Organic meat and milk are a lot richer in omega-3, concludes a new study. Conventionally “farmed” products simply do not offer the health benefits the organically produced ones can, adds the study conducted by scientists from multiple nations.
Organically produced products are essentially a lot healthier than conventional products in a number of ways. This news is certainly music to the ears of those who have been shelling out extra money to buy organic milk and meat. The study even added that organic meat contains lower amount of harmful fats. The new study has been conducted by scientists from the UK, Poland, Norway, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland, Greece, and Turkey, reported The Guardian.
Organic meat, as well as milk, offers 50 percent more of the omega-3 fatty acids as compared to conventionally farmed products, reported The Daily Mail. Multiple researchers have conclusively proven that the omega-3 fatty acids are vital to keep the heart healthy and ward off cardiovascular disease, apart from improving neurological development. Omega-3 also assists in fortifying immunity, noted Chris Seal, professor of food and human nutrition at Newcastle, who co-authored the study:
“Omega-3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and function, and better immune function. Western European diets are recognized as being too low in these fatty acids and the European Food Safety Authority recommends we should double our intake. But getting enough in our diet is difficult. Our study suggests that switching to organic could go some way towards improving intakes of these important nutrients.”
Organic milk contains 40 percent more linoleic acid, and carries slightly higher concentrations of iron, vitamin E and some carotenoids, discovered researchers. Interestingly, conventionally produced milk was found to astonishingly contain 74 percent more iodine and slightly more selenium. These two minerals are quite essential for overall development of health.
And that’s not all: organic meat has slightly lower concentrations of two saturated fats. These fats have been linked in the past to an increased risk of heart disease. Speaking about the research, Leifert said:
“People choose organic milk and meat for three main reasons: improved animal welfare, the positive impacts of organic farming and the perceived health benefits. But much less is known about the impacts on nutritional quality, hence the need for this study.
“Several of these differences stem from organic livestock production and are brought about by differences in production intensity, with outdoor-reared, grass-fed animals producing milk and meat that is consistently higher in desirable fatty acids such as the omega-3s, and lower in fatty acids that can promote heart disease and other chronic diseases.”
A team of two dozen researchers, led by Professor Carlo Leifert of the Nafferton Ecological Farming Group at the University of Newcastle, sifted through nearly 200 peer-reviewed studies on milk, and 67 on meat, to draw the conclusions. Both the studies looked at previous research and noted the values of fatty acid composition, and in the concentrations of certain minerals and anti-oxidants. This method of research is called meta-analysis. Scientists believe such analysis eliminates or substantially reduces chances of bias or skewed conclusions. A review of a substantial number of studies can potentially offer a surer conclusion.
The study is delivered in two studies in the British Journal of Nutrition, both led by Leifert. Incidentally, the team had previously worked on a global study of organically produced crops. The study had proven that plants nurtured on an organic farm with natural ingredients to help them grow and keep the pests away, had up to 60 percent higher levels of antioxidants than conventionally grown fruit and vegetables.
The team of scientists found overwhelming differences between organic and non-organic products, especially when detection of omega-3 fatty acid was concerned, however, a few aspects like iodine and selenium content need to be looked into, reported News Max.
[Photo by John P Kelly/Getty Images]