Amid the Chatter, What You Need to Know About A2 Milk

“If you only start this diet, take this pill, eat this superfood … ” 

I’ve heard it all before. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I know that many of my friends and family are looking for the “magic bullet” that will optimize their nutrition and health. There are a lot of companies that overpromise what their supplement, drink or diet can provide to its consumers. So in the world of clever advertising, we need to take a step back and ask, “What’s the science behind this?”

One product that has received a lot of buzz lately is A2 milk. A2 milk has been available in the New Zealand and Australian market for more than a decade. A2 milk made its debut in the United States earlier this year, and you may be seeing it on your supermarket shelves. Let’s take a minute to explore what makes this milk different, and if these differences lead to any clear health benefits.

Traditional Milk vs. A2 Milk

All cow’s milk is made up of proteins. One specific protein, beta-casein, comes in two forms: A1 and A2. Traditional milk includes a mix of A1 and A2 beta-caseins, while A2 milk producers use dairy cow breeds that produce milk highly concentrated with A2 beta-casein. 

A2 and Lactose Intolerance

Many people with lactose intolerance may switch to A2 milk because there are claims that it reduces digestive discomfort. It may be worth a try, but there is no strong scientific evidence to back up the claim. You may be better off looking for other healthy ways to keep dairy in your diet, including lactose-free milk options at your grocery store.  

The bottom line? All cow’s milk is nutrient-rich, safe, wholesome and fresh. You have a choice in the type of milk that you buy, but A2 milk and traditional milk both contain the same nine essential nutrients and offer health benefits associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

So, next time you pick up a package, ask yourself: Am I just buying this because of clever marketing? 

Learn more about Milk’s Nine Essential Nutrients

By Katie McKee, MCN, RDN, LD

Katie has always loved teaching others about the power of nutrition. She has a background in journalism as a reporter, writer and editor and has been part of the Dairy MAX team since 2015. When she's not working, Katie enjoys cooking and spending time with her young son and family. Learn more about Katie

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