ROSEMONT, ILL. – A scientific conference organized by the National Dairy Council (NDC) focused on the dairy matrix, exploring dairy foods’ unique nutrient, non-nutrient and molecular compositions.

Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) shared that experts attending the February conference in Washington reviewed the latest dairy evidence, including why fat in dairy foods behaves differently and has “neutral to beneficial links” to reducing risks of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

The dairy checkoff hosted 100-plus national and international health and wellness experts at the meeting, called “Undercover Nutrition: A Symposium Decrypting Food and Dairy Matrix Science.” DMI said representatives and speakers attending included experts from the National Institutes of Health, US Department of Agriculture, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Society for Nutrition, National Medical Association, Johns Hopkins Medicine, University of Copenhagen and various other organizations and universities.

DMI said the experts connected the latest dairy matrix science to public health needs and emphasized the importance of collaboration within the dairy industry to deliver “meaningful messaging and resources to improve consumer well-being.”

“This symposium really showcased the incredible legacy of National Dairy Council and the respect it has,” said DMI chief executive officer Barbara O’Brien. “The cross-section and caliber of participants was unprecedented. I was astounded by the diversity in scientific perspectives on the important role of dairy, recognition of the unique aspects of its package of macro- and micro-nutrients, and the discussion and discovery of what makes dairy fats different in terms of delivering added benefits. There were many compelling scientific perspectives for dairy.”

NDC President Dr. Katie Brown said dairy farmers should feel proud of their investments in research and education, which have provided NDC with “peer-reviewed science supporting dairy’s contributions to improving health that has led to eating guidance by third-party experts.”

Brown said “highly credentialed” health and wellness leaders want to collaborate with NDC on furthering the science of the dairy matrix and sharing that information.

“We left the symposium energized to continue to build on the wellness benefits hidden within dairy foods that have yet to be discovered,” Brown said.