Milk's effect on health - The New Normal in Action - February 2020 (NNP #71)

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By Dr Andrew Davies and Andrew Davies. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This entire episode is devoted to a single scientific paper.

A recently published scientific article from a high impact factor journal which I think is so important everyone should at least know about it if they haven’t read it.

It’s entitled “Milk and Health” and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in the 13th February 2020 edition. The authors are Walter Willett and David Ludwig from Harvard University in Boston.

You can read it yourself if you click here (you’ll need to be or become a subscriber to the Journal) or you can listen to this episode in which I summarise the main points made by the authors.

This narrative review article summarises the science on the following topics related to the consumption of cow’s milk and other dairy products:

  • Introduction (including current recommended intakes)
  • Composition of dairy products
  • Growth and development
  • Bone health and fracture risk
  • Body weight and obesity
  • Blood pressure, lipids, and cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Allergies and intolerance
  • Total mortality
  • Organic and grass-fed production
  • Environmental effects
  • Conclusions (including a summary of current evidence)

If you are confused about all the various things you read and hear about cow’s milk, whether you consume it or not, I hope you will enjoy listening to my summary of this well-written and very important medical paper.

Live well, feel well, do well.

Dr Andrew Davies

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About the New Normal Project podcast: The podcast is aimed to inspire and empower you to live a life of optimal health, fitness and wellness, by hearing scientific evidence, experience-based information and real-life stories in the areas of the lifestyle pillars such as nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, sleep, connection and purpose. You’ll hopefully glean insights to help you to consider making choices about your daily habits so you become more healthy, fulfilled and conscious.

Although I’m a doctor this is not medical advice as I don’t know your personal circumstances or your health conditions. Please see this as general information for you to consider, and then to learn more about, so you can discuss it with your doctor.

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Scientific article discussed

Details: “Milk and Health” by Walter C. Willett & David S. Ludwig. Published in New England Journal of Medicine on February 13th 2020 in volume 382 issue 7 on pages 644 – 654.

Formal citation: Willett WC, Ludwig DS. Milk and Health. N Engl J Med. 2020; 382(7):644–654. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1903547

PubMed link

Journal website link

Links to people and other resources (in order of mentioning)

Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health

Dr Walter Willett

Book “Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy” (by Walter Willett)

Dr David Ludwig

Links related to New Normal Project podcast resources

New Normal Project podcast episode: A focus on some sleep science - The New Normal in Action - January 2020 (NNP #69)

New Normal Project podcast episode: Helping your brain to think and work smarter with Phil Dobson (NNP #70)

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72 episodes