Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Drink your milk - updated

Dairy is one of those things that is somewhat controversial on a paleo diet, but most low carb people are quite happy with it - Barry Groves for example thinks minimally processed milk is great

I just spotted this new research

Research undertaken by the Universities of Reading, Cardiff and Bristol has found that drinking milk can lessen the chances of dying from illnesses such as coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke by up to 15-20 %.

UPDATE here is the abstract:


The Survival Advantage of Milk and Dairy Consumption: an Overview of Evidence from Cohort Studies of Vascular Diseases, Diabetes and Cancer

Objectives: To conduct a detailed evaluation, with meta-analyses, of the published evidence on milk and dairy consumption and the incidence of vascular diseases and diabetes. Also to summarise the evidence on milk and dairy consumption and cancer reported by the World Cancer Research Fund and then to consider the relevance of milk and dairy consumption to survival in the UK, a typical Western community. Finally, published evidence on relationships with whole milk and fat-reduced milks was examined.

Methods: Prospective cohort studies of vascular disease and diabetes with baseline data on milk or dairy consumption and a relevant disease outcome were identified by searching MEDLINE, and reference lists in the relevant published reports. Meta-analyses of relationships in these reports were conducted. The likely effect of milk and dairy consumption on survival was then considered, taking into account the results of published overviews of relationships of these foods with cancer.

Results: From meta-analysis of 15 studies the relative risk of stroke and/or heart disease in subjects with high milk or dairy consumption was 0.84 (95% CI 0.76, 0.93) and 0.79 (0.75, 0.82) respectively, relative to the risk in those with low consumption. Four studies reported incident diabetes as an outcome, and the relative risk in the subjects with the highest intake of milk or diary foods was 0.92 (0.86, 0.97).

Conclusions: Set against the proportion of total deaths attributable to the life-threatening diseases in the UK, vascular disease, diabetes and cancer, the results of meta-analyses provide evidence of an overall survival advantage from the consumption of milk and dairy foods.

Key words: milk, dairy, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, survival


Jeff said...

Hey Chris,

This is timely. I am trying to bulk up a bit and drinking 2-3 glasses of raw milk a day is part of how I plan to get there. I am lucky I have a raw milk farm store less than 15 minutes from where I live.


Tyson said...

I love milk and dont know if I could go without it. Especially with my protein shakes. Protein shakes with water just dont cut it for me.

John Sifferman said...

A few weeks ago, I told my wife not to buy 1% milk anymore, that we would only be drinking whole milk from now on - her face lit up like a kid on Christmas morning!

If you don't have a food allergy, drink your milk.

Anonymous said...

what ever the supposed "benefits" i find it weird that grown up individuals drink fluids of mammary gland...

Matt said...

I think the problem most individuals have from drinking milk is the added chemicals such as antibiotics, and growth hormones to the dairy cows; as well as the processing of the milk. Industrial dairy cows are fed grains, which causes stomach acidity to increase and can lead to inflammation and E. coli growth…hence the antibiotics. Dairy farmers also inseminate cows after only a few months from her previous birth ensuring minimal time between pregnancies, thus allowing for more milk production. This wreaks havoc on the cows’ immune system and the quality of the milk is diminished.

There are quite a few studies, nutritionists and dietitians that suggest the cons may outweigh the pros of drinking milk. This (link) is one of a few studies I have recently read that shows evidence of increased risk of Parkinson’s with consumption of dairy products. However, I have also read about increased risks of colon cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and I am sure you can find others.

Aside from the existing evidence that regular milk consumption may not be good for your health, dairy cows emit large amounts of methane. And in some areas of the world, dairy cows are regarded as worse polluters than cars!!

Personally I have consumed cows’ milk my entire life with no (identifiable) ill affects. However, I have recently (about 2 weeks ago) stopped drinking milk because of the mounting evidence of associated illnesses and side affects; not to mention the knowledge of how milk comes to be and what the production of it does to the environment. I believe all the nutrients found in milk can be obtained from organic sources of cheese, yogurt, and a multitude of vegetables (all of which I consume on a regular basis).

:E said...


The abstract of the study cited in the article is here:

You need a subscription for the full text.

Chris said...

Thanks :E

Valda Redfern said...

I like milk, but can't get raw milk here in the UK, and I also don't really want the carbs. But I do use quite a bit of ghee in cooking, and I eat a lot of sour cream (taking a leaf from Peter's book at Hyperlipid); I ferment it myself from double cream, and since I like it really sour, I reckon that very little lactose or casesin is left in it by the time I'm done with the fermentation.