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Nutrition. 2014 Jun;30(6):619-27. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2013.10.011. Epub 2013 Oct 30.

Milk nutritional composition and its role in human health.

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Laboratório de Bioquímica, CiiEm - Centro de Investigação Interdisciplinar Egas Moniz, Egas Moniz, Cooperativa de Ensino Superior, C.R.L. Quinta da Granja, Monte de Caparica, Caparica, Portugal. Electronic address:


Dairy and milk consumption are frequently included as important elements in a healthy and balanced diet. It is the first food for mammals and provides all the necessary energy and nutrients to ensure proper growth and development, being crucial in respect to bone mass formation. However, several controversies arise from consumption of dairy and milk products during adulthood, especially because it refers to milk from other species. Despite these controversies, epidemiologic studies confirm the nutritional importance of milk in the human diet and reinforce the possible role of its consumption in preventing several chronic conditions like cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), some forms of cancer, obesity, and diabetes. Lactose malabsorption symptoms and cow milk protein allergy are generally considered to be the adverse reactions to milk consumption. The present article reviews the main aspects of milk nutritional composition and establishes several associations between its nutritious role, health promotion, and disease prevention.


Bone mass; Calcium; Dairy; Healthy diet; Lactose intolerance; Protein

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