Researchers found that the high levels of dairy calcium and serum vitamin D in milk can lead to greater weight loss, for those already on diets.
The study examined more than 300 men and women, aged 40–65, who were overweight or at risk of putting on excess weight. Over a period of two years researchers saw that, even with allowance for variables such as age, gender, baseline Body Mass Index and total fat intake, an increased intake of milk led to greater weight loss.
Yet, milk is not just beneficial for those who wish to lose weight. Dental health experts have emphasised for many years that milk and water are the only two safe drinks, when considering good oral health.
Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, said: “If this news encourages more adults to swap fizzy drinks and fruit juices for milk, then in terms of oral health it is definitely a good thing. Reducing the intake of drinks that contain high levels of sugar will protect teeth against decay, and drinking less fizzy drinks will help decrease risks of dental erosion.
“It is not clear if a greater intake of milk and calcium itself helped to increase weight loss, or if it could be down to a reduced calorie intake caused by replacing sugar containing fizzy drinks with milk.”
Dr Carter added: “People often do not realise that it is how often sugar occurs in a diet, rather than how much sugar, that makes the difference to the condition of the teeth. Each time someone eats or drinks something containing sugar, their teeth are under attack for an hour, before the balance in the mouth is corrected. Minimising how often these attacks occur is a vital part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums.”
The Foundation also emphasises that brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste, and visiting a dentist as often as they recommend is key to achieving a healthy smile.
The National Dental Helpline is staffed by fully qualified dental experts and is available to inform on any oral health issue from diet to dental erosion to tooth decay. For confidential and free advice and support contact the Helpline advisors on 0845 063 1188, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.
For further information please contact the Foundation’s Press Office on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01788 539 792.
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The British Dental Health Foundation is the UK’s leading oral health charity, with a 40–year track record of providing public information and influencing government policy. It maintains a free consumer advice service, an impartial and objective product accreditation scheme, publishes and distributes a wide range of literature for the profession and consumers, and runs National Smile Month each May, to promote greater awareness of the benefits of better oral health, and Mouth Cancer Action Month each November.
The Dental Helpline, which offers free impartial advice to consumers, can be contacted on 0845 063 1188 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, they can be contacted by email on email@example.com
A series of ‘Tell Me About…’ leaflets covering topics such as caring for my teeth, diet and tooth decay are also available.
The Foundation’s website can be found at www.dentalhealth.org