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The amazing thing is that there are DIFFERENT TYPES OF CASEIN!
Protein has many components. Casein is one variable, as I understand it. Like all cows are cows, but not all cows are Guernsey. So, A2 is one characteristic which Guernsey, sheep, goat, human milk and kefir grains have in common. But, they aren't the same. Human milk was meant for humans.
It is important to distinguish between different types of casein. Most farmed cows such as holstein and friesian produce milk with a fragment of protein called A1 beta-casein. It is this A1 fragment that produces an opioid-like reaction in the body. Originally cows produced milk with a fragment of protein called A2 beta-casein. A2 beta-casein does not cause the same opioid-like reaction as A1 beta-casein.
All ancient breeds of cattle such as zebu cattle produce A2 milk, along with buffalo, yak, goat and sheep. Guernsey cows produce milk with around 90% A2 content, and Jersey cows produce a moderate amount more A2 content than regular farmed cows. For more information on the science of A2 milk, visit the A2 corporation website, the A2 science website, and betacasein.org.
Milk may contain some other much milder, weaker opioid-like peptides to which the most sensitive individuals may react, so A2 milk is not 100% tolerated.
Science of beta-casein: http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5795611/description.html
Breast milk is A2; goats, sheep and other mammals produce this - but not all cows. Originally all cows
produced milk containing only the beta-casein known today as A2. At some point in history, due to a genetic mutation a variant of this protein appeared giving rise to A1 milk.
All milk is not the same. And certainly homogenized, pasteurized, antibiotic-fed, growth hormone laden commercial milk is not equivalent to healthy, natural, raw, grass-fed milk.
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA. Cow's milk contains about 34 grams of protein per liter. The protein has two components, whey and casein; there are several types of casein in milk, but the main ones are A1 and A2
beta casein. The two types break down differently when digested with A1 casein producing a bioactive peptide, which is very similar to the digestion product of gluten.
Thousands of years ago, the ancestor of the modern dairy cow lived mostly in the Middle East and Asia. During the period that cattle were domesticated and introduced into Europe, a natural mutation occurred which produced a protein variant in milk called A1 beta casein.
Today, most herds in Western countries contain some cows that produce milk with a1 beta casein, some that produce milk with A2 beta casein and some that produce a mixture. A1 beta casein has been linked to heart disease, diabetes type 1, autism and schizophrenia. The A2 Corporation in New Zealand has developed techniques for identifying which cows produce milk with negligible A1 beta casein content, the way it was thousands of years ago. In Australia, A2 milk is now available in Queensland and Adelaide, and should be widely available by the end of the year. http://www.a2corporation.com/index.php/ps_pagename/consumer
"Milk from Guernsey cows, goats, sheep, and humans produce milk that do not have the problematic casein peptides when digested."
Guernsey cows produce milk with around 90% A2 content, and Jersey cows produce a moderate amount more A2 content than regular farmed cows (Holstein).
"Devil in the Milk": www.westonaprice.org/Devil-in-the-Milk.html
Breast milk is A2; goats, sheep, buffalo, yak, and human milk. and other mammals produce this - but not all cows. Most cow's milk is A1 casein; kefir grains and goat's milk is A2 casein. Short version, A2 is more easily tolerated by most people.
Kefir casein originates from thousands of years ago. Kefir is cultured milk with prebiotics, probiotics and enzymes to partially digest the proteins before they are consumed. This makes it even more easily digested by the body.
I would not give any dairy casein to an IgE allergic person, however. If IgE to dairy casein, I would not use milk kefir grains at all.
Per my understand, all goat's milk is A2. Absolutely, folks can be intolerant, or allergic to A2 dairy protein.
With an intolerance, often the cultured dairy is ok though. Because it is "predigested" by enzymes and probiotics in the kefir grains. Especially, if it is raw dairy and the natural dairy enzymes are still present. Cultured dairy is an even "kinder and gentler" form of dairy than raw dairy. And the kefir grains can be used for culturing any type of "milk" or juice, almond, coconut, etc.
So, there are a lot of differences between "A2" intolerances and cultured A2>.
With an IgE allergic, reaction to any dairy, I would not try dairy kefir.
Personally, we've found that dh and ds can consume raw Guernsey cow milk, which has a different casein than raw Jersey or Holstein cow milk. Neither have as much of an issue with raw dairy, as with homogenized pasteurized, organic milk.
[Water kefir grains are a different symbiotic colony of bacteria than milk kefir grains. No A2 casein though, per my understanding.]
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