MACH – Milk consumption in a contemporary Danish national birth cohort

Milk and dairy products play an important role in the diet of humans worldwide. Milk supplies high-quality protein and a range of important micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, zinc, and phosphate. Multiple studies have investigated the effect of milk on human health. The aim of MACH is, based on two large Danish and Norwegian cohorts, to investigate the connection between the intake of milk during pregnancy and the children's intake in both childhood and adolescence and health outcomes such as growth, risk of bone fractures, and type 1 diabetes.

By: Grith Mortensen

The positive effect of milk on growth in children is well-documented, but it is uncertain at what age milk has the greatest impact on growth. Studies have also shown a positive association between milk consumed during pregnancy and infant size at birth; an effect that might be maintained during the childhood years.

Milk intake in children has been found to be associated with greater bone mineralization, but good, large prospective studies, using functional measures seem to be lacking. There is some evidence suggesting that milk may protect against overweight, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, whereas no clear data seem to exist on the association between milk intake and cancer. An interesting question, which has never been studied, is whether use of organic milk in pregnancy is associated with lower risk of cancer in the child.

The overall purpose of the project is to clarify whether there is a connection between milk intake and children's growth patterns, risk of bone fractures, and risk of type 1 diabetes. In addition, it will be investigated whether consumption of organic milk is associated with lowering cancer risk in children. This is all done by focusing on both the mothers' intake of milk during pregnancy and the children's intake of milk during childhood and adolescence.

A large Danish birth cohort (Better Health for Generations) and a Norwegian birth cohort (MoBo) form the basis for the studies in this project. Results originating from this project can be used to document the potential health-promoting properties of milk.

Project period: January 2022 - December 2024

Budget: 2,683,576 DKK

Financing: Milk Levy Fund, Danish Cancer Society, European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes

Project manager: Sjurdur Frodi Olsen

Institution: Statens Serum Institut (SSI)


Publications and presentations

Initial article published in Mælkeritidende:

Mælkeritidende 2022 no. 11


The results originating from the project will be published on this page when they become publicly available.

Grith Mælk 1

Grith Mortensen

Chefkonsulent, Branchesekretariat mejeri, Landbrug & Fødevarer/Skejby

Mobil: 40964114