The long debate over the benefits of milk has never been completely decided. Some experts support the nutritional benefits of high calcium, protein, and other nutrients. But at the same time, research has supported the idea that milk might increase the risk of contracting chronic diseases. Meanwhile, other research shows no link at all with milk and disease.
But a recent study, done by Brigham Young University, researched milk drinkers and discovered that the type of milk could actually be the most vital consideration due to the fat content appearing to have a large effect on cell aging.
Aging refers to aging at the level of the cellular structure. It is decided by the size of your telomeres, which are caps that protect the ends of every strand of your DNA. As you get older, your telomeres shrink, leading to cellular death and aging. Shrunken telomeres are connected with obesity, depression, cancer and heart disease.
The scientists researched the milk drinking of 6,000 people. They discovered that people who consumed whole or 2 percent milk had much smaller telomeres than people who consumed 1 percent or nonfat milk.
Shorter telomeres are connected to premature cell aging. In this research, those who consumed nonfat or low-fat milk had larger telomeres than people who did not consume milk at all. This means it is the fat within the milk, not the milk itself, that possibly causes health issues.
Other factors, like stress, cigarette smoking, and a poor diet can also be linked to shortened telomeres.
When telomeres are too short to do their job, regardless of why, our cells get older and no longer function correctly, and eventually die. The aim of this kind of study is to discover a way to stop, delay, or reverse this shortening.
Author: Blake Ambrose