Posts Tagged ‘ milk ’

Raw Milk Won’t Help Lactose Intolerance, Study Shows

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Despite FDA warnings against drinking unpasteurized, “raw” milk, some parents continue to choose it for their families, citing a number of health claims including that it is a gentler alternative for lactose intolerant people.  A new study published in the Annals of Family Medicine has found, however, that no such link with lactose intolerance exists. More from Time.com:

Only a small population of people drink unpasteurized milk, also known as “raw” milk, but its increasing popularity has some medical groups concerned. Some raw milk advocates argue that it’s healthier for us since raw milk contains no antibiotics or hormones, while others say it’s better for people with lactose allergies. For its part, the FDA advises against drinking raw milk, which can contain bacteria from fecal matter and sometimes be fatal, and has long stated that it doesn’t help with lactose intolerance.

But a new study published in the Annals of Family Medicine is definitively poking holes in the allergy theory, by reporting that lactose-intolerant people have the same symptoms from raw and pasteurized milk.

Advocates for raw milk claim that it contains good bacteria that can help with lactose absorption. “When I heard that claim it didn’t make sense to me because, regardless of the bacteria, raw milk and pasteurized milk have the same amount of lactose in them,” said study author Christopher Gardner, a professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center in a statement. “But I liked the idea of taking this on since it seemed like a relatively straightforward and answerable question because the symptoms of lactose-intolerance are immediate.”

The study was small, with only 16 lactose-intolerant participants. All 16 tried three different types of milk–raw, pasteurized, and soy–over multiple eight-day periods.

For eight days, the participants were randomly assigned to one of the three milks, and they drank an increasing amount of that milk as the study period went on. They then reported their allergy symptoms, which were usually gas, diarrhea, and cramping, and rated them on a scale of 0 to 10. Their breaths were also measured for hydrogen, which can indicate undigested lactose in the colon and intolerance.

After the first eight days of drinking one type of milk, the participants took a week off where they drank no milk, and then started up again with another eight days of a different type of milk. To mask which type of milk participants were drinking, researchers randomized the order and added sugar-free vanilla syrup. Soy, which doesn’t contain lactose, acted as the control.

Researchers found no differences in the hydrogen breath tests between consuming pasteurized or unpasteurized milk. Participants also rated their symptom severity the same, regardless of the type of milk they drank.

Image: Milk, via Shutterstock

Add a Comment
Back To Parents News Now

Pediatricians Advise Children, Pregnant Women to Avoid Raw Milk

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Raw milk–milk that has not been pasteurized–may carry serious health risks and should be avoided by pregnant women, infants and children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is saying in a new policy statement.  More from The New York Times:

Although the sale of unpasteurized milk products is legal in 30 states, the academy says that the evidence of the benefits of pasteurization to food safety is overwhelming, and that the benefits of any elements in raw milk that are inactivated by pasteurization have not been scientifically demonstrated.

The report, published Monday in Pediatrics, notes that many species of harmful bacteria have been found in unpasteurized milk products, including Listeria, Salmonella, Escherichia coli and Cryptosporidium, among others.

In a study published last week in Emerging Infectious Diseases, researchers estimated that over the past 10 years in Minnesota, where raw milk is legally sold, more than 17 percent of those who consumed it became ill.

“There are no proven nutritional advantages of raw milk,” said a lead author, Dr. Jatinder Bhatia, the chief of neonatology at Georgia Regent University in Augusta. “Further, raw milk and milk products account for a significant proportion of food borne illnesses in Americans. There is no reason to risk consuming raw milk.”

The AAP also advises avoiding raw milk cheeses for the same reasons.

Image: Cow, via Shutterstock

Add a Comment
Back To Parents News Now

Organic Milk Is Healthier, Study Finds

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Researchers at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University have published a study that finds more nutrients–including heart-healthy fatty acids and proteins–in organic milk than in non-organic milk.  NBC News has more:

“There’s really no debate around the world — when you feed dairy cows more grass, you improve the fatty acid profile of milk. You also increase the protein level,” [study author Charles] Benbrook says. On the other hand, cows fed a corn-based diet produce milk that’s higher in omega-6 fatty acids.

The reason organic milk is healthier comes down to its ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which is lower than in regular milk. A diet containing too many omega-6 fatty acids and not enough omega-3s has been linked to heart disease, as well as cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases. That’s because your gut converts omega-6s to arachidonic acid, which can cause inflammation. But the anti-inflammatory powers of omega-3s help to counterbalance that reaction, which is why keeping that ratio low is so important. (An omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 2.3 to 1 is best for heart health, research suggests.)

“It’s true that both omega 6s and omega 3s are essential – we have to have some of them,” Benbrook says. “But it’s when they get out of balance, the adverse health effects appear to kick in.”

If organic milk is out of your budget, conventional milk is still OK – but choose whole milk, rather than skim or 2 percent. “The heart-healthy fatty acids in milk are part of milk’s overall fat content,” Benbrook says. “This benefit will be reduced about 50 percent when people choose 2 percent fat milk, and by about two-thirds when purchasing skim or low-fat dairy products.”

Even if you don’t consume dairy, Benbrook says the larger message here is to try to cut back on foods that are very high in soybean or corn oil, both of which have high omega-6 to omega-3 ratios – things like fried foods, or chips.

Learn how to make healthy homemade baby food with our guide. Then, check out which 20 snacks kids find irresistible.

Image: Glass of milk, via Shutterstock

Valentine's Day Treats: Strawberry Milk
Valentine's Day Treats: Strawberry Milk
Valentine's Day Treats: Strawberry Milk

Add a Comment
Back To Parents News Now

Cutting Bottles Doesn’t Stop Toddler Weight Gain

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Reducing the use of bottles with toddlers who are 12-15 months old won’t help stop them from gaining weight, even thought bottles use has been linked to weight issues in toddlers of that age.  Reuters has more on the findings of a new study:

Doctors recommend introducing sippy cups at six months and weaning toddlers off bottles completely by the time they’re 15 months old.

But 20 percent of two-year-olds and 10 percent of three-year-olds in the U.S. continue to use bottles, often drinking five bottles of whole milk every day, researchers said.

“Bottles can become a vessel for extra, or ‘stealth’ calories, because they are often used indiscriminately. For example, while in a stroller, or to put a child to bed,” Karen Bonuck told Reuters Health in an email. She led the new study at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York.

“Before you know it, a child can take in 150 calories of whole milk in a bottle on top of their regular diet,” Bonuck said.

The researchers wanted to see if giving parents educational materials as part of a program called ‘Proud to Be Bottle Free’ and a sippy cup would reduce the number of bottles kids used and the calories they consumed.

They enrolled 300 pairs of parents and 12-month-olds at two Bronx Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) sites.

To be eligible for the study, children had to be consuming more than two bottles of milk or juice every day. The participants were randomly split into two groups: a bottle-weaning group that received the materials and sippy cup and a comparison group that did not.

The research team checked in with parents over the next year to find out how many bottles kids were consuming every day, as well as what else they ate and drank.

One hundred and four parent and child pairs completed the study.

After three months, bottle usage had dropped from 4.6 bottles per day to two bottles per day among kids in the bottle-weaning program. There was a smaller drop in the comparison group, from 4.4 bottles per day to 2.7, on average.

Sippy cup usage increased more in the bottle-weaning group.

By one year, toddlers in both groups were averaging about one bottle per day.

Kids in the bottle-weaning program consumed slightly fewer calories – 1,090 calories per day, on average, versus 1,186 among comparison children. But the difference was small enough that it could have been due to chance.

The program did not lower toddlers’ chances of being overweight, according to results published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

“At first we were surprised that there was no effect upon overweight status,” Bonuck said, “but looking at the data more closely, this seems partially attributable to the substitution of sippy cups for bottles in the intervention group.”

She thought the program’s benefits might also have been clearer had fewer families left the study early.

“Had we achieved our optimal sample size, and included messages about sippy cups, I would suspect this would have affected our overweight status outcomes,” Bonuck said.

She said the advice to wean toddlers off bottles by 15 months should be extended to sippy cups.

Image: Girl with bottle, via Shutterstock

Add a Comment
Back To Parents News Now

Boys, Girls May Have Different Obesity Risk Factors

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Though certain lifestyle habits, including watching television and eating school lunches, are linked with childhood obesity, sixth grade girls and boys also face some gender-specific risk factors.  Reuters reports:

Involvement in sports, for example, was tied to a lower risk of obesity in boys but not girls and drinking milk was linked to lowered risk among girls but not boys, according to researchers from the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.

The study’s authors, led by Dr. Elizabeth Jackson, write in the journal Pediatrics that understanding obesity risk factors for specific genders may help target programs aimed at weight loss or preventing weight gain in children.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 17 percent of children and teens are obese.

For the new study, Jackson and her colleagues used data collected between 2004 and 2011 from 1,714 sixth-grade students at 20 middle schools in and around Ann Arbor.

Overall, about 18 percent of boys and 16 percent of girls were obese, which is defined as children who are in the top-fifth percentile of body mass index – a measurement of weight in relation to height.

Among boys who were not obese, about 56 percent participated in at least 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity at least five times per week, compared to about 43 percent of boys who were obese.

But there was no difference between the percentage of obese and non-obese girls who reported regular vigorous physical activity.

Playing on at least one sports team was also linked to decreased risk of obesity for boys but not girls.

The lack of an association between obesity and physical activity in girls may be explained by girls not reporting some activities like cheerleading or dance, because children may not consider those activities sports, the researchers write.

They did find, however, that drinking two or more servings of milk per day was tied to about a 20 percent decreased risk of obesity among girls but not boys. One possible explanation is that milk is displacing sugary drinks in the girls’ diets, Jackson’s team writes.

Image: Overweight girl, via Shutterstock

Add a Comment
Back To Parents News Now