Drinking Milk May Prevent Asthma

Published Online: Monday, September 1, 2003

    It looks as though milk may have more benefits than just building strong bones. Dutch researchers have found that preschool children who frequently eat foods with milk fat may be less likely to suffer from asthma when they are older. In the July 2003 issue of Thorax, the researchers said that 2-year-old children who regularly consumed whole milk and butter had better odds of being asthma-free at age 3.

    During the study, the researchers looked at the health of 3000 Dutch children. They recorded dietary intake at age 2 and symptoms of asthma at age 3. The investigators found an asthma rate of 5.6% in the older children who had not drunk whole milk daily, compared with 3.4% among children who had. An even wider gap existed between those who had consumed butter daily and those who had not.

    A Dutch scientist said, however, that it is too early to advise parents to make this dietary change. The risk of cardiovascular disease associated with the consumption of saturated fat, as in full-fat milk and butter, is ?very convincing,? he said (as quoted in the New York Times, July 8, 2003).

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