Guernsey milk and autism

Dear Foods Matter,
I heard a report some months ago on the BBC about a child with autism who had changed to Guernsey milk and had seen major improvements. I searched for the milk and managed to get some. My daughter's digestive problems improved immediately and her eye contact and communication skills have also improved. She has also started interacting more with children in her class. There has been a considerable rise in our grocery bill but Grace gets disability living allowance so that helps.
My daughter's dietitian told me that it is common for people with autism to go on gluten-free and casein-free diets. It has helped my daughter to omit wheat from her diet. We also use soya products. Soya milk is not very nice to taste but flavoured varieties are available. Most soya cheese is horrible but the Tofutti brand of cheese spread is much nicer and is available from health food stores or online.

Regards, Vickie Fisher

Intrigued by this letter, we did a little Google research and discovered that although relatively little research has been done in this area, the possible link between autism and the consumption of Guernsey milk lies in the latter’s high levels of beta casein A2 as opposed to beta casein A1. Guernsey milk has more than 95% beta casein 2 compared to 40% in Jersey milk and 15% in most other milks.

When digested, beta casein A1 is metabolised into a product called beta caseomorphin 7 which, as the name suggests is an opioid. It is the opioid that is thought to aggravate autism and is possibly implicated in type 1 diabetes and coronary heart disease. For a more detailed explanation of the science check the ‘science’ section at

For your information – apart from the beta casein A2, Guernsey milk also contains three times as much omega 3 as other milks (one part omega 3 to two parts omega 6, whereas all other milks are one part omega 3 to six parts omega 6). And it derives its golden colour from the fact that the beta carotene in the grass that the cows eat is not broken down in their digestions and therefore passes straight into the milk.

You will find an up-to-date list of UK suppliers of Guernsey milk at

Click here for more research reports on possible treatments for autism


First Published in Febuary 2009

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