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The Case for Organic Dairy: A Better Nutritional Profile

Dec 10, 2013
Photo Credit:  Andrew Storms

Photo Credit: Andrew Storms

An article published this week in PLOS-ONE shows that organic milk has a healthier nutritional profile than conventional milk.  For the first time, researchers took a long-term, nation-wide look at how farming practices affects milk quality.  Specifically, they examined omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratios. Healthy omega 6: omega 3 ratios are low, around 2.3:1, but unhealthy diet trends have increased that ratio to between 10 and 15:1. These omega 3 fatty acid deficiencies can have negative health consequences, including inflammation, higher risk of heart disease, weight gain, depression, and diabetes. In this study, researchers examined 220 organic and 164 conventional samples from dairies around the United States. They found that organic milk contained 25 percent less omega-6 fatty acids and 62 percent more omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk, yielding a 2.5-fold higher omega-6: omega-3 ratio in conventional compared to organic milk. The study also took a look at how adult women could alter their diet to increase their consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. They found that by consuming high levels of organic milk with reduced intake of omega-6 fatty acids in their diet, women could decrease their omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid profile by around 80 percent. This study shows that consuming organic dairy products is a great way to increase your omega-3 fatty acid intake. Just think, you can add this to your excuses to eat more organic ice cream!

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