Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Is "Three Glasses of Milk a Day" Too Much?

Is your physician (or your spouse) pushing you to have three servings of dairy a day? Is that wisdom (based primarily on nutrition guidelines in the US stating that we need upwards of 1000 mg of calcium daily), though well-intentioned, misguided?

A recent lecture Dr. Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health addressed this debate head-on. He cited much scientific evidence (some strong and some weak) and concluded that 3 servings of dairy, particularly milk does not only not seem to benefit adults, but may actually be harmful in excess. Similarly, while milk likely leads to bone growth it does not prevent against fractures the way that it once was anticipated to.

The take-away message: consume dairy in moderation (1.5 servings a day is fine) and make sure I am getting enough Vitamin D in my diet and through outdoor activity.

For more information see my post at Society and Health.

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