Lactose Intolerance

The Dish logo

less than 5% of the British population is lactose intolerant. More common is an intolerance to the A1 beta-casein protein found in cow’s milk, which causes similar symptoms to lactose intolerance.”

The Sunday Times
Dr Anton Emmanuel portrait

1 in 4 of us believe we’re lactose intolerant and most of us who believe that, aren’t actually lactose intolerant.”

Dr Emmanuel, Independent Gastroenterologist at University College London
Kirsty portrait

“a2 Milk has turned my life around. I thought I was lactose intolerant but I’m not!”

Kirsty

Bloating, cramps, stomach rumbling – it’s enough to put anyone off a cuppa. But don’t assume your troubles with milk are due to lactose intolerance, because a recent large-scale study might just a2tonish you.

Nutrition Journal bookletThe ground-breaking research published in November 2017 suggests that the true cause of the nasty symptoms could be the A1 protein found in most regular cows’ milk.

The peer-reviewed study, conducted in China involved 600 adult Han Chinese participants with self-reported lactose intolerance. Interestingly China has one of the highest reported levels of lactose intolerance in the world making it the perfect location for the study.  It reported that when they drank A1 protein free milk (a2 Milk™) they had reduced gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating and wind compared to consuming regular milk.

Yue Xin Yang

 

Lead investigator of the research Yue Xin Yang said:

“Put simply, the study suggests consuming conventional milk may trigger lactose intolerance type symptoms in those people.”

Dr. Anton EmmanuelDr Anton Emmanuel, Consultant Gastroenterologist at University College Hospital commenting on the study says:

“This is the largest human trial to date examining the differences between the impact of the A1 and A2 protein. It suggests that proteins found in dairy can have a significant impact on digestion, and that lactose may not be the only cause of gastrointestinal issues in those with an intolerance – around 60% of the world’s population.

Dr Anthony HobsonDr Anthony Hobson, Clinical Director of the renowned Functional Gut Clinic, in London, said:

“This exciting new research on such a large sample is significant in that it suggests that many patients’ issues with dairy may in fact be specific to the A1 milk protein that is found in regular cows’ milk. A simple switch to milk containing only the A2 protein could be an important part of symptom management for those suffering from milk intolerance or IBS.”

20% of the UK population report they have trouble digesting milk, but this study is part of a growing amount of evidence and experts that are challenging the true cause of the symptoms.

In 2016 a trial focussed on participants with self-reported milk intolerance, half of which were clinically confirmed as lactose intolerant. [1] All of the participants were able to drink A1 free milk (a2 Milk™), without experiencing symptoms of gastric discomfort even though it contains lactose. This was not the case when they drank regular milk which naturally contains the A1 protein. It was suggested by the authors that the A1 protein may reduce the body’s ability to produce lactase and therefore triggers symptoms similar to those of lactose intolerance.

Professor Sun Jianqin, the lead researcher said:Sun Jianqin portrait

“These are breakthrough findings for those who believe they suffer from lactose intolerance, and I am one of them. It suggests that milk that only contains the A2 type protein has a natural affinity with the human body and digestion.”

For many people with issues digesting milk, living lactose free might be a thing of the past. The solution to their symptoms could be a simple and natural one; choose a milk that is naturally free from the A1 protein such as a2 Milk™. There’s no compromise on taste or nutrition and many people can get back to enjoying that cuppa without the tummy troubles. Don’t forget that when making any dietary changes, you should speak to your doctor first.

Ask an independent expert

See the difference it’s made to lactose intolerance sufferers

[1] 23 of 45 study participants demonstrated lactase deficiency by urinary galactose (U-Gal) test with corresponding symptoms of lactose intolerance measured
Back to top