Sugars in Milk

Dr. Motley - the Dairy Dilemma

Sugars in Milk

The two components of milk products that most people have problems digesting are lactose (sugars) and proteins (casein and whey).

Lactose is a sugar that is broken down in your gut by an enzyme called lactase. If you do not have adequate amounts of lactase then lactose can sit in your gut and ferment.

This fermentation can create gas, bloating, cramps, diarrhea, etc. It is often associated with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, PMS, headaches, fatigue, depression, and others.

Cow’s milk has high levels of lactose, while sheeps and goat’s milk has lower levels. Sheep’s and goat’s milk has smaller fat globules as well which makes these two sources more tolerable than cow’s milk.

Fermentation helps with breaking down lactose because good bacteria added to the milk will consume the lactose for food.

Fermented dairy products especially from grass fed animals can be healthy for individuals. Many patients of mine who have had a hard time digesting dairy have had good success when eating fermented dairy. Research the benefits and the process of fermentation if digesting dairy has been a problem fo you.

Raw milk has become popular because of the high amounts of natural enzymes and bacteria that are present which have not  been killed of by pasteurization. Some individuals suggest raw milk because it has been recognized as the healthiest form. But the regulations in your state determine if it is legal to consume. You have to decide if that is the route for you.

There are two types of proteins in milk: 

1. Casein-the protein that most cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt are made from 
2. Whey-the liquid portion left over after casein is removed

 

Casein is the portion that most people are allergic to. There are two forms of casein:

1. A1-associated with disease and illness with a high addictive “opiate” effect. Cow products containing A1 are usually fed bST (bovine hormones), genetically modified corn, and synthetic vitamins.
2. A2-associated with cows fed with grass, natural vitamin sources, and low stress humane conditions. This milk is similar to goat, sheep, buffalo, yak milk.

Whey contains healthy levels of natural vitamins and minerals. It contains natural sulfur compounds called biothiols which helps with detoxification by producing glutathione, the body's natural anti-oxidant.

Whey is a healthy product in most cases. Many individuals with dairy allergies can tolerate it. However, have a professional test you for both proteins. I usually have individuals avoid both if they have milk allergy, but some patients seem to do well on it, just depends on the person.

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