Milk and dairy foods have been an important part of the European diet and food culture for generations. They are naturally rich sources of a wide range of nutrients and make a significant contribution to nutrient intakes and diet quality.
Milk and dairy foods have also been linked to a variety of health impacts. They also have a role in sports nutrition and in helping to maintain muscle mass and function in older people.
It is increasingly recognised that the effects of milk and dairy foods on health extends beyond the benefits of the individual nutrients they contain.
Rather, the unique combination of nutrients, bioactive factors and other components, and how they interact with each other in the dairy matrix, combine to produce the overall positive effect on health.
Milk and dairy foods have been linked to a number of health impacts including bone health, lower blood pressure and weight control, as well as a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer. They also have a role in sports nutrition and in the helping to maintain muscle mass and function in older people.