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  • By Dr. Lisa Good, ND

The Devil in the Milk

There is no food I am asked about more than milk: should we drink it, should we not? What about raw milk? I wish there was a straightforward answer to that question, but unfortunately there isn’t.

“The Devil in the Milk” is a new book by Dr. Keith Woodford which helps to clarify some of these issues. Dr. Thomas Cowan wrote the books forward, in which he talks about the type of cows that are used for milk today. Our milk comes from Holstein and Friesian cows; these cows give milk that contain beta-casein type A1, which behaves like an opiate and which epidemiological studies have implicated in heart disease, diabetes, autism and schizophrenia. Beta-casein is a protein. A protein is a long chain of amino acids with many branches. Old fashioned cows such as Jerseys have a beta-casein chain of amino acids with the amino acid proline at number 67 (these cows are called A2). Thousands of years ago, a mutation occurred in this proline amino acid converting it to the amino acid histidine. Cows that have this mutation are called A1, which include the Holsteins where we get milk from today. The side chain that comes off either the histidine or proline amino acid is called BCM 7, which is a powerful opiate. Proline (found in Jersey cows A2) binds strongly to BCM 7, so it stays in the animal, while histidine (found in Holsteins A1) only weakly holds onto BCM 7, so it is liberated into their milk. This book outlines all the research done on the effects of BCM 7 on humans. The author, Dr. Woodford, shows a direct correlation between the incidence of A1 milk consumption and auto-immune disease, heart disease, type 1 diabetes, autism and schizophrenia. It also binds to the epithelial cells of the mucus membranes (i.e., the nose) and stimulates mucus secretion. To read more about this subject and this book, visit: The Weston A. Price Foundation is a great resource to read more about raw milk: Another great resource is the amazingly informative cook book by Sally Fallon, “Nourishing Traditions”.


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