Of late the interest in A2 milk has been peaking with many brands around the country pushing the product hard. Honestly, I didn’t even know that there were different kinds of cow milk, so I set out to find out what exactly A2 milk is and why is it supposed to be good for you. In the simplest way possible, here’s what I learnt.
What is the difference between A1 and A2 milk?
Most of the milk that is commercially sold in India is cow milk. Milk is a rich source of protein and the two major proteins in milk are casein and whey. Casein accounts for about 80 percent of the protein in milk. There are also different types of casein, one of which is called beta-casein. Beta-casein makes up about 30 percent of the protein in cow’s milk. A1 and A2 are two variants of beta-casein.
So which one is better – A1 or A2?
There have been studies that have shown that A1 proteins have been known to cause intestinal discomfort, similar to lactose intolerance. A2 proteins, on the other hand, are easier to digest. The structure of A2 protein is more comparable to human breast milk, as well as milk from goats, sheep, and buffalo.
While there have been many studies that aimed to link A1 milk with diseases like Diabetes, Heart disease and many others, most of these studies have been inconclusive so far.
The overall evidence for gastrointestinal effects from A1 in animal and in vitro studies is conclusive, but the evidence from human studies is still limited.
Do Indian cows also produce A1 milk?
Studies by the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR), Karnal covering 22 desi breeds have established that predominant genotype in India’s native cattle is A2, confirming that our indigenous cows and buffaloes produce A2 milk. Comparatively, in the exotic breeds like Jersey and Holstein Friesian, the availability of A2 protein is very low.
So what’s the verdict?
While the jury is out on the negative effects of A1 milk, the benefits of A2 are a bit more established. So buying milk and milk from dairies that breed desi cows is probably the most logical conclusion to draw here.
Here at Farmizen, we are partnered with Mathruka Organics and Naturals and RK Goshala, both of which are working towards breeding indigenous breeds of cows and are manufacturing milk-based products which are often listed on our app. Download the Farmizen app and get your next batch of butter, ghee and paneer. Trust me, once you taste these naturally made products, there is no going back!