Nutritional differences between organic and non-organic milk

UK - The Food Standards Agency has concluded an assessment of the evidence provided by the University of Glasgow, on the nutritional differences between organic and non-organic milk.
calendar icon 19 September 2006
clock icon 1 minute read

This included new evidence from a study on the composition of organic milk on which the Agency was asked to reconsider its position.

The Agency welcomes new evidence and data to ensure that its advice remains up to date and evidence based. In reaching its conclusions, the Agency has sought the views of scientists who are expert in fats and health.
The FSA has concluded that whilst this study shows that organically produced milk can contain higher levels of types of fats called short-chain omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced milk, the evidence suggests that these fatty acids appear to be of limited health benefit compared to the longer chain omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish.

Short-chain fatty acids can be converted to these long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to be protective against cardiovascular disease. However the conversion rate of the short-chain fatty acids to the longer chain fatty acids appears to be very limited.

Therefore, organic milk consumed in volumes consistent with a healthy diet, would not provide sufficient amounts of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids to provide significant health benefits, over and above those associated with conventional milk.

The Agency continues to advise that people should eat at least two portions of fish per week, including one of oily fish, which is rich in long-chain omega-3.

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