A new study has revealed that milk is not only good for your bones but is also beneficial for your heart health. An international research team found that drinking milk every day on a regular basis can significantly drop the chances of suffering from heart disease.
The research reveals that milk drinkers also have lower levels of cholesterol. Having high cholesterol can cause blockages in the arteries and lead to a heart attack or stroke. Overall, those drinking a glass of milk each day reduced their risk of coronary heart disease by 14 percent. The researchers based their conclusions on health information from around two million people within the United Kingdom. They found those who consumed large quantities of milk were less prone to cardiovascular illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, or high cholesterol.
What are the benefits?
“We found that among participants with a genetic variation that we associated with higher milk intake, they had higher BMI, body fat, but importantly had lower levels of good and bad cholesterol,” says lead author Professor Vimal Karani, a nutritionist at the University of Reading, in a release. “We also found that those with the genetic variation had a significantly lower risk of coronary heart disease. All of this suggests that reducing the intake of milk might not be necessary for preventing cardiovascular diseases.” The team gathered data from the UK Biobank study and were unable find a link between regular milk consumption and increased levels of cholesterol. Meaning, no matter how many glasses of milk you are drinking a day, there is no impact on your cholesterol.
It was revealed that those who consumed high amounts of milk had lower levels of the blood fats. The researchers adopted a genetic technique by looking at a variation in the genes which is connected to digesting lactose. Which are the sugars in milk and other dairy foods. They discovered carrying a variant where people can digest lactose is a good way for identifying those who consume higher levels of milk. Obesity, diabetes, and other conditions that affect metabolism also have ties to over-indulging in dairy products. Despite this, the UK biobank data showed those with the lactase mutation were 11% less prone to type 2 diabetes. Prof. Karani adds there was no evidence higher milk intake increased the chances of diabetes or inflammation.
“The study certainly shows that milk consumption is not a significant issue for cardiovascular disease risk. Even though there was a small rise in BMI and body fat among milk drinkers,” Karani explains. “What we do note in the study is that it remains unclear whether it is the fat content in dairy products that is contributing to the lower cholesterol levels. It may be due to an unknown ‘milk factor.”
A boost for the body and brain
Drinking a glass of milk has a long history of helping to build healthy bones. It also provides the body with a vitamin and protein boost. However, now scientists also believe it can also boost brain power. A previous study discovered those who drank a glass of milk performed better in concentration & learning tests. It’s believed certain nutrients in dairy products such as magnesium, could help stave off memory loss. They may also help protect against heart disease and high blood pressure. This in turn maintains the brain’s ability to properly function. Better blood flow carries more oxygen to the brain. Overall, drinking a glass of milk is more beneficial than you may first think. Packed with calcium, nutrients and protein needed as part of a healthy balanced diet, milk is great at preventing heart issues.
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