Incidence of sensitivity to protein casein is on the rise.
Some experts say we’re affected more than past generations were because dairy cows have gone through genetic changes that have altered the milk they produce. “modern cows have high levels of A1 casein, a much more inflammatory form than A2 casein, which was present in cows of yester – year,” says Mark Hyman, M.D. What’s more, stress, toxins and overgrowth of bad gut bugs make the body more reactive to casein. And our levels of casein – digesting enzymes fall after age 40, making dairy harder to process.
Half off affected women go undiagnosed , in part because casein doesn’t always cause the Gl upset that’s considered body – wide woes (congestion, fog, fatigue, weight gain) are attributed to aging or other causes. Complicating matters: ” Casein is an additive in many foods, including those that appear dairy – free,” cautions Elson Haas, M.D., author of False Fat. “So even women who never eat dairy can be affected.”
An elimination diet, in which casein is avoided for 7 days, can help identify sensitivity. In health improves, a blood antibody or skin allergy test can offer a definitive diagnosis.
Going casein – free for 7 days serves as a reset that improves the body’s ability to process the protein, so many women can add dairy back in moderation. To avoid overdoing it, check ingredient lists for casein or caseinate. It can also help to switch to A1 milk (a cow’s milk with only A2 casein; in some grocery stores) or goat’s milk (which has only A2 casein).
Consider the enzyme DPP-IV (at health-food stores). It helps the body process casein to ward off reactions. Some experts advise 100 mg daily.