Milk Indigestion, Lactose Intolerance, The A2 milk And The Gir Cow Milk Story!

Milk Indigestion, Lactose Intolerance, The A2 milk And The Gir Cow Milk Story!

The Causes Of Milk Indigestion and Their Solutions!

Many people cannot tolerate milk and milk products.

They develop varying degrees of abdominal discomfort, pain, bloating, gases, diarrhoea when they consume milk.

The commonest cause of this is lactose intolerance.


Lactose intolerance:

Lactose is the major sugar present in milk.

It is composed of two sugars namely glucose and galactose.

Our body needs an enzyme called lactase to digest lactose.

Lactase is an enzyme that is produced in the what is called as the brush border of the epithelial lining of the small intestines of humans and other mammals.

A large number of people lack adequate amounts of lactase and are unable to digest lactose fully and hence suffer from bloating, gases, diarrhoea and abdominal discomfort when they have milk.

Lactase is also available as a food supplement and is added to milk to produce ‘lactose free’ milk products.

People with lactose intolerance can take lactase supplements before consuming milk and milk products or add it to them before consuming them.

A few people may have difficulty digesting a protein in milk.


Milk proteins:

Milk majorly has two proteins, casein and whey proteins, the former contributing nearly eighty per cent while the latter makes up most of the balance twenty per cent of milk protein.

Casein has two major components, the A1 beta casein and and A2 beta casein proteins

Most buffalo and cow milk have both A1 and A2 variants of the beta casein proteins.


Milk protein intolerance:

It is this A1 beta casein that a few people have difficulty in digesting fully.

These people may have some abdominal discomfort when they have milk having both the A1 and A2 variants of the beta casein proteins.

But their number is much smaller than the people having lactose intolerance.

Sixty five to seventy per cent of the world population has varying degrees of lactose intolerance while much fewer people possibly suffer from milk protein intolerance.

Some milk variants of both buffalo and cow milk have only the A2 variant and not the A1 variant of the beta casein proteins.

The A2 milk is marketed at a special premium as a milk that is easier to digest and does not cause discomfort like gases and bloating which regular milk causes in some people.

Although there is not enough scientific evidence to support it, the findings are mixed, some people may experience less discomfort with the A2 milk, whether cow or buffalo, than the regular milk.

Other than that there is no special nutritional advantage of the A2 milk over the regular milk.

But if you like it, are more comfortable drinking it and don’t mind paying the premium for it, you can continue to use it.

The A1 variant of beta-casein can be found in cow’s milk from certain breeds like Holstein, while the A2 variant is found in milk from other breeds like Guernsey and Jersey cows.


The Gir cow:

Currently the Gir cow milk is touted as a highly superior milk and is sold at a considerable premium.

It is quite likely that buying the more expensive Gir cow milk is getting fashionable amongst our urban affluent, not unlike the use of olive oil!

Gir cow milk does have more A2 proteins than A1 proteins.

Some Gir cow milk may have only the A2 variant proteins but there is no guarantee that the milk you are buying has only the A2 variant and not the A1 variant of the beta casein proteins, unless you have it tested in a specialised laboratory.


What matters more is that the milk you get comes from buffaloes or cows those graze in open natural pastures, on grass that is free of harmful chemicals and pesticides and the animals are not injected with hormones and antibiotics.

But it is difficult in the current scenario to ensure this.

And buffalo milk is definitely superior to cow milk, you can look for A2 buffalo milk if you like it, tolerate it better or are very keen on buying A2 milk only.

Read more about the nutrition of milk on the link ‘Magical Health Benefits Of Milk’ on this website.

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