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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

Understanding Milk: The A1/A2 Difference

There is an array of confusing and subjective food labels in stores—Prime, Choice or Select beef, Grade A or Grade B maple syrup, free range or pastured eggs, etc. These labels are all based on a human making a subjective assessment of the product. The lines that divide each are blurry. When it comes to milk, the A2 label is objective and scientific. 

A2 milk is milk that contains 100 percent A2 beta-casein protein. It’s a genetic thing. The farmer takes a cow’s hair sample and sends it to a lab. The lab results show whether the cow produces 100 percent A2 milk, a mix of A1/A2 milk, or 100 percent A1 milk. It’s objective. The line is clear.

All mammals—humans, sheep, goats, dogs, camels, mice, whales, lions, platypuses, etc.—produce milk that contains 100 percent A2 beta-casein protein. As mammals, it’s what we’re born to digest. It’s natural. However, the situation with cows is unique. A few thousand years ago, there was a genetic mutation in cows in Europe (this was probably due to the stress of farming becoming industrialized). This mutation made cows produce a new type of beta-casein protein—A1. Those European cows made their way to the United States. Now, any milk bought in an American supermarket will be A1/A2, organic or not. 

Every body is different. It seems that some bodies can handle the A1 beta-casein protein, some cannot tolerate it at all, and some don’t have obvious allergy-like symptoms but A1 is the underlying cause of chronic issues. Research so far shows that consuming A1 beta-casein protein can cause a variety of issues.

The A1 beta-casein protein breaks down into a peptide called BCM7. As stated in an article in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, “BCM7 is suggested to be associated as a risk factor for human health hazards as it can potentially affect numerous opioid receptors in the nervous, endocrine and immune system.” The list of chronic health issues related to BCM7 is long and varied. It includes type-1 diabetes, heart disease, SIDS, autism, schizophrenia and gastrointestinal problems.

A2 milk has nothing to do with lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is when the body either does not produce or does not produce enough lactase. Lactase is the enzyme the body uses to breakdown lactose, the sugar in milk. Raw milk naturally has lactase in it, so that may be the solution for folks whose bodies produce little lactase. But A2 milk will not help. However, if you have a general intolerance to milk, A2 could be the solution.

Information in this article was provided by Amish BioFarm, located at 523 Valley Road, Quarryville, PA. For information, email [email protected] or call 717-786-7895, ext. 0, or visit

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