Fresh milk is widely known to be beneficial for babies, for growth and development of children, and for building muscle mass and stronger bones and teeth among adults. However, a new research indicates that milk can also be beneficial in improving brain health.
Details of the research
The research on milk’s ability to boost brain health in older adults was conducted at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The research project was undertaken jointly by In-Young Choi, Ph.D., an associate professor of neurology at KU Medical Center, and Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., professor and chair of dietetics and nutrition at KU Medical Center. The findings of the research were published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Findings of the research project
The research indicates a positive correlation between milk consumption and glutathione, which is a naturally-occurring antioxidant found in the brain. In the research project, the diet pattern of 60 participants was carefully recorded, after which they were asked to undergo a brain scan that would collect data regarding glutathione levels in their brains. When researchers compared diet patterns with glutathione levels, they noticed that participants who had recently drunk milk had higher levels of glutathione in their brain.
Significance of the research findings
The correlation between milk consumption and increased levels of glutathione in the brain has been deemed a remarkable find by the researchers. This is because glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that can prevent oxidative stress and the subsequent damage caused by reactive chemical compounds that are produced in the brain during its normal metabolic processes. Oxidative stress has been linked with a number of debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and many other conditions. It’s really good to know that milk can help prevent such oxidative stress in the brain by increasing the levels of antioxidant glutathione.
In simpler words, Sullivan explains that oxidative stress and formation of reactive chemical compounds in the brain is like rust building up on a car. If this buildup is left unchecked for longer durations, it can cause serious damage. As per the research, it was noted that 3 servings of milk per day helped older adults to significantly increase the levels of glutathione in their brain. This research has lighted a candle in a dark room, and experts feel that it will serve as a starting point for other similar research studies that seek to establish the role of milk in boosting brain health.