No wonder they call it "nature's perfect food"

We noticed a news item the other day that reminded us again of milk's usefulness and versatility. It had to do with a lactoferrin, a protein found in milk. Lactoferrin, when used in an activated form and sprayed on fresh meat, can protect the meat from pathogenic bacteria, thus making the meat safer.

That got us to thinking how many times in the past year we have noted items on our Web site or weekly newsletter that pertain to the health benefits of milk.

Here are some examples:

  • Prevention magazine has named nonfat milk as one of the nine top "healing foods." Nonfat milk was included along with broccoli, garlic, kidney beans and others as "health-giving powerhouses."
  • The August 2001 issue of Prevention, which, by the way, is one of the nation's leading health magazines, contained an article dispelling the myth that milk can trigger prostrate cancer. The author - a registered dietitian - advises men to drink milk. "Milk can lower your risk of colon cancer, osteoporosis, heart attack, and stroke," she writes.
  • An English study, published in the May 2001 Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found that death from heart disease was 8 percent lower among men who drank more than two-thirds of a cup of milk per day versus those who drank lower amounts. The study also found that death from other causes, such as cancer and stroke, was 10 percent lower among regular milk drinkers compared to non-milk drinkers.
  • Although some of the health magazines are touting the benefits of nonfat or lowfat milk, a lot of people seem to be overlooking the fact that whole milk has the highest amount of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA has been shown to reduce the incidence of cancer in laboratory mice and rats. Research is now under way in England to study the effects of CLA on humans.
  • The December 2000 Journal of the American College of Nutrition reports that women whose diets contain a high proportion of calcium from dairy foods lost the most weight, regardless of exercise, in a two-year study. It further supports the concept that increased calcium intake can lead to weight loss.
  • We ran an item in our July 18 newsletter noting that dairy proteins, such as casein and whey, are making it possible to add extra fiber to snack foods.

More and more examples of milk's health benefits are showing up in magazines and scientific journals every day. In fact, these articles seem to be appearing with increased regularity. Keep your eyes open for them. Share them with others in your community - particularly teachers, doctors and representatives of the news media.