Thank you to Fussy Eater’s Mum for asking about A2 milk, which has been expertly marketed in Australia as the solution to everything from autism through to digestive discomfort.
First, what is a2 milk? A trademark owned by A2 Dairy Products Australia, a2 milk is a brand of milk sourced from cows that only produce one particular type of protein. As the company explains on its website:
“Most dairy milk today contains 2 main types of beta-casein protein, A2 and A1, while originally all dairy cows produced milk containing only the A2 type of beta-casein protein. a2 Milk™ comes from cows specially selected to produce A2 beta-casein protein rather than A1. Because a2 Milk™ is rich in A2 beta-casein protein, it may assist with your digestive wellbeing.”
Regular milk is about 60 per cent A2 beta-casein protein and 40 per cent A1 beta-casein protein.
Unfortunately, there is also a perception that milk containing only A2 proteins can be tolerated by those with cows milk allergies. Not so, according to a study by AllergySA reported in the Medical Journal of Australia. To be fair, even A2 Dairy Products Australia warns on its site that: “If you have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance by your doctor, a2 Milk™ will not resolve any digestion problems.”
It seems milk containing only A2 beta-casein protein is no silver bullet for those missing out on a refreshing glass of milk due to allergy. If you do suspect an intolerance or allergic reaction to dairy products, I really recommend taking a look at the very informative fact sheets on cows milk allergy by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and Dairy Australia.