“The Devil in the Milk”

by Catherine Haug

First, honesty in journalism:  I’ve borrowed the title of this post from The Devil in the Milk, a book by Dr. Keith Woodford.

Friesian-Holsten (from Wikipedia, cropped)

Friesian-Holstein, from Wikipedia (cropped)

Scientists have long marked a link between commercial milk consumption and the following health issues:

  • Increased mucous,
  • Lactose intolerance,
  • Heart disease,
  • Type 1 diabetes,
  • Autoimmune diseases,
  • Autism, and
  • Schizophrenia

While this is usually attributed to the pasteurization of milk, some people continue to have problems even after switching to raw milk. But now it appears that there is an additional problem with commercial milk:  the type of cows that produce it; namely the black and white Holsteins and Friesians. It’s not their color, but a mutated milk protein (termed A-1), that lies at the root of the problem.  

Cat's cow-share cow

Cat's cow-share Jersey cow

Older breeds of dairy cows, such as Jerseys and Guernseys (termed A-2) do not have this mutated protein. Neither do any known breeds of dairy goats.

So, if you are really concerned about your health, and that of your family, consider switching to raw milk from A-2 cows or goats.

Without further ado, here’s a quote from The Bovine blog: “The Devil in the Milk” —concerning Dr. Woodfords book, by Dr. Thomas Cowan, that gets to the heart of the matter:

Milk consists of three parts: 1) fat or cream, 2) whey, and 3) milk solids. For this story we are only concerned about the milk solid part, as the fat and whey don’t have this “devil”. The milk solid part is composed of many different proteins which have their own names, lactose, and other sugars. It is the protein part of the solid we’re interested in. One of these proteins is called casein, of which there are many different types, but the one casein we are interested is the predominant protein called beta- casein.

As you may or may not know, all proteins are long chains of amino acids that have many “branches” coming off different parts of the main chain. Beta casein is a 229 chain of amino acids with a proline at number 67 – at least the proline is there in “old- fashioned” cows. These cows with proline at number 67 are called A2 cows and are the older breeds of cows (e.g. Jerseys, Asian and African cows). Some five thousand years ago, a mutation occurred in this proline amino acid, converting it to histidine. Cows that have this mutated beta casein are called A1 cows, and include breeds like Holstein.

The side chain that comes off this amino acid is called BCM 7. BCM 7 is a small protein (called a peptide) that is a very powerful opiate and has some undesirable effects on animals and humans. What’s important here is that proline has a strong bond to BCM 7 which helps keep it from getting into the milk, so that essentially no BCM 7 is found in the urine, blood or GI tract of old-fashioned A2 cows. On the other hand, histidine, the mutated protein, only weakly holds on to BCM 7, so it is liberated in the GI tract of animals and humans who drink A1 cow milk, and it is found in significant quantity in the blood and urine of these animals.

This opiate BCM 7 has been shown in the research outlined in the book to cause neurological impairment in animals and people exposed to it, especially autistic and schizophrenic changes. BCM 7 interferes with the immune response, and injecting BCM 7 in animal models has been shown to provoke Type 1 diabetes. Dr. Woodford presents research showing a direct correlation between a population’s exposure to A1 cow’s milk and incidence of auto-immune disease, heart disease (BCM 7 has a pro-inflammatory effect on the blood vessels), type 1 diabetes, autism, and schizophrenia. What really caught my eye is that BCM 7 selectively binds to the epithelial cells in the mucus membranes (i.e. the nose) and stimulates mucus secretion. …

Dr. Woodford explains that it is fairly straightforward to switch a herd to become an all A2 herd. No genetic engineering is needed, no fancy tests, just one simple test of the Beta-casein and it can be done. Hopefully, when this becomes widespread we will end up with a truly safe and healthy milk supply.”


The following posts from The Bovine blog:

See also:

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