MooScience: the science of milk



Enjoy Healthy Dairy Without Guilt (or Weight Gain)

Do you feel guilty for enjoying delicious full fat Greek yogurt, yogurt smoothies, aged cheese, smooth whipped cream, sweet ice cream or other yummy dairy products? Well, feel guilty no longer, these tasty and healthy dairy treats are actually good for your body and your taste buds! MooScience: Dairy heifer noses in

Picture: A curious Holstein heifer gets her moo on the camera.


Hot New Topics in Dairy and Heath:


Whole dairy will not make you fat

You don't have to sacrifice your waist to reap the health benefits of eating dairy. Science shows that creamy whole milk products do not cause weight gain. So go ahead and enjoy some cream in your coffee!


Adding high fat dairy to the DASH diet makes it healthier

A modified version of the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) replaced low fat dairy servings with full fat dairy foods. This higher fat DASH diet significantly reduced triglycerides and larger sized very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particles when compared to the standard DASH diet (this is good). Both DASH diets reduced blood pressure when compared to a control diet (Chui et al. 2015).


Full fat milk and ice cream reduces women's risk of infertility

Women who ate at least one serving of high fat dairy reduced their risk of anovulatory infertility by 85% when compared to women who ate one or less servings of full fat dairy a week (Chavarro et al. 2007).


Dairy sports drinks energize your workout

Put down that unnatural purple drink and try a sports drink that actually delivers. Milk and yogurt drinks are natural whole foods that add muscle building protein, refueling carbohydrates, essential electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals to your workout without the artificial taste and human-made compounds found in many conventional sports drinks.


Debunking Five Common Dairy Health Myths


Myth #1: Dairy is bad for your health.

Dairy is falsely blamed for contributing to obesity, heart disease and cardiovascular disorders.


Truth: People who consume dairy have less risk of dying from all causes.

People who eat delicious dairy products reduce their risk of dying from all causes including heart disease, stroke and diabetes (Elwood et al. 2010)! Dairy promotes health!

People who consume more dairy have less risk of metabolic disease, breast cancer and uterine fibroids. In addition, enjoying milk and yogurt reduces your chance of a hip fracture Sahni et al. 2013, Sahni et al. 2014).

Dairy is a great snack. It contains protein, carbohydrates and fat. Dairy is a good addition to a weight loss program. Eating yogurt accelerates weight loss (Zemel and Sun 2008).

Some dairy products, such as yogurt and kefir, contain beneficial probiotics.


Myth # 2: Milk fat is unhealthy and makes you fat.

Are you tired of dumping skim milk on your morning cereal? Somehow dairy fat has been made the villain of many nutritionists. I believe it is part of the "it tastes good, so it must be bad for you" mind-set. Whole milk products contain numerous health benefits.


Truth: Milk fat is healthy and tastes great too. MooScience, cow with calf by Susan Fluegel

Dairy fat does not cause heart disease (Huth and Park 2012) or diabetes. In fact dairy fat may prevent type 2 diabetes (Mozaffarian et al. 2010, 2012), strokes (Elwood 2004, 2010), and other metabolic disorders.

There are over 400 types of dairy fats and some of them, such as oleic acid and trans-palmitoleic acid, are beneficial to health. Whole dairy products are a natural healthy food.


Myth #3: Whole milk products will make children fat.


Truth: Whole milk will not make children fat (it won't make you fat either)

Special Note for Parents and Caregivers:

I meet many well intentioned people who put their children on a low fat diet including low fat or skim milk. Sadly this diet is often recommended by health professionals (most health professionals are not nutritionists and have little or no training in nutrition).

Children of all ages need full fat for full brain development. If you want your children to reach their full intelligence potential make sure they have enough healthy fat in their diet.

Still think skim milk is better? Several studies reported that preschoolers, children and adolescents who drank skim and 1% milk were significantly fatter than children drinking 2% and whole milk (Berkey et al. 2005, Huh et al. 2010, Scharf et al. 2013). Hun et al. (2010) found that preschoolers who drank whole milk had a lower BMI than those consuming skim milk.

MooScience: Three girls in a row

Picture: Three girls study the outdoors. Help your children succeed by giving them healthy full fat milk and yogurt.

Berkley et al. reported that younger adolescents who drunk more skim milk had increased weight gain. In the same study, dairy fat was NOT associated with weight gain. Scarf et al. (2013) looked at 10,700 2 and 4 year olds of all races and ethnic groups and found out that those consuming skim milk were fatter than those drinking 2% or whole milk.

Fat doesn't make you or your children fat. Children need fats, including saturated fats, to thrive. Restricting fat to less than 30% of calories in infants and children can retard growth, decrease visual acuity, and limit mental development.


Myth #4: Acid whey is toxic.

The only thing toxic about acid whey is its name. Unfortunately, 'acid' whey conjures up images of bubbling sulfuric acid, cooking meth in a run down trailer surrounded by plastic pink birds and toothless coworkers, and strange food cartons found at the bottom of a convenience store shelf. However, names can be deceiving.


Truth: Acid whey is a nutritious and healthy food.

Recently acid whey has been villainized by the media. However, this media storm has been fueled by sensationalism not facts. Acid whey is a highly nutritious food that contains nutrients shown to prevent disease and improve health.

If you want to read more about the health benefits of acid whey check out acid whey, common questions about acid whey, lactic acid, alpha-lactalbumin, and lactoferrin.

For more information on milk proteins in general see our pages on whey and casein.MooScience, Holstein dairy cow shows off her great lines

Picture: Holstein cows are commonly used in dairies. They are well known for their outstanding milk production.


Myth #5 Lactose intolerant people can't have any dairy products

Truth: Most lactose intolerant people can tolerate a little dairy without any ill effects.

Most people can consume up to a cup of milk a day with no ill effects. in addition, some dairy products contain very little lactose, such as yogurts and cheeses. For more information see our page on lactose intolerance.


Why We Created MooScience

Are you tired of grand health claims with no evidence to back them up? Susan and Heidi are two scientists who created MooScience to dispel some myths about dairy products and milk fat. We don't just tell you our opinion (you can guess that we are pro-dairy); we summarize the scientific studies that support our statements so you can make up your own mind.

Dairy enhances health! Read how dairy enhances weight loss, prevents type 2 diabetes, improves metabolic disorders, helps enhance bone health, prevents cancer, reduces the risk of uterine fibroids, and protects against cardiovascular disease.

For up to date science on the latest news in delicious dairy, check out our information on dairy sports drinks, health benefits of whole milk including why full fat dairy doesn't cause weight gain, and why acid whey has a unnecessarily bad reputation. We have also included the latest research on beneficial compounds found in milk such as oleic acid, lactic acid, lactoferrin and immunoglobulins.



  • Berkey CS, Rockett HR, Willett WC, Colditz GA. Milk, dairy fat, dietary calcium, and weight gain: a longitudinal study of adolescents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159:543-50. Pubmed. Full paper.
  • Chavarro JE, Rich-Edwards JW, Rosner B, Willett WC.A Prospective study of dairy foods intake and anovulatory infertility. Hum Reprod. 2007;22:1340-7. Pubmed. Full paper.
  • Chiu S, Bergeron N, Williams PT, Bray GA, Sutherland B, Krauss RM. Comparison of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet and a higher-fat DASH diet on blood pressure and lipids and lipoproteins: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2015; Pubmed. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.123281 (full text)
  • Elwood PC, Pickering JE, Givens DI, Gallacher JE. The consumption of milk and dairy foods and the incidence of vascular disease and diabetes: an overview of the evidence. Lipids. 2010;45:925-39. Pubmed. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.29866 (full text)
  • Elwood PC, Pickering JE, Hughes J, Fehily AM, Ness AR. Milk drinking, ischaemic heart disease and ischaemic stroke II. Evidence from cohort studies. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004;58:718–24. Pubmed. doi: 10.1136/jech.2006.053157 (full text)
  • Huh SY, Rifas-Shiman SL, Rich-Edwards JW, Taveras EM, Gillman MW. Prospective association between milk intake and adiposity in preschool-aged children. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110:563-70. Pubmed. Full text.
  • Huth PJ and Park KM. Influence of Dairy Product and Milk Fat Consumption on Cardiovascular Disease Risk: A Review of the Evidence. Adv Nutr. 2012;3:266–285. Pubmed. doi: 10.3945/​an.112.002030 (full text)
  • Mozaffarian D, Cao H, King IB, Lemaitre RN, Song X, Siscovick DS, Hotamisligil GS. Trans-palmitoleic acid, metabolic risk factors, and new-onset diabetes in U.S. adults: a cohort study. Ann. Intern. Med. 2010 Dec 21;153(12):790-9. Pubmed. doi: 10.1059/0003-4819-153-12-201012210-00005 (full text)
  • Mozaffarian D, de Oliveira Otto MC, Lemaitre RN, Fretts AM, Hotamisligil G, Tsai MY, Siscovick DS, Nettleton JA. Trans-Palmitoleic acid, other dairy fat biomarkers, and incident diabetes: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;97:854-61. Pubmed. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.045468
  • Scharf, RJ Demmer RT, DeBoer MD. Longitudinal evaluation of milk type consumed and weight status in preschoolers. Arch Dis Child. 2013;98:335-340. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2012-302941
  • Sahni S, Mangano KM, Tucker KL, Kiel DP, Casey VA, Hannan MT. Protective Association of Milk Intake on the Risk of Hip Fracture: Results from the Framingham Original Cohort. J Bone Miner Res. 2014 Apr 24. Pubmed. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.2219
  • Sahni S, Tucker KL, Kiel DP, Quach L, Casey VA, Hannan MT. Milk and yogurt consumption are linked with higher bone mineral density but not with hip fracture: the Framingham Offspring Study. Archives of Osteoporosis, 2013;8:119. Pubmed. doi: 10.1007/s11657-013-0119-2