Milk and Alzheimer’s

Want to stave off dementia? Drink just two glasses of milk daily! For a new study has suggested that milk can help protect against memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease in old age.


An international team led by Oxford University, has found that milk is actually one of the best sources of the key vitamin B12. B12 is said to reduce the neurological damage to the brain which can lead to forms of dementia. Moreover, the study has revealed that elderly patients with low levels of vitamin B12 suffer twice as much shrinkage of the brain as those with higher levels of B12 in their bodies.

What do milk, liver, seafood, and meat have in common? The answer is vitamin B12, with meat being the biggest provider. However, vitamin B12 is tightly bound to proteins in the meat. This means that the body relies on acid in our stomachs to break down the protein before the body can make use of B12. Milk on the other hand while having a lower content of B12 is more readily absorbed by the body.

What is the point of this post? Well, it appears that scientists from Oxford University believe that vitamin B12 can reduce the brain damage that leads to dementia. They found during their studies that elderly individuals with a low count of the key vitamin, B12, suffered twice the amount of brain shrinkage as those people, with higher levels of the vitamin. The scientists found in their study, around 55 percent of the vitamin in milk entered the bloodstream; fish provided the second highest source of the vitamin, followed by other dairy products.

The findings of the team lead by Professor David Smith, whose findings appear in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is reported as saying:

“There are 550 people who come down with dementia every day in the UK… it is a major epidemic. It is unlikely we are ever going to find ways of repairing that damage. We have to look at preventing it in the first place.[sic] Our study shows that consuming around half a litre of milk or more per day, and it can be skimmed milk, could take someone who has marginal levels of B12 into the safe range. But drinking just two glasses a day can protect against having low levels”.– The Daily Telegraph

So the moral of this story, according to scientists, is that drinking two glasses of milk a day could help protect you against Alzheimer’s disease.

Image 1: Danilo Rizzuti /