For today's Real Food Quote Monday (RFQM), we're still talking about the book, “Devil in the Milk” by Keith Woodford. I quoted from this book last week, too. I haven't gotten much farther in it. Because I've been tired this week and it takes all my concentration to follow, I haven't read as much as usual.
But, this bit was interesting, and answered a question for me. It is the first mention of the Guernsey cow – I had been wondering where that breed fit into the A1/A2 picture.
First, a quick review of the A1/A2 issue. The milk from older cow breeds contains mostly the original A2 beta-casein, a milk protein. The milk from newer cow breeds contains predominantly A1 beta-casein, which is like the A2 except that one of the amino acids in the protein chain changed during a mutation. This weaker amino acid allows an opiate-like chain of 7 amino acids to break off during digestion. The chain (BCM7) is linked to many series health issues, like: neurological impairment, especially autistic and schizophrenic changes; auto-immune disease; heart disease; type-1 diabetes; autism; and schizophrenia.
Now here's the quote about Jersey and Guernsey cows and how they figure into the picture, with regard to studies on heart disease.
“On the island of Guernsey, where the milk comes from the Guernsey breed of cows which produce milk with very low levels of A1 beta-casein, the level of deaths from coronary heart disease is about a third that of the rest of the UK. And in Jersey, the cows are predominantly the Jersey breed which produces milk with some A1 bet-casein, but considerably less than the predominant black and white breeds on the mainland, and the heart disease level is only about half that on the mainland.”
I was happy to read about the Guernsey cow. I had been wondering how it fit in with what the Weston A. Price Foundation's Campaign for Real Milk advises: “Buy only milk from old-fashioned breeds of cows, such as Jerseys, Guernseys, Red Devons, Brown Swiss or older genetic lines of Holsteins, or from goats or sheep.” I am waiting to learn more about what's desirable in the older breeds of Holsteins, or perhaps this advice doesn't pertain to the A1/A2 issue?
And here's something I appreciate about the book, “Devil in the Milk.” The author, Keith Woodford, backs away from the data and discusses its possible validity. The quoted material above shows the results of population studies with regard to heart disease. Mr. Woodford's analysis of it concludes that it is statistically significant. In other words, it is highly likely that the higher levels of heart disease are directly related to the prevalence of A1 beta-casein in the milk, although another possibility exists: that it is related to something else, which is entirely unknown to us as yet.
Don't you think it is fun to read about the Guernseys from the island of Guernsey and the Jerseys from Jersey? 🙂 Details like that make me smile.
So that's pretty much it. Not a particularly heavy quote this week. Is anyone drinking Guernsey milk or raising Guernseys? Has anyone been able to taste both Jersey and Guernsey milk? Which do you like better? How do they compare? Any differences?
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