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Nutrition and Health

Milk products, maintain health

10 Health Benefits Of Dairy Products

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

March 21, 2004

Benjamin Disraeli, in a speech to the House of Commons in 1860, rebuked his critics by saying , "It is much easier to be critical than to be correct". Today, for reasons that are hard to understand, some organizations try to dissuade Canadians from consuming milk products. Another example of it being easier to be critical than right. Here are 10 ways that milk products help to maintain health.

One — Calcium (and milk is the best source) Can Keep You Trim

A study of adolescent girls showed that those who consumed the most calcium were also the leanest. Researchers have found that calcium at the cellular level causes fat to be broken down in the cell and speeds up the rate at which calories are burned.

Two — Decreases the risk of kidney stones

It's a myth that high calcium intake causes kidney stones. Most kidney stones are composed of calcium oxalate. And oxalate is chiefly responsible for stone formation. But calcium, by binding with oxalate in the intestine, decreases its absorption. With less oxalate the risk of stone formation is decreased.

Three — Lowers the risk of breast cancer

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) present in milk slows the development of mammary tumours in animals. Postmenopausal women with high levels of CLA in their blood and fatty tissue have a 70 per cent lower chance of breast cancer.

Four — Less risk of Colon Cancer

Increased consumption of milk products has been shown to decrease the risk of colon cancer in both sexes by 40 per cent. A huge benefit since colon malignancy is a major cause of death.

Five — Fights hypertension

A study titled, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), showed that people consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables have lower blood pressures. Add three servings of milk products and the blood pressure lowering effect is doubled. This results in fewer heart attacks and stroke. The DASH diet also lowers homocysteine levels, a risk factor in heart disease, the nations number one killer.

Six — Fights Insulin Resistance Syndrome (IRS)

People who are obese and have hypertension, decreased amounts of good cholesterol (HDL), impaired glucose metabolism and high blood triglyceride have what doctors call IRS. This combination of problems now affects 25 per cent of the population and interferes with the body's ability to control blood sugar. The end result is often diabetes which affects 5 per cent of the population. Those who consumed a low level of milk products tripled their risk of developing IRS.

Seven — A natural treatment for the Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Studies show that women with PMS appear to have abnormalities in calcium metabolism. And that women taking 1000 to 1300 milligrams of calcium rich foods such as milk experience significant improvements in mood, behaviour, pain and bloating during the menstrual cycle.

Eight — Lowers the chance of developing ovarian malignancy.

In a study of 588 women with ovarian cancer those with the highest intake of milk and dairy calcium halved their risk of ovarian cancer. But calcium supplements and non-dairy food sources of calcium did not provide this protection.

Nine — Helps to keep teeth for a lifetime

Children are taught that calcium in milk helps to build strong teeth. But few know that milk protein and cheese fight the formation of dental plaque and help to coat the teeth. This decreases the amount of fermentable carbohydrate in the mouth and the risk of dental caries.

Ten — The prime way to stay out of a wheelchair

Too many people still haven't heard the message that milk and dairy products are the prime way to combat brittle bones. It's a tragedy that young people are drinking huge amounts of soft drinks loaded with sugar when they should be drinking milk. Consuming three glasses of milk daily builds strong bones early in life. Later, as we age we lose bone, so having powerful bones in youth is the best insurance policy to stay on your feet rather than in a wheelchair.

So let the critics rant and rave about dairy products. Some never learn that it's easier to be critical than correct.


W. Gifford-Jones M.D Most recent columns

W. Gifford-Jones M.D is the pen name of Dr. Ken Walker graduate of Harvard. Dr. Walker's website is: docgiff.com.
Dr. Walker can be reached at info@docgiff.com















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