produce A2/A2 milk. Jersey and holstein cattle have individuals that produce A1 or A2 milk. If you are interested in sourcing A2/A2 milk or dairy products, the producer needs to have the entire milking herd tested for these proteins.

        Todd Koch
        TMK Farm

        Reply
  18. Hi Lara!
    I’m 24 and since a year ago my face started going crazy from time to time. I get a lot of small red bumps on my cheeks (it’s not acne). Then I realized they appear around 1 week before my periods. Now I almost have them all the time, but they get worse around periods.
    I suspected that is either rosacea or autoimmune progesterone dermatitis… Can it be caused by A1 casein?

    Reply
  19. Hi Lara. You write that the clinical clue you watch for is: recurring upper respiratory infections as a child. Either ear infections, bronchitis or tonsillitis.
    Add sinusitis to the list. I suffered acute sinusitis repeatedly from the age of about 4 years. I’d be horribly ill for 2 weeks out of 3 for months at a time. I thought that probably sinusitis would be the thing that eventually carried me off.
    I also experienced such profound brain fog that I was diagnosed with first ADD, then, years later, Asperger’s.
    I felt something in my diet was affecting me badly but couldn’t work out what it was – it COULDN’T be dairy! I loved dairy in all its forms, and told myself that I was ok with it.
    Eventually I went without it for a month while testing my son for food sensitivities. When I reintroduced it I knew within minutes that dairy was the cause of my brain fog. Other conditions that have gone into mysterious remission since I stopped eating dairy include periodontitis (the dentist and hygienist weren’t quick to believe me, but the quite serious inflammation has completely gone and not returned, although I can reliably turn it on and off by consuming dairy); the sinusitis just doesn’t happen any more; adult acne is gone; gut pain is mostly gone; Achilles tendonitis is gone. The symptoms that led to the ADD and Asperger’s diagnoses are gone.
    I’m better off without dairy of any kind as I seem to be mildly affected by even A2 and goats milk products.
    All this is wonderful, but 50+ years of inflammation has left me a bit shattered, and I’m wondering if I’m on the beginning of the long slide into dementia. I found your site while looking for links between casein intolerance and Alzheimer’s.
    Do you know of any research into this area?

    Reply
    • What a great testimony Shelley!

      I hope you find all the other answers you are looking for as well. Often I find it can be so hard to link things, but you have done well.

      Reply
  20. Hi Lara,

    I know this is an older article, but I ran across it doing research on my son’s dairy allergy. I know he does better when we can remove or severely limit the dairy he eats, but his favorite food is cereal and he has reactions to both coconut milk and soy milk, he’s allergic to nuts so we don’t dare try almond milk and he hates the taste of rice milk… I know you can’t tell me definitively, but does your client experience suggest an A2 milk might be an option? And how long would you think I should wait from the last time he had regular milk before testing the switch to A2 milk instead? I’ve found two local dairy farms that have Jersey cows, but it would still be pasteurized milk… would that be an issue, do you think?

    Reply
    • Yes, A2 might be an option for him. I should clarify that Jersey milk is mostly A2 casein. Depending on the genetics of the cow herd, some Jersey milk may also contain some A1 casein. Ask supplier/farmer if they know the A1/A2 content of their milk.

      Reply
  21. Interesting, it seems I naturally gave up A1 without thinking much about it. I use full cream in my coffee, and butter but I rarely buy milk even though, I don’t think I ever had a problem with it. I use almond milk and coconut milk in my smoothies. Occasionally I crave dairy milk and buy it but rarely these days. Is cheese considered A1? I do like cheese and eat it often.

    Reply
    • Yes, cheese has A1 casein. Some cheeses have more than others. If you think that A1 casein is a problem for you, then you will want to switch to goat and sheep cheese. Ricotta is ok, because it is whey, not casein. .

      Reply
  22. Hi Lara I really enjoy reading your blog. Id love to find out more about A1 and its link to Type 1 Diabetes. Are there any useful links or articles you know of that could help me?
    Thank You

    Reply
    • It is a morphine-like drug, so it causes withdrawal at the opioid receptors. Most common symptom is headache, but it’s not unusual to see mild cold symptoms.
      However, Most people do not experience withdrawal. Most people just feel better.

      Reply
  23. There is no solid scientific evidence demonstrating that A2 milk is better for you than regular milk. As there is no food safety issue with either type of milk people are encouraged to keep drinking either A1 or A2 milk as a nutritious food.

    Reply
    • Robby, my daughter would strongly disagree as she gets severe intestinal inflammation from as little as a spoonful of yoghurt. I would also disagree on the basis that I get a breakout of spots all over my thighs when I have too much A1 and I also get withdrawal symptoms when I’ve had it for a while and then switchbto A2. It may be a specific genetic issue with a minority of the population but a lack of “solid scientific evidence” as you say only indicates that a suitable unbiased study has not been conducted. For what it’s worth, I consumed normal (A1) milk for 38 years without any obvious issues; it is only when I found out about my daughter that I performed controlled trials on myself and discovered the effects. I now minimise my A1 consumption but don’t avoid it completely.

      Reply
  24. My 6 year old daughter is allergic to A1, as we found out very quickly after she was born (not quickly enough to prevent 6 sleepless weeks and her being admitted to hospital. She was breast fed, so I wonder how my wife is affected (she still takes A1 as she doesn’t believe that food affects heakth). I stopped taking A1 about 6 months ago after being directed to Keith Woodford and ended up with withdrawal symptoms for a couple of weeks. I’m autistic too (Asperger), so I gave up wheat, sugar and veg oils. My mood’s better but I still grt depressed m possibly more so than I used to.

    Reply
  25. Hi Lara. I should avoid milk with A1 proteins but what about consuming butter from A1 protein sources? Do we still get the negative effects of A1 through butter? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Butter is mostly fat, and contains very little A1 casein or any protein. It seems to be fine for most people. Cream is also usually ok. As a rule, if you’re going to have dairy, choose full-fat.

      Reply
  26. Hi Lara. I realise this post is a bit old, but my naturopath has instructed me to avoid A1 casein and I’m still figuring out what I can and can’t eat. Several sources have said that ricotta is fine as it’s made from whey – what are your thoughts on this? And cream?
    I’m only two weeks in, but my skin is already clearing up and my (CFS-related) brain fog is slowly abating. Very exciting! : )

    Reply
    • yes, i find that ricotta (whey) is ok for most of my A1-sensitive patients. So is butter and small amount of full-cream. Yes, the brain-fog is usually the first symptom to clear when you remove the opiate (casomorphin).

      Reply
      • Thanks Lara! You’ve just expanded my options for dinner. Just found a gluten-free ricotta gnocchi recipe that I can’t wait to try.
        @Michele, brain fog is the worst! It was one of my very first CFS symptoms. My naturopath thinks it’s related to leaky gut, so we’re working to fix that. Fingers crossed it does the trick! I’m also avoiding gluten at the moment – I’ve read that gluten can have a similar opiate-like effect. Certainly explains why I turn into a carb monster as soon as I have a single piece of bread or cake!

        Reply
  27. This is a great article! A few months ago medical folk confirmed I was lactose intolerant. I had also previously had a naturopathic allergy test which showed a slight reaction to cassein and whey. I went completely off dairy for a little while after lactose intolerance was diagnosed, before trying lactose free cream, pure organic cream and hard yellow ‘low lactose’ cheese- none of which agreed with me- they gave me headaches, dry mouth and less severe than before stomach cramps. After being off dairy products again for a while, I read this article and decided to try some A2 yoghurt (I usually substitute with coconut milk/ cream but needed some probiotics). I have had a small amount of this by itself after dinner, twice- and so far so good. Baffles me as to why A2 yoghurt is working and the rest didn’t work, but I can only guess it was the A1 protein as per your article??? It could also be that a while after eliminating dairy, I took wheat out of my diet and my gut is healing, but I’m not sure. Anyway, such an interesting article- thanks so much.

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  28. Wow! I am about to go for my second round of surgery for severe endometriosis in two years and I had no idea there was a link with A1. Will be making the switch to A2 immediately!

    Reply
  29. Fascinating. My alcoholic, probably (I say definitely but he was never tested- who knew?) coeliac father would usually take a glass of milk to bed after a day eating wheat and an evening of a few wines or vodkas. What a horrible temper he had, and what an anxious, depressed and irritable creature. He died from bronchial complications (pneumonia) after a double knee op. He was asthmatic too. Thanks for this. The jigsaw is almost complete..

    Reply
  30. We all avoid A1 milk in my family, rice milk or A2 for us. Good to read more about it, we found out from Applied Kinesiology, after trying to eliminate many other foods.

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    • Hi Vicki-Lee. It’s a great question about homogenisation, thank you. Homogenisation is heavy processing, and intuitively, it seems that food would be better without it. But I don’t have any definitive information about it like I do about the A1 issue. I’d love to hear of any studies about homogenisation and health.

      I prefer my patients to switch to goat cheese and coconut milk. For those people that insist on milk, they seem to do reasonably well on the A2 milk, and it is homogenised.

      Reply
      • I have read a bit on homogenisation being harmful to us in that it mircofines the fats which make it unnatural or unhealthy for our body to digest and likely harmful to us or our cholesterol. Im sorry I dont have any links handy & I realise the whole “cholesterol” debate is likely not a good enough excuse to worry about. But I just thought Id mention what Id read. I wish I could offer something more definative, but it might be a good start to look into for the scientific minded that wishes to.

        Reply

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