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All You Need To Know About Milk

All You Need To Know About Milk

Brief History of Milk

The introduction of milk can be traced to as far back as 10,000 years ago where Neolithic farmers discovered that milking cattle can help to provide sustenance to the human population. The pasteurized milk that so many people have grown to love was developed in 1864 and only mandated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1987. Three years later, the FDA approved the use of genetically modified milk. The next monumental event came in 2008 when cloned milk was legally accepted for public distribution.

The global production of milk can be categorized into five distinct sources: Cattle, Buffaloes, Goats, Sheep, and Camels. Milk produced from cattle commands staggering 85% of the global milk industry while buffaloes are responsible for a tenth of the global milk production. The remaining slice of the pie is split among goats, sheep, and camels.

Modern Societys Perception of Milk

Ever since bottled milk first appeared in 1884, many countries have dived into the market and starting producing their own brands of milk. India currently tops the list of milk producers, with roughly one-fifth of the global milk volume originating from the country. The United States ranks 2nd, holding a 12% share of the market. The rest of the milk production is divided among the other countries with notable mentions to the following:

  • China

  • Brazil

  • France

  • Germany

  • New Zealand

  • Russia

The general demand for milk has also increased tremendously over the past 3 decades. This is evident from the statistics that clearly exhibit a rise in global milk production. From 1983 to 2003, the worlds milk industry has increased supply by 50%. Impressively, the Asian region recorded a dramatic increase in milk production from 80 million tons to 270 million tons within the same period.

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Facts About Milk Consumption

Distribution of Milk

The importance of milk can be witnessed in its influence on dairy products. Surprisingly, only 40% of the total milk production is set aside for fresh milk and its variations. Half of the total market proportion is reserved for cheese, butter and ghee products. The leftover portion is then split among skimmed and whole milk powder.

Raw Milk or Pasteurized Milk?

The debate between advocates of raw milk and traditionalists who strongly believe in pasteurized milk have been raging on for decades. Their arguments are intensively focused on the health benefits or consequences that are attached to the quality of milk. For instance, people who prefer raw milk believe that it contains natural elements that help to reinforce the immune system and ward off pathogens.

Studies have also backed their claim that raw milk helps to prevent asthma and allergies. Additionally, they hold the opinion that pasteurized milk loses vital nutritional value throughout its production process. Nevertheless, these claims are strongly objected by their counter-parties.

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    Helps to Strengthen Bones

    The most common health benefit associated with milk consumption is its ability to strengthen the bones. This scientific fact cannot be disputed as the high calcium content have been proved to aid in building stronger bones. A lesser known health benefit is that milk helps to promote better skin condition and can fight against the effects of sun exposure. For those who prefer to drink almond milk, this advantage is more evident as it contains higher levels of vitamin E and antioxidant properties that help to build a healthier skin foundation.

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    The Effects of Lactose Intolerance

    The process of packaging milk from the moment it is milked from a cow takes only 2 days before it reaches supermarket aisles. The nutrients derived from an 8-ounce glass of milk is comparable to 12 servings of whole grains, 6 servings of legumes or 10 servings of raw spinach. Unfortunately, roughly 29 million Americans are lactose intolerant and unable to consume any dairy products, thus losing out on this health benefit. Interestingly, 85% of these people can withstand consuming raw milk. Alternatively, lactose-free milk products are also available for them.

    Flavoured Milk

    Some people might express their reluctance to drink natural-flavoured milk. They require some excitement for their taste buds to thoroughly enjoy the beverage. This need for flavour is more pronounced rife amongst the younger generations. This is why chocolate milk is one of the best-selling milk products. In fact, a study has shown that when chocolate milk is removed from cafeterias, total milk consumption dropped by 35%.

    Health-Milk-Facts

      Genetically Modified Milk

      As mentioned above, genetically modified milk was only approved by the FDA in the early 1990s. Roughly 1 in every 5 cows has been injected with rBGH to increase their production of milk. Unfortunately, milk produced by genetically modified cows does not need to be labelled and neither are they separated from the other milk products.

      However, this procedure is unique to the United States as all European countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have banned the use of rBGH to increase milk production. This is due to the elevated levels of a hormone known as Insulin Growth Factor-1, which consequently increases the risk of cancers.

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      Increases Risk of Cancer

      It is given that milk from genetically modified cows present an increased risk of cancer. However, it should be noted that milk produced through the natural process also contains risk factors that can lead to the onset of cancer diseases. Studies have shown guys who consume at least 2 servings of milk daily exhibit an increased 34% risk of developing prostate cancer. On the other hand, the lactose content of milk also escalated the risk of ovarian cancer in women.

      Conclusion

      As part of the individual body maintenance process, it is essential to be aware of what is fed into the body and the characteristics that these food items possess. Generally, the public holds a positive perception towards consuming milk due to the host of health benefits that it provides. Nonetheless, consumers should also be warned of the threat of genetically modified milk and the health consequences of excessive milk consumption.

      References

      https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/health-news/milk-increases-risk-of-cancer-and-death-in-women.html

      http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/lactose-intolerance-topic-overview

      http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/benefits-almond-milk.html

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      Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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      Katleen Brown

      Katleen is a health and beauty advisor.

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      Last Updated on March 25, 2020

      How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

      How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

      When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

      So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

      1. Exercise

      It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

      2. Drink in Moderation

      I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

      3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

      Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

      4. Watch Less Television

      A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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      Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

      5. Eat Less Red Meat

      Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

      If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

      6. Don’t Smoke

      This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

      7. Socialize

      Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

      8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

      Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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      9. Be Optimistic

      Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

      10. Own a Pet

      Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

      11. Drink Coffee

      Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

      12. Eat Less

      Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

      13. Meditate

      Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

      Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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      How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

      14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

      Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

      15. Laugh Often

      Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

      16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

      Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

      17. Cook Your Own Food

      When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

      Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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      18. Eat Mushrooms

      Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

      19. Floss

      Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

      20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

      Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

      Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

      21. Have Sex

      Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

      More Health Tips

      Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

      Reference

      [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
      [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
      [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
      [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
      [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
      [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
      [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
      [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
      [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
      [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
      [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
      [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
      [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
      [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
      [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
      [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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