Turns out you can start fighting the biological agents of aging with your morning cup of coffee. According to new research published in the journal of Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, the simple decision to opt for skim or 1% milk as opposed to whole milk can add years to your life.
The authors write in the report’s abstract: “Investigations evaluating the effect of adult milk consumption on health and disease have produced inconsistent findings. Some studies indicate that the consumption of cow’s milk promotes health, while others show that it increases risk of disease and mortality. Numerous investigations highlight the mixed results. Overall, the findings highlight an association of increased biological aging in U.S. adults who consumed high-fat milk. The results support the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2015–2020), which recommend consumption of low-fat milk, but not high-fat milk, as part of a healthy diet.”
Dairy fat fraction reduces aging in adult women and men
A lengthy analysis of the beverage habits of 5,834 Americans not only motioned low-fat milk’s impact on longevity, but it also uncovered a slew of other benefits.
Nearly 50% of the entire study pool drank some form of milk every single day and a quarter consumed dairy on a weekly basis. Of these, a little more than 30% drank whole milk, exactly 30% drank 2%, 17% drank skim, 13% preferred non-dairy alternatives like soy or almond and a modest 10% regularly drank 1% milk.
Participants who routinely drank either skim or 1% milk aged around four and half years slower than their 2% milk-loving counterparts.
The low-fat milk drinkers even demonstrated slower genetic aging markers than the individuals that privileged non—dairy milk. Of course, this adverse correlation was the most pronounced among habitual whole milk drinkers.
You might recall Ladder’s recent mediation on the physiological hallmarks of aging. It was an in-depth look at the function of telomeres—the ends of chromosomes that gradually shrink as a result of repeat cell replication. In other words, the older we get, the shorter they get.
This process was thought to be an unalterable one but in the last few decades, experts have motioned several different ways we can protect these chrome-caps and fend off aging.
The researchers behind this new report, for instance, concluded that every 1% increase in milk fat imbibed was associated with a 69 base pair telomere length-decrease. This is the equivalent of four and a half years of increased aging.
Participants who drank whole milk considerably more often than they drank skim or 1% milk expressed a 145 base pair telomere length decrease. Even with these insightful citations in the chamber, the study’s lead author, professor Larry A. Tucker, has no doubt that the scholarly wrangle surrounding the health merits of long-time dairy consumption will survive. And rightly so. On the key question, there’s still a fair share of unknown left to discover.
“Milk is probably the most controversial food in our country,” Tucker said in a press release . “If someone asked me to put together a presentation on the value of drinking milk, I could put together a one-hour presentation that would knock your socks off. You’d think, ‘Whoa, everybody should be drinking more milk.’ If someone said do the opposite, I could also do that. At the very least, the findings of this study are definitely worth pondering. Maybe there’s something here that requires a little more attention.”