Thursday, September 17, 2015

Milk Wars - Why we switched to A2

Our daughter is allergic to raw A1 milk protein. On contact with her skin she break out in hives. On consumption she coughs, vomits and has swelling of the eyes and face. This happens when drinking ordinary fresh milk or products containing fresh milk such as ice cream and cream. Thankfully she hasn't and hopefully never will experience a life threatening allergic anaphylactic shock.

It took us until she was about 18 months old before we discovered what was causing the problem. Looking back it was easy to narrow the culprit for her reactions down to ordinary milk. My epiphany was when I remembered half seeing a story on the ABC some years ago about how a protein in ordinary milk, A1, can cause unfavorable reactions in a small percentage of the population and that it was different from lactose intolerance. There had been a company setup supplying milk from a genetically isolated heard that only produces milk without the A1 protien. So decided to do an experiment to test this theory with our daughter.

Our daughter has a skin reaction sensitivity. Its easy to obtain samples of milk containing A1 and A2 protein ("ordinary" milk) and another of A2 only milk from the local supermarket. The test involved placing a drop of one sample on one hand, and a drop of the other sample on the other. Sure enough, the sample containing A1 protein caused an almost immediate welt on that hand. Of course I immediately washed the sample off that hand. The hand that I applied the A2 sample to had no reaction.

From that point on we have switched our milk consumption to A2 only milk. Ever since, other than a couple of accidental contamination do to misleading product labeling, we've not had a single problem consuming A2 only milk and cream products.

Misleading advertising from Dairy Farmers
This brings me to the point of this post, Dairy Farmers misleading "Naturally Contains A2 protein" product labeling. While accurate in its claim, it is misleading as the reason people buy A2 milk is the absence of A1 protein that causes the problems. The labeling has caused more than one mishap in our household where one of us parents or visiting grandparents have grabbed the wrong product from the supermarket shelves mistakenly believing they were doing the right thing. Can you imagine the surprise when your 18 month old baby begins to choke, cough and vomit for apparently no reason and then the subsequent blame and guilt response?

Choice slams Lion's new A2 protein labelling on its Pura and Dairy Farmers milk as marketing 'spin'
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-01/a2-protein-lion/5641542

I don't know if we've got the science right or not, this is only our experience, but now we are extremely careful with our dairy supply and we've had far less problems with upsetting reactions as a result. The good news is, most children suffering from milk allergy grow out of it by age 3-4. I'll see how we go and repeat this test again in the future.

For a laugh or two and another take on the Milk Wars see A2 Milk | The Checkout
https://youtu.be/tP1XGmr26Mo

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