Is Your Dairy Toxic?
Dairy products are one of the most common foods consumed around the world. Some cultures survive on diets consisting of up to 80% raw cow, goat, &/or sheep milk. In the western world, however, dairy has become one of the most inflammatory foods. A recent discovery shows that a genetic shift in the casein molecule has produced a powerful toxin linked to numerous disorders and diseases.
Milk contains two primary protein molecules: whey and casein. Casein makes up about 80% of the protein in the milk. Casein is made up of 209 amino acids strung together in sequence. The 2 primary forms of casein are: A1 Beta Casein and A2 Beta Casein. These 2 are nearly identical in structure except for the amino acid at position 67. A1 contains histidine while A2 contains proline.
The bond between histidine and its linked amino acids is much weaker and much more easily broken than the bonding of proline in A2. This splitting happens during the digestive process and creates a peptide called beta casomorphin 7 (BCM7). BCM7 is an opioid which gives it morphine-like qualities. This creates rampant oxidative stress in the gut and blood stream.
BCM7 is Highly Toxic:
BCM7 is a 7 amino acid peptide that is resistant to degradation. It takes very strong immune responses to break this molecule down effectively. This immune response often takes place in the gut and causes digestive distress and leaky gut syndrome. The most susceptible individuals are those who already have digestive problems and infants who naturally have increased intestinal permeability.
When BCM7 passes into the bloodstream it is able to cross through the blood brain barrier. In the brain, it can bind to opioid receptors and causes symptoms of schizophrenia, autism, and other mood and neurodevelopmental issues. Research performed on rats has shown autistic and schizophrenic type behavioral changes after the rats were injected with BCM7.
A1 beta casein and its byproduct BCM7 have also been linked to cases of type I diabetes, digestive disorders, neurodegenerative disorders and heart disease. These issues have the most supportive evidence linking them to A1 beta casein. This does not mean that A1 beta casein isn’t associated with other health disorders as well.
Avoiding A1 Beta Casein:
It can be quite challenging to enjoy dairy products and avoid A1 Beta Casein in the western hemisphere. You certainly have to look for specific breeds of cow that will not be labeled at the grocery store. A1 beta casein is produced by cattle belonging to the Bos Taurus subspecies which is the primary breed of cattle in the western hemisphere. The Guernsey breeds produce only about 10% of their beta casein as A1 while the Jersey breed produces about 35%. The Ayrshire, Holstein, and Fresian breeds tend to produce 50% or more.
The Right Type of Dairy:
Goats do not produce A1 beta casein making their milk and dairy products. The “land of milk and honey” that was described in the bible is thought to be a reference to raw, goat milk and raw honey. Raw milk from grass-fed animals without A1 beta casein has a number of amazing health benefits due to the healthy omega 6:3 ratios, conjugated linoleic acid, and other immune supportive properties.
Organic butter from a grass-fed cow is still very healthy regardless of the breed of cow because it contains little to no protein. Research has found that cheese, yogurt, and fermented milk products from A1 beta casein containing breeds produce around the same amount of BCM7 as regular milk. These products should only be consumed from breeds of cow that produce very little A1 beta casein or none at all.
Due to this new understanding of the damaging effects of BCM7 some farmers are taking the necessary steps to breed cows in a specific manner to eliminate A1 beta casein from their dairy products. If you wish to consume dairy products it is extremely important to support these farming practices.
Beyond Organic Products:
This is why I am so excited about Beyond Organic products. My friend Jordan Rubin has specialized breeds of dairy cows that do not produce Beta A1 casein. He has them on a 100% green-fed diet and the pasteurization process never goes over the cows natural body temperature. This maintains the integrity of the proteins and enzymes.
He has 2 incredible products: Amasai – a super probiotic drink that tastes amazing. Really Raw Cheese – that is loaded with CLA, Whey Protein, and high quality long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Best of all, these foods taste amazing…you will not want to stop eating them! You can also get grass-fed goat and sheeps dairy which is naturally free of Beta Casein A1 and their are some other farms that are now claiming to produce A2 dairy. Hopefully as the word gets out there will be many others!