World Milk Day: Milk tolerance tends to go down with age, say experts | health | Hindustan Times
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World Milk Day: Milk tolerance tends to go down with age, say experts

World Milk Day is a day established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to recognise the importance of milk as a global food. It has been observed on June 1 each year since 2001.

health Updated: Jun 08, 2017 13:45 IST
Milk is a super food that is high on nutrients and low on calories
Milk is a super food that is high on nutrients and low on calories(Shutterstock)

Milk is a great food— high on nutrients and low on calories, but experts say after a particular age one can go easy as many would find decreased tolerance to this white liquid.

“Babies and children need the milk but as you grow older your bodies change and there is a decline in the level of enzymes that help in digesting milk,” says clinical nutritionist Ishi Khosla.

Babies and children usually require anywhere between two to four servings (1 serving is about 200ml) of milk in a day that has calcium, protein, multiple vitamins etc. In adults, however, the quantity depends on individual needs.

“By the time you are 20-25 years of age, your body starts giving indications whether it is able to tolerate milk or not. Symptoms could include from that bloating feeling to even experiencing hormonal imbalances,” says Khosla.

For those who are severely lactose intolerant, there is an interesting variety available in market that ranges from soya to almond, to even rice milk. Then there is always curd or yogurt that is easily digested in comparison.

“Organic milk is another option that one can go form that has less chances of being laced with pesticides etc. Those who can’t tolerate pure milk can go for diluted milk,” says Delhi-based nutritionist Neha Arora.

The quality of milk has also changed over the years. Experts say Cow’s milk, which is a fad these days, used to be an integral part of daily diet of Indians once; however, nowadays there are a hybrid variety of cows that has changed the quality of its milk.

Milk adulteration is a big problem that India faces. Last year, while replying to a series of questions in Lok Sabha, minister for science and technology, Harsh Vardhan, had informed over 68% of the milk in the country did not conform to standards laid down by the food regulator- Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

The minister was quoting figures from a nation vide survey conducted by FSSAI in 2011 that had its flaws because of which country’s top food regulator commissioned a fresh survey to know about India’s milk quality and to set new standards for milk safety that had not been revised in 60 years.

The revised standards are also being set because of the change in environmental conditions, quality of fodder and water that the cattle are consuming.

As part of revamping of guidelines, FSSAI has also included other sources of milk—Camel and Yak, in the category, and also flavoured and fortified milk that is widely sold these days.

“There is need for revisiting old standards to ensure what our people eat and drink is good quality. We have adopted a three-pronged strategy in which setting new standards is one component,” Pawan Agarwal, CEO FSSAI, had told HT.