The key message to remind consumers during the COVID-19 situation is that dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt are safe, nutritious and affordable foods for you and your families.
Below are positive messages that can be used to address the accurate health benefits of dairy and wellness.
Dairy & Overall Wellness
- Dairy foods are a source of high-quality protein because they contain the essential amino acids that the body cannot make on its own.
- Milk is good for all ages, because it’s the #1 food source for calcium, vitamin D, and potassium — nutrients that many Americans, including children, are lacking in their diets.
Dairy & Immunity
- Eating a balanced diet with a variety of foods to get essential nutrients is important to help maintain a healthy immune function.
- Milk not only tastes great; it also is an affordable good/excellent source of 9 essential nutrients. But, did you know that three of the nutrients — vitamin A, vitamin D, and protein — are essential for a healthy immune function?
- Vitamin A helps support healthy immune cells.
- There is emerging evidence that vitamin D plays a role in helping to maintain a healthy immune function, too. Research has shown that vitamin D can increase cellular immunity, which helps the body kill bad bacteria.
- Proteins are the building blocks of all cells in the body — including immune cells and immune signaling molecules. Specifically, research has shown that amino acids can activate immune cells and stimulate the production of antibodies, cytokines and other cytotoxic substances that help keep us healthy.
Dairy & Food Storage
- Pasteurized dairy foods are safe to eat as the pasteurization process gets rid of any harmful bacteria. In addition, pasteurization does not significantly change the nutritional value of milk.
Several social media posts have been circulating that indicate drinking milk will help people “stay strong againstâ€_x009d_ COVID-19.
While we know a balanced diet that includes dairy is important for overall health and wellness, we would highly caution against content that claims human immunity benefits from dairy and lactoferrin.
From Dr. Greg Miller, Chief Science Officer, DMI:
- Lactoferrin is a glycoprotein found in dairy that has been demonstrated to have antiviral activity.
- However, most of the research on this antiviral effect has been done in test tube or animal models.
- Studies done in humans have been limited and with mixed results.
- Human trials have also used pharmaceutical (doses much larger than obtained from the 3 servings of dairy recommended) levels of lactoferrin isolated from milk.
- Thus, much more research is needed before claims could be made about its immune effects (or dairy foods).
Need more information? Contact ADA North East at 315. 472.9143 to connect with one of our health professionals.