As I walk through my local natural supermarket, I often take a more leisurely stroll through the aisles to check out what’s new and different. I too get sucked in by marketing, labels saying this and that and then if it grabs me, I read the label more carefully and either choose to bring it home with me, or put it back on the shelf and chalk it up to nice try guys. One time a bunch of weeks ago, I slowed my stroll past the dairy cabinet, I saw yet another type of milk right the next to the organic, homo, 2% and skimmed, goat’s, and sheep types, and I stood there checking out the label that had a big fat A followed by the number two on the label. Huh. Was this a new marketing thing, I wondered? So of course I had to find out more.
It turns out that A2 milk is an option that you need to know about, as I’ve done my usual and learned more and more about it of late. It comes down to genetics and the type of milk that the dairy cows produce, that’s the briefest description that I can offer before we really get into what on earth this is, and why you should care. In my digging, I have found that it could just be the answer to many peoples’ (including parents and kids) issues that include gut issues and inflammation, gassiness, feeling crappy as well as more serious allergy and sensitivities that show up with a variety of symptoms with the worst being blood in the stool. Then there’s skin issues, including eczema and acne as I mentioned in episode 62 … There’s a lot to talk about because I’m usually the one recommending that clients take dairy out of their diet because of symptoms that I quite consistently see, and have seen in the more than 20 years as a nutritionist.
My guest today is extremely knowledgeable about the A2-Beta Casein milk, because his herd of cows produce it. So who better to share with us all that we need to know about it. So today on EAT THIS with Lianne, a different kind of milk and why it might just be worth trying.
Countless times in my career, I’ve found that dairy – next to gluten and wheat – is the most reactive food for people. I even did my dissertation at college on dairy sensitivity and did a small trial with people who were celiac and compiled the results. For someone who grew up with the glass of milk on the table at every meal, recommending that people remove the white mustache making stuff off their shopping list took a while to be all in with.
Lactose intolerance is widely talked about, right? Sufferers have milk, or cream in coffee, in soup, or on their morning bowl of cereal and they end up with a belly ache, belly cramps, gassiness, diarrhea or even nausea. I’ve never been surprised by lactose intolerance as we lose the ability to digest the sugar found in milk after around age 2, as in the enzyme lactase that digests the lactose dwindles. We humans weren’t meant to drink milk, breast milk or cows milk after around age two, but somehow we still do. Not human breast milk obviously, but cow’s breast milk, we do. It’s a bizarre concept when I think about it sometimes, but it’s also big business and a huge part of our food chain. What isn’t known as widely as it could be is that lactose intolerance could actually be an issue with protein – the more reactive part of dairy (or any allergic food, really). Allergies to fish, nuts, seeds, eggs, peas, legumes – you name it – are the immune system’s hypersensitivity to the protein and reacts with mild or severe inflammation; so wheezing, coughing, swelling of the mouth and lips. There can be skin issues: think of the varying eczema issues that you see. There’s gut discomfort and failure to thrive in the worst case for babies, and of course anaphylaxis being the most severe. I see dairy issues of a fairly consistent stuffed up or runny nose and also ear infections in kids. That’s huge. As soon as babies and kids come off dairy (and sometimes sugar and gluten), their ears clear up.
Whey and casein
Dairy’s proteins come from whey and casein, and it’s in all dairy, unlike lactose. That includes your yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, kefir, and cheese of all kinds contain protein. But all that I’ve just listed don’t contain lactose because of fermentation. Fermented dairy (basically anything other than milk and cream) is naturally lactose-free. It’s worth noting that ice cream is NOT fermented. So if you have issues with these dairy products, it’s the protein, not the lactose sugar.
Casein is the major protein found in dairy, making up 80% of all protein found in milk and whey the other 20%. Human breast milk contains only 40% casein protein so that’s the first clue why we don’t tolerate cows milk as well. Casein more so than whey is what can cause inflammation and immune reactions in people. Whey, maybe because of the lower amount, doesn’t appear to cause as much immune or intolerance. There are different subtypes of casein, and beta-casein is the one that we know the most about from numerous studies. There are two specific types of beta-casein: A1 and A2. A1 is the one that has been shown to cause many of the intolerance reactions and symptoms that are associated with a dairy intolerance. And according to all the research that I’ve done so far and have tried out myself, beta-casein A2 milk and dairy appears to be well tolerated. I can even tolerate it and not be stuffed up and just feel crappy the next day.
A2 Beta-casein milk
This is the perfect segue into introducing my guest on today’s episode. John Van Dyke has been dairy farming his whole life. His farm Spectrum Acres near Stratford, Ontario, is where you’ll find him, his wife, Anna, and 9 kids!!! His dairy farming took a turn after his son’s autism diagnosis and through his research and his time spent serving on the board for Autism Canada, he knew it was time to produce milk that only contained the A2 Beta-casein protein. Through careful genetic selection and time, John is now producing A2 Beta-casein milk and it is being processed by M-C Dairy into 7 different healthy products (many of which myself and my daughters have now tried).
Listen to the episode and let me know what you think about it all! For anyone who has avoided dairy, if you can get ahold of John’s beta-casein A2 milk, will you go for it? As I said, my daughter said that his cream cheese is THE best that she has tasted, so it’s worth a shot. For those of you in the GTA – you can enter John’s generous giveaway at sproutright.com/A2Milk. The giveaway is for you if you are able to collect the products from Future’s Bakery, or have them delivered to a residence in the GTA so that they can deliver it. John has generously offered 25 packages of A2 Beta-casein products: Milk, Decadent Chocolate (sweetened with honey), Kefir and Yogurt. The products are slowly making their way into the chiller cabinets of local stores, so do look out for them.
You can also check out Dr. Mary Barbara’s new book Turn Autism Around – An action guide for parents with early-onset autism.
I’m still cautious with dairy, especially with my teenage kids and their skin. As we experiment with this product, I look forward to seeing what unfolds. This morning I made a mango creamsicle type bowl with frozen mango and cream cheese. I got an 8/10 from my daughter so I thought that was pretty good going!
Please share this with anyone who you hear say lactose intolerance, and this could be a new lease on life for many. I’ll be keeping my plant based milk to hand too, so it’s about finding the balance that works best for you and your family.
I’ll call that a wrap, and finish by saying to please remember to EAT THIS, one mouthful at a time!
More about John Van Dyke from SpectrumAcres.org
John Van Dyk has been dairy farming his whole life near Stratford, Ontario, first with his parents, then with his wife Anna and children. John has always strived for excellence in farming and furthered that by being involved in various committees and boards including his local Milk Committee, Oxford Milkway Transport Co-operative and being on the executive board for Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario.
John is the father of 9 children and dairy farming took a turn after his son’s autism diagnosis. Through his research and his time spent serving on the board for Autism Canada, John knew it was time to produce milk that only contained the A2 Beta-casein protein. Through careful genetic selection and time, John is now producing A2 Beta-casein milk and it is being processed by M-C Dairy into 7 different healthy products. John continues to advocate for consumer choice regarding A2 Beta-casein dairy especially for infants, children and vulnerable individuals like his own son.
Useful links from John:
Link to Spectrum Acres where people can look up who we are about. Spectrum Acres is also on Facebook if anyone had questions.
Link to M-C Dairy that will have the A2 Beta-casein products listed soon
The link below references Not only how A1 beta-casein in itself can be negative but also how A1 beta-casein can raise histamine production
The link below is Autism and relation to Opiod effect of BCM7
This link references how the minuscule amounts of hormones in milk have no negative effect on health
Link to article: