Milk may have positive benefits for metabolic, cardiovascular systems: Study

By Hal Conick contact

- Last updated on GMT

Milk may have positive benefits for metabolic, cardiovascular systems: Study

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Milk may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure, according to a recent study.

The study, Impact of Beverage Intake on Metabolic and Cardiovascular Health, ​was undertaken by professors from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham Medical School in the UK.

Researchers looked at the effect of milk, as well as tea, cocoa, orange juice, alcohols and sugary beverage.

The team, who looked at multiple studies regarding milk and other beverages, found that milk is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, especially regarding blood pressure.

Certain milk tripeptides can also assist in the reduction of angiotensin action, the report’s authors found.

Reducing blood pressure

The research looked at many studies that have looked into what milk can do as a whole for health, while others looked at isolated peptides and tripeptides from milk and researched what effect they can have.

Studies viewed under the scope of this research have found:

  • Higher milk intake is associated with lower blood pressure, inclining randomized controlled trials that show reduced blood pressure with milk tripepties
  • Milk can lower systolic blood pressure in those who are pre-hypertensive or hypertensive by 4.0
  • Highest intake of milk was associated with a 13% drop of blood pressure
  • Milk associated with reduced risk of ischemic heart disease

“With regard to possible mechanisms, it has been suggested that calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which are known to be required for blood pressure control, are provided in a unique balance in milk,”​ the study said. “The consumption of these minerals in milk may be a more effective way of lowering blood pressure than when they are given as supplements.”

Researchers noted that all studies used were from Japan and Finland, so it is not known whether the same effect would be there for all cultures.

Consistent with other studies

Dr Mickey Rubin, vice president of nutrition research at the National Dairy Council, told DairyReporter that the information in this report certainly lines up with the greater body of research on milk.

“The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans noted moderate evidence indicates that consumption of milk and milk products is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and with lower blood pressure in adults,”​ he said.

“Research published since the release of the 2010 DGA is consistent with and builds on evidence that dairy foods are associated with bone health, lower blood pressure in adults and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, including heart disease.”

Other work needed

Although these subjects do point to some great conclusions for milk consumption, the authors said there needs to be more work to access if the absence of benefits of full-fair dairy products is due to the fat content or the lack of absorption of mineral, such as calcium and magnesium.

“Studies of the impact of the fat content of milk and a demonstration that any beneficial effect is independent of the fat content are essential,”​ the report’s authors said.

Milk consumers are drinking milk less than ever. The US Department of Agriculture reported that between 1977-78 and 2007-9, the percent of American adolescents and Adults who did not drink fluid milk on a given day rose from 41% to 54%. The share of people who drink milk three or more times per day fell from 13% to 4%.

Source: Nutrition Reviews 
Title: Impact of beverage intake on metabolic and cardiovascular health
Authors: L Helm, IA Macdonald 

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