Milk: It Does a Body Good--In Moderation

Drinking three glasses a day reduces cardiovascular disease risk

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Don't skimp on the milk as a part of your new health-food regimen. Drinking three glasses of the delicious white stuff per day may slash your risk of cardiovascular disease by 18 percent.

Drinking regular milk, as opposed to the low-fat variety, did not correlate with increased risk of stroke, heart disease or mortality, according to a study that culled information from 17 previous studies from across Europe, America and Japan.

"Milk and dairy are the most nutritious and healthy foods available and (are) loaded with naturally occurring nutrients, such as calcium, potassium and protein, to name a few," said Dr. Cindy Schweitzer, technical director of Global Dairy Platform. "It's about going back to the basics; maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to be a scientific equation."

Research in the past three decades has pointed to consuming only low-fat dairy intake for optimum health, but this year alone has produced a significant body of research that supports the health benefits of dairy. Some of those findings include: Dietary intakes of saturated fats are not associated with increases in the risk of either coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease; an intake of calcium above the recommended daily levels may reduce the risk of mortality from heart disease and cancer by 25 percent; overall intake of dairy products is not associated with mortality; and higher dairy calcium intake is related to greater diet-induced weight loss.

However, it would still be prudent to consume full-fat dairy in moderation. medical editor Dr. Joseph V. Madia remarked, "Despite the new research that has stated that saturated fats may not be as big of a cardiovascular risk as once thought, the fact remains that foods high in saturated fat are high in caloric value. Cheeses, ice cream, and full fat milk when consumed in large portions on a regular basis can cause weight gain and contribute to obesity.  I would recommend consuming dairy in moderation, as the vitamins and nutrients such as calcium and protein are just as abundant in green leafy vegetables and beans."

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
December 15, 2010
Last Updated:
December 15, 2010