More than twenty years ago I discovered something: When I stopped having dairy, I stopped having period pain.
Since then, I’ve worked with thousands of patients who have had the same result. For many women (not all), stopping dairy can dramatically improve period pain, heavy periods, endometriosis, acne, and PMS.
The inflammatory effect of A1 casein
How does cow dairy cause pain, heavy bleeding, and premenstrual mood symptoms? It’s all to do with A1 beta-casein, which is one of the proteins in normal cow’s milk. For some people (not all), A1 beta-casein converts in the gut to the inflammatory peptide beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM7), which, in turn, can stimulate inflammatory cytokines, histamine, and mast cells—all leading to menstrual pain, heavy bleeding, and mood symptoms.
👉 Tip: Feel better on a vegan diet? It could just be because you’re avoiding dairy.
People who don’t form BCM7 from A1 casein can tolerate normal dairy.
And people who react to A1 dairy can usually tolerate A2 dairy, which is dairy from Jersey cows, goats, and sheep. In fact, there is a study underway at Deakin University to assess how A1 vs A2 dairy might affect psychological distress in women.
👉 Tip: A clinical sign that can suggest a problem with A1 casein is a history of childhood recurrent upper respiratory infections.
Is dairy necessary for calcium?
The short answer is no. There’s plenty of calcium in green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and A2 dairy. Research shows that milk drinkers do not have better bones than non-milk drinkers, and according to Harvard researcher Walter Willett, “humans have no nutritional requirement for animal milk.”
The bottom line about dairy and periods
Based on my clinical experience with thousands of patients, stopping dairy can relieve heavy periods, period pain, and premenstrual mood symptoms.
It’s certainly worth a try.