Los Amigos

This study is investigating the role of inflammation in lactose malabsorption, trying to find out if a2 Milk™ is digested better than conventional milk in people who are dairy intolerant.

What is the aim of this study?

We’re investigating the different effects that two milk products have on gut comfort, digestion, metabolism and the gut microbiome. We will measure the digestive, metabolic, immune and inflammatory response after two weeks of consuming either conventional or a2 Milk™ products.

We will look to see if either milk product can change your ability to digest lactose. If you take part you’ll learn more about your own digestive response to milk and whether you can tolerate either type of milk better. You’ll also be compensated for your time and effort.

Why is this study important?

Lots of people report digestive problems after eating dairy, but not all of these people are intolerant to the lactose in milk. Instead, sensitivity to dairy might be caused by the proteins in milk.

Conventional milk contains an A1 version of a protein called β-casein. In some people, this A1 protein causes inflammation in the small intestine and can contribute to lactose intolerance.

The A2 version of the protein breaks down differently and might not cause symptoms in people who are sensitive to the A1 protein. However, we still don’t know how the different proteins are digested and metabolised, or their effects in people who are sensitive to dairy.

This study will help us understand if prolonged consumption of a2 Milk™ improves lactose absorption and tolerance, and if it improves gut comfort, digestive and immune response compared to conventional milk.

Who can take part?

We are looking for men and women who think they may be intolerant to milk or dairy. To take part, you need to:

  • Be 20-40 years old
  • Have a BMI of 18-28
  • Have no chronic metabolic or digestive diseases
  • Be willing to give blood
  • Have no clinically diagnosed allergy to milk

If this sounds like you, please complete the confidential pre-screening questionnaire.

What does the study involve?

If you take part in the study, you’ll come to three five-hour morning visits at the Liggins Institute at the University’s Grafton campus, plus one short screening visit. For the morning visits, you’ll need to have fasted overnight ready for a lactose challenge (50g of lactose with water) and a series of tests.

These visits will be:

  1. After two weeks of avoiding dairy altogether
  2. After two weeks of consuming the first milk type (either conventional milk or a2 Milk™)
  3. After a separate two weeks consuming milk and cheese of the second milk type

We’ll take blood, urine, breath and stool samples to see how the different milks are broken down by the body.

How do I enrol?

To ask a question or to enrol in this study, please contact the study coordinators, Sarah Mitchell and Aahana Shrewstha on nutrition.mobility@auckland.ac.nz.

You can also call Sarah on 09 923 1151 or Aahana on 022 1837 265.

This study is funded through High Value Nutrition to AgResearch and in partnership with the a2 Milk™ Company.