The main difference between regular milk and A2 milk is that regular milk contains both A1 and A2 (forms of beta-casein), whereas A2 milk may contain only A2 beta-casein.
According to some studies, A1 milk may trigger certain diseases, whereas A2 milk is generally beneficial to overall health. While most cows produce a combination of A1 and A2 beta-casein, A2 milk is obtained from cows that naturally produce only A2 beta-casein due to a genetic mutation.
Is A2 healthier than regular milk?
Milk is a good source of protein and calcium. Milk protein is converted to peptides that are then converted to amino acids. The science behind how a single amino acid affects human health, however, is not fully understood.
Beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM-7) is an opioid peptide that triggers inflammatory changes in the cells and contributes to diabetes or other diseases. It is believed that regular milk (with mostly A1 beta-casein) produces BCM-7 during digestion that can alter gastrointestinal function and increase inflammation in the gut.
However, proline (an amino acid) in A2 milk restricts BCM-7 from entering your body. A2 milk is easier to digest than regular milk and, thus, is safe for the human body.
What are the pros and cons of A2 milk?
Benefits of A2 milk include the following::
- Contains strontium that boosts the body's immune system, prevents flare-ups of irritable bowel syndrome, and promotes healthy blood sugar levels.
- Contains omega-3 fatty acids which are great for removing cholesterol deposits and thus critical for heart health.
- Cerebrosides found in A2 milk may help improve brain function.
Risks associated with A2 milk are similar those associated with most cow’s milk:
- Lactose intolerance: A2 milk has the same lactose content as conventional cow's milk, so people with lactose intolerance may experience the same unpleasant symptoms as with regular milk.
- Allergies: Because A2 milk is cow's milk, it can cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to cow's milk.
Should I consume only A2 milk?
Currently, there is only early evidence to suggest that A2 milk has health benefits over regular cow's milk products. Most of the research on the subject has also been funded by the A2 dairy industry.
Initially, A2 milk was marketed as a healthier alternative to regular milk. Claims were that regular milk is linked to higher risk of type I diabetes and heart disease, whereas A2 milk is not. According to a scientific review published in 2005 and another in 2011, however, these claims were unsubstantiated.
Therefore, until more research is conducted, it is unclear whether one type of milk has more nutritional value than the other. Based on the shared overall nutritional profile of A2 and regular milk, A2 milk offers the same health benefits as regular milk.
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