Milk and Dairy’s Nutritional Importance
A study from the University of Granada demonstrated the numerous health benefits linked to milk and dairy consumption, and how they could help prevent chronic diseases.
Milk and dairy products contain an array of essential nutrients and play a key role in meeting nutritional requirements for protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B-12, and pantothenic acid.
However, in many countries, the consumption of dairy is decreasing and moving away from recommended levels, prompting questions about the potential health benefits of milk and dairy products.
In this study, researchers reviewed scientific evidence about the impact of dairy intake on health, mortality, and the prevention of various chronic diseases.
They found that maternal milk intake during pregnancy is linked to healthy development during childhood. Also, dairy products could reduce the risk of frailty and prevent muscle loss in older people.
Despite the highest intake of dairy products showing no clear link with overall bone fracture risks, there was a connection with a reduced risk of spinal cord fracture.
Furthermore, there was no association between dairy product consumption and risk of death. Low-fat dairy foods are linked to a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
The evidence supports the idea that dairy foods do not negatively affect heart risks and may even have a subtle protective effect.
The researchers found an association between dairy product consumption and lower risks of heart disease and heart attacks.
Additionally, the data suggests that dairy intake, particularly low-fat dairy and yogurt, is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Moderate consumption of dairy is associated with a lower risk for colorectal and bladder cancer.
Finally, milk or dairy foods did not increase inflammation in healthy individuals, overweight/obese people, or people with other metabolic problems.
The team also proposed that fortifying dairy products with phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids may be an effective method to improve heart health.
In light of the findings, the researchers suggest that adequate milk intake at various stages of life has health benefits and can help prevent several chronic diseases.
The study was conducted by Angel Gil and Rosa Ortega and was published in Advances in Nutrition.
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