Or do you drink it at all?
I don’t. It’s part of my generalized dislike of any flavored beverage (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a look here). But for milk I reserve a special repugnance. The last time I can remember liking it, or at least thinking I might like it, I was around two years old. After that it became a gummy, icky sort of thing, and I’d watch in bafflement as others swilled it down and sang its praises.
As a young adult, I also discovered I was lactose intolerant. I forget why they decided to test me, but in those days the definitive test was to fast overnight, have your blood drawn to measure your blood sugar, and then drink a vat of lactose (actually, about 12 ounces, which is a pretty big swig) in liquid form. That’s much much more than you’d ordinarily get in a serving of milk. Then every half hour they’d draw blood again, for about three hours or so.
A normal milk-digesting person’s blood sugar would rise somewhat and then start falling in predictable fashion. And the person would be feeling okay in the meantime, although a bit like a pincushion. As for me, my blood sugar never responded to the drink at all, which meant that my body was completely unable to digest the milk sugar in it. I was told that there are degrees of inability to digest lactose, and I exhibited the highest degree possible: 100% lactose intolerant.
Which was no sorrow to me, since I never had any inclination to drink milk in the first place. I still seem to do fine with yogurt and cheese, which contain a lot less lactose.
But that test—oh, that test! I got so sick within about a half hour of drinking that vile concoction that I spent most of the next five hours or so in the bathroom. It was a highly unpleasant day, one I hope to never repeat. And I’m not sure anyone else will ever have to repeat it, because I heard that years later they invented a much kinder, gentler test that didn’t involve a huge lactose challenge like that.
Which brings us to this article about problems with certain proteins in milk versus problems with lactose (milk sugar):
But, according to Miller [who is a dietician], compelling scientific research suggests people may not be reacting to lactose, but to a protein found in milk called A1.
‘As cows’ milk protein allergy can be diagnosed relatively easily and doesn’t tend to last into adulthood, the traditional view is that people with continued problems with milk are lactose intolerant.’
‘There are two major proteins in milk, whey and casein. Within the latter, there are two subtypes called A1 and A2. These are natural genetic variants that occur in cows’ milk.’
‘While human breast milk, goat’s milk, sheep’s milk and all other mammalian milks only contain A2 type protein; the A1 protein seems to be only found in European dairy cows,’ says Miller.
And the push for diversity aside, American cows are basically European cows in terms of their protein.
This is not a new issue, although it’s new to me. Here’s Wiki on the evolutionary history:
Scientists believe the difference originated as a mutation that occurred between 5000 and 10,000 years ago—as cattle were being taken north into Europe—when the proline at position 67 was replaced by histidine, with the mutation subsequently spreading widely throughout herds in the western world through breeding.
The percentage of the A1 and A2 beta-casein protein varies between herds of cattle, and also between countries and provinces. While African and Asian cattle continue to produce only A2 beta-casein, the A1 version of the protein is common among cattle in the western world. The A1 beta-casein type is the most common type found in cow’s milk in Europe (excluding France), the USA, Australia and New Zealand. On average, more than 70 percent of Guernsey cows produce milk with predominantly A2 protein, while among Holsteins and Ayrshires between 46 and 70 percent produce A1 milk.
Much of the previous brouhaha about health risks seems to have been about things like cancer and diabetes, and there’s no scientifically-accepted indication that A1 milk is any more harmful in terms of those diseases than A2 milk is. But what about GI discomfort, as reported in the Daily Mail article to which I linked? Perhaps, but the evidence is weak.
All of this is just a way to segue into this question: do you like milk? Do you drink it regularly? If so, is it just with cereal (that, even I can understand)? Or do you chug down a huge glass of it with meals?