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May 9, 2005

The Milk Debate

Arch Intern Med. 2005;165(9):975-976. doi:10.1001/archinte.165.9.975

On January 12, 2005, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture released the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. One of the guidelines recommends that Americans “consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products.” Previous guidelines recommended 2 to 3 cups per day. The increase to 3 cups per day was done to help Americans meet the recommended potassium intake. In 2004, the Institute of Medicine recommended that Americans consume at least 4.7 g of potassium per day to lower blood pressure, lessen the adverse effects of salt on blood pressure, and possibly reduce the risk of kidney stones and bone loss.1 Milk is the most prevalent source of potassium in the US diet, providing 10.2% of the total intake.2