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Milk Fat Associated With More Years of Biological Aging

Telomeres protect the ends of chromosomes as well as genetic information during cell division. As we get older, telomeres get too short to do their job correctly, which causes cells to age and stop functioning properly. According to a new study, drinking whole-fat milk is associated with shorter telomeres and more years of biological aging, which is a measure of how well the body is functioning.

Participants included 5,834 adults who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Milk consumption was assessed using the NHANES Diet Behavior and Nutrition questionnaire. Participants were classified as daily milk drinkers or weekly or less milk drinkers. They were also classified based on the type of milk they drank, whole, 2%, 1%, or skim. Telomere length was measured using the polymerase chain reaction method.

Milk consumption frequency was not found to have an association with telomere length. However, a strong association was found between milk fat intake and telomere length. For each 1 percentage point increase in milk fat consumed, participants had more than 4 years of additional biological aging.

The study was conducted by researchers from Brigham Young University. It was published online ahead of print on October 28, 2019 in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity.

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