The Symposium explored the health effects of the dairy matrix. 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 and bioactive factors, and how they interact with each other in the dairy matrix, combine to produce the overall effect on health.
Prof Arne Astrup from the University of Copenhagen examined the matrix effects of milk and dairy in relation to type 2 diabetes and cardiometabolic health. Despite the saturated fat content of some dairy foods, evidence does not suggest an adverse effect on cardiometabolic health and, in fact, dairy consumption may be protective. For type 2 diabetes too, evidence indicates a beneficial effect of dairy.
Prof Arne Astrup presented the evidence and discussed possible matrix mechanisms. Prof Luc van Loon from Maastricht University explored strategies for muscle mass maintenance in older people. A period of muscle disuse due to sickness or injury can lead to substantial loss of muscle mass and strength in otherwise healthy individuals with serious adverse consequences for health.
Prof van Loon examined the importance of protein alongside physical activity in helping to maintain muscle mass. The Symposium was chaired by Dr Stephan Peters, Nutrition & Food Law Manager at the Dutch Dairy Association.
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