Can people with lactose intolerance consume dairy products?
Many Europeans and some populations in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia can digest lactose throughout life thanks to the presence of the enzyme lactase in the small intestine. This is called lactase persistence. Most people who cannot tolerate lactose can digest about 12 grams of lactose per day. This is equal to a large glass (250 ml) of milk. Yoghurt contains less lactose and semi-hard cheeses hardly contain any lactose.
Dietary patterns in relation to fracture risk and low bone mineral density
Osteoporosis is characterized by a low bone mineral density and compromised bone strength. Many factors contribute to low bone mineral density and osteoporosis such as gender, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, loss of estrogen and nutritional factors mainly related to adequate intakes of calcium and vitamin D.
Do adults need calcium?
Calcium is the most common mineral in our bodies. There is scientific proof that we need sufficient amounts of calcium in our nutrition. This is relevant for every phase in life, both old and young. Calcium supports the build-up of bone mass with children and with adults the mineral contributes to the maintenance of bones, normal blood clotting and proper functioning of muscles and nerves.
Is a calcium supplement a good alternative to drinking milk?
Milk provides a variety of essential nutrients such as protein, vitamin B2 and B12 and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iodine. Therefore, milk naturally contains much more than calcium. Calcium supplements may be seen as an addition to the amount of calcium that is obtained from food, but not as an adequate replacement of a healthy and varied diet.
Calcium and the absorption of iron
Long-term studies have shown that calcium has no or just a limited effect on the absorption of iron in the body. A diet with a wide variety of food products probably contains dietary factors that promote as well inhibit the iron absorption.
The acid balance of the body
In a number of scientific studies done fifteen years ago it was stated that an increased protein intake would adversely affect bone health as a result of an increased calcium content in the urine and a reduced calcium supply in the bones. New scientific findings do not endorse this effect.
Does dairy have an effect on the health of heart and blood vessels?
Health authorities advises to consume skimmed or semi-skimmed milk and dairy products, because of the energy and saturated fat content. Recent scientific research shows that the relationship between milk and heart and blood vessels seems to be more complex than previously assumed.
Milk and weight management
Physical activity and a healthy and varied diet are important in maintaining a healthy weight. People who eat and drink more than the energy they expend will gain weight, no matter what they eat or drink. Some people believe that dairy foods like, milk, yoghurt and cheese are fattening. However science does not support this.
Sustainable as well as healthy food
Due to a growing world population and increasing prosperity, the demand for good nutrition that provides an optimal intake of nutrients is growing. This affects the environmental impact. Feeding the growing world population in a responsible way requires sustainable and healthy nutrition, or in other words, a sustainable diet. Being a staple food product, milk fits in well with a healthy and sustainable diet.
The association between dairy product consumption and health outcomes in children and adolescents in developed countries
Dairy products are part of a nutrient-rich and balanced diet and are associated with diets of higher nutritional quality when consumed in sufficient amounts. They contribute to positive health outcomes by providing energy, high-quality protein, micronutrients, and bioactive compounds. Micronutrients available in dairy products include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iodine, zinc, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and vitamin B2 (riboflavin). Thus, the consumption of dairy products