Is milk beneficial for health or not? The debate has continued each year with people siding with both for and against the consumption. The research itself supports both sides of this pressing question. This year the question is again revived.
In a review released at the beginning of the year by researchers from Harvard, researchers challenged the idea that consuming milk beneficial for health and our diets in general, the review has since then been published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
To put things in perspective, currently, the guidelines in the U.S. for a healthy diet recommends that an average person should be consuming 3 helpings of dairy every day. Walter Willet, the professor on the review however begs to differ and calls the recommendations for calcium to be flawed fundamentally.
A different review that was also published this year in Nutrition Reviews by Elizabeth Jacobs who is a professor at the University of Arizona, she too argues that dairy does not need to be seen as a separate food group on the guidelines for an average person’s diet. Instead, her review suggests that dairy products should be placed in a different category such as the protein category. It should instead be seen as an option people can consume to fulfill their daily requirements for protein.
Neither of the reviews however questions whether milk is good for health; they in no way suggest that it harms health at all. Moreover, Jacobs also points out that people are appearing to be avoiding consuming milk on their own and are instead choosing alternatives for milk. Willet also notes that dairy farming can be especially taxing on the environment and that this could exacerbate the current issue of climate change even more than it already is.
At the very same time, another published study indicates the opposite and suggests that dairy could cause problems in a person’s health. National Cancer Institute, World Cancer Research Fund, and the National Institutes of Health commissioned the study. The study discovered that women who consumed 2 or 3 cups of cow’s milk each day happened to increase their risk of developing lethal breast cancer by a good percentage of 80 percent in comparison with those who consumed soy milk instead.
The average risk of developing this specific kind of cancer in women is at about 12%. In the light of this study, if a woman was to consume 16 to 24 ounces of cow’s milk per day, her risk would escalate from the average 12% to a whopping 21.6%. This is an alarming amount of risk for cancer as lethal as that.
Other research however does suggest that consuming dairy for the vital nutrients that it contains can offer valuable benefits. In a recent study funded by the National Dairy Council, consuming dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, and other milk proteins may help people cope with the effects of inflammation as it is noticed to neutralize it.
One of the authors of the study also explained that consuming milk offers a person to acquire 9 nutrients that are essential for a body such as potassium and vitamin D.
To conclude there is perhaps not a single answer that could be claimed to be right for the question of ‘is milk beneficial for health’. Considering the referenced research it all depends on the person’s personal choice and the effects they experience on their own body.