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Calcium-Rich Dairy Foods May Prolong Life

Tuesday, 28 July 2009 09:45 AM

Although many shun calcium-rich dairy products as a source of artery-clogging cholesterol, consuming them in childhood may add years to one's life in some cases, reported a study released Tuesday.
A 65-year follow-up to a 1930s survey of more than 1,300 families in England and Scotland showed that a diet high in milk, cheese, and butter did not lead to higher rates of cardiovascular disease.
Moreover, children with the largest intake of calcium from dairy products enjoyed a lower death rate from strokes, according to the study, published in the British Medical Journal.
Heart disease risk factors begin in childhood, but evidence had been inconclusive as to whether dairy consumption at an early age helps or hurts.
Some experts have argued that the high fat content in full-butter dairy products contributes to heart problems later in life.
A team of researchers led by Jolieke van der Pols, a scientist at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, followed up with 4,374 people who took part as children in the late 1930s in a study of food consumption.
By 2005, 34 percent of them — 1,468 individuals — had died, with 378 from coronary heart disease and 121 from strokes.
No evidence was found of a link between intake of dairy products and either of these causes of mortality.
Researchers were surprised, however, to find that childhood intake of calcium — mainly from milk and milk-derived edibles — corresponded to a lower rate of death by stroke.
"Furthermore, childhood diets rich in dairy or calcium were associated with lower all-cause mortality in adulthood," the study concluded.
The authors cautioned that further studies are needed to confirm the findings, which may result in part from other factors such as income levels and occupation.

Copyright AFP

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Shunned by many as a source of artery-clogging cholesterol, calcium-rich dairy products consumed in childhood may in some cases add years to one's life, reported a study released Tuesday.
Tuesday, 28 July 2009 09:45 AM
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