Does milk do the brain good? A new study suggests a link between milk consumption and brain health.
University of Kansas Medical Center researchers studied the eating habits of 60 older subjects and then scanned their brains to analyze the level of a powerful antioxidant called glutathione. Glutathione may help fight oxidative stress and damage caused by the brain’s normal work at the cellular level. Oxidative stress is associated with a bunch of diseases you don’t want, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The researchers found that those subjects who got milk, also got glutathione—at higher levels than subjects who hadn’t recently consumed milk, according to a release from the university. The closer the subjects came to consuming the recommended daily intake of three servings of dairy a day, the higher their glutathione levels.
"We have long thought of milk as being very important for your bones and very important for your muscles. This study suggests that it could be important for your brain as well," Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., professor and chair of dietetics and nutrition at KU Medical Center, who worked on the study, said in the release.
The study appears in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
An editorial in the same issue said the study presented “a provocative new benefit of the consumption of milk in older individuals,” and served as a starting point for further study of the issue. A randomized, controlled trial is the logical next step, said the researchers.
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