Get Easy Health Digest™ in your inbox and don’t miss a thing when you subscribe today. Plus, get the free bonus report, Mother Nature’s Tips, Tricks and Remedies for Cholesterol, Blood Pressure & Blood Sugar as my way of saying welcome to the community!
When you step into the dairy section of your local grocery store to pick up a gallon of milk for your family, which do you choose – low fat, full fat, something in between? And, is there actually a right choice?
Let’s face it, the dairy debate is confusing.
Some people say you should avoid milk completely (and, if you’re lactose intolerant, this is good advice). Others will tell you to only go with whole milk because the fats in it are good for your brain.
So, how do you know what’s right?
Well, a new study is shedding more light on the subject, at least when it comes to the health of your DNA and how fast you age…
Longer versus shorter telomeres
Scientists at Brigham Young University set out to investigate the effect of different amounts of fat in milk on the length of your telomeres.
If you haven’t heard the term before, telomeres are the nucleotide endcaps of human chromosomes. In other words, they’re the very end of your DNA strands, keeping them strong and basically preventing them from unraveling.
They act as a biological clock and have been shown to be closely correlated with your aging. In fact, each time one of your cells replicates, it loses a tiny bit of those endcaps.
This means that the older you get, the shorter your telomeres are.
The research team investigated the relationship between telomere length and both milk intake frequency (daily drinkers vs. weekly drinkers or less) and milk fat content (whole vs. 2% vs. 1% vs. skim).
And, here’s what their results came down to…
The more high-fat milk you drink, the shorter your telomeres.
Yup, it looks like choosing whole milk actually causes you to age more quickly.
Related: Why you should just say ‘no’ to milk
The team found that for every 1% increase in milk fat consumed (such as drinking 2% vs. 1% milk), participants’ telomeres were 69 base pairs shorter in the adults studied. This translates to a full four and a half years in additional biological aging!
Can you imagine that?
Simply drinking 2% instead of 1% milk can make you almost five years older!
And, it gets worse if you move up to whole milk…
The researchers found that people who drank whole milk regularly had telomeres that were a striking 145 base pairs shorter than non-fat milk drinkers – which means roughly double the aging caused by 2% milk.
To drink or not to drink
So, do these findings mean that the less fat you get from milk the better? And, would you be better off avoiding milk entirely, if so?
Well, not exactly…
Surprisingly enough, the scientists also discovered that people who skipped milk entirely also had shorter telomeres and therefore accelerated aging compared to those who went with low-fat milk.
Instead, Brigham Young University exercise science professor Larry Tucker, Ph.D. says this, “It’s not a bad thing to drink milk. You should just be more aware of what type of milk you are drinking.”
In other words, if you’re not lactose intolerant, drinking milk may actually help slow aging, you just have to choose the right one. Go with non-fat or 1% milk and you could actually stay younger, longer.