How A Glass Of Milk Can Kill You
The New Way Milk Can Make You Sick
Gold star for you if you buy organic, grass-fed milk. But did you ever spend the time to find out which breed of cow is pumping out your dairy juice? Because if you're getting your stuff from a Holstein—and you probably are, since the heifer is America's most milked bovine—a growing number of experts now believe you're doing your body bad.
Why hate on the Holstein? Increasing research shows that the popular breed of dairy cows produces a milk protein known as A1 beta-casein that may be more difficult for people to digest—and that's not all.
"Studies have indicated a link between A1 milk and autoimmune diseases such as type-1 diabetes and cardiovascular disease," says Dr. Richard Deth of Northeastern University, whose own research on A1 has found a link between the protein and autism.
But none of this means you should drop cow for an alternative milk like almond, which has its own host of problems. Cow breeds like Jerseys, Guernseys, and Normandes, all of which are more popular in Europe and Australia, produce milk with lower levels of A1 and higher levels of a similar beta-casein protein called A2.
MORE:Six Big Myths about Greek Yogurt
Not only is A2 more digestible according to reams of research, it also hasn't been linked to any illnesses. And while never say never, there's a zero chance of science ever calling "cancer!" or "autism!" on A2, as it's the only protein found in human breast milk.
Where can you find this magical A2 milk, you say? Only one major producer in the world (so far) is marketing it, a New Zealand-based dairy brand called A2 Corp. Already widely available in Australia and Europe, A2 will start selling its milk this month in the U.S. in Whole Foods, Ralph's, and a few independent grocery stores in California. The milk, which contains only A2 protein and no A1, is not grass-fed or organic, but company reps say cows are raised without antibiotics or "artificial hormones."
MORE:Five Things You Need to Know Before Buying Grass-Fed
Another—and arguably much better—option is to seek out dairy producers in your area who raise Guernsey, Jersey, or Normande cows. Ask your dairy connect at the farmer's market which breed he or she uses or look on the label: Many dairy farms like Saint Benoit Creamery in California list cow breed (Jerseys) on purpose, not only to quell concerns over A1, but also because non-Holsteins are generally considered "heritage" and renowned for producing a tastier product.
Video: Milk Could Be Killing You!
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