AFP Relax – Tue, Jan 31, 2012

Milk: it does a brain good. At least that’s the finding of a new studythat suggests drinking a glass of milk a day could boost your brain power.

In the study published in the January issue of the International Dairy Journal, researchers at the University of Maine found that adults who consumed more dairy products scored “significantly” higher on memory and other cognitive tests than those who drank little to no milk. Those with high milk intake were five times less likely to fail the test compared to non milk drinkers.

For their study, researchers put more than 900 men and women ages 23 to 98 through a series of brain and cognitive challenges that tested their visual-spatial, verbal and working memory tests.

Those who scored the highest across all eight tests also consumed the most milk and dairy products, researchers said. Results were adjusted for cardiovascular risk, lifestyle and dietary factors.

Their study found that milk drinkers also tended to maintain healthier diets overall compared to their non-drinking counterparts.

Meanwhile, though the consumption of non-dairy milk like soy, almond and rice milk has gone up in the US, consumption of cow’s milk has been falling steadily since 1994, when the average per capita consumption was 24.3 gallon per person. In 2008, that fell to 20.8 gallons, according to figures from the US Department of Agriculture.

And while milk has long been touted as a good source of calcium for healthy bones, a 2008 study out of Maine also shed light on the mysterious link that has been observed between the early introduction of cow’s milk in an infant’s diet and the subsequent development of Type 1 diabetes after scientists identified a protein in the milk that triggers an unusual immune response.

Source: Glass of milk a day boosts brain power: study