What is the difference between A1 and A2 milk

At present, there are two types of cow's milk available in the market, A1 and A2 milk. The majority of cows that are being raised are A1 variety. A2 cows are the earlier breeds of cow.

A1 versus A2 milk

Milk is great source of calcium and protein. Casein is the largest group of proteins found in milk which makes up about 80% of the total protein content. A2 cows are the earlier breeds of cows like the desi Indian cows or the African cows that produce this protein in their milk along with an amino acid called Proline. In the new hybrid breeds, the proline amino acid got converted to Histidine due to alteration of genes over the years. These are the A1 cows that include breeds like Holstein, Friesian and Ayrshire.

Proline is strongly bonded to a small protein called BCM7, which prevents it from getting into the milk produced by A2 cows. On the other hand, Histidine holds a weak bond with BCM7, so it is easily released in the GI tract of animals and can enter the human body on consumption of milk from A1 cows and interact with the digestive system and internal organs. A2 beta-casein is protein found in milk produced by 'old-fashioned' cows like the Jersey, Charolais, Guernsey and Limousin. Milk produced by other mammals such as those from human, goat and sheep is similar to A2 dairy milk mainly due to the presence of proline.

What is BCM7?

  • BCM7(Beta-Casomorphin-7), I call it 'the milk devil'. Scientists have known about this protein fragment, or 'peptide', for more than 30 years. It is unique to casein, and hence the 'caso' in its name. It is also an opioid which attaches readily to opioid receptors in the brain, and hence the 'morphin'.
  • The absorption of BCM7 into the bloodstream leads to the high incidence of autism, schizophrenia, and other neurological disorders(under research).


  • A group of Russian researchers have shown that BCM7 does pass into the blood of babies who were fed infant formula which led to delayed psycho-motor(brain-to-muscle) development(as published in the international journal 'Peptides').
  • Another report published in the Indian journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2012, indicates that it is associated as a risk factor for type-1 diabetes, coronary heart disease and mental disorders like autism and schizophrenia because it may enter your brain through blood.
  • The "a2 Milk Company"(New Zealand) claims that milk containing A1 proteins is harmful. But, a 2009 European Food Safety Authority(EFSA) review found that there was insufficient evidence to prove that bioactive peptides in A1 milk have a negative effect on health.

The history - Operaion Flood

Operation Flood, launched in 1970, was a project of india's National Dairy Development Board(NDDB), which was the world's biggest dairy development program. The white revolution was that it led to cross-breeding with European cows and import of foreign hybrid breeds of higher yield in order to meet the goal of mass production.

This has brought to a situation today where the old Indian breed cow has become a dying breed in India. Imagine this - The Gir cow, Which is Gujarat's(Indian province) breed, is now being imported from Brazil and the Brahmi Bull, Which is another pure breed, is more popular in Australia.

“Our first food is the water, the milk which planet can't feed except mother”
-William Foege