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Book Data

ISBN: 9781603581028
Year Added to Catalog: 2008
Book Format: Paperback
Dimensions: 6 x 9
Number of Pages: 252
Book Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Release Date: March 8, 2009
Web Product ID: 445

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Devil in the Milk

Illness, Health, and the Politics of A1 and A2 Milk

by Keith Woodford

Foreword by Thomas Cowan, MD

Reviews

Natural Bias

A1 Beta Casein: The Devil in Your Milk
by Vin Miller

Although milk is one of the most common foods in the modern diet, pasteurization and modern dairy farming practices pose a number of concerns. In addition, many people are unable to properly digest dairy and it’s also one of the most common sources of food sensitivities which can cause a number of seemingly unrelated symptoms. As if this isn’t enough to worry about, there’s unfortunately another important and potentially harmful aspect of milk to consider.

Two varieties of proteins exist in milk. The most prominent is casein which represents 80% of the protein in milk, and the other, which is much more widely recognized, is whey. The digestion of a specific type of casein has been found to produce an opioid byproduct that can be very problematic for humans as well as animals. There’s strong evidence that links this casein and its opioid derivative with heart disease, mental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, type 1 diabetes, and a number of other autoimmune disorders. Fortunately, there are simple ways to avoid these risks.

 

A1 Beta Casein and its Troublesome Opioid Derivative

The problematic type of casein protein found in milk is called A1 beta casein. It’s known to be the result of a genetic mutation in cattle that’s believed to have occurred about 8,000 years ago in Europe. As such, only certain breeds of cattle produce milk that contains A1 beta casein.

A1 beta casein is a string of 209 amino acids that very closely resembles another type of milk protein called A2 beta casein. The only difference between the A1 and A2 beta caseins is just a single amino acid. A1 beta casein contains the amino acid histidine in position 67 instead of the amino acid proline that exists in this position in A2 beta casein. Although this sounds like a minor difference, it’s actually quite significant because the bond between histidine and its adjacent amino acid in A1 beta casein is much weaker and much more easily broken than the bonding of proline in A2 beta casein.

Read the whole article here.


Wellsphere

Healthy Eating Community
Review: Devil in the Milk
Posted May 01 2009 11:34pm

Keith Woodward’s ground-breaking work Devil in the Milk published by Chelsea Green outlines a scientific tale of modern diseases and their relationship to the food we consume.  Further, Devil in the Milk outlines how corporate interests can shape the way in which information about food and health is relayed to the public.  Woodward draws upon his experience as a professor of agribusiness to outline a story that may help in the fight against diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autism and even schizophrenia.

While not an easy read, Woodward’s Devil in the Milk is a worthy read.  Deeply science-based, Devil in the Milk assimilates several studies on just how cow’s milk is broken down by our bodies and how, when broken down, it can act to the betterment or the detriment of our health.

You see, milk is comprised of several different components that come together to produce one singularly unique food.  These components (cream, milk solids and whey) each interact with our bodies in different ways; however, the area of concern is not the cream or whey but the milk’s casein.  It seems there are two primary forms of casein contained in cow’s milk: A1 beta casein and A2 beta casein.  A2 beta casein is the elder of the two, while A1 beta casein is a genetic variant that scientists believe began appearing in cow’s milk a few thousand years ago.  Remember, a few thousand years is nothing on an evolutionary scale.

According to the theory outlined in Woodward’s Devil in the Milk which is backed up by mountains of scientific research, this variation in casein type results in cognitive, mental and physical illness among our society at large.  Because of a slight differentiation in the amino acid construction of the two types of casein, each type is broken down differently in our bodies.  Due to a weak bond between two amino acids, A1 beta casein breaks down to an opioid call betacasomorphin 7 or BCM7.

Read the whole article here.


Mercola.com

The Devil in the Milk

Prominent food researcher Dr. Thomas Cowan has been involved in thinking about the medicinal aspects of cow’s milk virtually his entire career. His studies on the subject started in earnest when he read the book The Milk of Human Kindness Is Not Pasteurized by maverick physician William Campbell Douglass, MD.

Cowan became convinced that a large part of the disease in this country is related to the way we handle, or rather mishandle, milk and milk products. Raw and cultured dairy products from healthy grass-fed cows are one of the healthiest foods people have ever eaten. However, pasteurized milk products have caused more disease than perhaps any other substance people are generally in contact with.

However, he still felt that a piece of the puzzle was missing. Many of his patients, in spite of eating only the proper dairy products, still had illness and still seemed not to tolerate milk. Recently, he was asked to consider writing the foreword to a book called The Devil in the Milk, written by Dr. Keith Woodford, which was again an eye-opener for him.

Read the whole article here.

 

nature moms blog

Devil in the Milk
Posted by Tiffany at 8:19 pm in Book Reviews, Healthy Eating.

Ever heard of the raging debate about A1 and A2 milk? No? I hadn’t either. But I am generally not a fan of milk so I thought perhaps I just wasn’t being observant. Raw milk is about the only milk I will drink and I haven’t even had that in a quite a while. A new book I read this weekend has me wondering if that shouldn’t be a permanent thing. As it is now, we have reverted back to using some milk products… like cheese. 

I picked up a book called Devil in the Milk and the introduction talked about how science in more “health conscious” countries is indicating that a tiny protein fragment called A1 beta-casein can cause a range of serious illnesses, including heart disease, type-1 diabetes, autism, and schizophrenia. Whoa…

The author, Keith Woodford, is a professor of farm management and agribusiness and he first heard of the A1 debate when a New Zealand company called the A2 corporation claimed they were selling milk that was healthier than “normal” milk. Of course the diary industry was quick to downplay this new milk and say that these claims were invalid. That was sadly all it took to convince Woodford that there was nothing to this A1/A2 thing. Then a friend of his joined the company and he handed Woodford several scientific papers and studies that had obviously been buried by the powers that be. This was the catalyst for his own research into the matter. Devil in the Milk was originally released in New Zealand but the US and Canada are all producing A1 milk with this potentially harmful protein fragment and he expects that within the next few decades this will become an issue here as well… as consumers start to demand A2 milk.

It all started with a private study into why Samoan children living in New Zealand were very susceptible to Type-1 diabetes whereas Samoan children living in Samoa had an extremely low incidence. Obviously they knew it had to be an environmental or dietary factor. Eventually they decided to see if milk might be the culprit… specifically a casein and they learned from a dairy farmer that there was a little something “unnatural” going on with beta-caseins in cow’s milk. They learned of the beta-casein proteins A1 and A2 and how a mutation had occurred within the amino acid strings.  This mutation was passed on throughout the western world via large scale breeding and most of the cows used for milk in the western world have A1 cows. Could the diabetes issue be as simple as that? Soon after they did a study on mice. None of the mice fed the A2 beta-casein got diabetes. Of the mice fed the A1 beta-casein, 47% got diabetes. To make a long story short, other scientists got involved and studied the issue more and found links between consumption of A1 and other health problems.

There is lots of good info in this book about the nature of cow’s milk and how it relates to human consumption. Human milk has far less protein in it AND it has A2 beta-caseins. The A1 mutation is also said to be bad for people with a leaky gut… which I found interesting since many parents of autistic children find their kids have leaky guts… where elements of the food they ingest makes it way out of the intestine and into the blood stream.

It is a highly technical book but very interesting and the opening chapters really put it all in layman’s terms to help the non-scientific understand the argument. I think it will be of interest to people who drink a lot of milk…. especially people who drink raw milk and follow a Nourishing Traditions type diet with all its lovely full fat milks, creams, butters, cheeses, ect. Not because it effects them more than anyone else in the Western world but because it is an issue they may not even know they should be concerned about. Consuming A1 beta-caseins may nullify some of their ideas on why that style of eating is healthier.

If you drink a lot of milk you probably want to give this a read. In a few years time it may be the new concern…. A1 versus A2 along with GMOs and rBST but perhaps more serious and with more obstacles to overcome in getting it out of our milk.

An alternative for us has been almond milk. My oldest son is now making it himself even.

 

The Age

Entertainment: Epicure
The Right White Stuff
May 12, 2009
Richard Cornish investigates why we have lost the taste for real milk.

The cream from the milk sat on the coffee in delicious yellow blobs. The person I made it for took a sip, paused and spat it on the ground. Retching, he said "That milk's off! It's disgusting!" "No," I replied, "it's unhomogenised."

Like most people brought up on processed milk, he was only accustomed to the texture of milk that had been homogenised. To him, milk was pure white, smooth, slightly creamy and, somewhere in the hazy background, a cow was involved.

Over the past 20 years milk has been marketed as both healthy, because it is calcium rich, and harmful, because it is fatty. The message for some is, if you know what's good for you, you'll choose the low-fat version. As a result, although we're still all drinking, on average, about 100 litres of milk a year, the percentage sales of regular milk in favour of low-fat milk have dropped 22 per cent since 1989.

"Milk and fat! What a contentious issue," said a high-profile dairy industry source.

"Milk is not a high-fat food," he said, referring to regular milk, which is 3.8 per cent butterfat. "For God's sake! Look at muesli. That's 10 per cent fat. Sixteen per cent if it's toasted!" he said. "It wasn't until the milk industry developed the technology to produce decent-tasting reduced-fat milk products that we started to think of milk as being a high-fat food and we saw TV advertising with ladies in leotards and tape measures and scales on the packaging."

Our relationship with the white stuff has now been reduced to grasping a colourful carton from a supermarket fridge where hundreds sit side by side. There is low-fat, lactose-free, milk with plant sterols, high calcium, high protein and milk with an added dollop of cream.

The result is confusion. Research conducted in 2007 found that 4.3 per cent of respondents considered milk to be low-fat (that is 4 per cent fat or less). That was down from 32 per cent when a similar survey was conducted in 1999. Those who believed milk to be high-fat (21 per cent fat or above) rose from 19 per cent to 31 per cent over the same period.

"Wow. What a genius of marketing that was," says our milk industry source. "The milk industry has made us think milk is good, then bad, then almost like a medicine," he said, referring to the new lines of high-calcium/high-vitamin. "And charge a premium." At a suburban supermarket recently, Coles ownbrand milk was $1.35 a litre while a litre of Anlene, a milk product with extra calcium, and extra vitamin D to help absorb the extra calcium, was $2.69.

Read the whole review here.

 

Basil and Spice

FirstLook Book Review: Devil In The Milk by Keith Woodford, Ph.D.

By Lynette Fleming

Coauthor of Lunch Buddies: Buddy Up for a Better Diet

Remember how our mothers used to say "Drink your milk, please"? Maybe you had to drink your glass to the last drop, just as I did. Even today there are certain foods, like cookies and cakes, which for most of us need to be served with a glass of milk on the side.

Had the truth been known, our mothers might have asked us to drink our tea or Kool-aid instead. The premise of this book . . . that A-1 beta casein protein, found in most milk in the United States, is linked with heart disease, Type I diabetes, autism, and schizophrenia . . . is drawn from the evidence of more than 100 scientific papers published in international journals. One particular study, using mice as subjects, demonstrated that no mice fed A2 beta casein got diabetes; however 47% of those fed A1 beta casein were diabetic after only 250 days.

Studying people, it was found that populations which had higher incidences of heart disease (primarily in older people) also had a higher level of Type 1 diabetes among their young people. Coincidence or statistically significant? Read this book and decide for yourself.

Do we need to drink milk, as the dairy industry purports through its marketing efforts? Absolutely not. A wide variety of other foods, herbs, spices, and drinks can supply us with all the calcium we need. Here are a few you which will help you meet your daily calcium requirement: bananas, fennel, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, basil, cinnamon, dill, oregano, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and even some new pastas. Smart Taste, a new white pasta by Ronzoni, contains 30% of your calcium for the day. And don't forget our old dairy standby . . . cheese! Beverage substitutes, of course, include soy milk, and some juices which have been fortified with calcium.

This isn't the first I've read about the hidden ingredients in milk. One popular book claims that our milk actually contains rocket fuel. Since I am not a scientist, I'm not telling you what to do, but I do suggest that you become informed so that you can make the wisest decision for the good health of you, your family, and your friends.

5 Stars

 

The Bovine

Dairy Science as if people mattered — "Devil in the Milk" and the A1, A2 factor
May 5, 2009...11:28 am

Anyone who cares about health, nutrition or agriculture would do well to take note of Keith Woodford’s new book “Devil in the Milk”. According to the research he quotes, a genetic factor in dairy cows determines which variant of beta casein protein (A1 or A2) will be in the milk. A1 beta casein has been connected with increased incidence of autism, schizophrenia, diabetes and heart disease while the A2 variant of beta casein seems to be free of these associations. Apparently A1 milk, when digested by humans, leads to the formation of an opiate substance (similar in function to opium), which can find its way into the bloodstream through a leaky gut.

Historically African and Asian cattle breeds have been A2, as have goats. The milk of Guernseys is also often predominantly A2. But the most common European and North American cow, the Holstein, is associated with a predominance of A1 milk — the kind that’s implicated, albeit largely though epidemiological research, with these diseases. The good news is that A2 is a characteristic that can be easily bred for. The simplest approach is to select only A2 bulls for artificial insemination, while a more intensive approach would be to also test, select and cull cows from the existing herd based on their A1 A2 status. The A2 corporation in New Zealand has patented a process for testing the A1 A2 status of cattle.

 

Genetically speaking, a cow can be A1 A1, A1 A2, or A2 A2. An A1 A1 cow will give milk that is all A1, while an A2 A2 cow will give milk that is all A2, and an A1 A2 cow will give milk that is a mixture of both. In an intensive herd improvement program, A1 A1 cows would likely be culled, while A1 A2 cows would still have breeding potential. So far, only in New Zealand and Australia is the A1 A2 status of AI bulls tested and made public. Interestingly it turns out that the bulls which are most desireable for other characteristics (in New Zealand at least) are also A2 A2 bulls. Even Holstein herds can be bred to be fully A2. Complete changeover of a herd to A2 takes about 10 years. Many farmers in New Zealand have been working to improve the A2 status of their herds, perhaps because they’ve studied the issue and feel it’s the right thing to do, from both a moral and an economic standpoint. New Zealand’s dairy exports account for more than 30% of world trade in dairy products.

A2 milk has been marketed in New Zealand, Australia and parts of the United States. Progress has been slow, particularly in North American, in part because entrenched interests have worked to limit the use of health claims to promote A2 milk. In fact the history of A2 milk, as outlined in Keith’s book, is a fascinating study in how scientific truth can be customized to serve commercial interests. It’s a bit like the story of cigarettes all over again.

Even while the book goes in some detail through all the various scientific studies that have been published around the A1 A2 issue, Keith’s writing remains highly readable, engaging and clear. You don’t need to be a scientist to follow what’s being discussed or the issues involved. Clearly, with so much at stake for human health, you’d think more people would be taking up this information and running with it instead of trying to find ways to avoid facing up to the results of this research. This book is certainly part of the solution to that “problem”. Here’s hoping it gets the attention it deserves. Author Keith Woodford is a professor of agriculture at Lincoln College in New Zealand.

Just to be clear, this book is dealing with pasteurized milk. However, there seems to be no indication that these problems would not also be present in raw milk, and this A1 A2 research help explain why in some cases it’s not enough just to drink your milk raw.

Dr. Thomas Cowan, who wrote the introduction for this book, had this to say about it in his newsletter.

Here is the website for the A2 corporation.

Full Disclosure: The Bovine received a free copy of the book for review purposes. Thank you to Keith’s publishers for carrying this particular torch.

 

Peak Oil Resources

Peak Oil Resources Review:

I have been tangentially aware of some controversy surrounding milk for some time.  The nature of the discussion consisted of either "You shouldn't drink milk" or "only drink raw milk".  That there was ever more than this to the so-called milk controversy was unknown to me.  The only exception to that was the casein-free and gluten-free diets that I had been introduced to only in passing by someone who had an apparent sensitivity to those proteins.

Devil in the Milk takes a topic that was on my periphery and brings it front and center into my worldview.  In part, this is because of my concern for my own children and what they eat and drink.  Think about... who hasn't heard the well-worn mantra that milk "builds strong bones" and gives you "white teeth" and that it "does a body good"?... Or does it?

In this book, Woodford presents a compelling case for the potential risk that A1 milk and its associated proteins could pose to consumers.  He presents the case on three important levels; the science, the industry, and bringing a new product to market against overwhelming odds.  Each of these elements adds a layer of complexity to the story, ultimately yielding intriguing tale that will be the source of much thought and much discussion.

In truth, the science is not fully worked out.  There remains biochemical pathways to connect and more research to be done.  That much is clear.  However, the evidence is convincing enough to make prudent people stand up and take notice and change their habits until there is more clarity on the topic.  There is simply too much here to be flatly rejected out of hand.  If it is to be rejected, or for that matter accepted, it should be done on the basis of sound science and medicine.  Inevitably, with human fortunes and reputations at risk, it is unlikely to be so simple.

On a personal level, Devil in the Milk has raise the awareness my wife and I, such that we have been limiting the milk intake of our family.  With watchful eyes do we observe our children and their behavior while their dairy is restricted.  While it is still early in this "micro-experiment" of ours, anecdotally I can say that there appears to be a change in our kid's behavior for the better.  I still have concerns about maintaining a healthy and balanced family diet that supplies the necessary calcium and other nutrients needed for proper growth and development.  In the place of "standard" dairy, we have been trying alternatives that only have the A2 milk protein.  However, until A2 milk and related products are more widespread and cost-effective, this will be challenge.    

In the meantime, being "A2-only" is a work in progress.  Until this issue is settled and A2 products are more readily available, we will be watching, researching, and waiting.

 

Nourished Kitchen

Review: Devil in the Milk
April 22, 2009 by Jenny

Keith Woodward’s ground-breaking work Devil in the Milk published by Chelsea Green outlines a scientific tale of modern diseases and their relationship to the food we consume.  Further, Devil in the Milk outlines how corporate interests can shape the way in which information about food and health is relayed to the public.  Woodward draws upon his experience as a professor of agribusiness to outline a story that may help in the fight against diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autism and even schizophrenia.

While not an easy read, Woodward’s Devil in the Milk is a worthy read.  Deeply science-based, Devil in the Milk assimilates several studies on just how cow’s milk is broken down by our bodies and how, when broken down, it can act to the betterment or the detriment of our health.

You see, milk is comprised of several different components that come together to produce one singularly unique food.  These components (cream, milk solids and whey) each interact with our bodies in different ways; however, the area of concern is not the cream or whey but the milk’s casein.  It seems there are two primary forms of casein contained in cow’s milk: A1 beta casein and A2 beta casein.  A2 beta casein is the elder of the two, while A1 beta casein is a genetic variant that scientists believe began appearing in cow’s milk a few thousand years ago.  Remember, a few thousand years is nothing on an evolutionary scale.

According to the theory outlined in Woodward’s Devil in the Milk which is backed up by mountains of scientific research, this variation in casein type results in cognitive, mental and physical illness among our society at large.  Because of a slight differentiation in the amino acid construction of the two types of casein, each type is broken down differently in our bodies.  Due to a weak bond between two amino acids, A1 beta casein breaks down to an opioid call betacasomorphin 7 or BCM7.

Woodward discusses the considerable evidence that BCM7 can negatively impact the health of both humans and animals.  BCM7 can trigger autoimmune reactions and is linked to neurological impairment similar to that seen in both autism and schizophrenia.  Further, due to BCM7’s ability to create a significant immune response, there’s a very direct connection between A1 milk and diabetes that is not paralleled by A2 milk.

Once the genetic mutation of A1 beta casein appeared, it spread rapidly.  Now, most dairy cows in North America produce A1 beta casein.  Asian, African and some European breeds still produce the older A2 beta casein that does not cause such negative health effects due to the fact that its amino acid bonds are strong and it doesn’t break down into BCM7 in the manner that A1 beta casein does.  Further, yaks, sheep and goats produce A2 milk exclusively.

When I initially heard about the A1/A2 beta casein controversy, I felt wary.  After all, the only information I could find on the subject came from the A2 milk corporation which Woodward discusses at length. Indeed, he addresses the A2 milk corporation and its science-based initiatives as well as the butting of heads that occurred between the A2 milk corporation and New Zealand’s Fonterra–a mega-corporation that represents New Zealand’s significant dairy industry.  After reading Devil in the Milk, I reminded myself that just because a corporation has a vested interest in a certain product does not necessarily mean that the scientific conclusions are wrong.  While it does raise a flag, such corporate interests do not provide cause to reject the scientific conclusions altogether.  In this case, as addressed by Devil in the Milk, the conclusion that A1 milk is detrimental human health is spot-on correct.

Ultimately, after reading Devil in the Milk, I’m thankful that the milk my family drinks is raw and comes from Guernsey cows (the dairy cows with the highest levels of A2 beta casein instead of milk from those darlings of the industrial dairy: holsteins whose milk is high in A1 casein.  Further, in purchasing dairy products outside of our cow share, I’ll choose sheep’s and goat’s milk cheeses.

Devil in the Milk is an eye-opening book that underlines the importance of truly traditional foods: don’t simply choose whole foods, but eat foods as that we evolved on.  Devil in the Milk is published by Chelsea Green and is also available on Amazon; it’s worth checking out.


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