The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

Health effects of dairy foods on the gut microbiome

Health effects of dairy foods on the gut microbiome

Current scientific opinion agrees that milk and milk product intake improves dietary quality and can be linked to a reduced risk of obesity and chronic metabolic conditions. Although several mechanisms may underlie the health benefits of dairy foods, the recent emphasis on the structure and function of the human gut microbiome has focused attention on the potential role of probiotics and prebiotics in dairy foods in promoting human health. There is substantial evidence that a balanced diet has a positive impact on the microbiome, decreasing the risk of developing metabolic and inflammatory diseases. Milka and fermented dairy foods contain microbial nutritive and bioactive components that benefit the gut microbiome and consequently, general health. Research related to the potential lasting impact of habitual dairy intake on the microbiome and the potential to promote shifts in microbiota species is, however, needed. This is especially important in poverty-stricken communities, where the risk for gastrointestinal infection is high.

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