Milk and dairy products may protect against chronic diseases: study


An adequate consumption of milk and dairy products in different stages of life can help prevent various chronic diseases, including the risk of frailty and sarcopenia, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, colon or bladder cancer, and type 2 diabetes, a recent study has revealed, contradicting the dominant literature in the field.

A group of scholars from Spain’s University of Granada (UGR) and the Complutense University of Madrid evaluated and meta-analyzed 14 articles from around the world about the role of milk and dairy products in the prevention of chronic diseases. The findings were published in the medical “Advances in Nutrition,” suggesting different results when compared to the recent medical literature.

The study exerted that there was a positive link between moderate intake of milk during pregnancy and birth weight, length and bone mineral content during childhood. It also suggested that a daily intake of milk and dairy products among elderly people could reduce the risk of frailty and sarcopenia.

The research, which was led by Professor Angel Gil from the UGR and Professor Rosa M. Ortega of Complutense University, revealed that the consumption of such products, especially those of low-fat dairy and yogurt which contain multiple nutrients and contribute to meeting our daily nutritional needs for protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B12, and pantothenic acid, may be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

The moderate consumption of milk and dairy products is also associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer and bladder cancer, while no links were found for prostate cancer, the study said.

The study, however, found that such products may not provide protection against osteoporotic fractures and hip fractures, but may strengthen the vertebrae.