If you’re a health and wellness fanatic, or are following a lectin-free diet, you’ve probably heard about casein. Several marketers promote casein as a proper protein for those looking to gain weight. And it can be found in several dairy products.
However, there are two main types of casein, and one of them might be the catalyst behind a mess of digestive issues. But which type? And is it found in goat cheese?
To learn more, including the answer to this question and the impact of casein on your body, read on.
What is Casein?
Casein is a group of proteins often found in dairy products. In fact, casein can make up as much as 80% of the protein in certain types of cow’s milk. That means casein is widely consumed in countries that consume large amounts of cow’s milk.
Not only is casein found in milk, but it’s also found in a range of other dairy products, including cheese. This means that you may be consuming casein even if you’re not drinking casein-filled milk.
Casein is now often used as a substitute for whey protein in processed food and protein powder. It has a range of other uses, too. You can find casein in paints, glues, fibers, plastics, and a host of other industrial products.
Differences Between A1 and A2 Proteins
One of the most critical components to consider are the two major types of casein protein — Casein A1 and Casein A2.
The type of protein you consume will have a different impact on your body. This is especially true if you’re casein intolerant. One of these types of protein is attributed to a range of health issues. The other is thought to have much less of an impact on the body.
Now, there are different sources for each form of casein. You can access certain milk or cheese products that won’t have the more harmful version of casein.
So, which form of casein could actually be dangerous for human consumption?
The answer is A1.
A1 casein, or A1 beta-casein, is in a wide variety of dairy products. This form of casein is often found in the milk of cows in Northern Europe, as well as in the Americas. This means people in Northern Europe, as well as the US, Canada, and Mexico tend to have enormous amounts of A1 casein exposure.
The A1 protein is now thought to create a range of digestive and health issues. In fact, A1 casein may have a link to some of the world’s most dangerous conditions. We’ll explore these particular problems in more detail later in this article.
Why is A1 casein so bad for your health?
Some medical experts blame a peptide called beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM-7). This peptide develops when the A1 protein enters the small intestine. The BCM-7 is then absorbed into the bloodstream. This peptide may cause a range of health problems that aren’t fully understood.
Types Of Dairy That Primarily Have Casein A1
The primary source of casein is dairy products. Many people make the mistake of assuming dairy only refers to cow’s milk — this isn’t true. The dairy industry relates to the production of any form of animal milk.
So, which types of dairy products currently contain casein? Let’s look at the most common places you’re likely to find large amounts of casein. We’ll analyze dairy depending on the type of casein that it produces.
Remember, of the types of casein, A1 is the form thought to impact human health negatively. Here is a list of cow breeds that produce casein A1 milk:
- Holstein Friesian Cow’s Milk
- Ayrshire Cow’s Milk
- British Shorthorn Cow’s Milk
Though it is somewhat tough to avoid dairy products made from the milk of the cows listed above, not all dairy products contain casein A1. If you consume dairy products regularly, you should try to steer clear of A1 casein. Casein A2 dairy products like milk and cheese can be found at most well-stocked grocery stores.
As mentioned, the A2 casein protein may have a much less negative impact on the human body. A2 milk is much more like the type of milk that you find in human breast milk. Studies have shown that drinking A2 milk is less likely to cause harmful side effects.
Types of Dairy that Primarily Contain A2 Casein
To avoid the A1 type of casein, it may be worth looking at dairy products that come from a more friendly source. It’s hard to cut dairy from your diet, especially if you love cheese products.
Now, there are some different types of milk products that don’t contain large amounts of A1 casein. Let’s explore some of the most popular options in more detail below.
Guernsey and Jersey cows are not thought to contain large amounts of A1 casein. As you can tell from the name, this breed of cow originates from the Guernsey and Jersey islands.
The Jersey breed of this cow is often considered the second most prevalent milk-breeding cow.
Charolais cows are a cattle breed that originates from the western parts of France. While this cow produces A2 milk, it’s mainly used for beef. You won’t find much of this milk available on the market.
This encompasses a broad range of Asian herds. Most Asian cows have A2 type milk, making them much healthier for human consumption. As we’ll explore later, the nature of Asian cows may be why Japanese people have so few heart problems.
Limousin cows are another French breed that provides A2 milk. This breed does produce A2 milk, but you’ll find these cows aren’t used for much dairy production. Instead, they’re a massive source of lean beef around the world.
Goat Milk And Cheese
Goat cheese does have casein. But it contains A2 casein — the protein that agrees much more with the human body. You won’t have to worry about consuming large amounts of A1 casein if you want to eat goat cheese or drink goat’s milk. In fact, it’s an excellent alternative to traditional cow’s milk.
Unlike many health food products, including “A2 milk”, goat cheese isn’t a new entrant to the market. Cheesemakers have been using goat milk to create a broad range of cheeses for thousands of years. In fact, goat cheese is often considered a delicacy in many areas of the world.
While buffalo milk isn’t as popular as some of the other types of milk on this list, it does offer A2 protein. In this sense, it’s an excellent alternative. Though, it does tend to be much thicker than traditional cow milk.
One of the most common uses of buffalo milk is to make cheese. Buffalo mozzarella is a great source of A2 protein that you can find in most grocery stores.
Donkey milk is another excellent source of A2 milk. You can find plenty of organic donkey milk options on the market. Also, this milk is known for being much less fatty than other forms of milk. This makes it a popular choice for specific diets.
Camel milk is one more form of milk that isn’t as popular as some of the other options available on this list. Still, you can find camel milk in most major cities, or from distributors.
Also, camel milk is known for its other nutritional benefits. For example, camel milk has much more vitamin C and iron than traditional cow’s milk. You’ll be gaining a range of benefits if you opt for camel milk instead of A1 cow milk!
Which Dairy Products Do Not Contain Any Casein?
Sometimes you’ll find butter and cream that may only have traces of casein, but for the most part, casein is in every animal-made dairy product.
If you’re looking for a cheese or dairy product that has absolutely no casein (neither casein A1 nor casein A2) you’ll need to focus on plant-based cheeses and milk. Try one of these Gundry-approved non-dairy types of milk (just make sure they’re unsweetened and pure, not cut with soy or other lectin-heavy milk):
- Coconut milk
- Almond milk
- Hemp milk
- Hazelnut milk
While these kinds of milk may not have the same flavor as dairy, they’re a good alternative to products containing casein.
Buy Certified A2 Milk or Cheese
If you are following a lectin-free diet or want to reap the benefits of A2 milk, you need to make sure that you’re buying the right product. It’s often a good idea to buy milk that specifies that it doesn’t have A1 casein.
If you don’t look for this clarification, you may get milk that is mixed with various milk sources.
This is especially true for those who are explicitly seeking cow milk. It is common to see an A1-A2 milk blend that includes both types of casein. Fortunately, there is a range of different products that offer this clarification.
Symptoms of Casein Intolerance
You might not realize that some symptoms you have when you eat are from casein intolerance. This section will explore the various manifestations of casein intolerance. Many people experience lactose intolerance. Few realize that this may be associated with casein intake. You may have a casein intolerance if you experience:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Gas and bloating
- Itchy skin
- Runny nose
In severe cases, those with a casein intolerance can experience difficulty breathing. If you have any of these symptoms after consuming casein speak to your doctor right away, and ask if you can be tested for casein AND lactose intolerance.
Potential Negative Consequences of Casein Intake
While the above symptoms can cause discomfort, it can be worse. There are more severe consequences linked to consuming certain types of dairy products. Many of these consequences relate to the consumption of A1 protein.
Respected scientists and medical professionals are researching casein’s impact on the body. Results have shown casein is linked to serious ailments. These include blood sugar problems, heart health issues, and more.
Should You Avoid Casein?
Diet and nutrition play a significant role in your ability to lead a healthy, enjoyable life. Many people overlook diet when assessing their mental and physical health. They shouldn’t. You should always avoid foods that create long-term problems for you and your health.
The bad news about milk seems ridiculous to many American consumers. Ads touting the benefits of regular milk consumption are everywhere. Unfortunately, researchers have thought otherwise for decades.
There is clear evidence that something in milk often disagrees with the human body.
Given the current evidence, it seems reasonable to avoid A1 casein consumption. You can still enjoy the same types of foods you love. Just make some substitutes and enjoy life A1-free!
If you do decide to buy cow’s milk, you should always make sure that it has A2 casein. There are now brands that provide you with guarantees their milk is free of A1 casein. It’s an excellent way to ensure you’re getting the right type of protein.