MooScience: the science of milk

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Dairy Improves Energy Intake and Nutrition in Elderly

Milk and yogurt may be an easy option to help stave off malnutrition in the elderly. Due to many factors, seniors can become malnourished. It takes extra time to prepare an oral supplements and fortified foods to treat malnutrition. Adding extra servings of dairy is an easy and effective way to add calories, protein and micronutrients to people's diets.

Senior citizens in a care facility given 2 additional servings of dairy a day showed improved energy intake and nutrient intakes (Iuliano et al. 2013). The older adults (average age 86) were provided with extra dairy servings over a 4 week period.

Compared to controls, subjects had significant daily increases in mean energy intake (900 calories, P<0.001), protein intake (+25g, P<0.0001), proportion of energy from protein (+4%, P<0.0001) and proportion of estimated energy requirements (EER) (+18%, P<0.0001).

Compare to the controls, residents getting extra dairy had an increase in their uptake of micro-nutrients. Increases included calcium (+679mg, P<0.0001), vitamin D (+1.4μg, P<0.0001), phosphorus (+550mg, P<0.0001), and zinc (+2.8mg, P<0.0001).

 

References:

Iuliano S, Woods J, Robbins J. Consuming two additional serves of dairy food a day significantly improves energy and nutrient intakes in ambulatory aged care residents: a feasibility study. J Nutr Health Aging. 2013;17:509-13. Pubmed. doi: 10.1007/s12603-013-0025-8.