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Is Lactose Intolerance or Protein to Blame for Dairy Reactions?

A milk allergy is an abnormal response by the body’s immune system to milk or milk products, and symptoms generally include hives, swelling, or digestive problems such as vomiting. Severe reactions can even be life threatening. A more commonly seen condition is lactose intolerance – a digestive problem that is unrelated to the body’s immune system. Lactose intolerance is usually caused by a deficiency of lactase, which can induce symptoms such as abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. New theories have emerged in recent years suggesting that these symptoms are actually an adverse reaction caused by the proteins in milk, which led to the development of A2 milk.


Traditional milk contains both A1 and A2 proteins, while A2 milk only contains A2 protein. Some studies have shown that people who are lactose intolerant report experiencing less symptoms after drinking A2 milk (when compared to drinking A1 milk), though clinical evidence is still limited. Regardless of whether you are allergic to milk or not, if you experience discomfort after drinking milk, you may want to consider switching to A2 milk or lactose-free milk to see if one of these alternatives eases your symptoms.


Information by: Registered Dietitian from Hong Kong Adventist Hospital