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A2 milk is cow's milk that contains only the A2 type of beta-casein protein rather than the more common A1 protein commonly found in normal. milk These two proteins digest quite differently from each other and, for some people, the presence of A1 protein can result in discomfort after drinking milk. It was thanks to Dr Corran McLachlan in 1997 in New Zealand that the impact of this difference in proteins was discovered.

Having digestive issues with milk may not necessarily mean someone is lactose intolerant. It may be a reaction to an intolerance to the A1 protein found in most milk. Recent research has highlighted that for some people A1 protein can also trigger eczema. Some cows naturally produce milk containing only the A2 protein and no A1 protein and some milk producers are now selecting these cows for milk production and selling it to major supermarkets. Look for A2 Milk. As yet cheese is not being produced using A2 milk only which means cheese made from cow's milk must also be avoided.

Milk intolerance


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Lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance means the body cannot easily digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk products from cows, goats and sheep. This can begin at birth or develop at any age. It is caused by a reduced or non-existent level of active lactase, an enzyme which splits lactose into two sugar molecules called glucose and galactose. The splitting of lactose helps a person to digest and absorb the lactose they consume. Dogs cannot digest milk or milk products which can cause them digestive distress and skin irritations as they lack lactase in their digestive system.

Symptoms of lactose intolerance

  • Abdominal pain

  • Bloating

  • Diarrhoea

  • Flatulence

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Nausea

  • Stomach cramps

  • Stomach rumbling

These symptoms can last from 30 minutes after consuming lactose until around two hours later. Many processed foods contain milk and milk products, so labels should be checked. To find out if the cause is actually due to lactose, try eliminating the following for 14 days to see if symptoms subside:

  • Artificial sweeteners

  • Biscuits

  • Bread

  • Butter

  • Cakes and cake mixes

  • Cereals

  • Cheese

  • Chocolate products

  • Coffee whiteners

  • Cream

  • Crème fresh

  • Crisps

  • Custard powder

  • Egg products

  • Hot drink mixes

  • Ice cream

  • Malted drinks

  • Margarine

  • Mayonnaise

  • Meats

  • Nutrient supplements

  • Pies

  • Roasted nuts

  • Salad dressings

  • Sauces

  • Soups

  • Yoghurt

NOTE: Some medications contain lactose but should only be eliminated under the supervision of the doctor who prescribed them.

Lactose-free alternatives 

  • Almond milk

  • Coconut milk

  • Flax milk

  • Hazelnut milk

  • Hemp milk

  • Lactose-free milk

  • Oat milk

  • Potato milk

  • Quinoa milk

  • Rice milk

  • Soya milk

Goat’s milk contains far less lactose than cow’s milk, so may be more agreeable to some people with a mild lactose intolerance.

See also Allergies

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC


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