As part of a recent initiative, The Functional Gut Clinic teamed up with A2 Milk in order to host a mini IBS awareness day at our clinic in London.

The purpose of the awareness day was to tackle some of the myths surrounding lactose intolerance as well as looking at the role of lactose intolerance in IBS.

To do this we invited 12 people who had asked to take part, and had previously been diagnosed with IBS by their own GP or Gastroenterologist; we evaluated the effects of different types of milk on their existing symptoms as well as testing for true lactose intolerance using a hydrogen breath test.

Regular milk found in most people’s fridges contains a mixture of different proteins – some are called A1 and some are called A2.

Lots of people struggle with A1, which is thought to evoke some inflammatory and immunological responses in some people that in turn can cause symptoms of perceived lactose intolerance. A2 Milk (which comes from older breeds of cattle) is completely free of A1 protein. A2 milk has less immunological and digestive effects on milk consumption, which might mean that the participants are able to drink natural cows milk once again.

The ‘Test’

Each participant was asked to drink 500ml of milk; half were given regular milk, which contained a mixture of both A1 and A2 protein in it whilst the other half were given A2 only milk. The participants and staff were both blinded to the type of milk given. Symptoms were then monitored over a period of two hours with the use of a Hydrogen Breath Test to help validate the results.

Participants Entry Criteria

  • Must be previously diagnosed with IBS.
  • Must be able to consume cows’ milk without the risk of severe illness – e.g. no allergies or severe lactose intolerance.
  • Must not have any other major digestive disorders, which could skew results e.g. inflammatory bowel disease.

To find our more about a2 Milk please visit: The a2 Milk Company