Drinking organic milk 'may cut risk of heart disease and cancer'

Drinking organic milk may cut the risk of heart disease and cancer, research suggests.

A comparison of conventional and organic dairy farms found the organic variety contained significantly higher levels of health-boosting fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins.Levels of conjugated linoleic acid - a fatty acid credited with lowering the risk of heart problems and cancer - were up to 60 per cent higher.

It is thought high grass content of the animals' diet leads to more nutritious milk.The Newcastle University researchers said that in an 'ideal world' everyone would switch to organic milk, despite it being around 10 pence a pint dearer than the traditional pinta.Study leader Gillian Butler said: 'We have known for some time that what cows are fed has a big influence on milk quality. What is different about this research is it clearly shows that on organic farms, letting cows graze naturally using a forage-based diet is the most important reason for the differences in composition between organic and conventional milk.'

Asked if everyone should switch to organic milk, she said: 'In an ideal world it would be better but logistically I don't think there would be enough. 'It is more expensive to produce as you get less milk per unit of land and it is more expensive to buy. But because it is higher in all these beneficial compounds you don't need to buy as much to get the health benefits."

"What I am trying to do is identify what it is about organic milk that makes it healthier then maybe we can use that to improve milk quality across the board.'It is important conventional dairy farmers keep an open mind and maybe tweak their production systems to improve the fatty acids in their milk."

Source - Daily Mail

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