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A1/A2 milk review released

A1/A2 milk review released

Consumers are advised to keep drinking milk as a nutritious food, no matter whether it’s A1 or A2, as there is no food safety issue with either type of milk, says NZFSA Director of Food Standards, Carole Inkster.

“Professor Boyd Swinburn’s review of the literature on possible benefits of A2 milk over A1 concludes that there is insufficient overall evidence that either milk has benefits over the other. However, it does note that further work is needed in this area to determine any causative relationships between types of milks and certain diseases.”

The report, Beta casein A1 and A2 milk and human health, available in full from the NZFSA web site, examines whether some milk proteins might cause or protect against type 1 diabetes, heart disease, schizophrenia and autism.

Professor Swinburn concludes in the report:

“The hypothesis that a high intake of milk containing A1 â-casein promotes conditions as heterogeneous as DM-1 [type 1 diabetes], IHD [Ischaemic heart disease], schizophrenia and autism is intriguing and potentially important. There is some very suggestive evidence from ecological studies for DM-1 and IHD, and there is certainly a possibility that the A1/A2 composition of milk is a factor in the etiology of these conditions. However, this hypothesis has yet to be backed by good human trials. The evidence in relation to autism comes mainly from poorly controlled clinical trials of gluten-free, casein-free diets where some improvement is noted in the autism characteristics and behaviours. The evidence in relation to schizophrenia is very minimal.”

Carole Inkster says Professor Swinburn’s review shows that there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate benefits of one type of milk protein over another.

“We will be liaising with the Commerce Commission over what further steps, if any, need to be taken to ensure that consumers have the information they need to make a fair and informed choice.”

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