Milk and dairy have been much maligned in recent years, with numerous popular diets and food trends encouraging people to drink and eat less and less of it. Adequate consumption of milk and dairy products at different life stages can help prevent various chronic diseases. A daily intake of milk and dairy products among elderly people may reduce the risk of frailty and sarcopenia. A large new review of studies found that getting enough dairy throughout life can help prevent multiple chronic diseases, including heart disease, colon, and bladder cancers, and even diabetes.
In the review, researchers looked at 14 different American, European and Spanish studies that examined the effects of dairy on the prevention of chronic diseases. Based on the analysis published in Advances in Nutrition, here are the biggest findings of the positive impact dairy-specifically low-fat products-has on the risk for chronic diseases.:
- Drinking a moderate amount of milk during pregnancy is linked to better birth, weight, length, and bone-mineral content during childhood.
- Dairy consumption is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease, including heart attack.
- Eating dairy product, especially low-fat dairy and yoghurt, may be linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Eating milk and dairy was not shown to have an inflammatory effect in people who are overweight or obese.
- Moderate consumption of milk and dairy products is associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer and bladder cancer.
- Daily milk and dairy intake in elderly people may lower the risk of frailty and sarcopenia (muscle loss due to ageing). Specifically, they found that eating high amounts of low-fat milk and yoghurt and adding in nutrient-rich dairy proteins like that found in ricotta cheese are beneficial protective against these conditions too.
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.
Conclusion: The study suggested that the consumption of such products, especially low- fat dairy and yoghurt, 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.