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Humans continue to consume milk beyond infancy in many cultures, particularly in the West, and use the milk of other mammals as nourishment (W.H.O, 2002).
Dairy foods are milk products produced from or containing the milk of mammals, primarily cattle, goats, sheep e.t.c. (Ridker, 2011). Dairy foods are nutrient-dense foods supplying energy, significant amounts of protein and micronutrients (Mozaffarian et al.,2010).
Dairy foods include milk, butter, cheese, and yoghurt. (Curry, 2012).
There are different types of milk-based on animal sources, they include cow milk, goat milk, buffalo milk, sheep milk.
The nutritional composition of milk includes Water which covers about 87%, Proteins in form of Amino-acids and Casein containing about 3%, Lipids in form of simple lipids (Triglycerides), Complex lipids (Phospholipids) containing about 3-4%, Vitamins in milk are fat-soluble and water-soluble and account for around 0.1 per cent of the total. Sodium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Copper, and Zinc are among the minerals found in milk, accounting for around 0.8 per cent of the total (Gautheron, 2012).
There are adverse reactions to milk consumption, which comes as an adverse immune reaction to one or more proteins in cow milk (Caffarelli et al., 2010), This could mean that all cow milk products should be avoided.
Another side effect of milk consumption is lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is caused by a lack of lactase. (Suchy et al., 2010). Lactose intolerance is a condition in which the body is unable to properly digest the sugar (lactose) contained in milk (Mayoclinic, 2020). As a result, after eating or drinking dairy products, individuals have diarrhoea, gas, and bloating (Mayoclinic, 2020). The illness, also known as lactose malabsorption, is normally innocuous, but the symptoms can be bothersome.
Lactose intolerance is caused by a deficiency of lactase, a digestive enzyme generated in the small intestine. Lactase levels might be low and milk products can still be digested. However, if your levels are too low, you will develop lactose intolerance, which will cause discomfort when you eat or drink dairy (Mayoclinic, 2010). The majority of people with lactose intolerance may manage their symptoms without fully avoiding dairy products.
Lactase is a digestive enzyme that breaks down milk sugar into glucose and galactose, which are absorbed into the bloodstream through the stomach mucosa. (Mayoclinic, 2010).
Lactose in your diet goes into the colon instead of being digested and absorbed if you’re lactase deficient. Lactose intolerance is caused by normal bacteria interacting with undigested lactose in the colon, resulting in signs and symptoms (Mayoclinic, 2010).
Signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance usually occur 30 minutes to two hours after eating or drinking lactose-containing foods. Some common signs and symptoms include Diarrhoea, Bloating, Stomach cramps, Nausea, Vomiting, Gas.
Lactose intolerance can be divided into three categories. Lactase deficiency can be caused by a number of factors in each kind. Primary lactose intolerance, secondary lactose intolerance, and congenital or developmental lactose intolerance are the three types of lactose intolerance.
People with primary lactose intolerance, which is the most common type, produce enough lactase from birth. Lactase is necessary for infants who rely solely on milk for sustenance. The quantity of lactase produced by children decreases when they substitute milk with other meals, but it usually remains high enough to digest the amount of dairy in a typical adult diet. Lactase synthesis drops dramatically by maturity in primary lactose intolerance, making milk products difficult to digest.
Secondary lactose intolerance occurs when your small intestine produces less lactase as a result of a small intestine sickness, accident, or surgery. Secondary lactose intolerance has been associated with gastrointestinal infections, celiac disease, bacterial overgrowth, and Crohn’s disease. Treatment for the underlying problem may help restore lactase levels and relieve symptoms, but it may take time.
For congenital or developmental lactose intolerance, Lactose intolerance caused by a deficiency of lactase can occur in newborns, but it is uncommon. This abnormality is passed down down the generations through an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance, which means that for a child to be affected, both the mother and father must pass on the same gene mutation.
Milk drinking has been linked to the prevention of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis, according to research.
Dairy consumption has an inverse relationship with a number of cardiovascular disease risk factors (Huth, 2006). Dairy foods, such as cheese and yoghurt, are beneficial in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disorders. Excessive consumption of saturated fat influences the risk for heart disease is by increasing blood lipids, especially total cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins (Siri et al., 2010).
Osteoporosis is caused by a decrease in bone mass. Calcium is mostly found in dairy products, and calcium is the most abundant mineral in bones. Milk has a wide range of minerals that are beneficial to bone mass, fracture prevention, and osteoporosis prevention (Cashman, 2006).
Protein is essential for weight reduction and maintenance because it has a high satiating impact, which helps to prevent over-consumption of energy and so reduces body fat reserves (Gilbert, 2011). Low-fat dairy consumption has been linked to a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes. Whey protein (found mostly in milk and yoghurt) has been shown in studies to lower postprandial plasma glucose levels in type 2 diabetics. (Frid, 2005).
In conclusion, scientific data suggests that drinking milk and dairy products helps people satisfy their dietary requirements and may prevent them from the most common chronic non-communicable diseases, with very few side effects recorded. Therefore, moderate consumption of milk is advised in order to enjoy a healthy life.
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