A recent study comparing Beta casein protein prevalence in Milk in different cattle breeds across the world revealed that indigenous Indian cow, buffalo, goat breeds produce A2 Beta casein Proteins, whereas the breeds which are mostly prevalent in Europe, Australia and the Americas carry genes that produce A1 Beta casein proteins in their Milk.
Beta Casein in Hybrid and Genetically Modified Cows
The question arises, “What is beta Casein and why should I worry about it?”
Major difference between A1 and A2 milk is the presence of an amino acid at 67th position in a strand of 229 amino acids in cow’s milk. A1 has histidine and A2 has proline amino acid in the same position. Source
A1 beta casein protein found in western breed cows produces more serum cholesterol. A1 milk is not easily digested by many people especially kids. Unlike popular belief, cholesterol is not bad; you need it in small quantities to maintain a healthy body. So I feel western breeds in cooler climate produce more serum cholesterol to tackle the climatic conditions there and maintain smooth bodily functions.
But is this high cholesterol yielding gene good for cows living in warmer regions of the world and how do they affect us?
High cholesterol producing A1 gene not only affects the cattle, the milk that they produce enters human bodies and affects us negatively. Moreover, A1 milk also causes complication with Prostate gland as per most online journals; along with growth hormones and genetically engineered food. If this is the case then your health, body and progeny is at risk. This gland is responsible for the smooth functioning of your reproductive system; producing seminal fluids which mixes with semen in testicles. Source
If this theory is correct, there is no use giving cross breed or western breed cows organic feed or letting them freely graze in Indian climatic condition. It will still give you high cholesterol and indirectly bad health because of the gene. This is very evident in rural places where modern day dairy cows are introduced.
To make matters worse, scientists have manipulated the genes in cows. It is believed pig(swine) genes were used to develop the modern day dairy cows because pig produces the maximum milk compared to its body weight. I don’t have a supporting document or proof. Please share your comments.
If the above theory is untrue, you should still avoid commercial dairy milk or any cross breed cows because of the hormones and chemicals that are pumped into their system to yield more milk without any proper study on the long term effects.
Difference between Indian Cows Milk and Hybrid Cows Milk
Generally dairy cows udder is 5 to 6 times the size of their original counter parts. Which is abnormal, their udder almost touches the ground(mastitis). It is unhealthy for the cows and even humans consuming the milk which leads to severe consequences at a later stage.
Please stick to pure Zebu cattle for your milk requirements(I would suggest to support a farmer and indirectly get good milk and manure, provided you have the facility). Dairy industries across the world are trying to make their cattle protein A2, whereas Indian policy makers are running the other way.
Lot of Indian breeds are also getting A1 beta casein protein trait because of cross breeding with imported breeds. A Vechur cow born to a cross-breed cow may produce A1 type of milk. Most Vechur cows in Kerala are nowadays born to hybrid A1 type milk cows.
I wish the day never comes when Indians have to only depend on western dairy farms or cross-bred zebu cattle for milk with A1 beta-Casein.
All milk including (Zebu cattle A2 milk) is not good if it is homogenized, pasteurized, grain fed, antibiotic-fed and/or growth-hormone loaded. There is no comparison to raw, healthy grass fed zebu cow’s milk.
Do come back later. I will post more on unhealthy homogenization, pasteurization and other modern approaches to milk.
PS: Chilies(especially Kanthari chilies) can be used to effectively reduce serum cholesterol.