According to an article in The New York Times, milk (excluding human breast milk) might not be the necessary, nutrient power-house that many people think it is. The article, written by Dr. Aaron E. Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University of Medicine, cites several studies and meta-analyses that have shown that milk does not reduce the risk of bone fractures. One of the cited studies, found that milk actually increased the risk of fractures in women. The same study also found that milk increased the risk of death in both men and women. Milk also has a relatively high number of calories (even three cups of non-fat milk contains 250 calories), and it might not be a food that we are naturally disposed to consume when it comes from other animals—we are the only mammals on the planet that continue to drink milk after childhood, and we only started to do so around 10,000 years ago. Does this mean that you need to give up milk entirely? Dr. Carroll advises that, while regular milk consumption does not appear to be necessary or beneficial, enjoying milk occasionally is perfectly reasonable. As Dr. Carroll wisely remarks, “cookies without milk would be unthinkable.” In addition, taking calcium and vitamin D supplements, Dr. Carroll notes, are helpful when one is clinically deficient in these nutrients, and taking around 800 IU of vitamin D daily can help prevent osteoporosis.
Source: The New York Times