Role of milk and dairy products in growth of the child
In this presentation, Kim Michaelsen gives detailed explanation about the importance of consumption of cow’s milk and dairy products from the age of 1 year as part of a healthy diet. Cow’s milk has a stimulating effect on growth in young children. This has been shown for linear growth, and it might have an effect on accretion of lean body mass. The effect seems to be through a stimulation of IGF-I and insulin. There are several components of cow’s milk which are suggested to have a stimulating effect of growth. The high protein quality score with a high content of especially the essential amino acids are likely to play a key role. Furthermore, the high content of lactose can have an effect through a prebiotic effect on the gut microbiota and a positive effect on mineral absorption. Moreover, cow’s milk has high content of calcium and minerals important for growth. He also discussed that a high intake of cow’s milk and dairy products has potential negative effects in young children, especially an increased risk of later obesity, and should be avoided.