Boy (2-4) holding glass of milk on table, close-up
Boy (2-4) holding glass of milk on table, close-up

Washington: While milk has long been seen as a healthy drink for everyone, a new study reveals that it also prevents chronic diseases. For example, there is a positive link between the moderate intake of milk during pregnancy and birth weight, length, and bone mineral content during childhood. In addition, a daily intake of milk and dairy products in elderly people may reduce the risk of frailty and sarcopenia.

The findings of the review were published in the journal ‘Advances in Nutrition’. The following study reviewed global scientific literature on the role of dairy products in health and in the prevention of chronic diseases including cardiovascular, metabolic syndrome, colon or bladder cancer, and type-2 diabetes. It also examined the effects of milk and dairy products on the growth, bone mineral density, generation of muscle mass, and during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Milk and dairy products not only contain multiple nutrients but also contribute to meeting the nutritional requirements for protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B12, and pantothenic acid. In the following study, researchers also found that a higher intake of dairy products depicted an association with decreased vertebral fracture risk. However, in the analysis of the differences between high vs low consumption of dairy products, no association was identified between dairy product consumption and increased risk of mortality.

The total intake of low-fat dairy products was associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, supporting the view that the consumption of dairy products does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and could have a slightly protective effect. It has also been shown that moderate consumption of this food group is associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer and bladder cancer, while no associations were found for prostate cancer. To the contrary, the study suggested that the consumption of such products, especially low-fat dairy and yogurt, may be associated with a lower risk of type-2 diabetes. Fortification of dairy products with phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids appears to constitute a suitable strategy for improving cardiometabolic risk biomarkers.

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