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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Dairy and Functional Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #301965

Title: New insights into the health benefits of dairy products

item Tunick, Michael
item Van Hekken, Diane

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/26/2014
Publication Date: 3/4/2014
Citation: Tunick, M.H., Van Hekken, D.L. 2014. New insights into the health benefits of dairy products(abstract).The 1st Joint ACS AGFD - ACS ICSCT Symposium on Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Book of Abstracts, p. 13.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt have long been known to provide good nutrition. The protein and calcium present in milk and the vitamin D added to it are major healthful contributors to the diets of many Americans. Additional ways in which milk and milk products benefit humans is the subject of ongoing research. Our laboratory has shown that levels of linolenic acid, which provides optimal function of cellular membranes, are higher in milk from cows on organic farms (eating more fresh pasture) than on conventional farms (no access to pasture), and that levels of conjugated linoleic acid, which may inhibit cancer, are higher in organic milk during the grazing months. Further research will determine if these additional amounts are enough to confer benefits. It also appears that consumption of dairy products may have positive effects in muscle building, lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, prevention of tooth decay and diabetes, improving intestinal health, and weight loss. Probiotic microorganisms using milk products as a base might provide additional benefits. Recent developments improve our understanding of the connections between milk and milk products and their effects on the body.