Dairy is a common allergen, and there appears to be a rising incidence of milk protein intolerance and allergy.1 I have often erred towards eliminating dairy early in the process of fat loss because of its highly insulinergic nature,2 and to help determine if the client does, in fact, have any degree of dairy protein intolerance or allergy. But overall, there is likely to be no risk for cancer, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, or any other major malady from the consumption of dairy. In contrast, there is compelling evidence that dairy can help to support nutrient and energy sufficiency, aid the retention and growth of both muscle and bone tissue, and reduce risk factors associated with cardiometabolic disorders.
However, there are a significant number of people who are, to a greater or lesser degree, allergic to or intolerant of certain compounds in milk, particularly lactose (intolerance) and casein (allergy), with fewer allergic to whey. Many people who are affected by a dairy protein allergy may not suffer effects from A2 dairy.
So, there is little need for people to avoid or reduce dairy if they experience no negative effects from it. Negative effects can include sinus problems, congestion, constipation or IBS, skin conditions like eczema and eczema-like symptoms, and ‘brain fog’. Those who have a diagnosed or suspected intolerance or allergy, and those with autoimmune and inflammatory conditions should experiment with reducing or avoiding dairy entirely or trial the use of A2 β-casein only varieties of milk, yoghurt, and cheese.
1. Rona RJ, Keil T, Summers C, Gislason D, Zuidmeer L, Sodergren E, et al. The prevalence of food allergy: A meta-analysis. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2007;120(3):638-46.
2. Holt S, Miller J, Petocz P. An insulin index of foods: the insulin demand generated by 1000-kJ portions of common foods. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 1997;66(5):1264-76.