For today's Real Food Quote Monday (RFQM), we're talking about the book “Devil in the Milk” by Keith Woodford. The author promises that he will write so that you don't have to be a scientist to follow it. This is true; I am no scientist, and I am following it. But my mind has to be on while reading it! No slacking off, as each sentence is important. 😉
I'm not through the book yet, but I want to share its premise with you. So I'm also going to refer to Tom Cowan's “thumbs-up” review of it in the Fall 2009 issue of the Weston A Price Foundation's quarterly journal, Wise Traditions.
Dr. Cowan makes a good synopsis, and I'll use his review to condense the material.
One of the proteins in milk is called beta-casein. It is a chain of 229 amino acids. At position 67, old-fashioned cows such as Jerseys, Asian and African cows (called A2 cows), have the amino acid proline. In modern breeds such as Holsteins (A1 cows) a mutation occurred five thousand years ago, changing this amino acid to histidine.
Attached to position 67, and part of the large chain of 229, is a side chain of seven amino acids called BCM 7, which is a powerful opiate.
“The side chain that comes off amino acid 67 is called BCM 7. .. a small protein [which] is a very powerful opiate and which has some undesirable effects on animals and humans.”
The amino acid at position 67 is different depending on if the cow is A1 or A2. The old-fashioned A2 cows carry the original amino acid, proline, which bonds strongly to BCM 7.
“… proline has a strong bond to BCM 7 which helps keep it from getting into the milk, so that essentially no BCM 7 is found in the urine, blood or GI tract of old-fashioned A2 cows.”
If an A1 cow, the histidine (the mutated protein) doesn't hold so tightly to BCM 7.
“… histidine, the mutated protein, only weakly holds on to BCM 7, so it is liberated in the GI tract of animals and humans who drink A1 cow milk.”
Keith Woodford links the liberated BCM 7 to many serious health issues. Again, quoting Dr. Cowan:
“… the opiate BCM 7 can cause neurological impairment in animals and people exposed to it, especially autistic and schizophrenic changes. BCM 7 interferes with the immune response, and injecting BCM 7 into animal models has been shown to provoke Type 1 diabetes. Dr. Woodford presents research showing a direct correlation between a population’s exposure to A1 cow’s milk and the incidence of auto-immune disease, heart disease (BCM 7 has a pro-inflammatory effect on the blood vessels), type-1 diabetes, autism, and schizophrenia.”
In America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and northern Europe, most of the dairy cows are A1 cows. Keith Woodford found that:
“When you take A1 cow milk away, and stimulate our own endorphin production instead of via the toxic opiate BCM 7, some amazing health benefits ensue.”
So, where can we find the superior A2 milk? From old-fashioned cows such as Jerseys, and also from sheep and goats. None of these animals are carriers of the genetic mutation.
What can the dairy industry do, filled to the brim with modern A1 cows such as Holsteins? Well…
“Dr. Woodford explains that it is fairly straightforward to switch a herd to become an all A2 herd. No genetic engineering is needed, no fancy tests, just one simple test of the beta-casein and it can be done via breeding with A2 sires and selective culling of A1 individuals. Hopefully, when this practice becomes widespread we will end up with a truly safe and healthy milk supply.”
Keith Woodford also addresses the issue of milk processing, such as pasteurization, and demonstrates how harmful it is. I can't wait to finish this book and learn more!
Even though this book sounds highly scientific, I don't think the underlying issues are. A mutation happened, and people who've studied this speculate that other desirable traits (possibly docility) were expressed in those same cows. So the breeders made a choice to develop that genetic makeup which also included the A1 defect.
But consider, if the breeders noticed desirable traits in the cows, is it also possible that they could have noticed health symptoms arising in the humans who drank that milk? I think it is just as likely. (But I can't prove it.) They made a choice to go with whatever else they saw that was desirable. It could have gone the other way.
We can presume that when God created the cows, they were all A2 with a sound genetic makeup. His design was perfect. These are GNOWFGLINS foods. Old-fashioned cows, goats, sheep, and their milk are GNOWFGLINS foods.
Modern cows and their milk are born of man's tweaking. What we do to modern milk products (pasteurize and homogenize) comes from industry.
Everyone must choose for themselves which milk, if any, they will drink. The only reason I care what anyone else chooses is because everyone deserves to think through or be presented with all the issues when making a choice. Well, I do care about your health, too. 😉 But, no matter what you choose, God doesn't determine your salvation or love you any less based on what milk you drink. So, don't make your choices to please me or anyone else.
Our choice is clear. My family would rather go without milk (and have done until last year) than consume milk from an A1 cow, nor would we choose any processed (pasteurized, homogenized, or non-pastured) milk products. Of course this assumes that we are able to make the choice. Our choice might be different if we were starving.
I have a question about all this, too. Assuming that Keith Woodford is correct that the mutation occurred five thousand years ago, is this before or after The Flood and was the mutation at position 67 carried onto the Ark?
So what do YOU think? Do you think there's anything to this? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
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