Milk alternatives weren't always so varied; we've all gotten used to soy and oat by now, but what about A2 milk. Is this type of milk still considered dairy? Yes. Should you drink it? Maybe. Curious? We're going to give you the scoop; keep reading.
The Dairy Details
Milk contains two variants of beta-casein (type of protein): A1 and A2. Historically (read before hormones and antibiotics), most cows produced A2-rich milk. Unfortunately, today, the milk you find in your local supermarket is more than likely loaded with A1 beta-casein that can cause digestion issues and other health issues.
The A2 milk product refers to a specific gene ascertained in dairy cows. Because of the desirability of the A2 variant of beta-casein, farmers may specialize in breeding to produce this type of milk.
It's All In The Source
Specific cows have a higher gene concentration than other cows (Holstein cows dominate the U.S. market.) In terms of the A2 gene, different breeds of cattle offer more than Holstein cows. Species with high amounts of A2 include "Jersey, Guernsey, Normande, and Brown Swiss breeds."
Why People Drink A2 Milk
As we've stated, this milk alternative is still from dairy cows, and it is not a plant-based milk substitute. However, individuals who prefer dairy over plant-based alternatives may drink this option because it's more digestible.
- A1-rich milk may be linked to gut inflammation; A2 milk may cause less irritation and a rich dairy taste.
- A1-rich milk causes softer, more runny stools than A2-rich milk. Switch if you find yourself in the bathroom for a long time after meals.
- Milk intolerance can all be chalked up to lactose intolerance; some individuals may be sensitive to A1 beta-casein. So this alternative offers easier digestion while still allowing some to enjoy cow's milk.
Who It's Not Suitable For
Those with lactose intolerance or milk intolerance should not consider A2 milk as a non-dairy alternative or vegan-friendly. Furthermore, this type of milk is still dairy and contains whey protein— those who have chronic digestion issues like IBS or Chrons disease; beware, it may worsen your condition.