Here’s a report from Five News in Britain about the connection between childhood autism and milk from certain breeds of cows. Video above is from Five News. Click on image to view it on another page. The cows pictured here look like Guernseys, which are noted for their predominance of A2 beta-casein. Holsteins have more A1. Here’s what they say:
“Find out how one type of cow’s milk can help with the effects of autism. But it’s not easy to get hold of.
We all know that our milk here in the UK primarily comes from cows. But some scientists believe one special kind of cow’s milk may help with the effects of autism.
Yet getting your hands on this kind of treatment isn’t as easy as popping down to the shops to buy a pint.
You might think milk from one cow would be much like milk from any other. But actually different breeds make milk that contains distinct varieties of milk proteins. Most milk sold in Britain comes from cows producing a form of of protein called betacasein A1, But these Guernsey cows mostly produce a different type, betacasein A2.
The research is still hotly debated, some scientists believe drinking A1 milk may worsen the symptoms of autism: so switching to A2 milk could help improve the conditions….”
And here’s another story about the same theme, from the Brain and Body Nutrition website, which looks like it’s also from Britain. This one is titled “A1 and A2 milk and health“. Here’s an excerpt:
“Emerging evidence is showing an association between a particular protein ( A1beta-casein ) found in cows milk and an increased risk of developing heart disease and insulin-dependant diabetes. It may also aggravate neurological conditions such as autism and schizophrenia.
Most cows in the British dairy herd produce milk containing 70% A1but Jersey and Guernsey milk have a lower A1 content of 50% and 4%, respectively, whilst sheep’s milk and goat’s milk do not contain any A1 beta-casein.
These research findings are very interesting but are not conclusive and any dietary modification should be taken under the guidance of a Registered Dietitian.
If you would like to talk to the Registered Dietitian at brain & body nutrition please contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01623 882853.
Posted: June 2008
Birgisdottir & Hill, 2006 ‘ Lower consumption of cow milk protein A1 beta casein at 2 years of age may explain the lower incidence of type 1 diabetes in Iceland than in Scandinavia’ Annals of Nutritional Metabolism 50 p177-183
Reichelt & Knivsberg, 2003 ‘ Can the pathophysiology of autism be explained by the nature of the discovered urine peptides ?’ Nutritional Neuroscience p19-28″
Laugesen & Elliott, 2003 ‘ IHD, type 1 diabetes and cows’ milk A1 beta casein’ New Zealand Medical Journal 116 (1168) U295
Knivsberg et al, 2001 ‘ Reports on dietary intervention in autistic disorders’ Nutritional Neuroscience 4 p23-37
MacLachlan, 2001 ‘ Beta casein A1, IHD mortality and other illnesses’ Medical Hypotheses 56 (2) p262-272
Cade et al, 2000 ‘ Autism and schizophrenia: Intestinal Disorders’ Nutritional Neuroscience 3 p57-72″
See also The Bovine’s earlier post on this subject “Beta-casein A1 and A2 in milk and health”.