Milk

milk 1

A glass of pasteurized cow milk

Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother’s antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many diseases in the baby. The precise components of raw milk vary by species and by a number of other factors, but it contains significant amounts of saturated fat, protein and calcium as well as vitamin C. Cow’s milk has a pH ranging from 6.4 to 6.8, making it slightly acidic.

Medical research

A 2006 study found that for women desiring to have a child, those who consume full fat dairy products may slightly increase their fertility, while those consuming low-fat dairy products may slightly reduce their fertility.

milk 2

A human baby feeding on its mother’s milk

Numerous studies have found that conjugated linoleic acid, found mainly in milk, meat and dairy products, provides several health benefits including prevention of atherosclerosis, different types of cancer, and hypertension and improved immune function.

There is recent evidence suggesting consumption of milk is effective at promoting muscle growth and improving post exercise muscle recovery.

In 2010, scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health identified a substance in dairy fat, trans-palmitoleic acid, that may substantially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The researchers examined participants who have been followed for 20 years in an observational study to evaluate risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in older adults. During followup it was found that individuals with higher circulating levels of trans-palmitoleic acid had a much lower risk of developing diabetes, with about a 60% lower risk among participants in the highest quintile (fifth) of trans-palmitoleic acid levels.

Source and  References http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk

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