Put down the calculator, step away from the microscope and take a break from finding a solution for world peace. The key for winning a Nobel Prize may be as close to you as your refrigerator.
No, the link between milk consumption and Nobel laureate prowess isn’t the latest Internet hoax. Instead, it’s a real correlation found by Sarah Linthwaite, and Geraint N. Fuller, two doctors with the Gloucester Royal Hospital in the United Kingdom, and published through a letter featured in the journal Practical Neurology. Read the letter here.
According to a report by Science Daily, the duo was inspired by a 2012 study that found a connection between a nation’s chocolate consumption and the country’s rate in winning Nobel prizes per capita. Considering the popularity of chocolate milk, Linthwaite and Fuller were use data from the Food and Agriculture Organization to see what correlations exist between milk consumption in countries and their number of Nobel laureates per capita.
The results: Milk really does do the body – and brain – good.
Among the 22 countries studied, Sweden led with the most Nobel laureates (33) per 10 million of its population and had the highest milk consumption per person each year (771 pounds). Swiss citizens, who each guzzle nearly 661 pounds of milk yearly, also reported an impressive haul of Nobel laureates at 32. In contrast, China – with the lowest number of Nobel laureates in its population – also had the lowest milk consumption with 55 pounds per person annually.
Before the population turns to chugging gallons of milk for a shot at the elusive prize, Linthwaite and Fuller did find that there is ceiling effect to the correlation, topping at 771 pounds per capita. Read more from Science Daily.
The link between milk, chocolate and an increase in Nobel laureates may indicate that countries with higher milk consumption rates have stronger educational systems.
However, it is also possible that milk, rich in Vitamin D, may truly do a brain good. A 2011 study found that those who consume dairy products perform significantly better on tests of cognitive function than those who didn’t. Read, “Milk does a brain good.”
Regardless of how or why milk helps spur an uptick in a country’s number of Nobel Prizes, as the Los Angeles Times suggests in an article available here, Nobel laureates may want to use Indianapolis 500 winners as inspiration and down a bottle of milk after receiving their award.