BYU Study: Drinking High-Fat Milk Connected With Biological Aging

Jan 16, 2020, 12:34 PM | Updated: 1:35 pm
high-fat milk impeachment milk water...
According to arcane rules, senators' beverage choices during the impeachment trial are limited to milk or water only. Photo: Getty Images

Got milk? And wrinkles? A new study from BYU found consumption of high-fat milk is correlated with biological aging.

“The more milk fat adults consumed, the shorter the telomeres were. In other words, the more biological aging they had,” said BYU Professor Larry Tucker, who did the research.

Dr. Tucker said, for example, drinking 2% instead of  1% milk made telomeres 69 base pairs shorter. That translates into more than four years in additional biological aging.

“One of my areas of interest is looking at how lifestyle factors, in this particular case milk consumption, relate to that biological aging. In this particular study, it was strongly related,” he said.

high-fat milk

BYU researchers say the results apply to adults who consume milk, not babies, toddlers or children. Photo: Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo

Those who consume whole milk are usually ingesting 3.5% milk fat. The U.S. dietary guidelines suggest cutting out high-fat milk and replacing it with low-fat or skim milk.

Dr. Tucker points out there is a lot of conflicting research surrounding the nutrition value of whole milk. His research took a different approach.

“What made this study quite unique, is that there were almost 6,000 individuals. Not say, 60. And those individuals were randomly selected from the US population. So the results are generalizable to the adult population of the United States,” he said.

Long story short, reducing your intake of high-fat could increase your aging, but it’s not an absolute.

“This study is not saying that high-fat milk causes you to have shorter telomeres, but it definitely shows a strong relationship. We controlled for numerous factors, but no study can control for everything,” he said.

Tucker notes that this research only applies to adults over age 20. Babies, toddlers and children are given different dietary recommendations.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories


The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses t...
Aimee Cobabe

Equality Utah supports bill clarifying rules for therapists when it comes to conversion therapy for minors

Equality Utah is supporting a bill adjusting rules for therapists when it comes to conversion therapy for minors.
2 days ago
When inversions bring pollution to the ground, we breathe it in. That makes it easier to get sick a...
Dale Spaulding

Is illness or poor air quality causing that cough?

Inversion can impact a person's health. Is that why people are coughing, or is it just the regular cold and flu season?
2 days ago
A woman wearing white sitting in front of a light box...
Michelle Lee

Winter blues: light therapy and lifestyle changes can help

SALT LAKE CITY – With the chilly weather and the shorter days, many people are prone to experience the winter blues. In the latest Let’s Get Moving with Maria podcast episode, host Maria Shilaos spoke with Dr. Jason Hunziker from the Huntsman Mental Health Institute about ways people can overcome the winter blues. Seasonal depression […]
3 days ago
A new study finds that reports of bad weather and air actually decrease ridership on the UTA....
Devin Oldroyd

Relief from inversion and poor air quality may be in Utah’s near future

The Beehive State is in the middle of some thick inversion and poor air quality, but relief may be on the way according to the National Weather Service.
5 days ago
A study by Intermountain Health that spanned 40 years and sought answers about the health of people...
Simone Seikaly

Intermountain’s 40-year study provides insight into weight-loss surgery

In some cases the results from the weight-loss surgery study were expected. But at least one result could be a cause for alarm and caution.
5 days ago
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a recall for mil...
Simone Seikaly

Check your pantry, a Conagra canned meat recall may affect you

Millions of pounds of canned meat and poultry products (mainly Vienna sausages) are involved in the Conagra recall.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
BYU Study: Drinking High-Fat Milk Connected With Biological Aging