The milk trials
I noticed that the A2 Corporation has a separate A2 milk science website. On both websites they explain how opioid-like casomorphins are formed in the digestive tract from the breakdown of casein. Fermentation, pasteurisation and other processes don’t affect this process.
The science website explains how the difference between A1 and A2 milk is the simple substitution of one amino acid.
The worst beta-casomorphin in A1 milk is one called BCM-7. Instead of forming this casomorphin, A2 milk breaks down in a different way to create several different apparently beneficial peptides.
There’s also an interesting section on human breast milk:
As by definition previously stated, human breast milk beta casein by virtue of amino acid 67 can be classified as A2, thus the yielding of BCM-7 is not favoured during digestion.
Other casomorphins of varying chain lengths can nonetheless be released and it is reported that high concentrations of beta-casomorphin-like peptides are found in the cerebrospinal fluid and plasma of women with postpartum psychosis. Micro-purification of human beta-casomorphin-8 from the milk of a woman with postpartum psychosis is further suggestive of a link .
Human beta-casomorphin-8 (BC8), BC-immunoreactivity (BCIR) was detected in rostro-caudally increasing levels in nineteen microscopically distinct and functionally relevant areas of mesencephalon, pons cerebri, and medulla oblongata of eight infants . Data in the literature, together with those of this study indicate that beta-casomorphins could be transported by specific mechanisms from the blood into the brain stem and that they could play a role in the central regulation of various physiological phenomena.
Regardless of comparative physiological function between human and bovine derived casomorphins, it is important to note that human beta-casomorphin-5 (Tyr-Pro-Phe-Val-Glu), owing to its amino acid composition is about ten times less potent than bovine beta-casomorphin-5 (Tyr-Pro-Phe-Pro-Gly) . Furthermore it was noted in this study monitoring the behaviour of rats, that approximately ten times more naloxone was required to antagonize the beta-casomorphin-5 effect than that of morphine. Bioactives in milk
A couple of things that A1 milk beta-casomorphins negatively affect:
- Regulation of insulin formation
- Histamine release in humans, as in allergic responses
- The human immune response
Bioactives in milk
So apart from the addictive effects of milk, these casomorphins can also potentially cause hypoglycaemia, increased hunger, inflammatory responses, and increase likelihood of allergic response.
Over the last few months I’ve been doing various food trials.
My responses to milk are as follows:
- Cravings for more milk (must have it every day, any excuse to consume more)
- Increased snacking between meals especially in the few hours after drinking milk
- Loss of motivation
- Increased fatigue
- Increased social withdrawal
- Increased tendency to get headaches, especially sinus/neck/shoulder
- Slows down bowels
- Slow and subtle weight gain over a period of weeks
- If consumed in an allergenic environment (animal dander, pollen), it will induce mucus production and sneezing
These responses are so subtle it’s taken me weeks to sort out what I’m seeing. I know that before I went on the failsafe diet these responses were much worse. I spent most of my teenaged life drinking lots of milk and eating cereal. I always craved it. I was irritable and had lots of headaches and sinus problems. More recently, I tried being GFCF for many months on and off, and I remember having specific reactions to milk and cream (not just cheese). For a while I thought all my problems were centered around some sort of cow-protein allergy – something that encompassed both dairy and beef. I associated milk with headaches and both foods with skin inflammation/dermatitis itching. Now I understand I was reacting to two different chemicals.
I am pretty sure that I have been seeing the insulin and histamine responses described above, and I think the effects were cumulative in relation to food chemicals, so when I withdrew the food chemicals, the reactions to milk were lessened to the point where I could tolerate limited amounts. I have similar reactions to gluten grains: very muted, slow, subtle and cumulative.
I do not have any problem eating butter or drinking double cream, because they are so low in milk proteins that they don’t matter. A sizeable portion of the calories in my diet come from butter and cream, and withdrawing butter and cream does not give me any withdrawal symptoms.
I am pretty sure that the above responses are due to a sensitivity to the opioid-like beta-casomorphins in milk. I’d really love to get hold of some proper A2 cow’s milk. I just find goat’s milk too disgusting (“goaty”) to drink, though the next move is a proper trial of it. In the UK we have Gold Top milk from Jersey and Guernsey cows. Apparently Guernsey cows are 90% A2 milk, and Jersey are more than 50% A2, so the milk still contains some A1 casomorphins. I definitely tolerate Gold Top much better than regular milk.
Something that has struck me is just how incredibly difficult it is to get off dairy, gluten grains and oats (perhaps I should call this group ‘opioid grains’) once I start eating them. It’s like I can’t think about anything except my next fix. Although it only takes a couple of days to get through the cravings, it’s very difficult to resist them during that time. I feel sorry for heroin addicts.
I have other symptoms from milk consumption too. Sometimes I seem to experience one or two heartbeat skips and racing heartbeat in the few hours after drinking milk that has been:
- Heated in a microwave
- Marked ‘pasteurised for longer’
I believe this is due to glutamate being freed up and a separate reaction to beta-casomorphins. I seem to find this milk more addictive than normal and I have a slight tendency to get brain fog from it. I presume these are also glutamate reactions.
I also have to be careful how I buy milk. Milk that has a low turnover (as specialist milk like sheep, goat and channel island milk tends to have) can be aminey/glutamatey if it has been on the shop shelves for too long. I try to buy a brand that has a higher turnover, and I always pick milk from the back of the fridge. Sometimes if I leave a pot of double cream in the fridge for too long – more than four days – I will also get aminey/glutamatey reactions from it.