Based on the literature, cows have domesticated only 10,000 years ago and were only able to produce A2 beta-casein protein rather than A1 beta-casein protein. A natural mutation in the beta-casein gene occurred in Holsteins 8,000 years ago, which led to the production of the beta-casein protein A1 in this breed. This mutation led to 12 genetic variations of beta-casein, of which A1 and A2 are most common.
In part due to the use of Holsteins for breeding other breeds, the mutation spread to many breeds. Slowly, the beta-casein variant A1z began to dominate in milk. While the dairy herds in much of Asia, Africa, and part of Southern Europe tend to be predominantly A2 milk-producing, cows in the Western world are most likely to produce A1 milk.
This milk contains only beta-casein, the A2 variant of the beta-casein protein, and nothing else (fat or carbohydrates) and is referred to as A2 milk. A2 milk seems to be an all-star product in the dairy industry right now. In TV advertisements, online, in the grocery store, and even on the farm, people are talking about it. There have been reports in the press that A2 milk is healthy, promotes healthy digestion, and reduces the risk for some diseases. Many of these claims are not backed by science.
Researchers have believed that a gene mutation occurred between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago when cattle were driven into Northern Europe. In the United States, Western Europe (excluding France), Australia, and New Zealand, A1 milk is the standard, while A2 milk is more common in Asia and Africa.
It has been speculated by some scientists that the A2 protein is a fairly modern variation caused by selective breeding practices, the use of bovine growth hormone, and antibiotics. There is scant evidence to support this theory, but Holstein cows are generally larger and produce more milk than A2 cattle since they have been bred to optimize their milk production.
The Advantages of A2 Milk From Jersey Cows
Some people think milk is hard to digest or have lactose intolerance, but many resolve them when they consume A2 milk. This is because A2 milk’s protein is easily digested. At the same time, the nutrients in A2 milk are more readily available. The largest brand of A2 milk is A2, distributed by Whole Foods and at a number of organic and natural markets. Smaller, regional dairies produce A2 milk and typically label it accordingly.
People who have difficulties drinking normal cow’s milk may be at ease when switching to milk with predominantly A2 protein. According to research, A2 milk beta-casein does not cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to this specific protein. Beta-casein A1 and A2 milk protein are genetic variants of beta-casein milk protein that differ by one amino acid. New Zealand is known as the largest producer of milk powder. A genetic test indicates if a cow produces beta-casein A1 or A2.
Unlike regular milk, A2 milk has no difference in flavor as it is free from hormones and antibiotics, cleanly pasteurized, homogenized, and processed, and is available in whole, two percent lowly fat, nonfat, or chocolate varieties. Drinking A2 milk has no detrimental effect on health or nutrition. The only difference is that it costs more. A half-gallon of A2 milk costs between $4.25 and $5 while a half-gallon of regular milk costs just under $3. Two types of cows produce two kinds of milk. One type is A2 cow breeds and the other is A1 cow breeds. A2 cows are also known as Desi cows while A1 cow breeds are known as HF cows. There are essentially two types of protein found in milk, that is, Whey and Casein. However, the A2 casein protein is divided into two classes: alpha and beta-casein protein. Furthermore, milk from A2 cow breeds is currently produced in India.