The thought of sour milk is enough to make someone feel queasy.
No one in their right mind would drink milk that smells sour because that would mean it's not safe to consume. Right?
Unbeknownst to many people, there's actually a difference between sour milk and spoiled milk.
Expired or rotten milk is dairy that's starting to grow unhealthy bacteria, whereas sour milk is milk that has been fermented or soured with an additive.
This additive is usually lemon juice or vinegar.
Knowing that sour and spoiled milk are two different things, would you still be willing to try it?
Studies show that fermented milk might be healthier than regular milk, and what they've discovered is quite shocking.
Why Milk Isn't So Great
The genetic makeup of humans changed thousands of years ago in order to consume dairy without getting sick.
We're constantly reminded that milk has a high calcium content, and when it's fortified with vitamin D, it's just the thing you need to keep your bones healthy.
However, the way we consumed dairy even a century ago is quite different than the way we consume dairy today.
Food guides recommend people at every age to consume a reasonable amount of dairy, but how great is this beverage?
A 2014 study published in the British Medical Journal suggests that consuming more milk is actually worse for your bones.
The study found that women and men who consumed three or more glasses of milk a day have a higher risk of fracture and death.
"I've looked at fractures during the last 25 years. I've been puzzled by the question because there has again and again been a tendency of a higher risk of fracture with a higher intake of milk," said the study's lead author Karl Michaelsson.
While this isn't the only study to have discovered this correlation, Michaelsson said more research needs to be done to figure out exactly why this is happening.
As for people who love milk and are looking to reap the benefits that it can offer, some studies suggest sour milk is the right way to go.
Sour Milk, The Next Superfood?
Fermented milk is actually easier to digest, which is why people who suffer from milk allergies, like lactose, tend to prefer sour milk over regular milk.
And if you think about it, yogurt is produced by controlled milk fermentation, so it's not as unappetizing as you think.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Food Properties, sour milk has been found to slow down the growth of cancer cells, lower blood pressure, and lower cholesterol.
Some cultures consume fermented milk for diarrhea caused by certain viruses, like hay fever, for constipation, iron deficiency, osteoporosis, and various stomach problems.
The lactic acid found in soured milk is not only good for consumption, it's also good for topical purposes.
Fermented milk is also a home remedy for treating canker sores, sunburn, skin ulcers, vaginitis, and wrinkled skin.
If you're still unsure about trying fermented milk, but still want to reap its benefits, you can substitute sour milk for buttermilk when you're cooking.
Have you tried sour milk before?
[H/T: The Washington Post / International Journal of Food Properties]