A study conducted by Angel Gil and Rosa Ortega from the University of Granada, and published in Advances in Nutrition, reviewed the scientific evidence on dairy intake’s impact on health and the prevention of chronic diseases.
Contrary to the decreasing trend of dairy consumption in many countries, the study indicates various potential health benefits of milk and dairy products.
Milk and dairy products are rich in essential nutrients, including protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B-12, and pantothenic acid.
Maternal milk intake during pregnancy is associated with healthy development in children.
Dairy products may reduce frailty and muscle loss in older individuals.
No clear link between high dairy consumption and bone fracture risks, although reduced risk of spinal cord fracture was noted.
Dairy consumption is not linked to adverse heart risks and may even have protective effects. A lower risk of heart disease and heart attacks was observed.
Low-fat dairy foods are associated with a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
Dairy intake, especially low-fat dairy and yogurt, is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Moderate dairy consumption is linked to a lower risk of colorectal and bladder cancer.
Dairy foods did not exacerbate inflammation in healthy people, overweight/obese individuals, or those with metabolic issues.
Dairy products fortified with phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids may further improve heart health.
Implications and Future Research
This study suggests that adequate dairy intake at various life stages can offer several health benefits, including reduced risks of chronic diseases.
Given the decline in dairy consumption and questions about its health impact, this research provides a counterpoint that highlights dairy’s potential benefits.
For Those Concerned About Nutrition
Consider related studies that suggest the Mediterranean diet could enhance brain health and that certain plant nutrients could help lower high blood pressure.
For Overall Health
Additional research indicates that olive oil may extend life expectancy and that vitamin D could reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases.
The study highlights the diverse health benefits of dairy intake and recommends it as a source of essential nutrients that can positively influence various health outcomes.
However, more research is needed to corroborate these findings and further explore the role of dairy in a balanced diet.
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