Study Looks at Benefits of Whole Milk Products

Posted On: 07-06-2018
Study Looks at Benefits of Whole Milk Products
Many consumers opt for low-fat dairy alternatives when it comes to coffee creamer, yogurt, cheese, and more. However, a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that consuming full-fat dairy items are not actually linked to the development of stroke or heart disease. In fact, these products may actually help to reduce severe stroke risk.

For the study, researchers from the University of Health Science Center at Houston looked at 2,907 adults over the age of 65 in 1992. These adults had no history of heart disease. The researchers took blood samples and measured for plasma levels of three types of fatty acids found in dairy products. The samples were repeated after 6 years and after 13 years, with the final follow-up occurring 22 years after the start of the study.

By the final follow-up, 2,428 of the participants had passed away. Of those, 833 had passed away from cardiovascular disease. By looking at the data, the study authors concluded that none of the fatty acids they measured had any significant link to the death of the participants, but instead found that one of the fatty acids present in dairy (heptadecanoic acid) may actually reduce the risk of death from stroke. Participants with higher levels of this fatty acid had a 42% lower chance of death from stroke.

Marcia Otto, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences indicated that this study can give consumers more confidence in buying full-fat dairy products. As an added bonus, full-fat dairy products are great sources of calcium and potassium, and don’t require added sugar for flavor, like low-fat products.

This study is unique, because it is considered to be the first of its kind that didn’t rely on self-reported dairy product consumption.

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