In addition to milk, several dairy products such as cream, butter, yogurt, kefir, and cheese have been produced and consumed worldwide for millennia. Therefore, the impact of milk and dairy products on human health is quantitatively relevant and has been the subject of several investigations, on both whole products and their isolated components. In particular, the fat portion of milk (largely composed of SFAs) and some of its minor components, notably calcium and oligosaccharides, are being actively researched for their potential health roles.

This review summarises the most recent studies on milk and human health and critically discusses the putative actions of milk and principal dairy constituents.