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Micro-ribonucleic acid in milk: Health risk very unlikely

milk

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) occurs in animal and plant cells and has many biological functions. RNA plays a central role in the reading of genetic material, thereby ensuring that important substances are produced for the cells. Among other things, it also ensures the formation of the proteins needed by the cells. There are different types of RNA with different functions

One type is micro-RNA (miRNA), and its job is to regulate numerous processes in a cell. It has been suggested, however, that some of these miRNAs are involved in the emergence of tumours and other health problems.

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) was requested to assess the potential health risks of the miRNAs contained in cows’ milk and dairy products. Data on such fac-tors as the intake of miRNAs are urgently needed for a definitive risk assessment, but no such data are available at this point in time. The data that are currently available do not permit the conclusion that miRNAs in milk pose a health risk.

Based on the available data on miRNAs, the BfR views it as highly unlikely that the miRNAs ingested with milk have any effect on human health. Current scientific knowledge does not supply any grounds to advise the general population to refrain from consuming milk and dairy products in the recommended quantities and amounts that are common in Germany.


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