Mistake # 1/5 – The 5 biggest mistakes people make trying to fix their gut health

Mistake # 1;

Removing lactose, sure lots of people, in fact most people are lactose intolerant, its more than likely lactose is a problem, but not the whole problem.

So, I hear you ask what is my problem?

When patients come and see me, we sit down and we talk about their gut health, what they have done, what has worked, what has not worked. Almost everyone says to me I have removed lactose, it helped a bit, but I am still having problems, and this is why, its more than likely casein is the bigger problem and lactose the lesser problem.

So, if you think that dairy is a problem for you, and to be honest it is for ninety nine percent of my patients, and this is not just anecdotal, I test a lot for intolerances, so I am speaking from a functional testing perspective.

This is why, it’s a bit wordy and sciency, but it’s the basics. To start, let’s take a look at what cow’s milk is made of:

After water – cow’s milk consists of fats, proteins, lactose and minerals. The protein is of two general types; casein and whey. With casein further broken down into three types:
1. Alpha
2. Beta
3. Kappa casein
Beta casein is the relevant protein for a2 dairy. There are eight variants of beta casein, each made up of 209 amino acids. The most common types of beta casein are a1 and a2. There is only one difference between a1 and a2 beta casein, and that is the amino acid at position 67: with a1, it is histidine, and a2, it is proline. Proline can form a strong bond, but histidine only forms a weak bond which allows seven of the amino acids to break off in a peptide chain called beta-casomorphin-7.

It is this peptide that causes problems. As the name suggests, beta-casomorphin-7 is similar to morphine. Yes, morphine! For people with good gut health, this can be fine – but, for someone with poor gut health, the peptide beta-casomorphin-7 is able to leak through the gut lining and cause an immune system response. The similarities to morphine also mean that dairy containing beta-casomorphin-7 can cause similar physical responses to opiates. A common problem is constipation and a slowing of the digestive process.

To summarise; normal milk is classed as a1 dairy the problematic dairy, and a2 milk is the dairy that is not problematic, now if only I could get a manufacturer to make lactose free a2 milk, wow, that would be something.

What you can do is make your own lactose free a2 milk, just pop to the chemist get some lacteeze drops and use as instructed this is how they make lactose free milk. You can get a2 milk everywhere, goat, sheep, camel, buffalo and human milk are also classed as a2, so think goat and sheep cheese, yoghurt and kefir.

If you would like to be tested to see if you have an intolerance to a1 dairy, please click here to book in for a consultation. Feel free to share this information with anyone you think may find it useful, don’t forget to tell them where it came from.

Keep an eye out for mistake # 2 in a few days.