It's not just school children who can benefit from a tall, cold glass of milk. New research has shown that adults can also improve brain and mental performance through a daily intake of dairy.
A recently study conducted by the University of Maine in the US, found that adults who consumed more milk scored considerably higher on a series of brain and memory tests, compared with those who drank milk less frequently.
Scientists tested more than 900 participants ranging in age from 28 to 98 on eight different mental performance indicators, including visual-spatial, verbal and working memory function.
The results across the board established that those who drank at least one glass of milk a day scored better marks overall, and that non-milk drinkers were five times more likely to "fail" the tests.
According to the scientists, milk drinkers also tended to have healthier diets overall, which not only benefits brain function, but also impacts on other areas of wellness, including bone and cardiovascular health.
The link between some of the nutrients in milk and the prevention of mental decline presents an opportunity to conduct further research into cognitive function that may be particularly beneficial to an ageing population.
The researchers say that the study, which has been published in the International Dairy Journal, represents the first steps in finding "easily implemented lifestyle changes that individuals can make… to slow or prevent neuropsychological dysfunction".
Milk contains many key-nutrients such as calcium and Vitamin D that are essential to everyday health and wellbeing. Cheese-addicts will cheer knowing that this trend apparently extends to other milk products as well.
The Australian dietary guidelines recommend for adults drinking low-fat milk or consuming alternative low-fat dairy foods at two or more meals each day, and to be moderate with full fat cheeses.