Milk facts and fallacies

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 1 February 1999



(1999), "Milk facts and fallacies", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 99 No. 1.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited

Milk facts and fallacies

Milk ­ facts and fallacies

Milk is one of the staples of a balanced diet and in Britain the average person consumes about half a pint a day. Milk and milk products together provide about 56 per cent of the calcium consumed in Britain, 17 per cent of the protein and 27 per cent of the riboflavin. They are also useful sources of several other Bvitamins, such as B6, folate and thiamin as well as vitamin A, zinc, iodine, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium.

Besides these important nutrients, milk also contains components such as conjugated linoleic acid, sphingomyelin and its metabolites and butyric acid which have all be implicated as anti-carcinogens in animal experiments. The whey proteins are also reported to have a number of health benefits including improved immune funcation, cancer protection and promotion of good bone and dental health.

Despite this important contribution to the diet, articles occasionally appear in the media, particularly in the fringe health press, which cast a negative light on milk, asserting that milk consumption causes this or that medical condition. These alleged associations are often based on anecdotal information rather than on sound, peer-reviewed scientific research.

A new Topical Update from the National Dairy Council, Milk ­ Facts and Fallacies, pulls together the available research on many of the frequently raised issues concerning milk intake, nutrition and health. It provides reasoned discussions of these issues in the light of current evidence and shows whether they are based on fact or fallacy. Free copies are available from the Education Department, Food Facts Column, National Dairy Council, 5-7 John Princes Street, London W1M 0AP.

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