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Milk Still Part Of Balanced Diet

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority and the Ministry of Health welcome the publication of research examining a possible link between milk protein consumption and heart disease and insulin-dependent diabetes.

Dr Bob Boyd, the Principal Advisor in Public Health Medicine at the NZFSA said that research findings, published in the latest issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal, are inconclusive and are not a reason for people to stop consuming cows milk or milk products.

"As the authors Dr Laugeson and Professor Emeritus Bob Elliott conclude, this study does not prove cause and effect. In itself it is not a basis for a shift in public policy but it will be an important contribution to further research", Dr Boyd said.

Using data collected from various sources comparing a selection of 20 affluent countries, two Auckland researchers have found a significant correlation between the amount of A1 Beta-casein and milk protein consumed in a country and the national rate of coronary heart disease. They also found a similar correlation between A1 Beta-casein consumption and the rate of childhood type-1 diabetes.

The Ministry of Health supports the NZFSA’s view that the evidence is not strong enough to change the health messages around milk or to require any special labelling on milk or milk products.

"New Zealanders can still do much more to lower our rate of heart disease by quitting smoking, increasing our exercise and by reducing the proportion of saturated fats in our diet as promoted by the New Zealand Heart Foundation", the Ministry's Director of Public Health, Dr Colin Tukuitonga added.

Milk is nutritious and beneficial and should remain part of a balanced diet.

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