Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


UK has fifth highest rate of type 1 diabetes in children, new figures show

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 03 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f22

Rapid Response:

Re: UK has fifth highest rate of type 1 diabetes in children, new figures show

I sent a rapid response dated 15 January 2013, drawing attention to the level of diabetes in different countries being proportional to the level of A1 milk consumption. I said there was no hope of improving UK the level of type 1 diabetes due to the unavailability of A2 milk. I was wrong. A2 milk has been available in some UK supermarkets since October 2012. A dairy company is genetically testing their cows. Milk from A2 producing cows is then being sold separately to milk from A1 producing cows.

As I described it is the peptide BCM-7, produced by the digestion of A1 milk, that causes type 1 diabetes. BCM-7 is linked to various other diseases. For example the oxidation of LDL particles in artery walls by BCM-7 leads to plaque formation and coronary artery disease. These claims cannot be used to market A2 milk because of the risk of litigation from companies that sell the majority of milk which is from A1 producing cows. A2 milk is therefore advertised on the grounds that it tastes creamier and causes less frequent digestive problems than A1 milk. BCM-7 causes constipation and bloating due to its opiate like action.

It is feasible that all A1 dairy products could one day be replaced with A2 products. Hopefully soon A2 cream, yoghurt and butter will be available. If we are very lucky unpasteurised A2 milk from 100% grass fed animals might be available to those that prefer this type of milk. If the public was aware of the harm caused by A1 milk, demand for A2 milk might eliminate A1 milk from our diets.

Competing interests: No competing interests

05 February 2013
William T Neville
General Practitioner
Abbey Road Surgery
63 Abbey Road, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, EN8 7LJ