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“Got Milk?” was a popular ad campaign launched in 1993 and discontinued in 2014 by the California Milk Education Processor Board. It had celebrities, professional athletes and even fictional characters sporting milk mustaches and encouraging the American public to drink more milk. But in recent years, many sources are saying that milk isn’t as healthy as everyone thought. So, are there any benefits of milking milk?
Growing up, my family of five (but mostly me) would consume multiple gallons of milk a week. Milk was the only drink option during dinner. We were told to drink, so we’d have strong bones. True story: I’ve never broken a bone. I’m chalking it up to all the milk I’ve had.
According to medicalnewstoday.com, one cup (244-gram) of whole milk contains 276 mg of calcium, which not only helps maintain strong bones, but also helps maintain normal blood pressure and is a key component in blood clotting and wound healing. The National Institute of Health recommends that adults get 1,000 mg of calcium per day.
Milk also contains several B vitamins, such as vitamin B 12, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin (National Diary Council). Theses vitamins help break down food into fuel. One-cup of milk also provides about 16% of the Daily Intake of protein, which builds and repairs muscle tissue.
In a Nov. 22, 2016 article published in the Journal of Food and Nutrition titled “Milk and Dairy Products: Good or Bad for Human Health? An Assessment of the Totality of Scientific Evidence,” Dr. Tanga Kongerslev Thorning stated that recent evidence points to milk intake reducing childhood obesity. Milk and dairy intake seems to reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
While milk has several benefits, I found almost just as many articles giving reasons why we should lose the milk mustaches.
According to medicalnewstoday.com, high calcium intake has been associated with ovarian cancer in women as well as prostate cancer in men. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests increased intake of milk could lead to acne flare-ups. In recent years, we’ve seen an increase in lactose intolerance, which means that our bodies can’t fully digest the lactose or sugar found in milk.
After weighing the evidence, I believe that too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing. Milk has many benefits, and for those who can drink milk, I don’t think there’s anything wrong in continuing to drink milk – as long as people stay within the recommended limits.
I believe that it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and decide what is best for your body. There are also many milk alternatives such as soy milk, rice milk, and almond milk. Cow’s milk isn’t always the best option for everyone.