You may have heard about A2 milk lately, and wondered what makes it unique. All cow’s milk is composed of two proteins, beta casein and whey. The beta casein protein comes in 2 forms -- A1 and A2. A2 milk has only A2 beta casein protein which makes it easier for humans to digest. In fact, many people who are lactose-intolerant are able to drink all A2 milk with no issues. However, there’s more to the A2 story than that.
Originally, all cows produced A2 milk. But over time, a genetic mutation occurred in high-producing breeds, particularly Holstein (black and white) cows, resulting in an A1 variation of the beta casein protein. During digestion, this A1 variant releases an opioid protein fragment called beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM-7). Because BCM-7 acts as an opiate, it slows down digestion, making milk more difficult to process and in some cases causing an inflammatory response in the body. A2 milk does not produce this BCM-7 fragment. Instead, A2 milk produces the amino acid, proline.
Some studies have linked BCM-7 to type 1 diabetes, heart disease, autism and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as infants who died of SIDS have high levels of BCM-7 in their bloodstream. Also, while all milk contains lactose, many lactose-intolerant people report that A2 milk is easier to digest without the bloating and gastrointestinal problems associated with BCM-7 and A1 milk.
Today, most of the milk Americans buy comes from Holstein herds and contains both A1 and A2 beta casein. Milky Way Farm Grade A raw milk only comes from all A2-tested, humanely raised, pastured Jersey cows. Because our milk is raw (not processed or homogenized), it’s easier to digest, particularly for those who believe that they may be lactose-intolerant, and retains all of the milk’s natural nutrients, fat, vitamins, proteins and purity, including 20% more calcium and 20% more protein.
Research into the different kinds of beta casein proteins and their effect on human health is ongoing. Given the current research, we believe that Milky Way Farm’s ALL A2, Grade A raw milk from pastured cows is the healthiest milk available