Organic Milk Contains Higher Amounts of Fatty Acids: Beneficial for Cardiovascular Health

First Posted: Dec 11, 2013 12:35 PM EST

Though many remain skeptical about whether organic products actually are healthier for you, a recent study shows that organic milk may be the best choice when as it contains more essential fatty acids, according to researchers from Washington State University.

"All milk is healthy and good for people," lead study author Charles M. Benbrook, a research professor at Washington State University's Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources said, via the New York Times. "But organic milk is better, because it has a more favorable balance of these fatty acids."

According to researchers from Washington State University, they examined 384 samples of whole milk that were produced either conventionally or organically. In order for the companies to lable their milk as organic, the cows had to be allowed to graze for a certain amount of time and were also fed grassy plants that contribute to the high omega-3 fatty acid levels.

Conventional milk, on the other hand, comes from cows that typically eat corn, which increases the omega-6 fatty acid levels. The samples were gathered over a time period of 18 months from different areas of the country.

Researchers discovered that though both milk types had the same overall fat content, organic milk had 62 percent more omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk, alone.  Omega-3 fatty acids, which are typically found in fish, are known as the healthier fatty acids.

Researchers also discovered that organic milk had roughly 25 percent fewer omega-6 fatty acids. Though these fatty-acids are not bad, there are less of them found in regular milk.

"In my judgment, the benefits from this healthy balance of fatty acids in organic milk is the most significant nutritional benefit demonstrated so far for organic food," Benbrook said, according to the Seattle Times.

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More information regarding the study can be found via the journal PLOS ONE

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