The amazing thing is that there are DIFFERENT TYPES OF CASEIN!


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


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:

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.


"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":

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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Comment by Precious on August 28, 2010 at 2:22pm
I tried raw goat's milk but had disastrous results. I had severe intestinal bleeding and clots(TMI). That was a month ago and I'm still reeling from the effects of it. I have celiac disease by the way and I can't tolerate dairy at all, no matter what form. I can't even have the lactose(milk sugar).
Comment by Pat Robinson on August 28, 2010 at 4:56pm
Wow! Do you have colitis or IBS? How much milk did you have, that is horrible. I assume you knew your source and were confident in their cleanliness practices.

Are you using any fermented veggies or water kefir for the whole food probiotics benefits for healing?

Comment by Precious on August 28, 2010 at 11:14pm

It was from Whole Foods so I'm sure it's ok, plus my husband had some too and he was totally fine. Meanwhile, I was so sick with severe cramping and the bloody/clotty diarrhea. Oh sorry it was actually goat cheese, not milk. I ate a tiny piece, tiny.

I don't use fermented veggies, I use an expensive probiotic. What's a water kefir? I thought kefir is dairy? I'm not gonna attempt to try any form of dairy whatsoever anymore. I'm tired of being sick :(. I have to be also gluten-free and I think I'm reacting to soy now too.

Oh and I almost forgot, I do have IBS on top of the celiac.
Comment by Pat Robinson on August 28, 2010 at 11:19pm
Heading to bed, but here are instructions, photos and video about water kefir.

Homemade Probiotics:

Everything Probiotics:

More Probiotics:

Whole Food Probiotics 101:

Comment by Precious on August 28, 2010 at 11:24pm
Question, my DD and I are supposed to be yeast-free, do you think the water kefir will be counter-productive? It will grow yeast I assume?

Comment by Sarah Thompson on November 30, 2010 at 8:47am
Are you yeast-free due to candida overgrowth? It is my understanding that kefir contains yeasts but they are beneficial yeasts that do not feed candida.
Comment by Mema on December 9, 2010 at 10:56am
This is very interesting!

In regards to human breastmilk another thing to consider is the balance of whey to casein protein. Cow's milk is MOSTLY casein and some whey, where in the beginning human milk is 90%whey and about 10% casein and as baby ages the milk goes to about 80:20 at 6 weeks, then to 60:40naround 6 months to about 50:50 in late lactation.

I found this info in the LLL manual, 3rd edition I think, it says (kunz and lonnerdal 1992) if anyone wants to find the study.

So I guess this is why milk is considered "mature" milk and probably why nursing toddlers notice a difference in moms milk when she becomes pregnant as I imagine the milk would start to revert back to a higher whey content.
Comment by Stephanie on April 29, 2014 at 10:54pm

My naturopathic doctor just did muscle testing on my son and she found that he is allergic to dairy and gluten.  Does anyone have suggestions on what probiotic drink I should start with?  I know I need to build his gut up, and the yogurt he was eating was just hurting him.  Does coconut milk yogurt have probiotics?  Would kombucha be recommended for a toddler- he's three years old.

Comment by Pat Robinson on April 30, 2014 at 9:44am

Water kefir is dairy-free and simple to make. Fermented veggies are easy to make also. You can make coconut water kefir with water (or milk) kefir grains. I'd start with just a teaspoon a day and work up (or down) based upon tolerance. People with really messed up guts may have diarrhea if the homemade probiotics are introduced too quickly as they are very strong.

I would not introduce kombucha initially. Bubbies sauerkraut juice is easy to add too.



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