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Sunday, January 08, 2006

A2 Milk Claims Unproven

What is it with all the milk claims lately?

Australians and New Zealanders (New Zealandites?) beware. A new type of "milk anyone can drink" is sweeping your side of the world.

The culprit is A2 milk, which is milk that contains more of the A2 beta casein protein. The milk comes from cows that naturally produce more of this particular protein because of a tiny mutation in amino acid linkage.

The A2 Corporation's website is actually quite conservative in its claims about its product.

It says:

The potential advantages of A2 Milk™ were first identified through epidemiological studies which showed that in countries where the dairy herds produced a higher proportion of the A2 protein in their milk, there was a significantly lower incidence of childhood diabetes and coronary heart disease. Putting it another way, in countries where the milk contained more of the A1 variant of beta-casein there was a higher incidence of such diseases.

It was recognized that this statistical correlation was not, in itself, proof of a beneficial effect of the A2 beta casein in relation to disease, or of a causal connection between A1 beta-casein and such conditions, but the link appeared so strong that the findings have triggered further study and review.

The research is far from complete and is ongoing, but results to date suggest not only a statistical link but also a mechanism by which the consumption of A1 beta-casein or related subvariants may play a contributing part in the development or aggravation of certain diseases and conditions in some susceptible individuals.


Newspapers have no such compunctions. An article, " Experts in a froth over milk," by Louise Pemble in The Sunday Times of Australia, has naturally found someone who gives the milk magical properties:

But A2 milk has a dedicated following in Australia and New Zealand, with devotees arguing it can be enjoyed by allergy sufferers and that it reduces the symptoms of ADHD, autism and schizophrenia. …

Perth mother Shona Stubberfield has been having milk freighted from Brisbane for her son, who has been allergic to milk since birth.

She was sceptical of claims that A2 milk did not benefit those with a dairy intolerance.

Ms Stubberfield said that until she switched to A2 milk, she could not even breastfeed her son, Luke, without him vomiting.

"I tried all the medications for reflux, but after every feed he would throw up," she said.

"In three days, after eliminating all dairy from my diet, he stopped throwing up. He stopped screaming at night. He was a new baby."


Allergies to particular fractions of the casein family of protein are very common, true. That's the reason why goat's milk, whose casein composition is very different from that of cow's milk, is sometimes better tolerated by those who are allergic. In fact, goat's milk naturally contains more of the A2 beta casein. Without the further study that even the company admits is needed, however, there is no way to tell whether this tolerance will also be true for A2 cow's milk.

A good FAQ on A2 milk has been put out by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority.

Rumors are rife that A2 milk will soon be introduced into the United States and elsewhere outside of New Zealand and Australia, especially since A2 now has a new owner. Tread very cautiously if you try this, although those who already drink goat's milk for allergy reasons should have more success. Remember that the lactose content will be identical to regular cow's milk, so if you're lactose intolerant it's no different than any other type of liquid milk.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My auntie passed this article on to me. It has helped with my understanding. Hope it helps your readers


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Children with ADHD

There is a perplexing state of affairs in today's society, there lies a strong correlation between the affluence of a society and the amount of disease that is present. There is also another correlation that troubles many a people and that is with affluence comes disease at an Earlier age.

Working with children and the parents of these children I often get asked the question, 'Why are Children with ADHD on the increase?'

The answer as you shall find is one that is both interesting and challenging.

Children of today are really no more different from the children of yesterday in terms of genetic makeup. However, if you examine the issue more closely you will tend to find that many children today have been given labels. For example, 'Oh, those are children with ADHD' or 'Those are the children who can't sit still.' Or 'That is the kid that always gets into trouble.'

These labels are not only destructive but also become a self fulfilling prophecy as it is repeated adnauseum.

So as a 21st century parent or a parent with a child with ADHD or a parent with children with ADHD, what knowledge framework do you need to equip yourself with to ensure your children live out their true potential?

Here is a quick reference list for thinking about ADHD
� ADHD is a source of great frustration because it is misunderstood
� ADHD medications are a great short term time buying device and should be avoided long term
� The above point goes for any sort of drug consumption. Think about it for a minute. Unless you have a biochemical deficiency in your body like Type 1 diabetes where your body fails to produce enough insulin or any at all, why would you take an external drug? A body that is in balance is totally healthy. It is only when the body is out of balance that dis-ease symptoms start to creep up.
� ADHD is a biochemical imbalance of the mind and body.
� The Head of Psychiatry in Harvard states that drugs for ADHD simply mask the effects of ADHD. It does not cure ADHD. This is an important point because a cure implies never to have to take the medication. This means that once you start on medication you will have to be on it for the rest of your life i.e. you have medically acquired a dependency for a biochemical imbalance. That is like stuffing all your rubbish (problematic behaviors) into a closet (medication) where no one can see it. But if you continue to stuff more rubbish into that closet, one day you will not have enough space and need to do one of two things. You either empty the rubbish (the natural conclusion) or you get a bigger closet (i.e. change to stronger medication to control the symptoms). The choice is obvious but sometimes when you don't have the necessary tools to deal with ADHD you tend to think the bigger closet is the only option.
� ADHD children are super sensitive to the emotions around them. Often they pick up emotional cues from their parents without realizing. Many parents come home frustrated or annoyed from work, the child with ADHD picks this up and starts to 'cause trouble' by becoming restless. Parents frustration increase because they just want some peace and quiet. They get angry which in turn is picked up by the child who then intensifies their activity. Things get way out of hand and some sort of punishment is handed down to the child who has no idea what just happened. The cycle repeats itself every so often.
� Our brains are wired emotionally. Positive praise is interpreted as an analytical/thinking exercise. Negative criticism including scolding, name calling, physical punishment all go directly to the emotional brain of children with ADHD. This means in order to ensure you get your message across in the most optimal way, you need to learn how to communicate with your ADHD children the way they like to be communicated with.
� Every negative comment requires 16 positive comments to neutralize the emotion. Save yourself the frustration and agitation by practicing positive communication.

The list is by no means complete. In dealing with children with ADHD there are a certain set of behavioural principles to follow. I will detail these steps in the coming weeks. I'll also build on the list as you continue to learn about what appears to be a mystical disorder known as 'Children with ADHD'