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Milk isn't just for healthy bones anymore. According to a recent study, the consumption of milk fat may also be associated with a reduced risk of asthma in preschool children. Researchers gathered data related to food consumption of 2,978 two-year-olds then compared the frequency of asthma symptoms in the same children at age of three.

The children who consumed full cream milk and butter daily had a lower incidence of asthma-related symptoms than those who did not.

Among the milk drinkers, only 3.4 percent displayed symptoms of asthma compared to 5.6 percent in the non-milk group, and 1.5 percent among daily butter consumers compared to 5.1 percent that did not. What's more, children who consumed milk products daily were less likely to wheeze than the others.

This is good news, considering that an estimated 17 million Americans have asthma, with as many as 10-12 percent of those being children. With symptoms ranging from shortness of breath and chest pain to chronic coughing, battling asthma can be difficult and frustrating, especially for little tykes.

If your little one has asthma, or is at risk for developing the condition, try increasing their whole milk consumption. In addition to helping reduce their risk for asthma attacks, they'll benefit from the many vitamins and nutrients essential to healthy growth, including calcium, protein, vitamins A, B-12 and D, potassium, phosphorus, niacin and riboflavin.


Wijga AH, Smit HA, Kerkhof M, et al. Association of consumption of products containing milk fat with reduces asthma risk in preschool children: the PIAMA birth cohort study. Thorax (2003):58, pp 567-72.

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