The South Asian Times

20 October 2018 18:25 PM

'Pahari' cow's milk to prevent heart disease?

Palampur (Himachal Pradesh) : The milk of a cow breed in Himachal Pradesh has a protein that battles heart disease, diabetes and autism, a scientist said here Sunday.

"The milk of the 'Pahari' cow breed contains A2 Beta-casein protein in good quantity and it is good for health," Mandeep Sharma, head of the Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology Department of the Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University here, told IANS. This fact came to light in an ongoing study being by the department on 43 hill cows.

Sharma said that in 97 percent cases, it was seen that the cows produced A2 Beta-casein that plays a protective role against heart diseases, autism and diabetes.

He said the milk of the exotic Holstein and Jersey breeds do not contain this component and instead have an alternative A1 allele that has been associated with these diseases.

"A1 allele is not at all present or negligible in the milk of the local cows," he added. The project, sanctioned by the National Agriculture Development Scheme, is studying immunological and immunogenetic profiling of hill cattle for their disease-resistance potential.

Studies revealed that hill cattle are highly adaptogenic and have better innate and adaptive immune responses to fight infectious diseases like tuberculosis, foot-and-mouth and brucellosis.

Sharma said studies have also established that native cow urine has antimicrobial properties.

"When urine was processed and added in very minute quantities to an antimicrobial agent, it was able to enhance the antimicrobial activity of that agent by 20-25 percent," the scientist said.

According to him, the farmers in the state were preferring domesticated hybrid varieties rather than the native ones due to high milk yields.

"Now, in certain pockets in the interiors of the state, people are domesticating the 'Pahari' cows," he said. The short statured 'Pahari' cattle are highly adaptable to the hilly terrain, are disease resistant and thrive on even poor pastures.

Update: 24 Jan, 2012