-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Nations whose people
consume the most milk and dairy products have a lot of Nobel Prize
winners, research shows.
For the study, investigators analyzed 2007 data on milk
consumption in 22 countries and found that Sweden had the highest
consumption of milk/dairy products (750 pounds per person per year)
and also had highest rate of Nobel Prize winners at 33 per 10
Switzerland was also near the top in milk/dairy product
consumption (661 pounds per person per year) and had 32 Nobel Prize
winners per 10 million people, according to the authors of the
letter published in the current issue of the journal
China had the lowest milk/dairy product consumption of the
countries included in the study (55 pounds per person per year) and
the lowest rate of Nobel Prize winners, the authors pointed out in
a journal news release.
The data also seemed to suggest that once a nation's milk/dairy
product consumption reaches about 772 pounds per person per year,
its rate of Nobel Prize winners no longer continues to
But while the investigators found an association between a
nation's milk and dairy consumption and its number of Nobel
laureates, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Higher levels of milk consumption may be a reflection of a
strong educational system in a country, the authors suggested. But
they added that milk is rich in vitamin D, which research suggests
may boost brain power.
The letter authors decided to examine the link between milk
consumption and Nobel Prize winners after research published last
year in the
New England Journal of Medicinereported a strong association
between a nation's chocolate consumption and number of Nobel Prize
The authors of that study suggested that the flavonoid content
of chocolate may increase brain power.
"So to improve your chances of winning Nobel Prizes you should not only eat more chocolate but perhaps drink milk, too: or strive for synergy with hot chocolate," concluded Dr. Sarah Linthwaite, of the department of neurology at Gloucester Royal Hospital in the United Kingdom, and colleagues.
The U.S. Agricultural Research Service offers an overview of
nutrition and brain function.
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