More evidence to show that milk promotes better health. A compound in it can reduce fat-muscle ratio, which means reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, Australian scientists have discovered.
Up to 30 per cent of Australians suffer from metabolic syndrome, that is a combination of high blood pressure, high glucose and obesity that in turn increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
This condition could be combated by the milk compound now identified and thus reduce the burden on the exchequer.
Researchers from Victoria's Department of Primary Industries and MG Nutritionals - a division of Murray Goulburn Cooperative Co Ltd - found that the compound, known as Regeneration Inducing Peptide for Tissues and Cells (RIPTAC), when given daily to mice caused them not only to build more muscle but also want to exercise. The findings also showed an increase in muscle in mice not given exercise.
"This remarkable discovery is a genuine coup for public health," Victoria's Minister for Innovation Gavin Jennings said.
He noted that metabolic syndrome was one of Australia's greatest health challenges and that it was important that discussions were now underway to conduct trials of RIPTAC in people in Victoria.
"Results in mice so far have shown great promise highlighting once again the medicinal qualities of milk," he said.
"This latest discovery builds on past work by the collaborating Victorian teams that have shown active proteins in milk can promote the health of the human digestive system.
"There is a growing worldwide trend towards functional food and complementary medicine and this research is of great interest because milk is a natural source of beneficial ingredients and is something most people have access to every day.
"In addition to the development of new milk-based health products, the discovery provides a basis for development of new pharmaceuticals."