Trending News: Low-fat milk may reduce signs of aging
If you are like most men, you want to look as young as you can for as long as you can. I know that’s true for me. That’s why I was intrigued with a recent study that found drinking certain types of milk – low fat and 1% – can significantly slow down the aging process in adults.
You read that right – milk baby. The white stuff in the cartons that you pass by in the diary aisle at your local market.
I know this may sound crazy, particularly at a time when the dairy industry is struggling financially. It was just the other day that Borden filed for bankruptcy.
For this investigation, 5,834 young adults were recruited to assess the relationship between telomere length and milk consumption frequency (daily drinkers vs. weekly drinkers or less) and milk fat content consumed (whole vs. 2% vs. 1% vs. skim).
FYI: Telomeres are the endcaps on human chromosome molecules. Correlated with age, they act like a biological clock. Each time a cell replicates, a tiny bit of the endcap goes away.
As people grow older, the shorter in length the telomeres become. For many scientists involved with anti-aging studies, the goal is to prevent telomere erosion and shortening.
What scientists discovered was super interesting. Apparently, the more “high-fat” milk a person drinks, the shorter the telomeres becomes.
Related: Anti-aging tips for men
Specifically, the findings showed that for every 1% increase in milk fat consumed (drinking 2% vs. 1% milk), telomeres were 69 base pairs shorter in the adults studied. This translated into more than four years in additional biological aging.
Approximately half of the participants in the study drank milk daily and about a quarter consumed milk weekly. Nearly a third of the adults reported drinking whole milk (high-fat) and around thirty-percent said they drank 2% milk.
Larry Tucker, PhD, author of the study and professor of Exercise Science at Brigham Young University shared the following about the findings in a press release:
“Milk is probably the most controversial food in our country. If someone asked me to put together a presentation on the value of drinking milk, I could put together a 1-hour presentation that would knock your socks off. You'd think, ‘Whoa, everybody should be drinking more milk.' If someone said do the opposite, I could also do that. At the very least, the findings of this study are definitely worth pondering. Maybe there's something here that requires a little more attention.”
Tucker believes the findings offer support for the current U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which encourages adults to consume low-fat milk as part of a healthy diet.
“It's not a bad thing to drink milk,” said Tucker. “You should just be more aware of what type of milk you are drinking.”
Speaking only for myself, I can tell you that I’ve always liked milk. When I was a kid, I used to drink the high-fat stuff (whole) but once I got into my early twenties, I switched to non-fat.
Do you drink milk? In light of the study, are you more incentivized to have a glass or pour it into your cereal?
The study can be found online in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity