AYUSHDHARA | Year : 2015 | Volume : 2 | Issue : 1 | Page : 25-34
A CRITICAL ANALYSIS ON ROLE OF MILK IN LIFESTYLE DISEASES
Nishant kaushik1*, Poonam Bhojak1, Yasmeen Phaniband3, C.S.Hiremath4
*1P.G. Scholar, 3Asst Professor, 4HOD, Dept. of Kayachikitsa, DGM Ayurvedic Medical College, Gadag, Karnataka, India.
2PG scholar, Dept. of Rasashastra, DGM Ayurvedic Medical College, Gadag, Karnataka, India.
Dr. Nishant Kaushik , P.G. Scholar Dept. of Kayachikitsa DGM Ayurvedic Medical College Gadag, Karnataka, India. Ph: +918880887405
|How to cite this article:|
Nishant kaushik, PoonamBhojak, Yasmeen Phaniband, C.S.Hiremath. A Critical Analysis on Role of Milk in Lifestyle Diseases. AYUSHDHARA, 2015;2(1):25-34.
Received: 01-02-2015; Accepted: 20-03-2015 [Download PDF]
Background: Ayurveda is recognized as foremost life science and describes ways to prevent and manage lifestyle disorder. Undoubtedly the world is being attracted towards its potential. Ayurveda provides a better solution in the form of proper dietary management, lifestyle advices medicament, rejuvenation therapies. The holistic approach of Ayurveda treating the patient as a whole is expanding. One such significant subject is Ksheera (milk) which provides a special and unique nutrition that cannot be derived from any other dietary supplement. Unfortunately, the incidence of lifestyle diseases like hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus, dyslipidemia, Obesity associated with Cardio vascular disease is high on rise. CVD continues to be the major cause of mortality representing about 30% of all deaths worldwide. Aim & Objective: Keeping the Ayurvedic in view and the current scientific studies on milk in mind, the review article aims to shed light on the molecular and multi-axial role of milk in few Lifestyle disorders. Conclusion: Milk on its own is a medicine. If taken with other medicines/herbs/foods it serves as a tonic or purifier. A proper use of milk can cure afflictions like obesity, liver problems, kidney diseases, DM.Keywords: Ayurveda, Ksheera, Dyslipidemia, Hypertension, Lifestyle.
Ancient Ayurvedic authorities have given Ksheera (milk) high honors for health-promotion. It is a Sattvic food which promotes even temperament, clarity of perception, good judgment, love, compassion and is capable of sustaining life nearly single-handed. It is considered as a wholesome diet. In the present era diet and lifestyle are major factors thought to influence susceptibility to many diseases. Lifestyle of an individual is the combination of his/her Physical capacity and psychological functioning shelled in various forms. Lifestyle disorders such as arthritis, asthama, chronic heart diseases, chronic renal failure, diabetes type II, hypertension, obesity etc are a resultant of the sedentary way of living. They are diseases that appear to increase in frequency as countries become more industrialized and people live longer. The present paper discusses the significance of milk both individually & with reference to a few lifestyle diseases classically & technically.
Lifestyle disorders- from Ayurvedic perspective
A particular lifestyle of person is a cumulative product of his/her physical capacity co-ordinate with psychological functioning, displayed in the form of habits, behavior, dietary and living pattern based on his own training sought from childhood, and mimicries he gained from his immediate companions including parents, siblings, peers, etc. Thus, it involves a pure psychological and innate control over the physical and sensory activities. When this initiation, control and co-ordination are disturbed, it leads to the derangement of lifestyle and results in any lifestyle disorder. Ayurveda narrated this phenomenon as ‘Prajnaparadha’ (intellectual blasphemy) which is one of the three basic causes of any disease. There are ample improper actions as an impact of Prajnaparadha which are root causes of various diseases, e.g., habit of suppression of any natural urge is a result of Prajnaparadha and enlisted as a cause of nearly 50% of the diseases. Reversal of any neurotransmission or improper removal of the waste products formed during metabolism leading to accumulation of toxins is the basic cause of a disease. Therefore, the habit of suppression of urge in improper lifestyle can be considered as one of the root causes of lifestyle diseases. Removal of these accumulated waste products is the first line of treatment as described in Ayurveda by Charaka1 as well as in Naturopathy by Hippocrates.
In the management of lifestyle diseases, Ayurveda offers various regimens including Dinacharya (daily regimen), Ritucharya (seasonal regimen), Panchakarma (five detoxification and bio-purification therapies), and Rasayana (rejuvenation) therapies. The Sadvritta (ideal routines) and Aachara Rasayana2 (code of conduct) are utmost important to maintain a healthy and happy psychological perspective. The inclusive utilization of all these treatment modalities has a great effect on lifestyle disorders. Moreover, the application of organ-specific Rasayana herbs also provides enough scope not only for prevention of disease, but also for the promotion of health and cure of disease too. For example Cardio-vascular disorders are discussed under Hridroga in Ayurveda. Hridaya has been referred to be the site of psyche. Any kind of psychological disturbance will lead to a disturbed patho-physiology of heart. Hence, it has been told to protect the heart from every kind of stressor (Pariharya Visheshena Manaso Dukkhahetavah). On the contrary, conventional western medicine deals with the cardio-vascular disorder with single side of somatic disorder. Hence, Ayurveda has an upper edge in treating the disease with emphasis on its root cause. The Ayurvedic physician concentrates on achieving the objective of Ayurveda for promotion of health, prevention and management of disease for a healthy and happy life in the ailing society.
Ksheera in Ayurveda Authorities
Ayurveda classics emphasizes that Ksheera (milk) can be consumed by all healthy individuals. In fact it further states that everyone should take milk. It is beneficial for healthy individuals, there is no better Vrshya (aphrodisiac) than milk; there is no better life-prolonger than milk. A regular intake of milk will pacify all diseases and also slow down the ageing process. Innumerable ways of milk consumption have been emphatically mentioned in the classics. Like, Acharya Sushrutha3states (Su. XLV.26)—Milk taken from the cow in the morning is heavy, cold, and harder to digest that milk taken in the evening. Evening milking makes the milk cool, eye invigorating, and Vata pacifying (from the cow’s day-labor, exposure to sun’s rays, and exposure to the wind). Cold/ un-boiled milk is heavy and leads to increase slimy secretions in body while boiling prevents both. Fresh mother’s milk is wholesome un-boiled. Fresh, warm cow’s milk is also wholesome while taken when cool is not. Over-cooked milk is heavy and fat-making. Soured milk, sour or fetid smelling, discolored, etc. is unwholesome and harmful. Acharya Caraka4 states (Su. XXVII.217-224) Cow’s milk has ten attributes: sweet, cold, soft, unctuous, viscous, smooth, slimy, heavy, dull, clear. It increases Ojas from having similar properties. It is best among vitalizers and rejuvenatives (Rasayanas). Interestingly Caraka describes colostrum and milk from 2nd or 3rd week post-partum as good for sleeplessness and excessive appetite, and are: heavy, saturating, aphrodisiac, bulk-promoting, and Vata-alleviating. There are various characteristics attributed to the specific type & state of milk. The following tables highlight these features.
Table 1: Showing the features of milk of the various animals as per Brhatrayee5, 6, 7 [Table 1]
Table 2: Showing the features of milk of the various animals as per Nighantukara8, 9 [Table 2]
Table 3: showing the characteristic features of different forms of milk10, 11, 12, 13 [Table 3]
Nutritional value of Cow, Goat, Buffalo and Sheep's milk, Human milk and Soy milk. Values may vary depending on processing such as pasteurisation [for dairy milk] and method of production [for soy milk], feed type, including soil quality to produce fodder, or for growing soy beans in the case with producing soy milk.
Table 5: Showing the Nutritional constituency of milk14, 15 [Table 4]
Table 6: Showing the utility of Ksheera (milk) in various diseases as per Ayurveda classics26, 27 [Table 5]
Like water milk too is invigorating, hence in the classical texts the mention of Ksheera is found post the quality of Jala varga16.
Milk & Hrdroga (cardiovascular diseases)
Acharya Caraka17 in the Chikitsa of Hrdroga (CVD) especially in Paittika hrdroga type specifies the Arjuna Ksheerapaka prayoga (consists of Arjuna bark & milk in 1:4 ratio). Ksheera with Bala Kalka, Ksheera with Laghu panchamoola kalka or Yashtimadhu kalka prayoga. Acharya Yogaratnakara18 mentions the same for the treatment of Pittaja type of Hrdroga. Formulations like Vallabhadi ghrta & Yashtyadi ghrta consists of milk as a major constituent. Another perspective to this is that milk is sometimes linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease as it is often suggested to have high saturated fat content. Consumption of saturated fat is linked to increased LDL cholesterol levels, which in turn are linked to increased risk of atherosclerosis and CVD. Although whole milk has relatively high saturated fat content when compared with certain other foods, lower fat varieties such as semi-skimmed, 1% fat milk and skimmed milks have lower saturated fat content. It is also important to note that different types of saturated fatty acids have differing effects on LDL cholesterol levels. Some saturated fatty acids such as Stearic acid (in milk and dairy products) actually lower total blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels when compared to other long chain saturated fatty acids19.
In addition it is thought that short and medium chain saturated fatty acids have little effect on elevating blood cholesterol level. Therefore although milk fat contains a comparatively high proportion of saturated fatty acids, its content of Stearic acid and short and medium chain fatty acids is suggested to minimize the expected increase in blood cholesterol compared with other foods. A known fact that milk contains essential nutrients like calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Among these increasing calcium intake has been demonstrated to lower blood total cholesterol and levels of LDL cholesterol. Strong evidence from scientific studies has also shown that a higher consumption of milk is linked to a lower risk of stroke and heart disease in men and women20.
Milk & Prameha (diabetes)
Ksheerasevana is one among the many Nidana (etiology) of Prameha as it enhances the Ansha of Kaphadosha in the Shareera (body21). But the fact that the consumption of milk as Anupana with formulations like Candraprabha vati; Ashwagandhapaka, Drakshapaka, Pugapak22 made solely in milk with other herbal drugs have been mentioned for the treatment of the same cannot be denied. An understanding that the cause leads to solution that can be seen fairly in this case. The alternate research studies prove that the calcium in dairy that helps to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, a high calcium intake is associated with lower insulin resistance. In addition to this, people with a high calcium intake have a lower prevalence of obesity. Also an increase in calcium intake in obese individuals may be associated with a decrease in body fat and insulin resistance. It has recently been suggested that low-fat dairy may lower the risk of diabetes by increasing the body’s production of a hormone called adiponectin. Adiponectin is a hormone involved in fat and blood sugar metabolism and has been shown to improve the body’s response to insulin and reduce the risk of diabetes.
Milk also has a low glycemic index (GI).A low GI leads to improved insulin sensitivity hence lowering diabetes. Besides this Researchers credit a fatty acid found in milk called trans-palmitoleic acid as the possible protective compound which is an extremely strong protective effect against diabetes23.
Milk & kidney disorders
In Mutrashmar24 (renal calculi) Ksheera (milk) has been mentioned as a Pathya. Shatavari with Ksheera (milk) Prayoga in Shukrashmari is specified. Formulations indicated in Mutraghata (urine retention), Mutrakrchra (dysuria) like Gokshuradighrta, Kshardradhaghrta, Citrakadighrta all consists of milk majorly. In fact adequate consumption of goat’s milk is indicated in all kinds of kidney diseases. Milk is a diuretic cleansing the kidneys and urinary tract by prompting urination. Patients with kidney disease are generally required a high-quality and low-amount protein diet, low sodium and low fat. Proteinuria often occurs because glomerular filters do not filter nutrients properly. If people have proteinuria, protein intake should meet the protein loss which will help to correct hypoproteinemia. Milk contains healthy proteins which will supplement the individual needs. In some cases, the kidney disease patients have retained water in their body to cause them swell up in limbs, eyelids, etc. They will need to count the sodium and water they consume each day. Milk has rich water content, so if people take milk the water should be counted into their daily fluid consumption25.
Table 6: Showing the features of milk of the various animals as per Nighantukara8, 9 [Table 6]
Milk & obesity
Diet has been identified as a major contributor to the risk of obesity and in particular high saturated fat intake. Calcium and in particular calcium from milk can actually contribute to weight loss by helping to breakdown body fat.
Scientific evidence shows that milk consumption is inversely associated with body mass especially in children. Whey proteins, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), branched chain amino acids and sphingo-lipids are also thought to contribute.
Some human studies have looked at CLA and body weight/body fat and body composition. Reductions in body weight have been observed in patients with type 2 diabetes. Although some studies in healthy individuals have failed to show a reduction in body weight, other studies have shown that CLA can help reduce body fat in humans. It is seen that a supplement containing CLA and omega 3 in combination improves body composition in young obese individuals, by increasing lean body mass, increasing hormones involved in fat and blood sugar metabolism and maintaining abdominal fat levels. Dairy calcium and whey proteins may also help improve body composition during weight loss by increasing fat loss and retaining lean muscle mass28.
Milk & hypertension
Hypertension is a very significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Several components derived from milk and its products, including bioactive peptides, appear to be important factors in blood pressure management. Hypertension can be prevented, blood pressure lowered, and other CVD risks favorably affected by a healthy diet.
Calcium is posited as one of the main nutrients responsible for the beneficial impact of milk products on blood pressure (BP) control.5 Other minerals in milk, such as magnesium and potassium, may also help regulate BP, but their individual contributions are difficult to isolate as they are often found in foods rich in calcium. The most important factor may relate to the bioactive peptides derived from milk & its products, including cheese. Both casein and whey protein contain specific bioactive peptides that have been shown to have an angiotensin-1-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory effect, a key process in BP control. Other studies have demonstrated that certain milk-derived peptide combinations also have hypotensive effects via the modulation of endothelin-1 release by endothelial cells.
Milk peptide activities include binding to opioid receptors, inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), and modification of antithrombotic and immune responses. Phosphopeptides formed from casein may enhance the absorption of minerals, especially calcium, from the digestive tract into the circulation.
These milk peptides are formed from milk proteins by enzymatic breakdown by digestive enzymes or by the proteinases formed by lactobacilli during the fermentation of milk. Several milk peptides have been shown to have antihypertensive effects in animal and in clinical studies. The most studied mechanism underlying the antihypertensive effects of milk peptides is inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme. Milk peptides may also have other additional mechanisms to lower blood pressure such as opioid-like activities and mineral-binding and antithrombotic properties29, 30, 31.
Table 7: Research work on milk [Table 7]
However, as the individualized body size, function and laboratory results differ, the best advice for a diet will be determined after overall condition is evaluated. Moreover the facts about milk should be looked into time & again as they shed light over the molecular involvement with the human body systems.
• Milk proteins include caseins, β-lactoglobulin, α-lactalbumin, immunoglobulins, lactoferrin and serum albumin -- affect not just the immune system, but cardiovascular and nervous system.
• Lactoferrin- Help in regulation of iron homeostasis, host defense range of microbial infections, anti-inflammatory activity and cancer protection.
• Bioactive Peptides found in milk influence health care by risking Obesity & Type-II Diabetes.
• Also, Hydrolysis of Lactalbumin produces peptides with IM effect which stimulates phagocytosis via specific receptors, hence maintaining the immunity in the body.
• Proteins in milk demonstrate a no. of biological effect like anti-carcinogenic activities to different effects on digestive function, acting as an immune modulator.
• Milk proteins contain many Amino acids is alkaline in nature. It aids the stomach during digestion and has the capacity to regulate the circulatory and central nervous system. It also purifies the auto-synchronous human body.
Milk on its own is a medicine. If taken with other medicines/herbs/foods it serves as a tonic or purifier. A proper use of milk can cure afflictions like obesity, liver problems, kidney diseases, DM etc. Thereby milk which is Madhura, Dhatuvardhaka, Vatapittahara, Vrshya, Guru, Shleshmala and Sheetala in our classics is said to be the best dietary supplement. With the recent research works carried on milk, it clearly justifies that it serves as a complete nutritional compound in various lifestyle diseases. Furthermore work could be carried in the same path.
- Acharya Charaka, Charaka Samhitha, Sutra Sthana Chaukamba Publications, 2nd edition,2003,27/217, pg- 207
- Ashtanga Hrdaya, Sutra Sthana, Chaukamba publications,3rd edition,2004, 5/20, pg-16
- Acharya Sushruth, Sushrutha Samhitha, SutraSthana English translation by Srikantha Murthy, Chaukamba orientalia, 2nd edition, 2004,5/26, pg-12
- Acharya Charaka, Charaka Samhitha, Sutra Sthana Chaukamba Publications,2nd edition,2003,27/220-224, pg- 207
- Dr. Ram Karan sharma & Vaidya Bhagwan dash, Agniveshas Charaka Samhitha, English translation based on Cakrapanni duttas Ayurveda dipika, Sutra Sthana, Chaukamba Publications, Vol 1,1st edition, 1976,27/218-224. Pg-207
- Acharya Sushrutha, edited by Kaviraj Ambika dutta Shastri, sutra sthana, Sushrutha Samhitha, Chokambha Sanskrit Sansthana, reprint edition, 2005, Varanasi, vesre-64-82, pg-272-275
- Ashtanga Hrdaya, Sutra Sthana, Sutra Sthana, Chaukamba publications,3rd edition,2004, 5/21-26, pg-16
- Pt.Ram Prasad, Nrupa Madanaphalas Madanaphala nighantu with hindi commentary by Pt.Ram Prasad, Khemraj shrikrishnadas publications, Mumbai, 1st edition 1998, Paniyadivarga verse 61-81, pg-167-171
- Priyavat sharma, Translation by Dr.Guru Prasad sharma, Chapter Drava Dravyani, Dhanvantari Nighantu, Chokamba orientalia, Varanasi, 3rdedition, 2002, verse 148-172. Pg- 205-210
- Ashtanga Hrdaya, SutraSthana, Sutra Sthana, Chaukamba publications,3rd edition,2004, 5/28-34, pg-18
- Pt.Ram Prasad, Nrupa Madanaphalas Madanaphala nighantu with hindi commentary by Pt.Ram Prasad, Khemraj shrikrishnadas publications, Mumbai, 1st edition 1998, Paniyadivarga verse 82-88,pg- 167-171
- Priyavat sharma, Translation by Dr.Guru Prasad sharma, Chapter Drava Dravyani, Dhanvantari Nighantu, Chokamba orientalia, Varanasi, 3rdedition, 2002, verse 173-180. Pg- 205-210
- Acharya Sushruth, Sushrutha Samhitha, Sutra Sthana English translation by Srikantha Murthy, Chaukamba orientalia,2nd edition,2004,5/32-38, pg- 13
- http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/milk-types.htm, pg- 2
- Site on www. Dairy council.com, nutritional value of milk, pg- 3
- Acharya Charaka, Charaka Samhitha, Sutra Sthana Chaukamba Publications, 2nd edition,2003,27/220,pg- 207
- Dr.Madham Shetty Suresh Babu, ed. Yoga Ratnakara with English commentary, first edition 2008,Chaukhambaprakashana, Varanasi,Vol I, chapter Dugdha, verse 18, pg-121
- Acharya Vidyadharshukla and ravidattatripathy ed. Charaka Samhita of Agnivesha, Chikitsasthana, reprint ed. 2007, Chaukhambha Bharatiacadmy, Varanasi, Chapter 27/53-54, pg-879
- Dr.Madham Shetty Suresh Babu, Uttarardha, ed. Yoga Ratnakara with English commentary, first edition 2008,Chaukhambaprakashana, Varanasi, Vol II, chapter Hrdroga, verse 18.pg-748
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