Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Friday, February 02, 2007

National Dairy Council Report Says That African-Americans Need More Dairy

The Journal of the American Dietetic Association is a prestige publication. I've used many of its articles over the years as sources of information.

So when a new report (Dairy Consumption and Related Nutrient Intake in African-American Adults and Children in the United States: Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals 1994-1996, 1998, and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2000, by Fulgoni III V, Nicholls J, Reed A, Buckley R, Kafer K, Huth P, Dirienzo D, Miller GD, JADA, Volume 107, Issue 2, Pages 256-264 (February 2007) comes out that says that:

African Americans in all age groups have lower average intakes of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus and consume fewer servings of dairy foods than non African Americans. African Americans in all age groups do not meet the 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommendation for three daily servings of low-fat or fat-free milk or milk products.

I listen.

The press release is emphatic about the need.
"Researchers continue to monitor populations that are at risk for nutrient deficiencies. In reviewing the science for this report, it was evident that African Americans are missing out on nutrients key to a well-balanced diet," said Greg Miller, Ph.D., a report author and executive vice president of science and research at the National Dairy Council. "We hope this report will remind African Americans to consume nutrient-rich dairy foods everyday as part of a healthy diet. In fact, studies show dairy intake improves overall diet quality; contributes to better bone health; and may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, hypertension, kidney stones, colon cancer and obesity."

Health professionals continue to recognize the benefits of milk, cheese and yogurt as part of a healthy diet, which together provide nine essential nutrients including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, riboflavin, niacin (niacin equivalents) and vitamins A, D and B12. "It is important for all Americans to follow the Dietary Guidelines, including three servings of dairy everyday," said Albert Morris, M.D., president of the National Medical Association (NMA), the largest and oldest national organization representing Black physicians and their patients in the United States.

The reason for African-Americans avoiding dairy is obvious. The great majority are lactose intolerant.

Oddly, however, the vast majority of African-Americans consider themselves to be exceptions:
A consensus report from the NMA, The Role of Dairy and Dairy Nutrients in the Diet of African Americans, reported that only 24 percent of African Americans believe themselves to be lactose intolerant. [Wooten, W, et. al. The Role of Dairy and Dairy Nutrients in the Diet of African Americans. Journal of National Medical Association. 2004; 96(12):20S-24S.]

So why the low consumption of dairy? I don't know and the press release doesn't explain.

Calcium is available from a number of other foods than dairy, to be sure. I mention some sources in the post More calcium for teens and my LI Links on my website has several links to sites that contain lists of calcium-rich non-dairy foods.

Dairy is still the most concentrated source of good calcium, as well as a food that most people will eat regularly. If you can have dairy it is good for you.

Whatever source you use for calcium - even supplements are better than no calcium - make sure you get your daily requirement. As I said last April, Take Calcium. Every Day. Forever. I meant it then and I mean it now.

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