Food and Behaviour Research

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A2 strengthens health claims with first human study

Jared Lynch

Science is the new battleground in the milk wars and A2 Milk is strengthening its arsenal. The fast-growing New Zealand company has armed itself with the first human scientific study that reveals its controversial namesake protein can be easier to digest than regular milk.

Regular cows milk contains a blend of the A1 and A2 beta casein proteins. But it is A2 that marketers have seized, despite the science around the protein being until now inconclusive.

The Curtin study involved 41 men and women. After a two week “dairy wash out” in which they drank rice instead of cows’ milk, they consumed 750ml a day of either A1 or A2 milk. After two weeks they had another “wash out”, then swapped milks, which they drank for another two weeks.

The blind trial showed the A1 protein milk had a 61 per cent higher bloating score and 38 per cent higher abdominal pain score compared with A2 as well as a softer stool consistency.