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Addicted to the cow? - what milk can do to us...

How exactly does milk affect your body?

The article "The differences between A1 and A2 milk" is about today's milk culture and the differences between A1 and A2 milk. In addition to the different metabolism of these two types of milk, there are other effects on your body, such as addiction to opiate-like protein fragments and impaired digestion. In this article you will find out exactly what can happen if you treat yourself to a good liter of cow's milk.

A small change with a big impact on your body

What exactly is the difference between A2 and A1 casein? Actually, it's just a small change in the amino acid chain (see figure). Due to mutations, the amino acid proline has been replaced by histidine in the beta-casein of A2 milk. Doesn't sound so wild at first. But it is. Because at the point where the histidine is located, the amino acid chain of the A1 casein is split during the digestion process. This does not happen with the A2 beta casein.

It was only 10-15 years ago that this difference in splitting was observed. The problem with this is this: the split-off part of the A1 beta-casein, also called beta-casomophin 7 (BCM7), acts on your body like an opiate-like substance. Sounds like you could kick yourself into a high-like state with a load of cow's milk, but wait - what else are opiates known for? - That's right, they make you happy because they affect the neurotransmitters in the brain and release dopamine. The problem with anything that has a proven effect and makes you happy is that it's also addictive in some way because we want more of it to be happy.

In cow history, this principle turned out to be quite useful, because it is purely to the advantage of the mother cow if the calf is a bit addicted to her milk in the first few months of life. Through this dependency, she guarantees that the calf stays with her. We don't necessarily want to be dependent on a cow, we just continue to order our pizza as Quadro Formaggi embedded in Cheesecrust Rand. How many people do you know who are vegetarian for the reason that vegan isn't sustainable because they love their cheese so much? I don't want to appeal to any form of nutrition here, everyone should be allowed to eat animal products if they want to. But it's no secret that dairy also induces some degree of cognitive dependence.

But milk is not alone in this, because almost everything we eat activates the reward centers in our brain to a greater or lesser extent. The absolute overstimulant is sugar, which is why it is the one most likely to make us addicted. But well, if you think again about where we actually come from, it is clear: a certain dependency on energy-dense food was always necessary in the past, because otherwise you forget to eat and hunt and die.

Then why am I picking on the A1 milk and its opiate-like effects?

Well, the split off BCM7 causes much more in our body than just addiction. By targeting the opioid receptors, A1 casein can slow down your digestion, making it sluggish or inefficient. Furthermore, negative effects on the development of newborns and young children have been demonstrated, and BCM7 has been identified as a risk factor for apnea (breathing failure) in some children. In many metabolic and autoimmune diseases, cow's milk products trigger an immune response because the body detects the split-off BCM7 (and possibly also other components of the milk) as an alarm signal and sharpens its weapons. Unfortunately also against your own immune system. It is therefore not surprising that many Lykaia customers are exactly those who have such a pre-existing condition or have generally found a problem with cow's milk protein in themselves and find a solution to their problem in A2 milk products.

In addition, there is convincing epidemiological evidence for an association between BCM7 and the occurrence of coronary artery disease and type 1 diabetes. There may also be other unexplored differences between A1 and A2 casein and how they affect our bodies. Of course, further research is needed, especially with regard to the long-term effects of A1 milk products and BCM7. A clear statement is never that easy to make. But based on a lot of empirical values ​​alone, it can be said overall that A1 milk is not that great for us, especially not in its processed form:

A1 milk is sensitive to processing

In order for our cow's milk to be sterile, it is made fairly hot and then "pasteurized" is written on the milk pack. Unfortunately, the BCM7 in A1 milk is very sensitive and the critical opioid only develops more quickly when it is heated. However, milk research has only been informed about this for 10-15 years. That sounds like a long time, but it isn't when you consider that entire branches of the economy have to be reorganized here so that something can happen in the supermarket. New Zealand and Australia are already one step further. Unfortunately, that doesn't help you that much, so:

How can you find out if you have A1 milk or A2 milk in your fridge?

If you want to know exactly, read the article: Why is A2 milk healthier? to. If you don't want to read any more, here's the short answer: Sheep and goat milk products are always A2 milk based and therefore do not lead to a release of BCM7.

Sometimes we also offer cow's milk, which is marked as a2 "feel-good milk" and comes from more original cow breeds. We wanted to be on the safe side and therefore decided to use goat's milk as the basis for our protein powder.

Goat's milk instead of cow's milk in ancient times

Excavations of ancient pottery jars have shown that infants were fed goat's milk instead of cow's milk at that time.
Katharina Rebay-Salisbury from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, who was involved in the study, comments as follows: "Goat's milk is human's breast milk am most similar and was relatively readily available since sheep, goats and cattle were among the most common domestic animals. But cow's milk was less suitable because it causes diarrhea and digestive problems in babies - that was already known back then". 

We'll leave that as an uncommented and nice conclusion to this article. Do you have any suggestions or questions? Write us a comment or a personal message - here or on Instagram. We look forward to hearing from you!

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