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21-12-2010 | Cardiology | Article

Milk consumption may reduce CVD risk


Free abstract

MedWire News: Individuals who consume milk may have a lower risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) than those who do not, results of a large meta-analysis suggest.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, show an inverse relationship between quantities of milk consumed and disease risk, with a 6% reduction in CVD risk per 200-ml glass of milk consumed daily.

No association, however, was observed between milk consumption and stroke or mortality risk.

The mechanism by which milk may affect CVD risk is unknown as yet, but Sabita Soedamah-Muthu (Wageningen University, The Netherlands) and team hypothesize that "milk minerals, especially calcium and potassium, might be responsible for an antihypertensive effect."

The researchers drew their conclusions from the analysis of 17 multinational studies in which 611,340 participants aged 34 to 80 years documented their daily milk and dairy product intake by questionnaire.

In these studies, 2283 CVD, 4391 coronary heart disease (CHD), 15,554 stroke (fatal and nonfatal), and 23,494 mortality cases occurred over a mean period of 14 years.

Pooled results from four studies (n=13,518; mean milk intake 313 ml/day) showed an inverse association between milk intake and CVD risk. After adjustment for gender and other confounders, a 6% reduction in CVD risk was noted per 200 ml/day milk intake (confidence interval [CI]: 0.88-1.01).

Milk intake was not associated with risk of CHD, stroke, or total mortality, and no additional association was found between the consumption of nonmilk dairy products and CHD risk.

Soedamah-Muthu and team say that "intake of milk and dairy products does not seem to be harmful, but whether the association is truly inverse cannot be firmly concluded."

They add: "Further studies are warranted to investigate the relation between consumption of dairy products and risk of CVD and to investigate different dairy components separately with sufficient follow-up to assess multiple health outcomes."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Lauretta Ihonor

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