NEW ZEALAND – Recent research by Fonterra has unveiled findings regarding the potential benefits of milk phospholipids in enhancing psychological well-being and emotional resilience.

The study involved 73 adults in New Zealand consuming Milk Fat Globule Membranes (MFGM) daily for 12 weeks. Post-study interviews focused on participants’ experiences of well-being.

Four key themes that emerged included, improved overall wellbeing, enhanced stress coping abilities, better mood, increased physical energy or activity, and improved sleep quality.

Notably, participants who consumed MFGM reported a higher frequency of improvements in stress management and sleep quality compared to those who received a placebo.

Dr. Maher Fuad, Fonterra’s Health & Nutrition Science Manager, highlighted the role of milk phospholipids in mitigating the adverse effects of high-stress levels on mental health.

“Milk fat globule membranes are a rich source of milk phospholipids and have been known to have the potential to improve brain health. Our research aims to determine if this ingredient is associated with improvements in physical and psychological well-being,” he said.

In addition, he highlights the significant impact on mood and stress resilience noting that the group who received the supplement specifically noted better control over their mood and reactions to stressful situations.

Among those who commented on their mood, most participants saw an improvement, unlike the placebo group, where most reported no specific change.

Additionally, many participants reported falling asleep more quickly and enjoying sounder sleep than usual.

This improvement in sleep quality is particularly significant given the increasing prevalence of sleep disorders linked to stress and mental health issues.

“When you consider the implications and costs of mental health, it is exciting to be involved with something that offers prevention rather than just looking for a cure,” he added.

While the study of complex lipids in milk and their impact on brain development is relatively new, the nutritional value of milk has long been acknowledged.

Milk has been an important part of the human diet for around 8,000 years. When consumed as part of a healthy balanced diet, milk is packed with natural nutrients and benefits, such as calcium, vital for healthy bones and teeth, protein for muscle building, and vitamin B12 for the central nervous system,” Dr. Fuad explained.

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