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Milk: Nutritional Value, Benefits and Side Effects

Milk is a highly nutritious liquid formed in the mammary glands of mammals to sustain their newborns during their first months of life. A huge variety of food products are made from cow’s milk, such as cheese, cream, butter, and yogurt.

Ayushi Raina
Kids drinking Milk
Kids drinking Milk

Milk is a highly nutritious liquid produced by animals' mammary glands to support the infants during the early months of life. Milk is used to make a wide range of food items, including cheese, cream, butter, and yoghurt.

These foods are known as dairy or milk products and they constitute an important element of the modern diet.

Nutrition Facts:

Milk's nutritional composition is very complicated, and it contains nearly every nutrient that your body need.

One cup (240 mL) of whole cow's milk with 3.25 percent fat offers:

• Calories: 149

• Water: 88%

• Protein: 7.7 grams

• Carbs: 11.7 grams

• Sugar: 12.3 grams

• Fiber: 0 grams

• Fat: 8 grams

Vitamins & Minerals

Milk supplies all the vitamins and minerals required for a baby calf's growth and development throughout its first months of life. It also contains nearly every vitamin required by humans, making it one of the most nutritious meals accessible.

Milk contains especially high levels of the following vitamins and minerals:

Vitamin B12: This essential vitamin can only be found in foods derived from animals. Milk has a lot of B12.

Calcium: Milk is not only one of the greatest calcium sources in the diet, but the calcium in milk is also easily absorbed.

Riboflavin: In the Western diet, dairy products are the most important source of riboflavin, commonly known as vitamin B2.

Phosphorus: Dairy products are high in phosphorus, a mineral that is needed in many biological processes.

Often fortified with vitamin D

The technique of adding minerals or vitamins to food items is known as fortification. As a public health strategy, fortifying milk products with vitamin D is widespread, and mandatory in certain countries.

In the United States, 1 cup (240 mL) of vitamin-D-fortified milk may contain up to 65% of the daily recommended intake for this nutrient.

Milk is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. It has been extensively researched and appears to offer a number of significant health benefits. Cow's milk, in particular, may benefit your bones and blood pressure.

Osteoporosis and bone health

The most common risk factor for bone fractures in older individuals is osteoporosis, a disease defined by a decrease in bone density. Cow's milk promotes bone growth and development in newborn calves, which is one of its roles.

Cow's milk appears to have similar benefits in humans and has been linked to greater bone density. Milk's high calcium and protein content are believed to be the primary factors of this effect.

Blood Pressure

Abnormally high blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart disease. Dairy products have been related to a lower risk of high blood pressure. This effect is considered to be caused by milk's unique mix of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Other factors, such as peptides produced during casein digestion, might also play a role.

Assists in preventing weight gain

A study of 145 three-year-old Latino children discovered that consuming more milk fat was related with a decreased risk of childhood obesity.

Another study, which included over 18,000 middle-aged and elderly women, discovered that eating more high-fat dairy products was related with less weight gain and a decreased risk of obesity.
Milk includes a number of nutrients that may aid in weight loss and prevent weight gain. For example, its high protein level keeps you feeling fuller for longer, which may help you avoid overeating.

Furthermore, milk's conjugated linoleic acid has been examined for its potential to promote fat breakdown while preventing fat formation.

Possible negative effects

Milk's health effects are complicated; certain components of milk are extremely helpful, while others may have negative effects.

Lactose intolerance

Lactose, often known as milk sugar, is the major carbohydrate present in milk. In your digestive tract, it is broken down into its components, glucose and galactose. Lactose intolerance occurs when some people lose their capacity to adequately digest lactose after childhood.

Lactose intolerance affects an estimated 75% of the world's population. However the number of lactose intolerant people varies significantly depending on genetic makeup.

Lactose is not entirely absorbed in people with lactose intolerance, and some or most of it travels down to the colon, where the resident bacteria begin digesting it. This fermentation process produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and gases such as methane and carbon dioxide.

Lactose intolerance causes a variety of unpleasant symptoms such as gas, bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting.

Cancer & Milk

Many observational studies have been conducted to investigate the link between milk and cancer risk. Overall, the evidence is ambiguous, and there are few conclusions that can be taken from it. Several studies, however, suggest that dairy consumption may raise the risk of prostate cancer in males.
Numerous studies, on the other hand, have established a relationship between dairy consumption and a decreased risk of colon cancer.


Acne – a prevalent skin disorder marked by pimples, particularly on the face, chest, and back — has been linked to milk intake.

High milk intake is known to raise insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels, a hormone considered to be implicated in the development of acne.

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