Does Sheep's Milk Have Lactose?
The type of protein in sheep’s milk differs from that of cows milk.
Sheep’s milk is a dairy product, and all dairy products have lactose, however the type of protein in sheep’s milk differs from that of cows milk. Research now shows that a common form of cow's milk beta-casein protein (called A1) could potentially cause stomach pain and other gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Another variant of the protein, called A2, isn't associated with these adverse effects and is the type of protein in sheeps milk.
Sheep’s milk may relive your digestive issues
If some people who believe they're lactose intolerant are actually reacting to A1 beta-casein, then drinking sheep’s milk could relieve their digestive issues.
Lactose intolerance is probably as low as 5% in Ireland
Lactose intolerance is less common if dairy has been an important part of a population's diet for generations. For example, people of Northern European descent, for whom dairy is traditionally a dietary staple, Ireland being an example, can have rates of lactose intolerance as low as 5%.
So next time you are feeling uncomfortable having drunk that glass of milk, consider that you may not be lactose intolerant, but in fact sensitive to A1 protein, and you might consider trying A2 protein sheep’s milk instead.
Or you can buy sheep's milk on its own
Or if you just want to dip your toe in the sheep's milk waters, try a free sample of our sheep's yogurt here
1. Lactose intolerance. US National Library of Medicine, Genetics Home Reference website. https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/lactose-intolerance#statistics. Updated August 29, 2017.
- Pasin G. A2 milk facts. California Dairy Research Foundation website. http://cdrf.org/2017/02/09/a2-milk-facts/. Published February 9, 2017.
- Kral L. The health battle behind America's next milk trend. The Atlantic. January 27, 2017. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/01/a-tale-of-two-milks/514397/
- European Food Safety Authority. Review of the potential health impact of β-casomorphins and related peptides. EFSA J. 2009;7(2):1-107.
- Pal S, Woodford K, Kukuljan S, Ho S. Milk intolerance, beta-casein and lactose. Nutrients. 2015;7(9):7285-7297.