Bovine milk in human nutrition--a review

Lipids Health Dis. 2007 Sep 25;6:25. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-6-25.


Milk and milk products are nutritious food items containing numerous essential nutrients, but in the western societies the consumption of milk has decreased partly due to claimed negative health effects. The content of oleic acid, conjugated linoleic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, short- and medium chain fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds may promote positive health effects. Full-fat milk has been shown to increase the mean gastric emptying time compared to half-skimmed milk, thereby increasing the gastrointestinal transit time. Also the low pH in fermented milk may delay the gastric emptying. Hence, it may be suggested that ingesting full-fat milk or fermented milk might be favourable for glycaemic (and appetite?) regulation. For some persons milk proteins, fat and milk sugar may be of health concern. The interaction between carbohydrates (both natural milk sugar and added sugar) and protein in milk exposed to heat may give products, whose effects on health should be further studied, and the increasing use of sweetened milk products should be questioned. The concentration in milk of several nutrients can be manipulated through feeding regimes. There is no evidence that moderate intake of milk fat gives increased risk of diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Dairy Products
  • Female
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Lipids / analysis*
  • Milk* / chemistry
  • Nutritional Status*


  • Lipids