Cheese, Beta-casein Peptides & Mediterranean Cuisine

Not all cheese have been created equal. In this blog-article, i will review the deleterious aspects of A1 beta casein cheese (Section A) as well as the beneficial effects of A2 beta-casein cheese, especially when this type of cheese is associated to the  Mediterranean cuisine (Section B).


Section A

Epidemiological evidence suggests that A1 beta-casein is possible risk factor in the development of type 1 diabetes in children (1) and ischemic heart disease in adults. (2) while the orginal variant, A2 beta-casein has not been linked to these conditions (Ibid).

In older A2 cows, such as Jersey, French cows as well as some  Asian and African cows (called A2 cows), the beta-casein contains an amino acid called proline.

In newer breeds of cows like Holstein (A1 cows), however, the proline has mutated into an amino acid called histidine.

This is important because beta-casein also contains an amino acid called BCM-7, which is a powerful opiate linked to negative health effects. The proline that exists in A2 cows has a strong bond to BCM-7, which helps keep it out of the cows’ milk. The histidine in the newer A1 cows, however, has a weak hold on BCM-7, which allows it to get into the milk, and also into the people who drink the milk.

By drinking milk from A1 cows, which are the predominant cows used for dairy products in the United States and England, you’re exposed to BCM-7, which has been linked to: Neurological impairment, including autistic and schizophrenic changes Type 1 diabetes An impaired immune response Autoimmune disease and Heart disease

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Check other blog on cheese… on K2 and anti cancer element

Section B

Human milk, goat milk, sheep milk and other species’ milk contain beta-casein which is ‘A2 like’, because they have a proline at the equivalent position in their beta-casein chains (5-7).

A health-conscious person, with or without a cardiovascular condition, can still reach peak performance with an improved mostly plant-based Mediterranean diet. In this case, there are many different culinary strategies that can be put in place to mitigate the deleterious effects of animal foods. The Institute’s  Holistic Cardiology book goes into the relevant details, a few elements of which are developed below.

First off, as we saw the wine section, one of the best solutions to mitigate animal fats and proteins is moderate quality wine with meal, especially at lunch time. Not only does this millennia beverage promote lipid homeostasis, but it also helps to get rid of animal endotoxins and bacteria, favors blood sugar, is an aromatase inhibitor, promotes the secretion of gastric juices and helps to satiate hunger. The next best solution is to willingly reduce animal saturated fat intake by minimizing red meat, pork, chicken and cheese, as these products have the most saturated fats and also promote triglycerides.


Top: In France, Cheese is prefered raw and organic, from grass fed animals, especially mountain sheep and goats, which have a healthier casein protein and lipid profile than most cows. As an accompaniment, wine and when available, organic fresh grapes are also served. This custom helps to mitigate the deletrious effects of cheese.

When cheese is eaten, it should be raw, organic and from smaller animals like goat, sheep or donkey and accompanied with moderate amounts of wine and even a few organically grown grapes for an added fresh polyphenol boost,  thanks to which its lipids will be better processed. In France, donkey milk is often used to replace mother’s milk when mother’s milk can not be found. Outside of our great ape cousins, donkey’s milk is the closest to human mother’s milk. On the other hand, except for organic Gersey cow milk, all of the other cows milks have a type of casein (milk protein) called A 1 casein that is deleterious to human health, while goats and sheep have a casein called A 2 casein, which is much more friendly to the human microbiome and digestive system. And all the more so that the milk is organic, raw and the animals are cared for and not fed grains.

It is much easier to feed grains to cows, goats and sheep are sickened by grains. And when animals eat grains, they have lots of arachedonic acid (omega 6 lipids). These promote inflammation even more. For the cheese fermentation process, microbial enzymes appear to be better than rennet calf enzymes. And soft cheese like roquefort and chèvre brie tend to have more health and gut benefiting enzymes and even vitamin K2 than hard cheese, which also has lots of mold therein.




5Lonnerdal B, Bergstrom S, Andersson Y, Hjalmarsson K, Sundqvist A,K. Hernell O, (1990). Cloning and sequencing of a cDNA encoding human milk beta-casein. FEBS Lett. 269(1), 153-6. External link.

6Provot C, Persuy M.A, Mercier J.C, (1989). Complete nucleotide sequence of ovine beta-casein cDNA: inter-species comparison. Biochimie. 71(7), 827-32. External link.

7accession e. Goat beta-casein [cited 2011 3 October]. External link.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reviewed the scientific literature and published their results in 2009. As part of their evaluation, the EFSA looked at the laboratory studies that had been done on BCM-7 where they had found that BCM-7 can act as a weak opioid receptor agonist.[2] 

k European Food Safety Authority (3 February 2009). “Review of the potential health impact of β-casomorphins and related peptides”. EFSA Journal. 7 (2): 231r. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2009.231r



Foot notes

(1). Elliott R.B, Harris D.P, Hill J.P, Bibby N.J, Wasmuth H.E, (1999). Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus and cow milk: casein variant consumption. Diabetologia. 42(3), 292-6. External link

(2) Laugesen M, Elliott R, (2003). Ischaemic heart disease, Type 1 diabetes, and cow milk A1 beta-casein. N Z Med J. 116(1168), U295. External link


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