NEW YORK (CBS) Four years ago, Lisa Montesanti says her grandson Nicholas stopped drinking milk after being hit with severe stomach pain. "The symptoms went away when he stopped drinking milk."
But when he saw a commercial for a product called A2 milk, he told his grandmother he wanted to try it. "I got it for him and he has absolutely no problems when he drinks it," she said.
"There's A1 and there's A2. And we simply go and find the cows that only produce A2 proteins and that's what we have in our milk," said Blake Waltrip, the chief executive of A2 milk in the U.S.
Waltrip says that for some people it's the A1 protein that makes milk difficult to digest.
Blake Waltrip: More than likely everything that we see points to the fact that that intolerance is to the A1 protein, not to lactose.
Reporter Don Dahler: They think that they're lactose intolerant, but they actually have a problem with the A1 protein?
Blake Waltrip: That's correct.
A study funded by the A2 milk company claims that when A1 proteins are broken down in the gut, they form a protein fragment called BCM-7 that triggers inflammation and symptoms like bloating and abdominal pain.
But the National Dairy Council says at this point, A2's claims are purely theoretical and not backed by any scientific research. "It's just a theory at this point in time. There's no science that really says that there's any value in this A2 protein relative to conventional milk," said the Council's Greg Miller. "The two studies that were -- one were with a small number of subjects, looked at different variables that really don't give us the answers that we need to be able to tell whether or not this is really true or not."
For now, A2 milk is mostly sold in specialty or high-end grocery stores, but the company says it expects to make a larger rollout in the near future.