You may have noticed it on our dairy shelves or heard tell of a new, “better-for-you” milk product, but A2 milk is just one of the newest dairy options competing for a spot in your fridge. How does one differentiate A2 from a multitude of milk offerings? If you experience dairy intolerance, is A2 the miracle you’ve been waiting for? The answer is: maybe.
What is A2 exactly?
A2 refers to a type of beta-casein protein in cow’s (and other animal’s) milk. Most of the milk we have grown accustomed to in the US contains two beta-casein proteins, A1 and A2, in near equal amounts(3). New research is beginning to reveal the A1 beta-casein protein may produce similar digestive effects to lactose in sensitive individuals(3) and A2 might be more tolerable for the human digestive system(1).
Is A2 milk genetically modified?
As the name suggests, A2 milk contains only the A2 beta-casein variant, naturally eliminating the A1 beta-casein from the milk by selecting cows with only the A2-producing gene (more often found in Asia, Africa, and Southern Europe)(3). The a2 Milk Company, originally out of New Zealand, is the industry leader in the popularization of A2 milk. According to a2, they utilize non-invasive genetic testing to select cows who exclusively produce the A2 beta-casein protein in their milk. There is no genetic modification of the animals or artificial alteration of the milk after the fact and the milk is tested several times to ensure purity of the product(2).
Is A2 milk safe for people with lactose issues?
The surface has only been scratched when it comes to research on A2 milk. But if you have ever experienced GI discomfort after consuming regular milk, and you’re not sure it’s lactose intolerance, you may want to experiment with A2 milk instead. However, it’s important to remember the lactose content of A2 milk is the same and it’s still dairy. If lactose is truly your issue or you have an actual milk allergy, A2 milk will not solve your problem and could be harmful in the case of an allergy(3). Stick with non-dairy or lactose-free products if intolerance is your issue.
You asked, we ordered!
We heard lots of requests for A2 milk before we had it in store. Customers like you truly keep us abreast of the latest products and nutrition trends, so thank you! And we always value your feedback, whether that’s a product suggestion or your opinion on things you’ve tried. I’d love to know, have you tried A2 milk? What did you think? Did it make a difference? Share your experience with us on social media or reach out to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Krieger E. Trouble with dairy? A new type of milk could provide a solution. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/trouble-with-dairy-a-new-type-of-milk-could-provide-a-solution/2017/08/10/67b8730a-7bb7-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html?utm_term=.815d7c6e2ce2. Published August 15, 2017. Accessed October 23, 2018.
2 Real Cows’ Milk – Love Milk Again. a2 Milk® USA. https://www.a2milk.com/. Accessed October 23, 2018.
3 Thalheimer J. Is A2 Milk the Game-Changer for Dairy Intolerance? – Today’s Dietitian Magazine. Today’s Dietitian. https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/1017p26.shtml. Published October 2017. Accessed October 23, 2018.