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A2 Dairy | A digestible and non-inflammatory alternative

Dairy is by far the number one food for tummy troubles. If you’re having any digestive issues, do a trial of a month without dairy and see how you do. Many people improve dramatically, but are then in a position where they miss that delicious and nutritious food they love so much. 
 
This is where A2 dairy may step in. 
A2 refers to the type of casein protein in the milk. In most mammals including goats, sheep, yaks and even humans, the casein type is A2 (A2 beta casein). And this is also the type of protein that was historically found in milk, and is still found in the milk of some cows today.
 
Many years ago there was a genetic divergence and some cows started producing a variant of casein that we call A1 (A1 beta casein). This variant tends to be more poorly digested and more inflammatory. In fact, a study on the digestibility of milk variants found that people who thought they were lactose-intolerant were actually fine when drinking lactose containing A2 milk. 
Abbey the Food Scientist does a great job of explaining the digestive differences between the two milks.
 
To summarize, we have a digestive enzyme that can break A1 beta casein into smaller components including beta-casomorphin 7 which is a really troublesome molecule. This is what triggers inflammation and digestive upset in the gut.
Another downside to the beta-casomorphin 7 is that it is inflammatory and addictive and also contributes to cognitive impacts.
 
Dr. Melina Roberts goes into this a little further:

So step one is determining if dairy is the culprit of your concerns with an elimination trial. If you feel much better without, then try re-introducing only A2 dairy products. Another option is to just assume A2 dairy is a healthier option for you and just make the leap.

Milks, butters and cheeses are available on the market, and though I haven’t seen yoghurts or ice creams, perhaps investing the time in homemade versions is a worthwhile endeavour 🙂

Sarah Goulding naturopathic doctor

Dr. Sarah Goulding | Naturopathic Doctor

Need help navigating your digestive health? I can help 🙂

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