The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

Dairy: The Matrix Matters

Dairy: The matrix matters

Diets do not consist of nutrients and food components in isolation and consequently many countries have adopted food-based dietary guidelines. The concept of a food matrix is central to such guidelines as nutrients and other food components work together in a complex physiochemical structure to exert their nutritional effects. The review describes how the idea of a food matrix applies to dairy products with reference to nutritional and physiological effects associated with dairy intake. Current evidence regarding possible associations between dairy intake and disease endpoints is summarised and the conclusion suggests that the dairy matrix may have a considerable role in the beneficial or neutral effects of dairy intake on disease risk. Nutritionists agree that the role of dairy in health and nutrition extends beyond its nutrient content and that biofunctionality depends on the combination of nutrients within the associated food structure. This highlights opportunities for integrating dairy products into everyone’s lifestyle, however varied.

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