Ian Givens

Professor of Food Chain Nutrition and Director of the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health, University of Reading

Ian is Professor of Food Chain Nutrition at the University of Reading.  His research interests are focused on the relationship between the consumption of animal-derived foods across key life stages and their impact on chronic disease risk, particularly vascular disease and dairy foods.  His current work includes meta-analysis of the association between dairy food consumption and cardiometabolic diseases.

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Dairy proteins:  The overlooked weapon in the fight against chronic diseases

It’s an old adage that milk is good for us, and that dairy protein provides positive dietary benefits.  However, new evidence is emerging that dairy proteins have a powerful role to play in combatting many of the chronic diseases that are proliferating in our modern society.  These include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and poor bone development – a growing threat for young women as well as the elderly.  Ian’s presentation makes it clear that, while there are growing pressures to reduce the consumption of animal derived foods for environmental reasons, abandoning dairy proteins altogether could mean throwing away enormous health benefits.  This is not a decision to be taken lightly.  Drawing on recent research, Ian will describe:

  • The growing threat posed by chronic diseases and the unrecognised potential of dairy proteins to reduce their incidence and impact
  • New evidence for what milk can do – lowering blood pressure, building muscle, strengthening bone and supporting glycaemic control
  • Implications for the industry – how food manufacturers can leverage dairy’s extra functionality
  • The risk of turning away – why decisions to replace dairy foods in the diet shouldn’t be taken lightly