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A Glass of Milk a Day Could Help Your Brain

Research published online ahead of print on September 1, 2011, in the International Dairy Journal suggests that consuming dairy products may improve mental functioning in adults.

The study focused on American adults and was a joint effort conducted by researchers from the University of South Australia and the University of Maine.

The data set used for the study came from the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study, which included 972 adults. The researchers assessed dietary habits through the 41-question Nutrition and Health Questionnaire.

Various tests were used to determine mental functioning with regards to visual-spatial memory and organization, scanning and tracking, verbal episodic memory, working memory, executive function, and similarities.

After adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and lifestyle factors, the researchers determined that consuming dairy once a day was associated with a significant improvement in mental functioning across the board when compared with the participants who did rarely or never consume dairy.

The researchers believe the benefits observed are linked to the many healthy nutrients found in dairy, such as vitamin D, phosphorous and magnesium.

Dairy products have previously been linked to aiding with weight loss, preventing diabetes, and improving bone health.

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