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Milk study looking for volunteers

Media release

A Curtin University study is seeking individuals who experience problems drinking milk for a clinical trial that will determine whether their digestive discomfort may be due to the variety of milk they drink.

The eight-week study will test whether exposure to A2 milk results in less digestive problems than regular supermarket milk.

According to Associate Professor Sebely Pal, at Curtin’s School of Public Health, a certain protein found in regular milk may be responsible for the problems many milk-drinkers experience.

“A lot of people have digestive discomfort after drinking milk, and a lot of people believe it could be lactose intolerance, which probably only affects about 32 per cent of people,” Professor Pal said.

“The remainder could be attributable to cow’s milk protein intolerance; a non-allergic reaction against cow’s milk protein.

“The main protein in milk is casein, and there are two main variants– A1 and A2.

“Most supermarket milk has the A1 variety, which leads to the intestinal formation of the peptide betacasomorphin 7 (BCM-7).

“We’re finding that it has the potential to stimulate symptoms of digestive discomfort in susceptible individuals. Currently, little is known about BCM-7 absorption and metabolism in humans, but when it’s absorbed in the intestine, its presence in the blood may lead to a lot of problems.”

She said A2 milk was a variety that contained no BCM7. Most supermarket milk could contain a mix of both A1 and A2, whereas milk marketed as specifically A2 had been specially tested to ensure it only contained A2.

“We believe that with the A2 milk people are not going to have the same digestive discomfort as with A1,” Professor Pal said.

“So we’re hoping if we have this evidence from the study, we can promote the A2 as a better alternative to A1 or just regular milk.”

Participants will be required to consume three serves of milk per day and record any discomfort or digestive problems.

The study is open to individuals aged between 18 and 65 who have no milk allergy, no diagnosed lactose intolerance, are not pregnant or lactating, had no cardiovascular events in the last six months, do not take opioids, have not received antibiotic treatment in the last two months and have not taken immunosuppressive medications or anti-inflammatory drugs in the last four weeks.

People wanting to take part in the study should email or call (08) 9266 2733.


Kristy Jones, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 9085, Mobile: 0402 517 300, Email: