Does Milk Help You Grow?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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Does milk help you grow? Drinking milk has always been associated with growing taller and bigger if you are a young child. One of the earlier scientific studies that was done in 1928 showed that there was 20% increase in height and weight for kids that drank milk compared to kids that didn’t.

Does Milk help you grow? Photo Credit: iStock-Karelnoppe

There was another study where milk consumption had a 1.9% lower risk of stunted growth in children. And that was between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. Milk contains 13 important essential nutrients such as calcium, protein, potassium, zinc, Vitamin A and Vitamin D. All of these nutrients are essential for growth during a young kid’s childhood.

Vitamin A– helps to maintain vision, healthy skin, and a healthy immune system.

Vitamin B-12– helps to build red blood cells and helps to maintain the central nervous system.

Riboflavin helps convert food into energy.

Niacin helps with the normal function of enzymes into the body.

Potassium helps to maintain your blood pressure.

It is important to know that 90% percent of bone mass is reached by 18 years old in women and 20 years old in men.

Milk also helps to stimulate the production of a hormone called insulin like growth factor 1. IGF-1 is involved in the growth and development of bone and muscle tissue.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the best beverage options for children 12 months and older is breast milk, water, plain milk, infant formula. Research studies have showed that a child drinking before 1 year of age; or drinking more than 2 cups of milk per day for a child 1 year or older can lead to impaired iron absorption and anemia.

What is anemia? Anemia is a condition in which there aren’t enough red blood cells in your blood. And this results in an impaired ability to carry oxygen throughout the body.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends two to three servings of dairy foods whether it be milk, cheese, yogurt for kids from the age of 4 to 8 years old. And it recommends 4 servings for teenagers to meet their calcium and vitamin daily needs.

Some good important tips for babies and drinking milk is wait until they get to 1 years old before introducing milk in their diet. And also, don’t have them consume more than 2 cups of milk per day.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the best beverage options for children 12 months and older is breast milk, water, plain milk, infant formula.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

Does Milk Help You Grow?

The Bottom Line is drinking milk is important in the development and growth in young children. It is important to wait until your baby is one years old before introducing milk in their diet to prevent anemia. Milk should be a permanent staple in their diet from the age of 1 all the way up until their 18 years of age to help ensure full growth and development.

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  2. Agostoni C, Turck D. Is cow’s milk harmful to a child’s health? J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2011 Dec;53(6):594-600. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e318235b23e. PMID: 21921812.
  3. Yakar S, Adamo ML. Insulin-like growth factor 1 physiology: lessons from mouse models. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2012 Jun;41(2):231-47, v. doi: 10.1016/j.ecl.2012.04.008. Epub 2012 May 15. PMID: 22682628; PMCID: PMC5488279.
  4. Grenov B, Larnkjær A, Mølgaard C, Michaelsen KF. Role of Milk and Dairy Products in Growth of the Child. Nestle Nutr Inst Workshop Ser. 2020;93:77-90. doi: 10.1159/000503357. Epub 2020 Jan 28. PMID: 31991434.
  5. Herber C, Bogler L, Subramanian SV, Vollmer S. Association between milk consumption and child growth for children aged 6-59 months. Sci Rep. 2020 Apr 21;10(1):6730. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-63647-8. PMID: 32317668; PMCID: PMC7174323.
  6. Orr JB. INFLUENCE OF AMOUNT OF MILK CONSUMPTION ON THE RATE OF GROWTH OF SCHOOL CHILDREN. Br Med J. 1928 Jan 28;1(3499):140-1. doi: 10.1136/bmj.1.3499.140. PMID: 20773661; PMCID: PMC2454520.

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