dairy consumption

A newly published review article has revealed a neutral association between milk and dairy consumption, cardiovascular disease and mortality.


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality and long term morbidity worldwide. The risk factors contributing to cardiovascular disease are classified into two categories: modifiable and non-modifiable. Smoking, obesity and diet are the important modifiable risk factors in cardiovascular disease. Although adding or decreasing certain foods from your diet has proven effects on cardiovascular disease, the role of milk and dairy consumption in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and mortality is still controversial. Dairy consumption is recommended in most dietary regimens, as dairy is classified as the third component of food pyramids after vegetables, wheat and bread products. Despite the proven beneficial effects of milk and dairy consumption for the prevention of certain conditions, their preventative role against cardiovascular disease is the subject of researchers studies.

A newly published review and meta-analysis of 29 articles, published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, has focused on the association of the milk and dairy consumption, cardiovascular disease and mortality.

Authors searched the Pubmed, Embase and Scupos databases for articles relating to the subject. They have included a total number of 29 cohort articles in their final report.

Of these 29 articles, there were 938,465 participants, 93,158 mortalities, 28,419 diagnoses of coronary artery disease and 25,416 of cardiovascular diseases. There was no clear causal association between total milk and dairy consumption and all-cause mortality of cardiovascular and coronary artery diseases. Scientists found a reverse association between fermented dairy including sour milk, cheese, yogurt and sour cream intake and cardiovascular mortality. For example, there was a 2% cardiovascular mortality reduction from cheese consumption. Most of these results were from a large Swedish study, omitting data from this large study resulted in an almost neutral relationship between all kind of dairy consumption and cardiovascular mortality.

Authors haves suggested further studies be conducted to better illuminate this causal relationship.


Written By: Nima Makhdami, M.D.

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