Healthcare: On the Agenda - Drinking milk cuts health risks

In a nutshell.

Research from the University of Reading and Cardiff University released last week claimed that drinking milk could cut people's chances of dying from heart disease and strokes, reducing the risk of chronic illness by up to a fifth.

Tell us more

Scientists reviewed 324 studies on the effects of milk consumption. They wanted to find out whether the health benefits of drinking milk were greater than any dangers associated with the substance because of its saturated fat content. They found milk helps protect against developing most diseases (excluding prostate cancer) and it can cut deaths from illnesses by 15 to 20 per cent.

Who commented on the findings?

The British Heart Foundation's cardiac nurse June Davison advised people to consume low-fat versions of milk and dairy products. The Stroke Association's research liaison officer Joanne Murphy said it was an interesting survey, but further trials were needed.

Media coverage

The study was covered widely including The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, Scottish Daily Mirror and Australian national radio. Saga Magazine used the angle that greater milk consumption could reduce NHS treatment costs because of lower levels of chronic disease.

Who were the PR players?

The University of Reading's press office took the lead in disseminating the research. It sent the release to all health and medical specialists on both national and trade press.

15-20% - Amount deaths from illnesses could be cut by drinking milk.

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