Eating dairy as children extends lives

Eating plenty of milk and cheese could protect against disease

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Children who eat a diet rich in dairy products such as eggs, milk and cheese, have a longer life expectancy, according to a new study.

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Over 4,000 children who took part in a UK study in the 1930s were traced 65 years later by researchers in Bristol and Queensland, Australia.

People who had high dairy and calcium intakes as children had been protected against life threatening diseases, in particular strokes, the researchers found. Higher intakes of calcium and dairy cut mortality rates by a quarter. Eating at least 400mg of calcium a day (the amount found in just over half a pint of milk), reduced the chance of dying from a stroke by as much as 60%.

It’s thought that a high calcium intake is good for blood pressure and dairy consumption aids circulation and heart health through a hormone called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).

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Current guidelines recommend eating three servings of dairy foods a day, such as a 200ml glass of milk, a pot of yogurt and a small piece of cheese.

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