Pouring at least one glass of milk each day could not only boost your intake of much-needed key nutrients, but it could also positively impact your brain and mental performance, according to a recent study in the International Dairy Journal.1 Researchers found that adults with higher intakes of milk and milk products scored significantly higher on memory and other brain function tests than those who drank little to no milk. Milk drinkers were five times less likely to “fail” the test, compared to non milk drinkers.
Researchers at the University of Maine put more than 900 men and women ages 23 to 98 through a series of brain tests – including visual-spatial, verbal and working memory tests – and tracked the milk consumption habits of the participants. In the series of eight different measures of mental performance, regardless of age and through all tests, those who drank at least one glass of milk each day had an advantage. The highest scores for all eight outcomes were observed for those with the highest intakes of milk and milk products compared to those with low and infrequent milk intakes. The benefits persisted even after controlling for other factors that can affect brain health, including cardiovascular health and other lifestyle and diet factors. In fact, milk drinkers tended to have healthier diets overall, but there was something about milk intake specifically that offered the brain health advantage, according to the researchers.
In addition to the many established health benefits of milk from bone health to cardiovascular health, the potential to stave off mental decline may represent a novel benefit with great potential to impact the aging population. While more research is needed, the scientists suggest some of milk’s nutrients may have a direct effect on brain function and that “easily implemented lifestyle changes that individuals can make present an opportunity to slow or prevent neuropsychological dysfunction.”
New and emerging brain health benefits are just one more reason to start each day with lowfat or fat free milk. Whether in a latte, in a smoothie, on your favorite cereal, or straight from the glass, milk at breakfast can be a key part of a healthy breakfast that help sets you up for a successful day. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend three glasses of lowfat or fat free milk daily for adults and each 8-ounce glass contains nine essential nutrients Americans need, including calcium and vitamin D.
The health benefits of milk can be achieved from milk directly or its products such as cheese, butter, curd, clarified butter or ghee, dairy whitener, ice cream, cottage cheese or paneer, flavored milk, milk sweets etc. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has clearly mentioned in its Dietary Guidelines to include milk and milk products in the diet.
Deficiency Symptoms: Milk deficiency can cause severe anemia, osteoporosis and other related illnesses. Milk consumption is very essential to maintain good health and doing normal activities. It is the best source of calcium for all age groups.
Benefits: Milk is extremely beneficial drink for mankind. Some of the advantages of drinking this life-giving nectar are as follows:
Calcium: Milk is the best source of calcium supply to our body. Calcium protects the body from major chronic ailments such as cancerous chemicals, bone loss, arthritic condition, migraine headaches, pre-menstrual syndrome, and obesity in children and aids in losing unwanted fats.
Healthy Bones: As mentioned above, milk is rich in calcium, which is very essential for growth and proper development of strong bone structure. Bone disorders such as osteoporosis can be prevented with daily intake of adequate quantity of milk. Children deprived of cow milk have an increased chance of bone fractures when injured.
Healthy Teeth: Encouraging children and youngsters to drink milk would give them excellent dental health, as milk protects the enamel surface against acidic substances. Drinking milk for energy and health would dissuade children from consuming soft drinks, thus reducing the risk of decayed teeth and weak gums.
Rehydration: Fluids are an integral part of human body. The body needs to be replenished with liquids at regular intervals. It is very essential for growing children and they must drink at least six to eight glasses of fluid every day. Milk contains a good quantity of water molecules and is considered the best fluid for rehydration.
About the National Milk Mustache “got milk?”® Campaign
The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Washington, D.C., is funded by the nation’s milk processors, who are committed to increasing fluid milk consumption. The National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board, through MilkPEP, runs the National Milk Mustache “got milk?”® Campaign, a multi-faceted campaign designed to educate consumers about the health benefits of milk. For more information, go to http://www.whymilk.com. Deutsch, A Lowe and Partners Company, is the creative agency for the National Milk Mustache “got milk?”® Campaign.
Crichton GE, Elias MF, Dore GA, Robbins MA. Relation between dairy food intake and cognitive function: The Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study. International Dairy Journal. 2012; 22:15-23.
Weber Shandwick Worldwide