Study: Milk Keeps You from Getting Sick

milk

The next time you dip a cookie in a glass of milk, you might be warding off potentially dangerous infections.

According to a study appearing online in The BMJ, milk may have the ability to ward off illness, thanks to high levels of Vitamin D. Funded by the U.K. National Institute of Health Research, the research found that the essential vitamin helps the body fend off acute respiratory infections, which are responsible for millions of global deaths every year.

According to investigators, daily or weekly Vitamin D supplementation cut the risk of respiratory infection in half for people who had significant deficiencies. At the same time, it also appeared to offer beneficial effects to subjects who did not have deficiencies before entering the study.

A Major Revelation

Each year, acute respiratory infections send millions of people to emergency rooms in the United States. According to the study’s senior author, Carlos Camargo, a professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School, his research could have a significant effect on the health system by supporting efforts to fortify foods with vitamin D.

Getting More Vitamin D

Traditionally, humans have received the majority of their vitamin D from sunlight; however, rising rates of skin cancer have led many people to avoid the sun. In turn, more and more people are experiencing Vitamin D deficiencies.

According to skincancer.org, U.S. doctors diagnose over 4 million new cases of skin cancer every twelve months. Sadly, many of these new cases are deadly melanoma, which kills thousands of Americans every year. In turn, more and more people have begun staying out of the sun. This has led to widespread vitamin D deficiencies, which can have a serious impact on the nation’s collective health.

Because very few foods naturally contain relevant levels of Vitamin D, some food products are fortified with the essential fat-soluble vitamin. Nearly all commercially produced pasteurized milk is fortified with 100 IUs of Vitamin D per 8-ounce cup. This makes it a practical source for people who fail to get adequate amounts of Vitamin D from sunlight.

If this recent study is correct, it may also mean that milk could be an effective tool for helping people reduce their risk of respiratory infections.

By Paul A. Achoa (21 Posts)

Paul A. Achoa is KingofHowTo.com's Editor and Health and Fitness expert.