Posts Tagged ‘dietary guidelines’

Milk Makes You Smarter

A glass of milk a day could benefit your brain, according to new research that found milk drinkers scored better on memory and brain function tests.

Pouring at least one glass of milk each day aids nutrition and boosts your intake of much-needed key nutrients.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 3 glasses of low-fat or fat-free milk daily for adults to support bone and heart health.

Now there’s the possibility that milk could also positively impact your brain and mental performance, according to a recent study in the International Dairy Journal.

Adults with higher intakes of milk and milk products scored significantly higher on memory and other brain function tests than those who drank little to no milk.

Milk drinkers were 5 times less likely to “fail” the test, compared to non-milk drinkers.

Researchers at the University of Maine put nearly 1,000 men and women, ages 23 to 98, through a series of brain tests – including visual-spatial, verbal and working memory tests – and tracked the milk consumption habits of the participants.

In the series of 8 different measures of mental performance, regardless of age and through all tests, those who drank at least 1 glass of milk each day had an advantage.

The highest scores for all 8 outcomes were observed for those with the highest intakes of milk and milk products compared to those with low and infrequent milk intakes.

The benefits persisted even after controlling for other factors that can affect brain health, including cardiovascular health and other lifestyle and diet factors.

In fact, milk drinkers tended to have healthier diets overall, but there was something about milk intake specifically that offered the brain health advantage, according to the researchers.

The potential to stave off mental decline may represent a novel benefit with great potential to impact the aging population.

“Diet modification to alter the course of age-related cognitive decline is becoming increasingly important,” the researchers wrote.

While more research is needed, they suggest some of milk’s nutrients may have a direct effect on brain function and that “easily implemented lifestyle changes that individuals can make present an opportunity to slow or prevent neuropsychological dysfunction.”