According to a study from the University of Maine, drinking a glass of milk every day may increase brain power, improve memory and prevent mental decline. Milk has long been known to help build healthy bones and teeth, but now it seems that there could be a lot more to it.
The study found that those who regularly consume milk (and even other dairy products, such as yoghurt, cheese and even ice cream) do better in key tests to check their brainpower.
The researchers asked 972 men and women, aged between 23 and 98, to fill in detailed surveys on their diets, including how often they consumed dairy products, even if just in tea or coffee. The participants then completed a series of eight rigorous tests to check their concentration, memory and learning abilities.
Their results showed that those who consumed dairy products at least five or six times a week did far better in memory tests compared with those who rarely ate or drank them. The researchers said: “New and emerging brain health benefits are just one more reason to start each day with low-fat or fat-free milk.”
In some tests, adults who rarely consumed dairy were five times more likely to fail compared with those who had them between two and four times a week.
The researchers believe that certain nutrients in dairy products, such as magnesium, could help stave off memory loss. They also suspect that dairy foods may help to protect against heart disease and high blood pressure, which in turn maintains the brain’s abaility to function properly. However, some experts have disputed this idea, claiming that dairy products increase the likelihood of heart disease and strokes as they are high in saturated fats.
Further research will be needed to firmly establish a link. The research was published in the International Dairy Journal.
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Written exclusively for The Life Dept | Live Longer | 31 January 2012
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