Milk is great for diets – and teeth

A new study has found that people who drink milk may be more likely to lose weight.

Researchers found that the high levels of dairy calcium and serum vitamin D in milk can lead to greater weight loss, for those already on diets.

The study examined more than 300 men and women, aged 40-65, who were overweight or at risk of putting on excess weight. Over a period of two years researchers saw that, even with allowance for variables such as age, gender, baseline Body Mass Index and total fat intake, an increased intake of milk led to greater weight loss.

Yet, milk is not just beneficial for those who wish to lose weight. Dental health experts have emphasised for many years that milk and water are the only two safe drinks, when considering good oral health.

Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, says: ‘If this news encourages more adults to swap fizzy drinks and fruit juices for milk, then in terms of oral health it is definitely a good thing.

‘Reducing the intake of drinks that contain high levels of sugar will protect teeth against decay, and drinking less fizzy drinks will help decrease risks of dental erosion.

‘It is not clear if a greater intake of milk and calcium itself helped to increase weight loss, or if it could be down to a reduced calorie intake caused by replacing sugar containing fizzy drinks with milk.’

Dr Carter adds: ‘People often do not realise that it is how often sugar occurs in a diet, rather than how much sugar, that makes the difference to the condition of the teeth.

‘Each time someone eats or drinks something containing sugar, their teeth are under attack for an hour, before the balance in the mouth is corrected. Minimising how often these attacks occur is a vital part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums.’

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